Full tilt Bozo

Or, that’s what I thought anyway. I suspected that the Democrats would load up, rifles and hip waders, to question Judge Barrett. Instead, what we’re seeing now was once modeled by Jesus. Tis a strange year, 2020.

The Democrats can not come against Judge Barrett because she’s 1. a woman 2. a mother and 3. has two adopted black children. If they say anything against her, they are going to offend even their own constituents. How can they hate her (oh, sorry, Pelosi said she doesn’t hate anyone) for being a practicing Roman Catholic? Pelosi herself is “Roman Catholic”, as is Joe Biden (he tells us). I suspect the difference is Barrett is devout and the others are Chrinos, or RoCainos (either Christian in name only or Roman Catholic in name only). If they come out against her, they will be lifted by their own petard.

So – the Jewish religious leaders and followers were questioning Jesus. As usual. They asked some question and Jesus said, “Before I answer, let me ask you a question: the baptism by John – was it of man or was it of God. The leaders talked among themselves and decided they were in a no-win situation. If they said ‘of man’, the crowd would riot and if they said of God, they would be supporting Jesus. No win scenario. (Jessica has an excellent post on All Along the Watchtower in regard to this conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders – wander over and give it a read!)

And that’s where the Democrats find themselves now. If they say she’s no good, they will prove they do not support women (of course we know they only support ‘certain women’), if they say she’s ok, then they will be seen as supporting President Trump’s decision (shock and horror!!!) No win scenario. They know it. The stance they are taking is that they will not ‘legitimize’ the process. When did they ever? Be that as it may, it’s a long time between now and confirmation for Judge Barrett. I feel badly for her family and I have to admire her – takes a lot of guts to stand up before the Democrats. I understand kevlar helps.

Pretty clever, that Jesus guy. He was in no way full tilt Bozo.

 

Young People, TLM, the Dowry of Mary, and America’s Patron Saint

Long ago, the people at Catholicism Pure and Simple became friends and allies of mine. We each recognize that our essentials and druthers may be a bit different, but that our roads meet at the foot of the Cross. Sunday they posted an article on how the traditional Latin Mass is gaining much support amongst young people I’m not surprised but I am pleased.

The loss of young people is a problem for all of our churches, not just the Catholic Church, It’s true in my Lutheran Church, it’s true in the Anglican churches. But for us too, the more traditional the service (and historic Lutheran Services reach back to the Rev Dr Luther himself, while traditional Anglican services are based on Thomas Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer, both of which are contemporaries of the Tridentine Mass) the better young people receive them. CP&S has a video of some of what young people are saying.

 

Adding weight to that, a young London based female Journalist, Enza Ferrari, whom I have been reading for a long time, adds weight to what those young people are saying, when she says…

During the Easter Triduum I repeated that experience several times, always choosing the Ancient Rite, except once, when by mistake I watched a video of the New Mass. The close sequence of the two with a distance of a few hours between them gave me an opportunity to compare the two liturgical experiences in a way that I’d never come across before.
And I saw differences that had previously escaped me.
It’s two entirely diverse experiences.
They were both from churches in Italy, the Latin Mass from the Church of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, Rome (pictured above).
One, the Tridentine Mass, worships God and the other celebrates man, reflecting the analogous change in outlook brought by Vatican II Council.
The former brings you closer to the spiritual realm.
I’m not the only one to have noticed this peculiar gift that, in all the mayhem and panic, the Covid-19 quarantine has given us. I’ve discovered that Catholic writer and philosopher Peter Kwasniewski has also published two articles about it.
The celebrant’s ad populum orientation towards the people, which may seem a way to bring everyone together as a community and increase the participation of the faithful, is not the right thing for a Mass, where priest and congregation should not look at each other and focus on one another as if it were an assembly or meeting, but instead both should look at and focus on God.
Keep reading, there is quite a lot more, and if you are a traditional Christian (not only the Catholics among us) I think you’ll find it making a lot of sense.
In related news, The Catholic Herald tells us that The Catholic Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham reports that it is probably having the largest Pilgrimage season ever, since the government forced it to close its doors during the (still continuing) lockdown.

But rather than seeing this as a disaster, shrine rector Mgr John Armitage regarded it as an opportunity. England’s national Marian shrine had already built up a following with its livestreamed Masses. Armitage decided that it would now livestream 24 hours a day, with the help of a sturdy internet connection provided by EWTN.

He devised a programme that begins with morning prayer, followed by Mass, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a talk on faith, the rosary, the Angelus and another Mass. And that’s just the morning.

