Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXIV

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Spring Offensive, Part II
21 March-5 April: Operation Michael—The Germans advanced farther, faster than at any other point since 1914, taking thousands of British P.O.W.s & advancing forty miles in some places; the Entente countered with a brilliant tactical choice, surrendering indefensible ground devastated in the Battle of the Somme while reinforcing & successfully defending the vital strategic positions of Amiens & Arras.






Lest we forget.

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Lord's Day: Trinity


Audrey Assad, "Holy, Holy, Holy" from Inheritance (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"…God in Three Persons,
Blessed Trinity."

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Bonus! Trinity Song o' the Day


Sufjan Stevens, "Holy, Holy, Holy" from Songs for Christmas (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Only Thou art holy,
There is none besides Thee,
Perfect in power,
Perfect in power,
In love, and purity.

"Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
All Thy works shall praise Thy Name,
In Earth and sky and sea,
There is a sign at the sight of Thee,
There is none besides Thee,
God in Three Persons,
God in Three Persons,
God in Three Persons,
Blessed Trinity."

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Vlog Post: "Summer Vacation"

'Tis the Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest, C.O. (1515-1595), founder of the Oratorians, formally the Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, & the Confraternity of the Most Holy Trinity of Pilgrims & Convalescents: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link C.O.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
"Third Apostle of Rome," after Saints Peter & Paul, Saint Philip Neri was an Italian priest noted for founding a society of secular clergy called the Congregation of the Oratory.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Eleutherius, Pope (died circa 189, also spelt Eleuterus), thirteenth (XIII) Bishop of Rome, who worked against the Montanist heresy: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Heresy.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Peter Sanz, Bishop & Martyr, O.P. (1680-1747), one of the Martyr Saints of China: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link; Martyrs-link CXX & Wikipedia-link CXX.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Saturday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter of James, chapter five, verses thirteen thru twenty;
Psalm One Hundred Forty-one, verses one & two, three & eight;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses thirteen thru sixteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus declares that the kingdom of God belongs to children. "Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."

How so? Well, children are like stars or flowers or animals, things that are what they are, unambiguously, uncomplicatedly. They are in accord with God’s deepest intentions for them. The challenge of the spiritual life is to realize what God wants us to be—to find out what is in line with the deepest grain of our being—and thereby come to the same simplicity and directness in our existence.

Let me put this another way: children haven’t yet learned how to look at themselves. Why can a child immerse himself so eagerly and thoroughly in what he is doing? Because he can lose himself; because he is not looking at himself, conscious of the reactions, expectations, and approval of those around him. The best moments in life are when we lose ourselves in the world and just are as God wants us to be.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Memorial of Saint Philip Neri
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter four, verses four thru nine;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse two;
or, Psalm Thirty-four, verse nine;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seventeen, verses twenty thru twenty-six.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day (+ Bonus! Saint Quote o' the Day)
"I love You, Jesus, & bear in mind the words of St. John of the Cross: 'The least act of pure love is of more value than all the other works put together.'"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"As the soul is the life of the body, so the Holy Spirit is the life of our souls."
—St. Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church (1007-1073, feast day:)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Day: SKAfter Party

Starpool, "Try Living In This World" from the Stpl E.P.0001 E.P. (The Last Angry Man)

Skammentary:
"Try living in this world,
Try dealing with this, girl,
Instead of the mixed up mind inside your head,
Try living in this world,
Try dealing with this, girl,
Instead of the little lies you spread…"

Friday, May 25, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Marine Wildlife Song o' the Day


Dan Potthast, "Sharks" from Sweats and Meats (The Last Angry Man)

Saints + Scripture: Better Late than Never

The Popish Plot
Fermentation Friday: "The Venerable Bede"

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Bede the Venerable, Priest & Doctor of the Church, O.S.B. (circa 672-735): Doctor-link ūnus, Doctor-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Doctors.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Bede wrote the history of the Christian churches in England, & of England generally; its main focus is on the conflict between the pre-Schism Roman Rite & Celtic Christianity. it is considered one of the most important original references on Anglo-Saxon history.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Gregory VII, Pope, O.S.B. (circa 1015-1085, A.K.A. Hildebrand of Sovana), one hundred fifty-seventh (CLVII) Bishop of Rome,who defended the liberty of the Church in the Investiture Controversy: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, Saint-link trēs, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Controversy.


Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Gregory is perhaps best known for this part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor that affirmed the primacy of papal authority & the new canon law governing the election of the pope by the College of Cardinals.
'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, Virgin, O.Carm. (1566-1607, A.K.A. Caterina de' Pazzi): Saint-link ūna, Saint-link duæ, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, O.Carm. was an Italian Carmelite nun & mystic. She was affectionately known as "The Passion Flower of the Eucharist," St. Mary Magdalene was taught mental prayer, also known as meditation, at the tender age of nine, at the request of her mother.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Zenobius of Florence, Bishop (337-417): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Aldhelm of Sherbonne, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (circa 639-709): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Gerard of Lunel, Hermit, T.O.S.F. (circa 1275-1298, also spelt Géri, A.K.A. Roger): Blessed-link ūnus, Blessed-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Formerly observed on 6 may, but we here at Project BLACK MAMBA are now convinced 25 May is preferable, even though 'tis already a crowded date.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Friday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter of James, chapter five, verses nine thru twelve;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one & two, three & four, eight & nine, & eleven & twelve;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter ten, verses one thru twelve.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus defines the fundamental sacredness of marriage. I’m convinced that the deep sacramental and religious meaning of marriage—even within the Church—has been, in recent years, dramatically compromised. We say that marriage is a vocation, but do we mean it?

We can look at human sexual relationships at a number of different levels. Two people can come together purely for physical pleasure, for economic reasons, or for psychological companionship. And we might witness two people coming together out of authentic love.

But none of these levels is what the Bible means by marriage. When I was doing parish work I would invariably ask young couples, "Why do you want to get married in church?" Most would say something like, "Because we love each other." But I would reply, "Well, that’s no reason to get married in church."

