Friday, March 30, 2012

Let my tacocopter go

 Ever wished that these could be delivered by a drone helicopter?  Me neither, until now

An MIT graduate got a lot of people excited by launching a website which promised delivery of tacos by a  fleet of drone helicopters to customers ordering and paying over their smartphones.  Alas, the tacocopters don't actually exist yet, and anyway the FAA does not permit the use of drones for commercial purposes (why?  is involvement in trade beneath the dignity of a drone?)  Perhaps our children will live in a world which includes tacocopters.  Personally, I feel Yodel copters would be better and more practical.   So long as there is also milk.  

"On the danger to which tepidity exposes the soul" (part 4)

"The Death of a Just Man/The Death of a Sinner"

The following is taken from a sermon for Passion Sunday by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"St. Chrysostom asserts, that he himself knew many persons who were gifted with great virtues, and who, because they disregarded light faults, fell into an abyss of crime.  When the Devil cannot gain much from us, he is in the beginning content with the little; by many trifling victories he will make a great conquest.  No one, says St. Bernard, suddenly falls from the state of grace into the abyss of wickedness.  They who rush into the most grievous irregularities begin by committing light faults. . . . It is necessary also to understand that, when a soul that has been favoured by God with special lights and graces, consents to mortal sin, her fall shall not be a simple fall, from which she will easily rise again, but it will be a precipitous one, from which she will find it very difficult to return to God."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

In the old days, even listening to the radio could be intellectually demanding

Frederick Copleston, SJ

And stimulating.   Filius often insists that we listen to pop radio in the car, which we find neither intellectually demanding nor stimulating.  Things were different in 1947 AD, when the BBC broadcast a debate between Bertrand Russell and Frederick Copleston, SJ on the existence of God (transcript, with some audio portions, here).  Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith reflects on the striking decline in the tone of our debate with unbelievers between then and now.   In the end, says Fr. Lucie-Smith, winning the debate with unbelievers will require "new saints, and we need to communicate our joy in being Catholic."
Let's all be joyful saints, then.

RELATED: AtheistCon approaches.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"On the danger to which tepidity exposes the soul" (part 3)

"Lust, Avarice and Envy" from "The Ladder of Souls with the Seven Deadly Sins," 
Church of Sts. Peter and Paul, Chaldon, England

The following is taken from a sermon for Passion Sunday by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"St. Francis of Assisi says, that, in endeavouring to draw to sin a soul that is afraid of being in enmity with God, the Devil does not seek in the beginning to bind her with the chain of a slave, by tempting her to commit mortal sin, because she would have a horror of yielding to mortal sin, and would guard herself against it.  He first endeavours to bind her by a single hair; then by a slender thread; next by a cord; afterwards by a rope; and in the end by a chain of Hell,  - that is by mortal sin; and thus he makes her his slave."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

Resistance is futile

 Why resist in the first place?

Courtesy of Taki's Magazine, comes this account from Nicholas Farrell, an Englishman transplanted to Italy, who has been resisting the efforts of his wife Carla and their five children to convert him to Catholicism.   Carla and the kids have been saying the Rosary, though, so if they they keep that up it'll just be a matter of time.

To Carla, I say "Brava!"  To Nicholas, I say "Give up." (h/t Pewsitter)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"On the danger to which tepidity exposes the soul" (part 2)

"Temptation of St. Anthony," Hieronymous Bosch

The following is taken from a sermon for Passion Sunday by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

[D]eliberate and habitual venial sins not only deprive us of strength to resist temptations, but also of the special helps without which we fall into grievous sins.  . . .  It is certain that of ourselves we have not sufficient strength to resist the temptations of the Devil, of the flesh, and of the world.  It is God that prevents our enemies from assailing us with temptations by which we would be conquered.  Hence Jesus Christ has taught us the following prayer:  And lead us not into temptation.  He teaches us to pray that God may deliver us from the temptations to which we would yield, and thus lose his grace.  Now, venial sins, when they are deliberate and habitual, deprive us of the special helps of God which are necessary for preservation in his grace.  I say necessary because the Council of Trent anathematizes those who assert that we can persevere in grace without a special help from God.  . . .  Thus with the ordinary assistance of God, we cannot avoid falling into some mortal sin: a special aid is necessary.  But this special aid God will justly withhold from tepid souls who are regardless of committing, with full deliberation, many venial sins.  Thus these unhappy souls shall not persevere in grace.

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

Now Dawkins is an atheist again

Some days he doesn't believe in God.  Some days he's not sure.