In the afternoon, there’s the Divine Mercy chaplet, the rosary, more Exposition, Benediction, the Angelus and Vespers, followed by all-night adoration.

“We’ve probably had the biggest pilgrimage season so far in the history of Walsingham because we’ve had thousands upon thousands of people every day joining us for our program,” Armitage told CNA.

Saying that he now felt like “the abbot of a monastery rather than the rector of a shrine,” Armitage explained that people from 135 countries had taken part in the program and that he had been inundated with letters of gratitude.

“Last week I had a lovely letter from a family of farmers in Wisconsin, just saying how much they appreciated it. They watched as a family,” he noted. “So it’s made that connection.”

He said the letters came from two types of people:

“There are those who have been in lockdown, like the rest of the world. They’re grateful that it’s given them a spiritual framework during this time.”

“But much, much more important, it’s given a spiritual framework for those who’ve been in lockdown for years. The elderly, the disabled, those who are never going to come out again.”

“And I don’t say we forgot them, but what’s happened is that we’ve discovered a way to connect that we kind of missed.”

The pandemic also forced a major change to Walsingham’s biggest event for decades: the rededication of England to Our Lady on March 29.

Armitage had spent three years planning the rededication, which was preceded by a two-year tour of England with the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham.

Catholics were due to gather at cathedrals across the country as the rededication ceremony took place at Walsingham. But when churches were ordered to close due to the pandemic, Catholics were asked to follow the ceremony live from their homes on the shrine’s website instead. So many logged on that the site crashed.

“The rededication of England was phenomenal,” Armitage said. “It overwhelmed our server. We had to transfer to YouTube. That rather took us by surprise.”

In his homily at the rededication, Armitage said: “We have long pondered and treasured the words of Pope Leo XIII to an earlier generation of bishops: ‘When England returns to Walsingham, Our Lady will return to England.’ In the hour of our need, Our Blessed Mother has indeed returned to England.”

Many of you know that I feel an affinity to Our Lady of Walsingham and have for years (albeit more the Anglican Shrine). This shrine known as England’s Nazareth was visited by every English King from William the Conquerer to Henry VIII, who destroyed it in The Dissolution of the Monasteries. It was revived in the early 20th century. Interestingly, the first Catholic Mass in Walsingham since the Reformation was held amongst the ruins of the monastery by the United States Army Air Forces shortly after VE Day.

A most pleasing report indeed, from the country known since the 14th century, at least, as Mary’s Dowry, because of England’s deep devotion to Our Lady. Perhaps it carries down to us in some measure, since Mary is also the Patron Saint of the United States.

As we have always known:

Adsit Anglis Sanctus Georgius

Today is St George’s Day, he’s a busy saint with much to attend to, but it has always seemed that he had a soft spot for the English, whose patron saint he is.

On St Crispin’s Day I nearly always recount three battles of the English speaking world, Agincourt, The Light Brigade, and The Philippine Sea. But, in fact, there is a fourth, and just as important. The 1915 Battle of Loos. And it is appropriate to remember it on St George’s Day. At least according to Arthur Machen, who wrote the following.

You know how something you read when you are young haunts you later? I read this short story probably when I was in junior High School, and lost track of it, and it would flit through my mind occasionally, especially when discussing the Great War. For me, it was one of those pieces that taught me how history builds upon itself. Frankly, it’s one of my very favorites, and I was very excited when I found it, finally, online. So, I thought I’d share it with you, as a different takeaway on the original ‘Band of Brothers’.

It was during the Retreat of the Eighty Thousand, and the authority of the Censorship is sufficient excuse for not being more explicit. But it was on the most awful day of that awful time, on the day when ruin and disaster came so near that their shadow fell over London far away; and, without any certain news, the hearts of men failed within them and grew faint; as if the agony of the army in the battlefield had entered into their souls.

     On this dreadful day, then, when three hundred thousand men in arms with all their artillery swelled like a flood against the little English company, there was one point above all other points in our battle line that was for a time in awful danger, not merely of defeat, but of utter annihilation. With the permission of the Censorship and of the military expert, this corner may, perhaps, be described as a salient, and if this angle were crushed and broken, then the English force as a whole would be shattered, the Allied left would be turned, and Sedan would inevitably follow.