They usually looked stunned, but I meant it. You come to church to be married before God and his people when you are convinced that your marriage is not, finally, about you; that it is about God and about serving God’s purposes; that it is, as much as the priesthood of a priest, a vocation, a sacred calling.
Video reflection by Lucia Luzondo, J.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Bede the Venerable
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter two, verses ten(b) thru sixteen;
Psalm One Hundred Nineteen, verse twelve;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter seven, verses twenty-one thru twenty-nine.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Gregory VII
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty, verses seventeen, eighteen(a), twenty-eight thru thirty-two, & thirty-six;
Psalm One Hundred Ten, verse four(b);
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter sixteen, verses thirteen thru nineteen.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter seven, verses twenty-five thru thirty-five;
Confer Psalm One Hundred Forty-eight, verses twelve(a) & thirteen(a);
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter three, verses thirty-one thru thirty-five.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005, feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I am always discovering in [the Gospels] new lights & hidden mysterious meanings. I know & I have experienced that 'the Kingdom of God is within us.'"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Those whose hearts are pure are temples of the Holy Spirit."
—St. Lucy (283-304, feast day: 13 December)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Narwhal Song o' the Day


Haberdashery, "The Narwhal Suite" from Illuminated Road (The Last Angry Man)

Saints + Scripture

The Popish Plot
Theology Thursday: "The Holy Spirit Is Not…"

'Tis the festival of Saints Donatian & Rogatian, Martyrs (died 299, of Nantes), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, victims of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link Delta, Martyr-link Romeo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Simeon Stylites the Younger, Priest (circa 521-597): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Son of St. Martha [4 July]. Called "the Younger" to distinguish him from St. Simeon Stylites the Elder [5 January].

'Tis also the festival of Saint David of Scotland, Confessor (circa 1084-1153, King David I): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Son of St. Margaret of Scotland [16 November].

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Mario Vergara, Priest (P.I.M.E.), & Isidore Ngei Lo Kat, Martyrs (died 1950), martyred by Burmese Baptist guerillas: Martyr-link Mike Victor & Wikipedia-link Mike Victor, Martyr-link India November Lima Kilo & Wikipedia-link India November Lima Kilo; Martyrs-link Beatification.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter of James, chapter five, verses one thru six;
Psalm Forty-nine, verses fourteen & fifteen(a/b), fifteen(c/d) & sixteen, seventeen & eighteen, & nineteen & twenty;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses forty-one thru fifty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel, Jesus speaks, with incredible bluntness, about cutting off one’s hand and foot and plucking out one’s own eye. If these things are a block to your salvation, get rid of them, for it is better to enter life maimed than to enter Gehenna with all of your limbs and members.

The hand is the organ by which we reach out and grasp things. The soul is meant for union with God, but instead we have reached out to creatures, grasping at finite things with all of our energies.

The Lord also speaks of the foot. The foot is the organ by which we set ourselves on a definite path. We are meant to walk on the path which is Christ. Do we? Or have we set out down a hundred errant paths, leading to glory, honor, power, or pleasure?

We are designed to seek after and look for God. Have we spent much of our lives looking in all the wrong places, beguiled by the beauties and enticements of this world? And are we willing to pluck out our eye spiritually, to abandon many of the preoccupations that have given us pleasure?
Video reflection by Fr. Roger Lopez, O.F.M. (Franciscan Media): U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"And this is the job of the catechist: constantly to go forth to others out of love to bear witness & to talk about Jesus & to proclaim Jesus. This is important because the Lord does it; it is the Lord that impels us to go forth."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"He is compassionate & filled with gentleness, slow to punish, & abundant in mercy, for He knows our frailty, He remembers we are only dust."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling & scatter there Thy cheerful beams."
—St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church (354-430, feast day: 28 August)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXIII

Operation AXIOM: The World War
24 April 1918: On the last day of the Hindu-German Conspiracy Trial, Ghadar Party president Ram Chandra was assassinated by fellow defendant Ram Singh; the conspiracy involved German intrigues with Indian & Irish nationalists, gunrunning (the Annie Larsen Affair), & the tension 'twixt America's alliance with the British Empire & Americans' sympathy for Indian independence from the British Raj.





Lest we forget.

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the festival of Saint Michael of Synnada, Bishop (died circa 826, A.K.A. the Confessor), exiled for his opposition to Byzantine iconoclasm: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Iconoclasm.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Tis also the festival of Saint William of Rochester, Martyr (died circa 1201, A.K.A. of Perth), martyred on pilgrimage by his adopted son, David the Foundling: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Giovanni Battista de' Rossi, Priest (1698-1764, Anglicized as John Baptist Rossi): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blesseds Józef Kurzawa & Wincenty Matuszewski, Priests & Martyrs (died 1940), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, two of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link Juliett Kilo & Wikipedia-link Juliett Kilo, Martyr-link Whiskey Mike & Wikipedia-link Whiskey Mike (list, № 78); Martyrs-link CVIII & Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Wednesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter of James, chapter four, verses thirteen thru seventeen;
Psalm Forty-nine, verses two & three; six & seven; eight, nine, & ten; & eleven;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses thirty-eight thru forty.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in the Gospel John complains to Jesus that some people not of their group were driving out demons in Jesus’ name. Jesus responds: “Don’t prevent them.…whoever is not against us is for us.” What a wonderful, generous attitude!

John was undoubtedly angry that someone outside of their little circle was going to get credit. If you think that this sort of thing only happened in biblical times, you haven’t spent too much time around the Church! I’m a proud churchman, and I love and admire all of the great people who do so much for Christ’s kingdom, and for very little compensation. But I’ve also been around long enough to see this problem on parish staffs, in diocesan offices, within rectories, and among parish communities. We get so tied up in our little games and protecting our turf, and making sure things go according to the bureaucratic structures that we have established, that we forget what the mission is about.