On Saturday, Richard Dawkins must have been sure that God doesn't exist, something he recently allowed he was not sure about, because he addressed an atheist rally in Washington, DC.   Maybe Dawkins is sure that God doesn't exist on days when there's an atheist rally, and not sure on days when there isn't.   

Monday, March 26, 2012

"On the danger to which tepidity exposes the soul"

 Altarpiece, Marienburg Monastery

The following is taken from a sermon for Passion Sunday by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"A tepid soul is one that frequently falls into fully deliberate venial sins, - such as deliberate lies, deliberate acts of impatience, deliberate imprecations, and the like.  These faults may be easily avoided by those who are resolved to suffer death, rather than commit a deliberate venial offence against God.  St Teresa used to say, that one venial sin does us more harm than all the devils in Hell.  Hence she would say to her nuns: "My children, from deliberate sin, however venial it may be, may the Lord deliver you." . . . But some of you will say: Venial sins, however great they may be, do not deprive the soul of the grace of God: even though I commit them, I will be saved; and for me it is enough to obtain eternal life.  You say, that, for you, it is enough to be saved.  Remember that St. Augustine says, that, where you have said, "It is enough", there you have perished. . .  [T]he habit of light faults leads the soul insensibly to mortal sins.  . . . [T]he fall of many souls into mortal sin follows from habitual venial sins; for, these render the soul so weak, that, when a strong temptation assails her, she has not strength to resist it, and she falls."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

"Rejoice, O Highly Favored Daughter!"

"Annunciation," Master of Panzano

Today would be the feast of the Annunciation, except that the revised calendar postpones the celebration until after Easter.  Arguments against postponement here

Courtesy of New Advent, here are a few words from "The Catholic Encyclopedia," 1907 edition, on this great feast:

The Annunciation is the beginning of Jesus in His human nature. Through His mother He is a member of the human race. If the virginity of Mary before, during, and after the conception of her Divine Son was always considered part of the deposit of faith, this was done only on account of the historical facts and testimonials. The Incarnation of the Son of God did not in itself necessitate this exception from the laws of nature. Only reasons of expediency are given for it, chiefly, the end of the Incarnation. About to found a new generation of the children of God, The Redeemer does not arrive in the way of earthly generations: the power of the Holy Spirit enters the chaste womb of the Virgin, forming the humanity of Christ. Many holy fathers (Sts. Jerome, Cyril, Ephrem, Augustine) say that the consent of Mary was essential to the redemption. It was the will of God, St. Thomas says (Summa III:30), that the redemption of mankind should depend upon the consent of the Virgin Mary. This does not mean that God in His plans was bound by the will of a creature, and that man would not have been redeemed, if Mary had not consented. It only means that the consent of Mary was foreseen from all eternity, and therefore was received as essential into the design of God.

You are most blessed of all women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"On the tender compassion which Jesus Christ entertains towards sinners" (conclusion)

 "Miserere" Georges Rouault

The following is taken from a sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"Let us then, O sinners, return instantly to Jesus Christ.  If we have left him, let us immediately return before death overtakes us in sin and sends us to Hell, where the mercies and graces of the Lord shall, if we do not amend, be so many swords which shall lacerate the heart for all eternity.'

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

Mahony's circus is back in town

Jazz liturgy, Religious Education Congress 2007
Do you detect a discontinuity with the Eucharist as handed on to us from the apostles?

We'd hoped that the Religious Education Congress, where benighted Catholics gather to proclaim sin healthy and to participate in liturgical outrages, would follow Cardinal Mahony into oblivion.  Alas, word has reached us that this circus, of which Cardinal Mahony was the founding ringmaster, has survived the unlamented cardinal's departure. (h/t Justin Martyr)   Perhaps by next year the new archbishop, Jose Gomez, will have worked up the nerve to ring down the curtain on this scandalous spectacle.

St. Joseph, patron of the Church, pray for us.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A movie that may be worth the price of admission

I've seen very few movies worth today's astronomical price of admission, and this one is probably no different, but it appears to be a great improvement over the customary dreck (h/t Rorate Caeli).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Guess I touched a nerve

St. Ignatius Loyola

Over at America they're up to their usual nonsense, posting a press release from a Soros funded group as though it were true, much less news.   No comments had been posted, so I decided to be the first.  I wrote "Would that America transmitted Catholic teaching with as little demurral as they do the press releases of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress."  The comment was removed within the hour.