     All the morning the German guns had thundered and shrieked against this corner, and against the thousand or so of men who held it. The men joked at the shells, and found funny names for them, and had bets about them, and greeted them with scraps of music-hall songs. But the shells came on and burst, and tore good Englishmen limb from limb, and tore brother from brother, and as the heat of the day increased so did the fury of that terrific cannonade. There was no help, it seemed. The English artillery was good, but there was not nearly enough of it; it was being steadily battered into scrap iron.

     There comes a moment in a storm at sea when people say to one another, “It is at its worst; it can blow no harder,” and then there is a blast ten times more fierce than any before it. So it was in these British trenches.

There were no stouter hearts in the whole world than the hearts of these men; but even they were appalled as this seven-times-heated hell of the German cannonade fell upon them and overwhelmed them and destroyed them. And at this very moment they saw from their trenches that a tremendous host was moving against their lines. Five hundred of the thousand remained, and as far as they could see the German infantry was pressing on against them, column upon column, a gray world of men, ten thousand of them, as it appeared afterwards.

There was no hope at all. They shook hands, some of them. One man improvised a new version of the battle-song, “Good-by, good-by to Tipperary,” ending with “And we shan’t get there.” And they all went on firing steadily. The officer pointed out that such an opportunity for high-class fancy shooting might never occur again; the Tipperary humorist asked, “What price Sidney Street?” And the few machine guns did their best. But everybody knew it was of no use. The dead gray bodies lay in companies and battalions, as others came on and on and on, and they swarmed and stirred, and advanced from beyond and beyond.

“World without end. Amen,” said one of the British soldiers with some irrelevance as he took aim and fired. And then he remembered—he says he cannot think why or wherefore—a queer vegetarian restaurant in London where he had once or twice eaten eccentric dishes of cutlets made of lentils and nuts that pretended to be steak. On all the plates in this restaurant there was printed a figure of St. George in blue, with the motto, “Adsit Anglis Sanctus Georgius“—”May St. George be a present help to the English.” This soldier happened to know Latin and other useless things, and now, as he fired at his man in the gray advancing mass—three hundred yards away—he uttered the pious vegetarian motto. He went on firing to the end, and at last Bill on his right had to clout him cheerfully over the head to make him stop, pointing out as he did so that the King’s ammunition cost money and was not lightly to be wasted in drilling funny patterns into dead Germans.

     For as the Latin scholar uttered his invocation he felt something between a shudder and an electric shock pass through his body. The roar of the battle died down in his ears to a gentle murmur; instead of it, he says, he heard a great voice and a shout louder than a thunder-peal crying, “Array, array, array!”

His heart grew hot as a burning coal, it grew cold as ice within him, as it seemed to him that a tumult of voices answered to his summons. He heard, or seemed to hear, thousands shouting: “St. George! St. George!”

“Ha! Messire, ha! sweet Saint, grant us good deliverance!”

“St. George for merry England!”

“Harow! Harow! Monseigneur St. George, succor us!”

“Ha! St. George! Ha! St. George! a long bow and a strong bow.”

“Heaven’s Knight, aid us!”

And as the soldier heard these voices he saw before him, beyond the trench, a long line of shapes, with a shining about them. They were like men who drew the bow, and with another shout, their cloud of arrows flew singing and tingling through the air towards the German hosts.

The other men in the trench were firing all the while. They had no hope; but they aimed just as if they had been shooting at Bisley.

Suddenly one of them lifted up his voice in the plainest English.

“Gawd help us!” he bellowed to the man next to him, “but we’re blooming marvels! Look at those gray … gentlemen, look at them! D’ye see them? They’re not going down in dozens nor in ‘undreds; it’s thousands, it is. Look! look! there’s a regiment gone while I’m talking to ye.”

     “Shut it!” the other soldier bellowed, taking aim, “what are ye gassing about?”

     But he gulped with astonishment even as he spoke, for, indeed, the gray men were falling by the thousands. The English could hear the guttural scream of the German officers, the crackle of their revolvers as they shot the reluctant; and still line after line crashed to the earth.

     All the while the Latin-bred soldier heard the cry:

     “Harow! Harow! Monseigneur, dear Saint, quick to our aid! St. George help us!”

     “High Chevalier, defend us!”

     The singing arrows fled so swift and thick that they darkened the air, the heathen horde melted from before them.

     “More machine guns!” Bill yelled to Tom.

     “Don’t hear them,” Tom yelled back.

     “But, thank God, anyway; they’ve got it in the neck.”