What Jesus saw was that the mission is what matters. Bringing God’s love to the world, being a conduit of grace: that’s what matters. All of our personal glory, position, privilege—all of that is finally a matter of indifference.
Video reflection by Jem Sullivan, Ph.D.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Papal Quote o' the Day
"This is how the word of God describes the working of the Spirit: first He rests on each & then brings all of them together in fellowship. To each He gives a gift, & then gathers them all into unity."
—Pope Francis (born 1936, reigning since 2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"For me, prayer means launching out from the heart toward God; a cry of grateful love from the crest of joy or the trough of despair: it is a vast supernatural force that opens out my heart & binds me close to Jesus."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"To make room in our life for the Eucharistic Lord, so that He can change our life into His—is that asking too much?"
—St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942, feast day: 9 August)

Narwhal Day

In the timeless words of Professor Farnsworth, "Good news, everyone!" 'Tis Narwhal Day, the most narwhalsome day o' the year! Yes, Narwhal Day, that glorious day when all & sundry reflect on & sympathize with the narwhal, the very oddest of whales, far-famed for its curious "horn" (in actuality a tusk) which in times past was often displayed in cabinets of curiosity (Wunderkammer) as a unicorn's horn. The narwhal is transcendent proof that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

The Ancient & Proper Observance of Narwhal Day
First, the recitation of "The Oath of Narwhal Day;"
Second, the wearing of gray clothing;
Third, the hearing of "Sympathy for the Narwhal" by D.J. Seaghost, an ally of The Aquabats!

The ancient & proper observance need not be observed in any particular order. The recitation of the oath is an internal act; recite it as a jest or a lark only at your own peril, for a man is only as good as his word; it is in sympathizing with the narwhal that Narwhal Day finds its highest purpose. The wearing of gray is an external act, signally to others one's the sympathy for the narwhal & inviting them to experience the same. The hearing of "Sympathy for the Narwhal" is a communal act, for Narwhal Day is as much a day of celebration as it is as day of sympathizing; the narwhal will frolic & so should we. So should we? So shall we!


The Oath of Narwhal Day
The narwhal is a noble, pitiable creature,
A magnificent, monstrous visage.
An asymmetrical tooth for a horn,
Or sometimes two, or sometimes none,
Half again as long as the beast.

I swear my sympathy for the narwhal.
I will not lie and convince it all is well,
But I will be a friend to the narwhal.
The mocking dolphins and the snobby manatees
Will get their well-earned comeuppance,
And the narwhal will frolic all day.

I dream this dream of the narwhal
And celebrate it in all its oddball, improbable glory,
On this the eighteenth Narwhal Day.


the Narwhal (Monodon Monoceros)—also narwal or narwhale


The Rebel Black Dot Song o' Narwhal Day
D.J. Seaghost, "Sympathy for the Narwhal" from The Aquabats! and Horchata Records Present Rice Capades Music Sampler, Vol. 1 (Captain Thumbs Up)

Commentary: It is "Sympathy for the Narwhal" that opened my eyes, my mind, & my heart to the need to sympathize with the noble narwhal, to marvel at its strangeness, to celebrate its oddball glory. There would be no Narwhal Day without "Sympathy for the Narwhal." D.J. Seaghost is a longstanding ally of The Aquabats! & The Aquabats! are responsible for the release of the Rice Capades compilation sampler; so, in a very real way, as if The Aquabats! had not already given us all so much, especially those of us who are aging Aqua-Cadets, The Aquabats! inspired Narwhal Day.
"Wow!"




The Wayback Machine Tour of Narwhal Day (since '03)
Narwhal Day '17Narwhal Day '16Narwhal Day '15
Narwhal Day '14Narwhal Day '13Narwhal Day '12
Narwhal Day '11Narwhal Day '10Narwhal Day '09
Narwhal Day '08Narwhal Day '07a & Narwhal Day '07bNarwhal Day '06
Narwhal Day '05Narwhal Day '04Narwhal Day '03

Commentary: Narwhal Day was first observed on 23 May 2001. The Secret Base has been published since February 2002, & the second Narwhal Day was observed on 23 May 2002, yet there was no mention on Narwhal Day on The Secret Base. There is no excuse for the oversight, but I suppose that instead of being frustrated by my younger self's failure to seize the opportunity, I should extend to him the same sympathy I extend to the narwhal.

Sympathetic Narwhal Day, everyone!

Operation ÖSTERREICH

Weekly Wednesday Weigh-in
Last weigh-in: 337.0 lbs
This weigh-in: 338.0 lbs.
Difference: +1.0 lbs.

I've gained precisely one pound in each of the last two weeks, from three hundred thirty-six to three hundred thirty-seven to three hundred thirty-eight—no fractional components, only integers. Of course, all that's neither here nor there. The trend is moving in the wrong direction & a course correction is necessary.

Bonus! Lied von ÖSTERREICH
Jim Gaffigan, "Whales" from Mr. Universe (The Last Angry Whale)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Countdown to Narwhal Day: One…


One more day!

Bonus! Marine Wildlife Song o' the Day!
The Aquabats!, "The Shark Fighter!" from Hi-Five Soup! (Captain Thumbs Up!)

Commentary!:
"I'm a shark fighter, I fight sharks,
I fight 'em in the water 'cause that's where they are…"

Saints + Scripture

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint Rita of Cascia, Religious, O.S.A. (1381-1457): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
In many Catholic countries, Rita came to be known as the patroness of abused wived & heartbroken women. One day when she was about sixty years of age, she was meditating before an image of Christ crucified, as she was long accustomed to doing. Suddenly a small wound appeared on her forehead, as though a thorn from the crown that encircled Christ's head had loosed itself & penetrated her own flesh. For the next fifteen years she bore this external sign of stigmatization & union with the Lord.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Bobo of Provence, Hermit (died 986, also spelt Beuvon, Bovo): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Dulce Pontes, Religious, S.M.I.C. (1914-1992, A.K.A. Maria Rita Lópes Pontes de Souza Brito, Irmã Dulce Pontes), foundress of the Charitable Works Foundation of Sister Dulce (A.K.A., in Portuguese, Obras Sociais Irmã Dulce): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link O.S.I.D.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Letter of James, chapter four, verses one thru ten;
Psalm Fifty-five, verses seven & eight, nine & ten(a), ten(b) & eleven, & twenty-three;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses thirty thru thirty-seven.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus presents a child as the model for his disciples. Jesus lays out for his disciples what is going to happen to him in Jerusalem, how he will be rejected, tortured, and killed. Oblivious to this, the disciples are discussing who among them is the most important. For Jesus, the path to greatness lies on the road to Calvary, to self-forgetting love; for the disciples—and for most people of most ages—it lies along the road to ego inflation.

