Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Overheard Confessions

Between the uncontrolledly booming voice of the confessor, and the fact that he was a bit tubby and couldn't close the door comfortably, I was pretty aware, from hearing his end of things, of all the concerns every penitent brought to him.

The trouble was, I had the actual answer to a problem of the man who preceded me.

Should I have given it him?

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Thankful? Grateful? To WHOM exactly?

I heard on television somewhere that that this is the holiday when we express how thankful we are to our family and friends...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The Questions That Plague Me...

No kids came to the house, and as I finish up my leftover Halloween candy -- LIAR! you went and bought more after, THAT'S what you're finishing up--- okay, okay, but the question that has me bemused and confounded is:
If these are "snack" sized, where in blazes can I get my hands on the ENTREE size heath Bars?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Collecting and dispersing the belongings of a loved one is difficult.

Who would have thought it was more difficult to go to morning Mass and catch sight of a familiar sweater, on the shoulders of an old lady who apparently shops at the St Vincent De Paul?

Mind you, I also was wearing belongings of Hers, shoes and perfume.

Not ONLY, of course.

All Souls Mass was particularly hard, made easier by passing the time during added-on "rituals" calculating how many days indulgence having to listen to a strikingly disneyfied version of Eagle's Wings was worth...

Saturday, 2 November 2013

This seems promising - oh me of little faith.
The good Nuns at the Rosary Shrine informed us that their brothers at the house of studies had released an album of sacred music, but until I read the playlist... (yeah, yeah, I shoulda known I could trust their musical judgement, but what passes for sacred music in some catholic circles is scary. And not in a good Halloween-ween way.)
But getta loada THIS:
1. Cantate Domino (Ps 96:1–3) – Hans Leo Hassler (1564–1612)
2. Sancta et immaculata – Francisco Guerrero (1528–1599)
      ~ Christmas Responsory/Marian Feasts
3. Thine Are the Heavens (Ps 89:12, 15a)– Vincent Ferrer Bagan, O.P. (b. 1983)
      ~ Christmas Offertory
4. Hodie Christus natus est – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525–1594)
      ~ Christmas Antiphon
5. Notas mihi (Ps 16:11) – Dominican chant
      ~ Communion for St. Thomas Aquinas
6. Veritas mea (Ps 89:25) – Oreste Ravanello (1871–1938)
      ~ Offertory for St. Joseph
7. O vos omnes (Lam 1:12) – Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611)
      ~ Passiontide Responsory
8. Ubi caritas – Chant, arr. James Junípero Moore, O.P. (b. 1976)
      ~ Holy Thursday Antiphon
9. Terra tremuit (Ps 76:9–10) – William Byrd (1540–1623)
      ~ Easter Offertory
10. If Ye Love Me (Jn 14:15–17) – Thomas Tallis (1505–1585)
       ~ Pentecost
11. O sacrum convivium (St. Thomas Aquinas) – Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548–1611)
       ~ Corpus Christi Antiphon
12. In medio ecclesiae – Dominican chant
       ~ Officium for St. Dominic
13. To You Do We Come (Sub tuum) – Polish chant, adapt. The Monks of New Skete,
       arr. Dominican Nuns of Summit (used with permission)
14. Confitemini Domino (Ps 118:1) – Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina  (1525–1594)
15. Round Us Falls the Night (William Romanis, alt.) – ROCHELLE, attrib. Adam Drese, harmony by S. S. Wesley

I haven't actually heard any of it, (library, doncha know,) but am looking forward to it very much.

Regina Magazine

I am probably the last Catholic with internet access in America to learn about this, but just in case one of my 3.2 loyal readers was also unaware, there is a new Catholic magazine that promises to be excellent.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

US Catholic Still Whinging About "New" Translation, and In Other News, Dog Bites Man...

Get over it, please. For your own sake, get over it.

"Always Wear Prada"?

I am tired of purses falling a part, so I bought a new one, which is proving perfect for CCD projects and papers as well as everything else I schlep around.

Why didn't I think of this before? Toolbags are perfect. and STRONG.
When it wears out... IF it wears out, I may try one of the other luxury goods manufacturers.... Stanley? Huskey?