UPDATE:  Justin Martyr suggests we (few, we happy few) all have a go at posting the removed comment verbatim.  I call this inspired, and I expect America's response will be instructive to observe.

UPDATE 2: We have America's response (see comments), and, as predicted, it is instructive.
Query: is it pointless snark to characterize a comment as "pointless snark?"

UPDATE 3: Please stop trying to post the comment at America.  A truce has been declared (see comments). 

St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us.

"On the tender compassion which Jesus Christ entertains toward sinners" (part 2)

"Christ Redeemer"

The following is taken from a sermon for the Fourth Sunday in Lent by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"[S]ome sinners, who are immersed in the abyss of sin, may say: Perhaps, if we return to Jesus Christ, he will drive us away.  No; for the Redeemer has said: "And him that cometh to me I will not cast out" - John, vi, 37.  No one that comes to me with sorrow for his past sins, however manifold and enormous they may have been, shall be rejected."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Sisters of Carmel on Lent

 "Three Temptations of Christ" (detail), Botticelli

The Sisters of Carmel's Lenten newsletter arrived yesterday.  It contains a great deal of saintly wisdom regarding Lent.   Here is a sample, from Pope St. Leo the Great:

"Let there be an end to vengeance. Let offences be forgiven. Let harshness be changed to mildness, disdain to gentleness, discord into peace. Let us all make trial of being modest, let all be gentle, all be kind, so that our fasting may be pleasing to God. To Him we shall offer a true sacrifice of self-denial and devotion if we keep ourselves from all iniquity, being helped in all things by Almighty God, Who with the Son and Holy Ghost is One in Divinity, One in Majesty, forever and ever. Amen.”

You may view the Sisters of Carmel newsletter here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

St. Joseph in the Apocrypha

 "The Espousals of the Virgin," Raphael
 (see here for more on the espousal of the Virgin)

Today is the feast of St. Joseph, patron of the Church.  St. Joseph receives extensive discussion in apocryphal literature such as the "Gospel of James", the "Pseudo-Matthew", the "Gospel of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary", the "Story of Joseph the Carpenter", and the "Life of the Virgin and Death of Joseph."  These non-canonical texts have no authority, and it is impossible to sift their trustworthy contents from those that are false.  However, though unreliable, these stories have a certain interest.  From The Catholic Encyclopedia, here is a summary of the story of St. Joseph's marriage as related in the apocryphal writings:

"When forty years of age, Joseph married a woman called Melcha or Escha by some, Salome by others; they lived forty-nine years together and had six children, two daughters and four sons, the youngest of whom was James (the Less, "the Lord's brother"). A year after his wife's death, as the priests announced through Judea that they wished to find in the tribe of Juda a respectable man to espouse Mary, then twelve to fourteen years of age. Joseph, who was at the time ninety years old, went up to Jerusalem among the candidates; a miracle manifested the choice God had made of Joseph, and two years later the Annunciation took place. These dreams, as St. Jerome styles them, from which many a Christian artist has drawn his inspiration (see, for instance, Raphael's "Espousals of the Virgin"), are void of authority; they nevertheless acquired in the course of ages some popularity; in them some ecclesiastical writers sought the answer to the well-known difficulty arising from the mention in the Gospel of "the Lord's brothers"; from them also popular credulity has, contrary to all probability, as well as to the tradition witnessed by old works of art, retained the belief that St. Joseph was an old man at the time of marriage with the Mother of God."

St. Joseph, pray for us. 

"On the tender compassion which Jesus Christ entertains towards sinners."

 "Crucifixion," Giotto

The following is taken from a sermon for the Fourth Sunday of Lent by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

 "[M]y Lord, since thou hast resolved to take human flesh, would not a single prayer offered by thee be sufficient for the redemption of all men?  What need then was there of leading a life of poverty, humiliation, and contempt, for thirty-three years, of suffering a cruel and shameful death on an infamous gibbet, and of shedding all thy blood by dint of torments?  I know well, answers Jesus Christ, that one drop of my blood, or a simple prayer, would be sufficient for the salvation of the world; but neither would be sufficient to show the love which I bear to men: and therefore, to be loved by men when they should see me dead on the cross for the love of them, I have resolved to submit to so many torments and to so painful a death."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

"Rudy" it ain't

 Must have been a slow week for sports news.