What is the antidote? A child is proposed as a kind of living icon to these ambitious disciples. We notice first how Jesus physically identifies with the child, sitting down at his level and placing his arms around him. It is as though he is saying that he himself is like a child. How so? Children don’t know how to dissemble, how to be one way and act another. They are what they are; they act in accordance with their deepest nature.

Why was this story of Jesus’ identification with children preserved by all of the synoptic Gospels? Somehow it gets close to the heart of Jesus’ life and message.
Video reflection by Sister Sharon Erickson, R.S.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Rita of Cascia
The Letter to the Philippians, chapter four, verses four thru nine;
Psalm Forty, verse five(a);
or, Psalm One, verse two(a);
or, Psalm Ninety-two, verses thirteen & fourteen;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter six, verses twenty-seven thru thirty-eight.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"The longing of Christ's Heart [that all be one] must be our invitation. We must dedicate ourselves anew to the task of establishing among Catholics a firm & abiding love & witness to that unity which is the first mark of the Church."
—Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963, feast day: 11 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"The greatest of all is that He has shown me my littleness & how, of myself, I am incapable of anything good."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Be children of the Church."
—St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821, feast day: 4 January)

The Rebel Black Dot Narwhal Song o' the Day


Aaron Burnett, "Narwhal" from Canadian Critters (The Last Angry Man)

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Narwhal Song o' the Day


David Polansky, "Narwhal" from Animal Alphabet Songs (The Last Angry Man)

The Queue

I didn't read the complete The Complete Stories. In fact, I only read about one third of them & returned the book to the library with ten days left on the loan. This is not because I disliked Flannery O'Connor's writing. On the contrary, several of the stories I would describe as sublime, others as mediocre, & not a one as poor—but all of them grotesque, relentlessly so. I'll pick up the National Book Award-winning Complete Stories again, perhaps reading another third, & then someday return a second time for the last third.

Meanwhile, back to non-fictional, specifically ecclesiastical reading. Great Catholic Parishes isn't particularly spiritual reading, but it is practical, a research study into best practices that help great Catholic parishes flourish. I currently have the honor of serving as the chairman of the parish council at Holy Redeemer, & recently was flown to suburban Baltimore to attend the Rebuilt Conference; so, thinking specifically & intentionally about how we as a parish can better serve the Lord & fulfill the Great Commission is right up my alley.

After Great Catholic Parishes, next in the queue are Pope Francis's brand-new Guadete et Exsultate & Paul VI's seminal Humanae Vitae, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this summer.

Recently
Father John Riccardo, Heaven Starts Now: Becoming a Saint Day by Day
Matthew Kelly, Perfectly Yourself: Discovering God's Dream for You
Flannery O'Connor, The Complete Stories

Currently
William E. Simon Jr., Great Catholic Parishes: A Living Mosaic—How Four Essential Practices Make Them Thrive

Presently
Norman Davies, Vanished Kingdoms: The Rise and Fall of States and Nations ***oft delayed***
Pope Francis, Guadete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad)
Pope Blessed Paul VI, et al., Humanae Vitae: 50th Anniversary Edition
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus
Bishop Robert Barron, Seeds of the Word: Finding God in the Culture
Mike Aquilina, Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers
Xavier Rynne, Vatican Council II
John W. O'Malley, What Happened at Vatican II
Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (God Is Love)
Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis (The Sacrament of Charity)
Scott Hahn, A Father Who Keeps His Promises: God's Covenant Love in Scripture
Rosario Carello, Pope Francis Takes the Bus and Other Unexpected Stories
Father Mathias D. Thelen, Biblical Foundations for the Role of Healing in Evangelization
Richard Price, Clockers
Sir Richard Francis Burton, translator, "Sinbad the Sailor" from The Arabian Nights
Sir Ernest Shackleton, South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage
William F. Buckley Jr., The Unmaking of a Mayor
Margaret MacMillan, Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World
John le Carré, A Legacy of Spies

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Two…


Can ye feel the sympathy? Only two days 'til the most narwhalsome day o' the year, Narwhal Day!

Saints + Scripture: VII Week in Ordinary Time

'Tis the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church: Wikipedia-link.

Commentary: Quoth the Catholic Community of Flint bulletin:
Pope Francis has declared the feast of "the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church" on the Monday after Pentecost each year.
The decree was promulgated on 3 March 2018, just over two months ago. In Church time, that is last-minute notice. Unusually for a Memorial (third in rank, beneath Feasts & Solemnities), the daily e-mail from the U.S.C.C.B. contained only the readings for the Memorial, not the readings for the weekday in Ordinary Time (or feria). This is not standard procedure, which I attribute to the short liturgical notice, making this first Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church a bit of a catch-as-catch-can affair.

Mary, Mother of the Church is a moveable feast; so, it won't be celebrated on this date (21 May) next year, 2019, but will vary along with the date of Pentecost, which varies along with the date of Easter.


'Tis also the Optional Memorial of Saint Christopher Magallanes, Priest, & Companions, Martyrs (died 1915-1937, A.K.A. the Martyrs of the Mexican Revolution): Martyr-link Charlie Mike & Wikipedia-link Charlie Mike, Martyrs-link ūnus & Martyrs-link duo; Wikipedia-link La Cristiada.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
St. Christopher Magallanes, along with twenty-one other priests & three lay companions, were martyred between 1915 & 1937, by shooting or hanging, throughout eight Mexican states, for their membership in the Cristero movement.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Godric of Finchale, Hermit (circa 1065-1170): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter, Martyr, O.F.S. (1907-1943), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Feria
The Letter of James, chapter three, verses thirteen thru eighteen;
Psalm Nineteen, verses eight, nine, ten, & fifteen;
The Gospel according to Mark, chapter nine, verses fourteen thru twenty-nine.