     In fact, there were ten thousand dead German soldiers left before that salient of the English army, and consequently there was no Sedan. In Germany, a country ruled by scientific principles, the Great General Staff decided that the contemptible English must have employed shells containing an unknown gas of a poisonous nature, as no wounds were discernible on the bodies of the dead German soldiers. But the man who knew what nuts tasted like when they called themselves steak knew also that St. George had brought his Agincourt Bowmen to help the English.

Source: Short Stories: The Bowmen by Arthur Machen

There is still another reason to remember Loos though,  it was the cause for this to be written

For indeed, Rudyard Kipling’s only son, John, was killed at Loos on 27 September 1915.

To sip or dip … that is the question.

There are many denominations under the umbrella of ‘Christian’ – including ‘non-denominational’. The different denominations have a different view of The Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, The Family Table; for those who are not Christian, those phrases represent our receiving of the sacrament (bing definition-“(in the Christian Church) a religious ceremony or ritual regarded as imparting divine grace, such as baptism, the Eucharist and (in the Roman Catholic and many Orthodox Churches) penance and the anointing of the sick”. For many of us, a sacrament is an ‘outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace’. To Christians who receive Holy Communion, it’s a big deal. A really big deal.

Here we are in the clutches of an illness that may – or may not – be the end of the world as we know it (remember that old song?). Depending on how deeply you traverse the canyons and underground tunnels of YouTube, this could be start of the Zombie Apocalypse. If you listen to the whispers, you may hear that Covid-19 was deliberately ‘released’ from its cage to wipe out the elderly of every nation in order to rid the planet of old folks who would stand (on a cane, a walker, or with orderlies on both sides) in the way of globalization. Take your pick of ‘conspiracy theories – you’ll find one that suits you no doubt.

But for Christians, death holds no fear (1 Corinthians 15:55 55“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” In 2011, Stephen Hawking, probably the greatest mind of our age, said heaven is a ” … “fairy story for people afraid of the dark”“. Poor man; on this he was completely wrong. Christians don’t fear the dark because they live in the light of Christ. For us, there is no darkness.

Which brings me to the title of this essay – to sip or dip? One school of thought, from our Suffragan Bishop, Chad Jones, is that as we are receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, sipping from the Common Cup can in no way sicken us. That is my understanding as well. Just as an aside, during the ‘outbreak’ of Aids, I was attending a little mission church in a local store front. We received Communion and went back to foldable metal chairs and said our ‘after Communion’ prayer. At that point, a gentleman felt moved to stand up and announce that he had Aids. Guess who was right after him on the Common Cup? Here I am, all these many years later and completely disease free.

The second school of thought maintains that for the safety of the communicants, they have the option of ‘intincture’, that’s when the priest slightly submerges the Body of Christ (what some call the wafer or bread) into the Blood of Christ (the wine, for folks who are new to this) and then places the Bread on the tongue of the communicant (you often see this on televised religious programing). What some priests have decided to do, since there’s a fear of ‘hands’ and their cleanliness, some priests are opting for wearing gloves for intincture. Then, of course, there’s the issue of, “Well, what if the priest happens to touch the inside of the communicant’s mouth and then does another intincture right after?” You can see how this starts to go down a long road.

Franklin D. Roosevelt made a wonderful, thoughtful statement, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. And that’s where we are right now. Fear. Dread. The unknown. Each Christian must decide for themselves – sip or dip.

(For a wonderful discussion on this matter, and the matter of church closings, I recommend watching this You Tube video. Just a little background, Gavin Ashenden (once a bishop) was a Chaplain to the Queen of England – when the Church of England strayed from the Gospel, he resigned his position. He has since felt led to become Roman Catholic. George Conger is a priest and a writer of some significance. He’s Episcopalian, as is Kevin Kollson. They are three very strong Christians. Here is the link

Is it betrayal?

Sometimes things happen that shake your belief in people. You think that your understanding of a person is complete – they can do nothing to surprise you. And then you find they can.

Gavin Ashenden was a Chaplain to the Queen of England; was a bishop. He studied law and then went to seminary and was ordained, and then rose through the ranks in the Church of England hierarchy. The man is simply brilliant; he’s the kind of brilliant that can take very deep issues and explain them so that they become clear and understandable. He’s a wonderful communicator and quick with a smile and a laugh. He was a wonderful ‘trophy Bishop’ of the CofE and I followed him online and YouTube and on FaceBook page.

When he resigned as Queen’s chaplain, many were surprised or shocked or outraged. If they were, it was because they didn’t really know him. Those of us outside the CofE and outside of the UK could see it coming. He spoke often – and exceedingly well – against practices and policies that directly act against the Gospel. He’s a godly man, a righteous man as our Jewish friends would say, and he loves the Lord. He could do no other. Here is a video of him explaining why he left the CofE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuWm3waZiRU.