Notre Dame sued to prevent the release of the movie shown above, alleging that the university's name and trademarks were used without consent, and that it defamed Fr. Theodore Hesburgh.  Notre Dame lost the suit, and the movie was released in March, 1965.  Even though the movie was featured on an SI cover, boasted a screenplay by William Peter Blatty, (who would achieve fame and fortune for writing "The Exorcist,") and included major stars like Shirley MacLaine and Peter Ustinov, it promptly disappeared, leaving scarcely a trace.   Any guesses as to the movie's name?

"John Goldfarb, Please Come Home!"  Bosley Crowther of the NYT said the movie
"demeans the prestige of movie humor and, indeed, of the human race."  (h/t Notre Dame Archive News and Notes). 

Friday, March 16, 2012

"On Concealing Sins in Confession" (conclusion)

 Sacrament of Confession

The following is taken from a sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"...O lost sheep, go instantly to confession.  Jesus Christ is waiting for you;  he stands with arms open to pardon and embrace you, if you acknowledge your guilt.  I assure you that, after having confessed all your sins, you shall feel such consolation at having unburdened your conscience and acquired the grace of God, that you shall for ever bless the day on which you made this confession.  . . . Do not give the Devil time to continue to tempt you, and to make you put off  your confession: go immediately; for Jesus Christ is waiting for you."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

"A time to tear down and a time to build"

Pope John XXIII signs Humanae salutis, convoking the Second Vatican Council

The priests of the Vatican II generation who led the tearing down are perplexed that so few younger priests wish to join them in their work.  But the time of tearing down has passed.  Did they expect it would go on forever?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

What Jesuits watch on tv

 St. Aloysius Gonzaga doing what Jesuits used to do before the invention of tv

America gives 1200 word review to tv show.  Can you guess what it is?  Hint: it's not on the Military Channel

"On Concealing Sins in Confession" (part 3)

Sacrament of Confession

The following is taken from a sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"Listen, then, to the advice of St. Ambrose: The Devil keeps an account of your sins, to charge you with them at the tribunal of Jesus Christ.  Do you wish, says the saint, to prevent this accusation?  Anticipate your accuser: accuse yourself now to a confessor, and then no accuser shall appear against you at the judgment seat of God. . .  . But according to St. Augustine, if you excuse yourself in confession, you shut up sin within your soul, and shut out pardon."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

The Special Relationship

St. Martin dividing his cloak with a beggar

Though frayed in many respects, the "Special Relationship" between America and Great Britain shows signs of life on surprisingly high level.  In Afghanistan, US and UK soldiers cooperate in building St. Martin's Chapel, where a Traditional Latin Mass is said daily.  (h/t Rorate Caeli)

We'll never defeat Islam without a lot more of these.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Benedict XVI, Ecumenist

Pope Gregory the Great sending St. Augustine of Canterbury to convert England, (Westminster Cathedral)

An underappreciated facet of Benedict's papacy receives perceptive consideration from Sandro Magister.

"On Concealing Sins in Confession" (part 2)

 Sacrament of Confession

The following is taken from a sermon for the Third Sunday in Lent by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"Some penitents ask: What will my confessor say, when he hears that I have committed such a sin?  What will he say?  He will say that your are, like all persons living on this Earth, miserable and prone to sin: he will say that, if you have done evil, you have also performed a glorious action, in overcoming shame and in candidly confessing your sins."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"In my mind I could not but think"

 Peter Schineller SJ celebrating Mass in his preferred style

That arresting observation regarding consciousness is tossed in along with some equally valuable insights into the Tridentine Mass by Peter Schineller SJ in a posting over at America.  Perhaps it is uncharitable to draw attention to solecism, but shouldn't Fr. Schineller or his editors have removed that sort of thing before submitting his ruminations to a candid world?  Fr. Schineller’s other observations, while not as muddled, are generally puerile.  Here's a sample:
"During the celebration I felt very uncomfortable. It was strange and foreign. Even though I was very familiar with the Tridentine Mass from my childhood, it seemed remote and distant. The Mass seemed to focus on the priest whose words for the most part could not be heard (they were in Latin anyway!) and who rarely faced the people. The choir performed well and their singing overrode the priest, who had to wait several times until they finished singing.

In my mind I could not but think back to the Second Vatican Council, and all that the Council and subsequent documents tried to bring about – active participation, emphasis on the important things, vernacular, elimination of accretions and repetitions, etc. It was sad and disheartening. What happened? Why would the Catholic faithful seek out and attend this older form of the Mass? Is the Tridentine Mass an aberration? What does it say about the reforms of Vatican II?

After the Mass, I was tempted to talk with some of those present. But I decided not to as I feared I would have been negative and perhaps controversial. My feelings were still very raw. One thing I know: I myself will never freely choose to celebrate the Tridentine Mass."