Mass Readings—Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
The Book of Genesis, chapter three, verses nine thru fifteen & twenty;
or, the Acts of the Apostles, chapter one, verses twelve, thirteen, & fourteen;
Psalm Eighty-seven, verses one & two, three & five, & six & seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter nineteen, verses twenty-five thru thirty-four.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today we celebrate the brand new Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church.

We hear in today’s Gospel that, as he was dying on the cross, Jesus looked to his mother and the disciple whom he loved, and he said to Mary, "Woman, behold, your son," and then to John, "Behold, your mother." We are told that "from that hour the disciple took her into his home."

If Mary is the one through whom Christ was born, and if the Church is indeed Christ’s mystical body, then she must be, in a very real sense, the mother of the Church. She is the one through whom Jesus continues to be born in the hearts of those who believe. This is not to confuse her with the Savior, but it is to insist on her mission as mediator and intercessor. At the close of the great "Hail Mary" prayer, we Catholics ask Mary to pray for us "now and at the hour of our death," signaling that throughout one’s life Mary is the privileged channel through which the grace of Christ flows into the mystical body.

God delights in drawing secondary causes into the dense complexity of his providential plan, granting to them the honor of cooperating with him and his designs. The handmaid of the Lord, who is the mother of the Church, is the humblest of these humble instruments—and therefore the most effective.
Video reflection by Msgr. James Vlaun (Telecare T.V.): United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Christopher Magallanes & Companions
The Book of Revelation, chapter seven, verses nine thru seventeen;
Psalm Thirty-four, verse five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twelve, verses twenty-four, twenty-five, & twenty-six.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"The future is in your hearts & in your hands. God is entrusting to you the task, at once difficult & uplifting, of working with him in the building of the civilization of love."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Our Lord has granted me the grace never to fear the conflict; at all costs I must do my duty."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Be joyful, & keep your faith & your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do & heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us."
—St. David (500-589, feast day: 1 March)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Explorers' Club, № DCXII

Operation AXIOM: The World War—The Spring Offensive, Part I
21 March-5 April 1918: Operation Michael—The Germans, bolstered by fifty divisions transferred to the Western Front after the victory on the Eastern Front, launched an all-out offensive aimed at driving the British Expeditionary Force into the sea & the French to the negotiating table, making widespread use of "stormtrooper" tactics & including the combat debut of a German tank, the A7V.





Lest we forget.

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Three…


This is the week! But three days remain 'til Narwhal Day! Narwhal Day is fun for all ages!

Saints + Scripture: Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday

'Tis the Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Pentecost-link & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
[Pentecost] commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles & other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. This event represents the birth of the catholic Church.
Scripture of the Week
Mass Readings—Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Mass during the Day
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter two, verses one thru eleven;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & twenty-four, twenty-nine & thirty, & thirty-one & thirty-four;
The First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter twelve, verses three(b) thru seven, twelve, & thirteen;
or, the Letter to the Galatians, chapter five, verses sixteen thru twenty-five;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty, verses nineteen thru twenty-three;
or, the Gospel according to John, chapter fifteen, verses twenty-six & twenty-seven & chapter sixteen, verses twelve thru fifteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, in our Gospel for today, drawn from St. John’s account, Jesus shows his disciples the wounds of his Crucifixion, and then he offers them shalom (peace). It is the juxtaposition of the wounds and the shalom that carries power. The wounds alone would leave us afraid, convinced of our sin but not of a way out. The shalom alone would leave us with cheap grace, a too easy way out.

And this is precisely why, immediately after uttering that word and showing those wounds, Jesus sends the disciples on a mission of forgiveness: "Then he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive men’s sins they are forgiven them; if you hold them bound, they are held bound.’"

The Church receives its essential mission and identity as the bearer of the divine forgiveness. We have been entrusted with speaking the
shalom of Jesus to a fallen and hopeless world. But it’s not cheap grace that we share. We participate in Jesus’ mission of showing his wounds as well. The Church refuses to explain sin away or make excuses for it or call it by another name. But when those wounds are revealed, it offers peace.
Video reflection by Father Greg Friedman, O.F.M.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Video reflection by Jeff Cavins: Encountering the Word.

Audio reflection by Scott Hahn, Ph.D.: Breaking the Bread.


Mass Journal: Week Twenty-one
Reflection by Matthew Kelly, founder of the Dynamic Catholic Institute:
In every age, there are a small number of men & women who are prepared to turn their backs on popular culture & personal gain to embrace heroically the life Jesus outlines in the Gospels. These people fashion Catholicism into a lifestyle, they listen attentively to the voice of God in their lives, & they passionately pursue their personal adventure of salvation. As a result, they capture the attention & the imagination of everyone who crosses their path.


Otherwise, 20 May would be the festival of Saint Lucifer of Calgiari, Bishop (died circa 370), who vigorously opposed the Arian heresy: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Heresy.

Commentary: Wayback Machine.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Ælfthryth of Crowland, Virgin (died circa 835, A.K.A. Alfreda, Etheldrytha): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twould also be the festival of Saint Bernardino of Siena, Priest, O.F.M. (1380-1444, the "Apostle of Italy"), who popularized devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus thru the IHS Christogram: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, YouTube-link The True Enlightenment, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Holy Name & Wikipedia-link IHS.

'Twould also be the festival of Blessed María Crescentia, Religious (1897-1932, "Sister Sweetness," A.K.A. María Angélica Pérez): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"The truth is not always the same as the majority decision."
—Pope John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"I am not dying, I am entering into Life…"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Heart of Jesus, I ask You for a special blessing for Chile, given that it is God’s will that I die here. Gladly I offer You the sacrifice for the peace & tranquility of this nation."
—Bl. María Crescentia (1897-1932, feast day: 20 May)

The Rebel Black Dot Song o' the Lord's Day: Pentecost


Audrey Assad, "Spirit of the Living God" from Fortunate Fall (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"O Spirit of the living God, thou Light and Fire Divine,
Descend upon Thy Church once more and make it truly Thine,
Fill it with love and joy and power, with righteousness and peace,
Till Christ shall dwell in human hearts, and sin and sorrow cease!