"Nor Has It Entered Into the Heart of Man What God Has Prepared for Those Who Love Him"

I find it peculiar that so many people actually think various forms of  supernatural ceatures, evil, mostly dead* or incorporeal and immortal beings roam the earth and interfere in human affairs in various ways...
But they do not believe in in heaven, in purgatory, not in everlasting life...

We're not really a very rational species, are we?
 This -

But not this --

(*Not like Westley)

Monday, 28 October 2013

"Truth"? What is "truth"?

At risk of sounding Pilatesque.... "Pontian?"... I'm wondering what "truth" means.
At least in this context:
May your Sacraments, O Lord, we pray, perfect in us what lies within them, that what we now celebrate in signs we may one day possess in truth. Through Christ our Lord.

Am i the only whom that struck as odd?
What do we celebrate only in signs, not in truth? Do we not posess, are we not in the presence of, well... the Real Presence, the "true" Christ at the celebration of the Mass?
Wonder how the post-communion prayer read before the new translation...


There, I said it.
More, I did it.
Bought some lard.
When I've actually cooked with it, now... then ya got something, my friend.

Not yet decided, shall I try pie crust or biscuits...
One of my aunts made glorious biscuits, but with Crisco, i believe. She couldn't cook anything else worth a darn, but her biscuits are what are being served at the Heavenly Banquet, I do beleive.
It was her mother's or maybe grandmother's recipe, hand-written with measurements like "a handful of" and "a good spoonful full."
Oh, and "not as much as most."
She tried to teach me, unsuccessfully.

I've just been reading up on fats and such, although my Dearest Mother kept Crisco in the house when we were kids, afaik, it was only for greasing pans.

Her pie-crust, which was fantastic, was some Betty Crocker Illustrated Cookbook shortcut - using oil!

I have also been unsuccessful at replicating her culinary feats in that wise, though hope springs eternal (witness my purchase of lard...)

She baked beautifully, my childhood was full of sugar and love. Christmas is going to be very, very, very hard this year.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Sacraments Celebrated by the Entire Community?

I am a little taken aback by this piece in US Catholic.
The author was surprised and delighted by a baptism at "regular" Mass.

I assumed it was going to be a criticism of the frequent complaints of the PIPs at having their time taken up, because I have certainly heard that often enough.

No, it was a very mild criticisms of the fact that in her experience such celebrations are rare.


All over the country I have found myself at Sunday Masses with baptisms, anointing of the sick, even, (though this is truly rare,) a wedding.

And in my experience, the average PIP often does object, and often does so vociferously, (the worst is the whinging about "my Easter Vigil" being, and I am sadly quoting here, "ruined,")  but only because the celebration of the sacrament reeks so much of the Rite of Makin' It Up As We Go Along, as celebrated by the parish of Saint The-Way-We-Do-It-Here.

My experience is, I'm sure, not universal, but in at least two cases it came down to a DRE who apparently had no other creative outlet in her life.

Couldn't she take up macrame instead of inventing her own rituals?

What Did the Pope Say?

I am very tired of reading purported news or purportedly honest opinion, "So-and-so Says Such-and-Such!" following the link to what was actually said, and finding that... well, no, what you are claiming is NOT what was said.

"[Pope Francis said] The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrine."
is not
"Pope Francis faulted the Roman Catholic church for focusing too much on gays, abortion and contraception, saying the church has become "obsessed" with those issues...We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible."

A warning against a potential misstep is not a criticism of an actualized misstep.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

As a gin-swilling, rosary-clutching Ritualist....

As a gin-swilling, rosary-clutching Ritualist, I should very much like to thank Jeffrey Tucker for pointing out this marvelous site.
Addressing Priests as “Father”