To sum up:  Fr. Schineller didn't like the Tridentine Mass because it was in Latin.  Plus, Father Schineller thought there was too much focus on the priest, even though he didn't face the people, couldn't be heard, and was even a bit buffaloed by the choir.  Evidently the Tridentine Mass is quite unlike the Novus Ordo, where nobody ever notices the priest.   Although Father Schineller had been to plenty of Tridentine Masses when he was a kid forty years or fifty years ago, now it all seemed kind of strange somehow.  Finally, disheartened, saddened, his mind reeling, Fr. Schineller ran home without saying a word to anybody.  That's how negative it made him feel!  If he ever goes back to a Tridentine Mass, it will be because somebody made him.  He would never, ever freely choose that himself.

Weren't the Jesuits founded by a soldier?  Not much evidence of a martial spirit among them these days.  The Jesuits also enjoy a reputation for intellectual rigor, though there is scant contemporary evidence for this, too.

St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us.

"On Concealing Sins in Confession"

The Sacrament of Confession

The following is taken from a sermon for the Third Sunday of Lent by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"After we have offended God, the Devil labours to keep the mouth closed, and to prevent us from confessing our guilt.  St. Antonine relates, that a holy solitary once saw the Devil standing beside a certain person who wished to go to confession.  The solitary asked the fiend what he was doing there.  The enemy said in reply: "I now restore to these penitents what I before took away from them; I took away from them shame while they were committing sin; I now restore it, that they may have a horror of confession."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dickens' Marian vision

"It wore a blue drapery, as the Madonna might in a picture by Raphael"

Or dream, or was it rather a dream of his recently deceased sister in law?  It happened in Venice, where Dickens was staying near a convent, the bells of which tolled throughout the night.  I'd never heard of this incident; the estimable Dr. Oddie has more here.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Answer: Just make sure you're not standing near the Moon Nazis

 "Iron Sky" trailer

Question: What would happen if Moon Nazis invaded Earth during a Sarah Palin presidency?

Sounds like one of Taranto's "questions nobody is asking," but some people (they appear to be mainly Finns) have taken the trouble to make a movie providing an action packed answer (h/t EBL).  

"On Heaven" (part 2)

 "Paradise" by Jacopo Tintoretto (for larger version click here)

The following is taken from a sermon for the Second Sunday of Lent by our Lenten guide, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"Here below, God is hidden from our view; we can see him only with the eyes of faith: how great shall be our happiness when the veil shall be raised, and we shall be permitted to behold God face to face!  We shall then see his beauty, his greatness, his perfection, his amiableness, and his immense love for our souls."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us. 

Is Boston College giving Catholicism another try?

John J. Shea OSA: imagine his surprise

They just dropped a faculty member for insisting on the ordination of women, so it's possible.  If so, welcome back to the fight.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Help save the US bishops

 "Martyrdom of St. Thomas of Canterbury," the Becket Fund's namesake

From the consequences of their own folly, that is.

The Becket Fund is a non-profit legal and educational institute that protects the free expression of all religions.   You can visit their website here and while there sign a petition to the president in opposition to the HHS preventive care mandate.

If only it were that easy to persuade the bishops of the dangers posed by a coercive, omnicompetent state (h/t Doctor Finaldicus Serenissimus).

Organizing against man

St. Procop's Church for sale, cheap

As the French Jesuit Henri de Lubac observed in 1944, "It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man cannot organize the world without God.  What is true is that, without God, he can only organize it against man."  The Nazis and the Communists have had their turn organizing a brutal world against man.  Now it is the turn of the liberal, democratic state.   The signs that we are living in a world increasingly organized against man are hard to ignore.  So far, the level of brutality has been low, though brutality may lie ahead.   Instead, the hallmark of the world without God organized by the liberal democratic state is its inexorability.  The most painful part for Catholics is that many of us cheerfully cooperated in the building of this new type of Godless world.  Mark Steyn has more here.  (h/t Pewsitter)

St. Joseph, patron of the Church, pray for us.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Catholic Higher Education Notes

 Holy Cross priests on Stonehill College campus in olden times

Student sues Catholic college, alleging school did too little in response to complaints about her roommate having sex in their dorm room. 