"Oh-oh-oh-oh…

"Blow, wind of God, with wisdom blow until our minds are free,
From mists of error, clouds of doubt, which blind our eyes to Thee,
Burn, winged fire, inspire our lips with flaming love and zeal,
To preach to all Thy great good news, God's glorious commonweal!

"Oh-oh-oh-oh…

"So shall we know the power of Christ, Who came this world to save,
So shall we rise with Him to life which soars beyond the grave,
And earth shall win true holiness which makes Thy children whole,
Till, perfected by Thee, we reach creation's glorious goal.

"Oh-oh-oh-oh…"

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Songs o' History Quiz Night

Project MERCATOR: Misty Beavers (defeated)—The History o' History Quiz Night '18, in Song
Samstag, 24. März
Taylor Swift, "Better than Revenge" from Speak Now (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: When the scores were announced, with the Misty Beavers in second place, no one clapped & cheered more loudly for the new champions, Ben Swallows, than did we. After all, not only are several of their team our pals & former teammates, but even with the History Quiz Night organizers & every other disadvantaged stacked against us, we were still beaten fair & square. We chanted "Four more years! Four more years!" for Ben swallows & some pathetic, bitter old shrew shouted back, "No more years! You lost!" I shouted back, "Four more years for them! We're cheering for them!" & to my credit did not hurl any of the well-earned expletives that horrible woman had coming. I must say, with the rest of the saints I will laugh & laugh when that salty crone is sentenced, on Judgment Day, to the eternity in hellfire that awaits all scoffers & all those who, unable to find anything worthwhile in themselves, seek their wretched satisfaction in tearing others down.

Without taking anything away from Ben Swallows, we Misty Beavers were the architects of our own demise when we failed to embrace the spirit that had so often carried us to History Quiz Night victory. The only other year (since I joined the team) in which we failed to win was also the only other year in which we failed to give ourselves a year-specific name, which is our year-specific mission. Next year, we will not repeat that mistake. I'm only one Beaver, I do not speak for the whole team, but if I have anything to say about it, next year our mission will be clear. We will be Misty Beavers REVENGE.
"…She should keep in mind,
She should keep in mind,
There is nothing I do better than revenge.

"And do you still feel like you know what you're doing?
'Cause I don't think you do.
Oh, do you still feel like you know what you're doing?
'Cause I don't think you do, I don't think you do.
Let's hear the applause.

"C'mon, show me how much better you are,
See, you deserve some applause.
'Cause you're so much better…"
2013: Misty Beavers—Tied, 3rd Place
2014: Misty Beavers Redemption—Champions
2015: Misty Beavers Repeat—Champions
2016: Misty Beavers Dynasty—Champions
2017: Misty Beavers Empire—Champions
2018: Misty Beavers—2nd Place
2019: Misty Beavers Revenge—woe to those who stand against us!

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Four…


Four day's 'til Narwhal Day! Raise yer glass, or bottle, & toast to that oddest of whales, the narwhal!

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

The Popish Plot
Vlog Post: "Heaven, Hell, & the iGen"

'Tis the festival of Blessed Alcuin of York, Deacon & Abbot (730-804): Blessed-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Dunstan, Bishop & Abbot, O.S.B. (909-988, of Canterbury), who as abbot introduced the Benedictine Rule at the Abbey of Glastonbury: Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Rule, Wikipedia-link Abbey, & Wikipedia-link Abbots.

Commentary: Wayback Machine. Nephew of St. Athelm [8 January], also an Archbishop of Canterbury, & kinsman of St. Ælfheah the Bald [12 March].

'Tis also the festival of Saint Celestine V, Pope, O.S.B. Cel. (circa 1210-1296, A.K.A. Pietro Angelerio, of Morrone), one hundred ninety-second (CXCII) Bishop of Rome, founder of the Celestines, a branch of the Benedictines: Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link O.S.B. Cel..

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Peter Wright, Priest & Martyr, S.J. (1603-1651), martyred in the reign of the English warlord Oliver Cromwell: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Theophilus of Corte, Priest, O.F.M. (1676-1740, A.K.A. Biagio Arrighi): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday: Mass in the Morning
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-eight, verses sixteen thru twenty, thirty, & thirty-one;
Psalm Eleven, verses four, & five & seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses twenty thru twenty-five.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today in the Gospel Jesus rebuffs Peter’s question about the fate of John. “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” The undercurrent here is the promise of eternal life, the union of divinity and humanity, and the call to follow Jesus. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning or wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.”

Think of the oceans of tears that have been shed by suffering humanity up and down the ages. Think of the agony caused by sickness, by psychological torment, and by the death of loved ones. It will all be swallowed up, washed away, taken up into a higher place.

And what makes all of this possible? Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. He is the reconciliation of divinity and humanity; he is the new Jerusalem; he is the accomplishment of the covenant.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Vigil Mass
The Book of Genesis, chapter eleven, verses one thru nine;
or, the Book of Exodus, chapter nineteen, verses three thru eight(a) & sixteen thru twenty(b);
or, the Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, verses one thru fourteen;
or, the Book of Joel, chapter three, verses one thru five;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & two, twenty-four & thirty-five, twenty-seven & twenty-eight, & twenty-nine & thirty;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-two thru twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seven, verses thirty-seven, thirty-eight, & thirty-nine.