Then, in December 2019 he shared an announcement on Anglican Unscripted on Anglican TV (you can find Anglican TV on YouTube). I was stunned. This was so far outside my realm of possibility that I was completely blindsided. And angry. And hurt. Gavin left Anglicanism and joined the Church of Rome. He explains it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e65Oh5QIPs&t=5s.

I have to admit that mine was one of the comments after that show that wasn’t very understanding; I was nice but I let him know what a disappointment it was. I can’t remember if I used the word betrayal or not. Probably not as I’m not someone who has to beat others over the head with MY beliefs and expectations. But I was very clear how I felt about him making this decision.

I went off to lick my wounds – again, disappointed by a person I had faith in. I didn’t think about it consciously for a long while after. But I didn’t watch Anglican Unscripted either. The back of my mind, however, was working it through. My heart of hearts was trying to reconcile how such a wonderful intelligent, outspoken Anglican could become a Roman Catholic.

It came to me one morning as I was waking; it was as though the Holy Spirit and different influences in my life came together and deposited an understanding way beyond my normal capability. Two things came forward in my mind: my own leaving of the Episcopal Church was one. The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church at that time was Katherine Jeffords Schori was videotaped in a church telling the people in the congregation that Jesus was NOT the only way to the Father – that there are many paths to God. She was, in effect, writing her own gospel and one that was totally opposite of the Bible’s Gospel. I determined then I would leave. I talked to my priest about it and it may just have been a bad day for him because he spoke more about how he was going to clean up after her mess and keep the folks in church than he did how I should pray about it, or reconsider, or find a way to simply deal with it. When I told my husband (a very lapsed Baptist) what I was going to do, he got angry and accused me of ‘leaving my friends behind’. He’s ex-military and to him I was leaving my fellow soldiers to defend themselves. He didn’t understand that I am the one who is going to have to face God; with all the sins I’ve committed in my life that I’d have to answer for, how I could I explain to Him how I stayed in an apostate church when I fully recognized and understood what that meant?

The second thing that came to mind – and it really seemed that this was dropped in my heart as one seamless thing – the second thing was a conversation I had with the priest of my new church (where I’d gone after leaving the Episcopal Church). We were talking one day about all the empty churches in our area – Lutheran, Methodist, some evangelical churches. My priest said, “God is winnowing the churches. One day we will be one church again.” I asked if he thought the one church would be Roman Catholic. He gave me a non-committal shrug but I sort of suspected he meant, or was leaning toward, yes.

So I had this revelation. I started to rethink Gavin’s decision. In the end, Gavin felt called by God to go to the Church of Rome. What’s that old saying? “All roads lead to Rome”. Perhaps. I am neither smart enough or enlightened enough to know that answer.

I went back to Anglican Unscripted and watched an episode in which Gavin’s change of journey was mentioned and left a comment apologizing for my earlier comment and wishing him well. I was truly humbled when I got a response from him, thanking me for my understanding. Humbled – that such a man of God would thank me for understanding. A very Jesus thing to do, I think.

Was it a betrayal? I don’t think so; Gavin was called by God and he answered. I pray that if I get such a call I will answer, too.

 

Remember, Remember, the Fifth of November

A little something for our English cousins.

Tonight they’ll try to set a bonfire to burn England down. Why? Because back in 1605 Guy Fawkes was caught before he had time to light the fuse on 30 some odd barrels of gunpowder under parliament, in an attempt to destroy Parliament and the King (James I), thereby setting the stage for the restoration of the Catholic Church.

It’s often said in England that Guy Fawkes was the last man to enter Parliament with an honest purpose. I think all of us in the English speaking world can nod and agree, whether it’s Westminster, Washington, Ottowa,   or any of the others.

I like the idea because, in a rather twisted way, it should serve as a warning to our governments. That it doesn’t is tragic, but the people will, at the last, have their way, whatever the ‘elites’ think

It has long since become nonsectarian although very often an effigy of Guy Fawkes is on the pyre. But mostly it’s a good excuse for a bonfire and fireworks, indeed rather like the 4th of July, where we really don’t rail much about old King George anymore.

It was celebrated here until the Revolution as well, especially in New England, where the effigy of Guy Fawkes was sometimes joined by one of the Pope. It was banned by General Washington while the Continental Army occupied Boston in the Revolution so as not to over inflame the residents, and pretty much never resumed.

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