I wonder why so many parents insist on sending their daughters to "Catholic" colleges when they could send them to public colleges where there is just as much fornication but at much lower prices.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"On Heaven"

"Saints in Paradise,"  Fra Angelico

We've adopted St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church, as our guide through this Lent.  The following is taken from a sermon of St. Alphonsus for the Second Sunday of Lent:

"[H]ow . .  . beautiful shall be the city of Paradise.  . . . [W]hat it must be to behold the beauty of Jesus Christ!  St. Teresa once saw one of the hands of Jesus Christ, and was struck with astonishment at the sight of such beauty.  . . . The hearing shall be satiated with the harmony of the celestial choirs.  St. Francis once heard for a moment an angel playing on a violin, and he almost died through joy. . . .But the delights of which we have spoken are the least of the blessings of Paradise.  The glory of Heaven consists in seeing and loving God face to face. . . . God himself, whom the saints are allowed to behold, is, according to the promise made to Abraham, the principal reward of the just in Heaven.  "I am thy reward exceeding great" - Gen. xv. 1.  St. Augustine asserts, that, were God to show his face to the damned, "Hell would be instantly changed into a Paradise of delights."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

And when the number of babies reaches zero the savings become infinite

The lesson: don't let her get the idea you're a cost

That's the reductio ad absurdum of Kathleen Sebelius's argument before Congress that the contraception mandate will save the country money because [t]he reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception.”   Thus, in Sebelius's view, and presumably the view of the Obama administration which she serves, pregnancy is purely a cost.  

Friday, March 2, 2012

"On the number of sins beyond which God pardons no more" (conclusion)

"Sinners in Hell"

The following is taken from a sermon for the First Sunday of Lent by St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"God has promised pardon to all who repent; but he has not promised to wait till to-morrow for those who insult him.  Perhaps God will give you time for repentance, perhaps he will not.  But, should he not give it, what shall become of your soul?  In the meantime, for the sake of a miserable pleasure, you lose the grace of God, and expose yourself to the danger of being lost for ever. . . . You have sinned, trusting rashly in the divine mercy: the punishment of your guilt shall fall suddenly upon you, and you shall not know from whence it comes.  What do you say?  What resolution do you make?  If, after this sermon, you do not firmly resolve to give yourself to God, I weep over you, and regard you as lost."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

Plenary Indulgence Alert (Number 2)

 "The Crucifixion"  Georges Rouault

A plenary indulgence is available to the faithful who, on Fridays during Lent, piously recite the prayer En ego, o bone et dulcissime Iesu, before an image of the Crucified Jesus Christ after communion.  Rorate Caeli has more here

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"On the number of sins beyond which God pardons no more" (Part 2)

"Sinners in Hell," Cathedral of the Assumption, Torcello, Italy. (12th Century)

The following is taken from a sermon for the First Sunday of Lent by St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

"Son, add not sins to those which you have already committed, but be careful to pray for the pardon of your past transgressions; otherwise, if you commit another mortal sin, the gates of the divine mercy may be closed against you, and your soul may be lost for ever.  When, then, beloved brethren, the Devil tempts you again to yield to sin, say to yourself: If God pardons me no more, what shall become of me for all eternity?  Should the Devil, in reply, say: Fear not, God is merciful; answer him by saying: What certainty or what probability have I, that, if I return again to sin, God will show me mercy or grant me pardon?  Behold the threat of the Lord against all who despise his calls: "Because I have called and you refused, .....I also will laugh in your destruction, and will mock when that shall come to you which you feared" Prov,. i, 24, 26.

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us.

New Inigo Hicks short story

The latest Inigo Hicks short story, "Ponies" is now available through Amazon for those of you who have a Kindle.  It's named for small beer bottles like the one above, not the small horses.

March is St. Joseph's Month

St. Joseph's Zeppola (getting harder to find every year)
For centuries, the Church has devoted the month of March to St. Joseph, the foster father of Christ, whose feast is celebrated on March 19.   Many saints and popes have recommended this devotion, including St. Teresa of Avila, who wrote of St. Joseph:

“Would that I could persuade all men to be devoted to this glorious Saint [St. Joseph], for I know by long experience what blessings he can obtain for us from God. I have never known anyone who was truly devoted to him and honored him by particular services who did not advance greatly in virtue: for he helps in a special way those souls who commend themselves to him. It is now very many years since I began asking him for something on his feast, and I have always received it."

Here is a short intecessory prayer to St. Joseph:

 O Joseph, virgin-father of Jesus, most pure spouse of the Virgin Mary, pray every day for us to the same Jesus, the Son of God, that we, being defended by the power of His grace and striving dutifully in life, may be crowned by Him at the hour of death.

St. Joseph, pray for us.