Mass Readings—Solemnity of Pentecost Sunday: Extended Vigil Mass
The Book of Genesis, chapter eleven, verses one thru nine;
Psalm Thirty-three, verses ten & eleven, twelve & thirteen, & fourteen & fifteen;
The Book of Exodus, chapter nineteen, verses three thru eight(a) & sixteen thru twenty(b);
The Book of Daniel, chapter three, verses fifty-two, fifty-three, fifty-four, fifty-five, & fifty-six;
or, Psalm Nineteen, verses eight, nine, ten, & eleven;
The Book of Ezekiel, chapter thirty-seven, verses one thru fourteen;
Psalm One Hundred Seven, verses two thru nine;
The Book of Joel, chapter three, verses one thru five;
Psalm One Hundred Four, verses one & two, twenty-four & thirty-five, twenty-seven & twenty-eight, & twenty-nine & thirty;
The Letter to the Romans, chapter eight, verses twenty-two thru twenty-seven;
The Gospel according to John, chapter seven, verses thirty-seven, thirty-eight, & thirty-nine.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"May Jews, Christians, & Muslims find in other believers brothers & sisters to be respected & loved."
—Pope Benedict XVI (born 1927, reigned 2005-2013)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"Each time I needed food for the souls in my charge, I always found my hands filled. Had I relied on my own strength, I should very soon have been forced to surrender."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Be brave, because I am going to Paradise; but I shall always remain with you, too; I shall never abandon you!"
—St. Clelia Barbieri (1847-1870, feast day: 13 July)

The Rebel Black Dot Holy Ghost Song o' the Day

Cowboy Junkies, "Working On a Building" from The Trinity Session (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary:
"Working on a building,
A Holy Ghost building
For my Lord, for my Lord,
If I was a drunkard,
I tell you what I'd do:
I would quit my drinking
And work on that building, too.

"Working on a building,
A Holy Ghost building
For my Lord, yeah, for my Lord
If I was a liar,
I tell you what I'd do:
I would quit my lying
And work on that building, too.

"Working on a building,
It's a Holy Ghost building
For my Lord, yeah, for my Lord.

"Working on a building,
It's a Holy Ghost building
For my Lord, yeah, for my Lord,
If I was a singer,
I tell you what I'd do:
I would keep on singing
And work on that building, too."

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Songs o' History Quiz Night

Project MERCATOR: Misty Beavers (defeated)—The History o' History Quiz Night '18, in Song
Freitag, 23. März
Dropkick Murphys, "Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced" from Blackout (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: In defeat, the Misty Beavers retired to the Soggy Bottom Bar & drank. Fear not, we weren't wallowing in dejection. In years past, in victory, the Misty Beavers retired to the Soggy Bottom Bar & drank. We were dejected, to be sure, unable to do shots out of our championship trophies, but most of all we were just glad to be together. I had long, & long overdue, conversations with both Red Patton & the Animal, & made two new friends, Millennials, a brother & sister who recognized me from daily Mass at St. Matthew in downtown Flint.

The defeat stung, of that let there be no doubt, but even as we licked out wounds I could not help but think of the words of Churchill, which I posted to the Misty Beavers' FaceSpace page the next day:
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."
Meanwhile, we did have wounds to lick & libations to imbibe.
"I play in a band,
We're the best in the land,
We're big in both Chelsea and France.
I play one mean guitar
And then score at the bar,
There's a line of chick waiting for their chance.
So, come on now, Honey,
I'll make you feel pretty,
These other gals means nothing to me!
Let's finish these drinks
And be gone for the night,
I'm more than a handful, you'll see!

"So, kiss me, I'm shitfaced!
I'm soaked, I'm soiled and brown,
In the trousers she kissed me,
And I only bought her one round…

"Ah, fuck it, who am I shittin'?
I'm a pitiful sight
And I ain't all that bright,
I'm definitely not chiseled from stone.
I'm a cheat and a liar,
No woman's desire,
I'll probably die cold and alone…"

The Rebel Black Dot Holy Ghost Song o' the Day

Melanie Rea, "Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God" from It Is Well (The Last Angry Man)

Countdown to Narwhal Day: Five…


Five day's 'til Narwhal Day! Make ready! Make ready!

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Better Late than Never

'Tis the Optional Memorial of Saint John I, Pope & Martyr (died 526), fifty-third (LIII) Bishop of Rome, martyred in the reign of the Gothic king Theodoric, an Arian heretic: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Pontiff & Wikipedia-link Heresy.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
He was sent on a diplomaic mission to Constantinople by the Ostrogoth King Theodoric to negotiate better treatment for Arians. Although relatively successful, upon his return to Ravenna, Theodoric had the Pope imprisoned for allegedly conspiring with Constantinople.
'Tis also the festival of Saint Eric of Sweden, Martyr (circa 1120-1161, A.K.A. King Eric IX, the Lawgiver), martyred by pagans led by the usurper Magnus Henriksson: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Saint Felix of Cantalice, Religious, O.F.M. Cap. (1515-1587, A.K.A. Felice Porri): Saint-link ūnus, Saint-link duo, & Wikipedia-link.

'Tis also the festival of Blessed Marcin Oprządek, Priest & Martyr, O.F.M. (1884-1942, A.K.A. Jan Oprządek), martyred in the reign of the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, one of the One Hundred Eight Blessed Polish Martyrs: Martyr-link & Wikipedia-link (list, № 4); Martyrs-link CVIII & Wikipedia-link CVIII.

Scripture of the Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter twenty-five, verses thirteen(b) thru twenty-one;
Psalm One Hundred Three, verses one & two, eleven & twelve, & nineteen & twenty(a/b);
The Gospel according to John, chapter twenty-one, verses fifteen thru nineteen.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel tells of the great engagement between the risen Jesus and Peter. Peter knows his sin—he betrayed Jesus three times. But Jesus brings him through the process of repentance and gives him the key to transformation. Three times Peter denied the Lord, and so three times Jesus asks him to reaffirm his faith: "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Notice that Christianity is not a set of ideas or convictions or principles. It is a relationship with a person. Do you love Jesus? Has he become your friend?

When Simon says yes, Jesus tests him: "Feed my lambs; tend my sheep; feed my sheep." The test of love is action. Are we willing to do what Jesus did? Are we willing to go on mission on his behalf?

Then we hear that wonderful closing section: "As a young man you fastened your belt and went about as you pleased; but when you are older you will stretch out your hands, and another will tie you fast and carry you off against your will." The ultimate test of discipleship is our willingness to abandon our egos and be carried by a power greater than ourselves.
Video reflection by Paula Trigo-Galan: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. John I
The Book of Revelation, chapter three, verses fourteen(b), twenty, twenty-one, & twenty-two;
Psalm Twenty-three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Luke, chapter twenty-two, verses twenty-four thru thirty.

