Saturday, 28 June 2008

Ave Maria Habemus Papam

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Help
and Theotokos of the Passion [Eastern Rite]
ca. 13th or 14th Century
Prayer to Our Lady

sea star

Salve Regina

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

unus cornus

Woman and Unicorn
ca. 1470
Robinet Testard
illustration (vellum) from De medicinis simplicibus, Matthaeus Platearius
National Library, St. Petersburg, Russia / The Bridgeman Art Library

Virgin and Unicorn
ca. 1602
Palazzo Farnese, Rome
The Lady and the Unicorn "To My Only Desire"
ca. 1484-1500
wool & silk tapestry
Musee Nacional Du Moyen Age


Quien Fuera (Who would be) by Silvio Rodriguez (1946--)

pelican love

Of all birds the pelican loves its young the most, but when the chicks grow and begin to strike their parents in the face, the parents grow angry and strike back, killing their young. After three days the mother feels great remorse, and tearing open her own breast she bathes the dead chicks in her blood and restores them to life.

~ Legend from the Physiologus (ca. 2nd Century A.D.)

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Adoro Te

because my will is simple as a window

Because my will is simple as a window
And knows no pride of original birth,
It is my life to die, like glass, by light:
Slain in the strong rays of the bridegroom sun.

Because my love is simple as a window
And knows no shame of original dust,
I longed all night, (when I was visible) for dawn my death:
When I would marry day, my Holy Spirit:
And die by transsubstantiation into light.

For light, my lover, steals my life in secret.
I vanish into day, and leave no shadow
But the geometry of my cross,
Whose frame and structure are the strength
By which I die, but only to the earth,
And am uplifted to the sky my life.

When I became the substance of my lover,
(Being obedient, sinless glass)
I love all things that need my lover's life,
And live to give my newborn Morning to your quiet rooms,
-Your rooms, that would be tombs,
Or vaults of night, and death, and terror,
Fill with the clarity of living Heaven,
Shine with the rays of God's Jerusalem:
O shine, bright Sions!

Because I die by brightness and the Holy Spirit,
The sun rejoices in your jail, my kneeling Christian,
(Where even now you weep and grin
To learn, from my simplicity, the strength of faith).

Therefore do not be troubled at the judgements of the thunder,
Stay still and pray, still stay, my other son,
And do not fear the armies and black ramparts
Of the advancing and retreating rains:
I'll let no lightning kill your room's white order.

Although it is the day's last hour,
Look with no fear:
For the torn storm lets in, at the world's rim,
Three streaming rays as straight as Jacob's ladder:

And you shall see the sun, my Son, my Substance,
Come to convince the world of the day's end, and of the night,
Smile to the lovers of the day in smiles of blood;
For though my love, He'll be their Brother,
My light - the Lamb of their Apocalypse.

The Blessed Virgin Mary Compared to a Window, Thomas Merton (1944)

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

movie buffs ...

Our parish is starting a Film Night (we have a great priest).

So to kick off, we're screening something nice and gentle that won't generate any arguments:

Mel Gibson's APOCALYPTO.

Starting next Wed 25th June at 8:00 p.m. at a parishioner's house. If you're in the parish, sign up on the list at the back of the church.

Otherwise, any film suggestions for a good Catholic debate?

Next Film Night is here.

"I am not young enough to know everything"

Thanks to Peter Kreeft and friends for these:

1. Give God what's right -- not what's left.
2. Man's way leads to a hopeless end -- God's way leads to an
endless hope.
3. A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
4. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone.
5. In the sentence of life, the devil may be a comma--but never let him be the period.
6. Don't put a question mark where God puts a period.
7. Are you wrinkled with burden? Come to the church for a face-lift.
8. When praying, don't give God instructions - just report for duty.
9. Don't wait for six strong men to take you to church.
10. We don't change God's message -- His message changes us.
11. The church is prayer-conditioned.
12. When God ordains, He sustains.
13. WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning.
14. Plan ahead -- It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.
15. Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory position.
16. Suffering from truth decay? Brush up on your Bible.
17. Exercise daily -- walk with the Lord.
18. Never give the devil a ride -- he will always want to drive.
19. Nothing else ruins the truth like stretching it.
20. Compassion is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
21. He who angers you controls you.
22. Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.
23. Give Satan an inch & he'll be a ruler.
24. Be ye fishers of men -- you catch them & He'll clean them.
25. God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
26. Read the Bible -- It will scare the hell out of you.