It is often confusing for loyal churchmen to navigate ecclesiastical circles, since in a social gathering that includes several priests it is not uncommon to hear the same person address multiple men as “Father” in the course of an evening. The loyal churchman gapes in astonishment, wondering what complications of consanguinity might explain this behaviour. The woman next to the punch bowl has acknowledged at least five “fathers” since she arrived here a few minutes ago; the gray-bearded old man next to the window is obviously senile, for he has identified as his “father” a mere youth in his twenties; and the bespectacled clergyman whom you know to be unmarried has already been greeted by several of his children, all presumably illegitimate.
If you find yourself in this situation, you may think that the people around you are playing an elaborate practical joke, or are simply insane. Either would be preferable to the third possibility, that you are surrounded by gin-swilling, rosary-clutching Ritualists.
Horrible as it may seem, ritualists are taught from childhood to address their priests in this manner, a symbol of the powerful influence that High Church clergymen have over their flock: the thoroughly indoctrinated Ritualist is prepared to sacrifice even his closest family members at the will of his cassock-clad “Father.” When he leaves the sphere of influence of his parish priest, the Ritualist layman is totally helpless; he will address even low-church clergy as “Father” and pepper them with requests to hear his confessions, bless his thurible collection, and say special prayers to shorten his pet iguana’s time in purgatory. His requests met with either incomprehension or indignant refusal, he will return to his home parish even more firmly in the grip of Ritualism than before.
The above photograph is illustrative of the confusion that may arise from Ritualist practices. An ordinary Englishman would identify the older man in the middle of the image as the “father,” but a ritualist will cheerfully admit that all three people could be “fathers” to each other; after all, they are all wearing vestments and a hat which seems to be a regional variant of the biretta.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Craic, Antoin Mac Gabhann

The most marvelous evening, yesterday.
Landmark Tavern in NYC has a session, (every Monday? I think...) led? hosted? don't know quite how these things work, by Don Meade  and the fiddling last night was stupendous.
Tony Smith/Antoin Mac Gabhann is pretty dang fantastic.

Weirdly, or perhaps not so weirdly, the music making, (playing no portable instrument, and not knowing any authentic Irish vocal music, I took no part in said making, I was purely a spectator,) I was reminded of some of the best moments at affairs like the CMAA Colloquia, I felt this utter rush of love for the musicians, in large part because the flood of love from them, for the music and for what they were doing was so palpable.
There is a real familial helpfulness and support for the younger or less experienced players, a splendid concern shown to  include, to lead, to teach.
I understand that, despite a high degree of musical literacy no one would be caught dead reading, every tune is learned by familiarity -- with the ears of the heart, as it were, rather as the chant would have been, (and still may be.)
Writing music down priveleges young whippersnappers in a way that isn't alwys good -- for the music OR for them.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Eucharistic Adoration

It was better than usual yesterday.... I was better than usual.

I didn't put so much effort, no, I didn't try to understand.
I didn't really even try to "believe."

I decided just to sit there and try to know.
And I think I succeeded.

I was younger by several decades than the next youngest person there when it began, and I was struck by the idea of the deceptive power of the prayer of such collective age, such collective wisdom and collective devotion... as if Yoda were Catholic ;oP.

I only "discovered" Adoration as an adult, I am part of that first wave of the grossly miscatechized.

My blessed Mother, (lower case "b", ) was devout and pretty darn knowledgeable, but she was overwhelmed sometimes, and I think she expected her enormous brood to learn a good portion of their Catholicism as she probably had, by osmosis.
And I suppose I did... eventually.

The weekly classes at parish or convent were mostly a waste.

I remember her shock when she had to explain the Angelus to me. (even worse was when a brother received a medal as a confirmation gift and murmured quizzically, "Oh... a bird.")

Saturday, 27 July 2013

How DARE the President...

... or the child, for that matter, voice any opinion as to what ought to be done?
WE will say what ought to be done, with "it".
She doesn't know enough to be allowed to refuse an abortion....
Chile's president has praised an 11-year-old girl after she said in a TV interview that she wants to give birth to the baby who was conceived when she was raped by her mother's partner. ...
"I've asked the health minister to personally look after the [girl's] health," Pinera said. "She's 14 weeks pregnant and yesterday she surprised us all with words showing depth and maturity, when she said that despite the pain caused by the man who raped her, she wanted to have and take care of her baby." ...
"I'm going to love the baby very much, even though it comes from that man who hurt me."
The former president Michelle Bachelet, the frontrunner in the 17 November presidential elections, favours legalising abortion in cases of rape or risk to the health of the pregnant woman or the child. Bachelet – a paediatrician who spent the past several years heading the UN agency for women – referred to the child's case in a recent interview. "She's a girl who needs to be protected and therefore I think a therapeutic abortion, in this case because of rape, would be in order," Bachelet told local Radio ADN.
Today is the birthday of the greatest man I have ever known personally.
He would have been 100.
If enjoying the Beatific Vision can somehow be improved upon, I believe that this is his most joyful birthday.

 It is a marvelous thing to have known saints in ones life.