Papal Quote o' the Day
"What was visible in our Savior has passed over into his mysteries."
—Pope St. Leo I the Great (400-461, feast day: 10 November)
Little Flower Quote o' the Day
"It is so wonderful to think that God is really just, that God takes into account our weakness and our frailty."
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' the Day
"Blood! Blood! Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit."
—St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church (1347-1380, feast day: 29 April)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Rebel Black Dot Songs o' History Quiz Night

Project MERCATOR: Misty Beavers (defeated)—The History o' History Quiz Night '18, in Song
Donnerstag, 22. März
James Darren, "Here's to the Losers" from This One's from the Heart (The Last Angry Man)

Commentary: After four consecutive triumphs, we Misty Beavers ran into an opponent we couldn't defeat: ourselves. We were off from the word "Go," anxious, uncertain, & distracted. Long have we prided ourselves on "winning the fun," on being raucous & joyous on our merry way to victory. We don't win the fun because we win the quiz, we win the quiz because we win the fun. This bewitched Friday, we won neither the fun nor the quiz.

None of which is meant to take anything away from the victors, Ben Swallows, a team build around a core of former Misty Beavers, hangers-on if never official teammates (due to the History Quiz Night restrictions on team size). They played a masterful game, scoring forty-eight correct answers out of fifty-four questions (eighty-nine percent [89%]). Even on a good night, we Misty Beavers would have been hard pressed to defeat Ben Swallows. As it was, even plagued by anxiety, defeatism, & self-doubt even before we were defeated, we finished in a comfortable second place (first loser), but well behind the champions with only forty-two out of fifty-four correct (seventy-eight per cent [78%]).

We lost, something we had not done since my first year as a Misty Beaver, 2013.
"Here's the last toast of the evening,
Here's to those who still believe
All the losers will be winners,
All the givers shall receive,
Here's to trouble-free tomorrows,
May your sorrows all be small,
Here's to the losers,
Here's to the losers,
Here's to the losers,
Bless them all!"

Saints + Scripture: Eastertide — Saturday, 12 May

The Long Road Back, Part III of III
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea máxima culpa!

Saturday, 12 May was the Optional Memorial of Saints Nereus & Achilleus, Martyrs (died 98, of Terracina), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperor Trajan: Martyrs-link, Martyr-link November, Martyr-link Alpha, & Wikipedia-link.


Commentary: Wayback Machine. Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
The old Roman lists of the fifth century, which passed over into the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, contained the names of the two martyrs Nereus & Achilleus, whose grave was in the Catacomb of Domitilla on the Via Ardeatina. Nereus & Achilleus are also mentioned in the Sacramentarium Gelasianum. The Basilica of Ss. Nereus & Achilleus in the Via Ardeatina, to which the relics of the saints were translated in the sixth century, was erected above the burial site of the two saints & is [from] the latter part of the fourth century.
'Twas also the Optional Memorial of Saint Pancras, Martyr (circa 289-304), martyred in the reign of the Roman emperors Diocletian & Maximian, a victim of the Great Persecution: Martyr-link ūnus, Martyr-link duo, & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Persecution.


Commentary: Quoth the Holy Redeemer bulletin:
Saint Pancras was a Roman citizen who converted to Christianity, & was beheaded for his faith at the age of fourteen, around the year 304. His name is Greek & means, "the one who holds everything."
'Twas also the festival of Saint Ephram of Jerusalem, Bishop (floruit 135, also spelt Efrem): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link.

'Twas also the festival of Saint Dominic of the Causeway, Priest & Hermit (1019-1109, A.K.A. Domingo García), so-called because he built bridges & causeways to ease the pilgrimage along the Way of Saint James (the Camino de Santiago): Saint-link & Wikipedia-link; Wikipedia-link Camino.

Scripture of That Day
Mass Readings—Easter Weekday
The Acts of the Apostles, chapter eighteen, verses twenty-three thru twenty-eight;
Psalm Forty-seven, verses two & three, eight & nine, & ten;
The Gospel according to John, chapter sixteen, verses twenty-three(b) thru twenty-eight.

Commentary: Reflection by Bishop Robert Barron (Word on Fire):
Friends, today’s Gospel urges us to expect the Father to answer our prayers because he loves us. “On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.”

Keep in mind that prayer is not designed so much to change God’s mind or to tell God something he doesn’t know. God isn’t like a big city boss or a reluctant pasha whom we have to persuade. He is, rather, the one who wants nothing other than to give us good things—though they might not always be what we want.

The entire point of religion is to make us humble before God and to open us to the path of love. Everything else is more or less a footnote. Liturgy, prayer, the precepts of the Church, the commandments, sacraments, sacramentals—all of it—are finally meant to conform us to the way of love. When they instead turn us away from that path, they have been undermined.
Video reflection by Harry Dudley, D.Min.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of Ss. Nereus & Achilleus
The Book of Revelation, chapter seven, verses nine thru seventeen;
Psalm One Hundred Twenty-four, verse seven;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter ten, verses seventeen thru twenty-two.

Mass Readings—Optional Memorial of St. Pancras
The Book of Revelation, chapter nineteen, verses one & five thru nine(a);
Psalm One Hundred Three, verse one;
The Gospel according to Matthew, chapter eleven, verses twenty-five thru thirty.

Papal Quote o' That Day
"Suffering is a necessary ingredient of holiness. Love is like it. The love that Christ teaches us & that He first lived to give us an example is a merciful love, a love that atones & saves through suffering."
—Pope St. John Paul II (the Great, 1920-2005; feast day: 22 October)
Little Flower Quote o' That Day
"Your Face, O my sweet Savior, is the divine bouquet of myrrh I want to keep on my heart!"
—St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church (1873-1897, feast day: 1 October)
Saint Quote o' That Day
"Holy Mary, pray for me, a poor sinner."
—St. Bernadette of Lourdes (1844-1879, feast day: 16 April)