+ 1 more from me, #27 Families that pray together stay together.

put me on a plane today and i would go to...

Mantova, near Verona, northern Italy

This city produced, amongst other things, Blessed Osanna Andreasi (feast day today), Virgil, the Festivalletteratura ... and my maternal grandfather's family.
Pic of Blessed Osanna here.

A Sacred Relic of His Most Precious Blood is housed in the Basilica of San Andrea in Mantova.

beardy guy in robes moment

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.

~ Socrates
(470 B.C. - 399 B.C.)

what do they mean, 'characters'...?

You know the Bible 95%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

it's not all nudist volleyball ...

A friend of mine has gone to live in Sweden for 4 months (go figure), and I'm going to miss him. Apart from being an invaluable member of our parish - altar serving, teaching Gregorian Chant, and being an astute social commentator - he's just a kind lovable person. Sunday afternoons will not be the same without him.

He's going to stay at a Bridgittine convent for a while. St. Bridget was a pretty amazing woman for her time (14th century). She married a lord and bore him 8 children, one of whom became St. Catherine of Sweden. After her husband's death, she founded the Order of St. Saviour.

St Bridget prayed for a long time to know how many wounds Our Lord suffered in His Passion. Eventually, He appeared to her and said: "I received 5475 blows upon My Body. If you wish to honor them in some way, recite fifteen Our Fathers and fifteen Hail Mary with the following Prayers, which I Myself shall teach you, for an entire year. When the year is finished, you will have honored each of My Wounds."

Our Lord makes magnificent promises to those who are able to complete this devoutly. The 15 St Bridget Prayers

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Our Lady of the Pillar

La Ciudad Hermosa - Beautiful City

No. 36 of a work of 40 songs by Rolando Cori Traverso entitled La Ciudad Hermosa (Beautiful City).
No. 36 is dedicated to the martyrs of the Nazi regime Edith Stein (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross), Franz Reinisch, Karl Leisner, Maximilian Kolbe, and of the Spanish Civil War, María Pilar, Teresa and María Angeles ~ some of those beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1987.

HFE Bill Loop

A loophole in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill could permit some reproductive cloning without the need for fresh primary legislation, the Government has admitted.

While the update to fertility law maintains the ban on creating cloned babies, it has inadvertently made it much simpler for ministers to overturn it. If a reproductive cloning technique could be shown to be suitable for preventing the birth of children suffering from a rare type of genetic disease, it could be cleared for clinical use without changing the statute book.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “This power can only be used to permit the practice of curing an embryo or an egg of a serious mitochondrial disease. The Government will not use this power to permit the practice of reproductive cloning.”
Read the full article here.
Sign this petition to HM the Queen to withhold Royal Assent to the HFE Bill.

Martini-style Health Care

Every local Primary Care Trust in England has been told that it has to have at least one new “GP-led heath centre” as part of the review of the NHS being conducted by Lord Darzi of Denham. These will have family doctors and nurses working in teams, and perhaps also provide services such as pharmacy, dentistry and minor surgery, The Times reports.

The private sector is being encouraged to run these centres. Companies like Virgin, United Health and supermarket chains like Sainsbury's will be offered contracts to finance 'higher quality' services such as extended opening hours. The commercialisation means small doctor's surgeries would lose patients and might have to close.

The 'super-surgeries' or polyclinics could mean the end of family doctors. The Martini-style health care - anytime, anywhere, any doctor - means patients will see a different doctor every time and have to explain their history all over again, while shutting down local surgeries in rural areas means the elderly and the sick will have to travel long distances to receive health care.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Salus Populi Romani

One of the oldest icons, said to have been written by the Apostle St. Luke
Now in St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome - built in the 4th Century A.D. in response to a miracle
Hodogetria style of icon ~ Our Lady of The Way, The Guide of the Church

camera trick or something spooky?

Apparently, a still of an apparition of Our Lady of Medjugorje with a blue cross taken on 26 May 2008 at 3:09 p.m. [Photobucket]

Considering Our Lady is apparently in front of them, the people seem remarkably casual about it. One is chatting away (attention deficit?). Looks like they're sitting round the campfire.


Saturday, 14 June 2008

Rachmaninoff's Ave Maria


geddit, Mr Bush, geddit?

Hortensia Serra Poveda was a 29 year-old woman nine months pregnant at the time of Franco's genocide during the Spanish Civil War.

She begged her captors to allow the baby to be born first so that he could be baptised, however they refused and the mother and baby were killed.

Poveda, along with with 249 other Valencian martyrs, are now up for beatification, the Holy See announced this week. [Zenit]

... well at least he's moved up a few steps...

Vatican, Jun. 13, 2008 ( - Pope Benedict XVI hosted US President George W. Bush at the Vatican on June 13 for an extraordinarily cordial private talk.

The President addressed the Pontiff as "your eminence"-- ... But in an earlier meeting with Pope Benedict just over one year ago, President Bush had addressed the Pontiff simply as "sir."

Where's Laura's mantilla?

Wild air, world-mothering air...

WILD air, world-mothering air,
Nestling me everywhere,
That each eyelash or hair
Girdles; goes home betwixt
The fleeciest, frailest-flixed 5
Snowflake; that ’s fairly mixed
With, riddles, and is rife
In every least thing’s life;
This needful, never spent,
And nursing element; 10
My more than meat and drink,
My meal at every wink;
This air, which, by life’s law,
My lung must draw and draw
Now but to breathe its praise, 15
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God’s infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast, 20
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race—
Mary Immaculate,
Merely a woman, yet 25
Whose presence, power is
Great as no goddess’s
Was deemèd, dreamèd; who
This one work has to do—
Let all God’s glory through, 30
God’s glory which would go
Through her and from her flow
Off, and no way but so.

The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe
Gerald Manley Hopkins, Poems. London: Humphrey Milford, 1918
See the final verse here

Japanese Madonnas

By the Carmelite Sisters of Japan
Carmel of the Holy Trinity; 27-I, 3-chome; Motomachi, Jindaiji, Chofu-shi; Tokyo 182

Friday, 13 June 2008

The Ladder of Divine Ascent

Romanian Chant - St Anthony the Hesychast

He's holding what looks like a Rosary. It's a komvoskini (Gk.) or prayer rope. Similar.

from the Greek, hesychasmos, or hesychia - stillness, silencing, silence, quietening, calming, calm

Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei, miserere mei, peccatricis. (peccatoris if prayed by a male)
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Isn't it nice when the PM writes to you personally?

10 Downing Street tells me (and 10,744 others) in response to our last petition:

"The Prime Minister made clear that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill would be subject to free votes on three ethical issues - on whether human admixed embryos are permitted within the strict limits set out in the Bill, on the question of permitting 'saviour siblings' in the context of rare genetic conditions, and on changing the IVF requirements for clinics to require the 'need for supportive parenting' to be taken into account (this replaces the words in the 1990 Act that requires clinics to take account of 'the need for a father'). Any amendments tabled on abortion would also be subject to a free vote.

These issues have now been debated in the House of Commons, on 19 and 20 May, and the position in the Bill was upheld."

Thanks for letting us know. Like we didn't already. At least that petition actually worked.
Sign this petition to HM the Queen to withhold Royal Assent to the HFE Bill.