Friday, May 22, 2015

Well Said: Survey or Not, Our Mission is Unchanged.

It doesn’t matter what any survey says. Whether our culture is 99.9% Catholic or .00009%, our mission is utterly unchanged.
That Pew survey about more people not calling themselves Christian didn't surprise me one bit. It is just getting closer reporting the actual truth than when people reflexively said, "Of course I'm Christian."

It hits home with more force at this moment because I just finished studying up on St. Francis of Assisi for a conversation at A Good Story is Hard to Find. Francis was radical in every way and that was in 13th century Italy which was 99.9% Chatholic and needed nothing more than a good hard kick in how they lived their faith.

So, here we are again ...

Worth a Thousand Words: Bookends

Bookends
Karin Jurick
This is the perfect piece to prepare us for Memorial Day weekend!

Blogging Around: Mostly Churchy Stuff

Clutching Her Head in a Field

Here's the one non-churchy item.

Want to see how many different book cover designers found this stock photo captivating?

Caustic Critic Cover pulled it together for us.

I was really surprised to see how little originality was shown in using the image from cover to cover, aside from goofing around with the color.

I swear, if I come across one of those books in a store, I'm going to crack up on the spot.







State of Palestine coverage: What did pope say? What did it mean?

It broke as do so many stories that burst upon the 24/7 media scene these days – with a Tweet, followed by nearly 3,000 retweets.

The Associated Press (@AP) tweeted at 9:26am -- 13 May 15: "BREAKING: Vatican officially recognizes `state of Palestine' in new treaty."

A major diplomatic step forward for Palestinians in their quest to establish an independent state, right?

Sure sounds like it. But no, although clearly another international boost for the Palestinians, it was not the groundbreaking achievement the initial Tweet implied.

That's because the Vatican actually recognized Palestine as a state in 2012. ...
I've said it before, I'll say it again. If you want to know the real scoop about how religion is being reported and what really happened, read GetReligion. Get the rest of this story there.

Jude Law to Play The Young Pope on TV

I've seen this mentioned around but like best Maureen's comments at Aliens in This World. There's more and she's also got news and links to other Catholics on TV (Jim Gaffigan (good), The New O'Neals (junk)) so go check it all out.

This could be cruddy or good. I hope it will be good, as there’s certainly lots of room for drama in a papal West Wing. It will only be 8 episodes long, but the press release says it’s about “the beginning” of the pontificate of Pius XIII. So I think they want to leave it open for other seasons.

Either way, I guess we’ll find out what Mr. Sorrentino’s pet peeves are.

(And since it’s a Euro production airing on HBO, there will probably be gratuitous naked people but no fight scenes at all. Although I would laugh very hard if they only show Baroque paintings of naked people, with no live-action nakedness at all.)

The Closed Door of Pope Francis

Until the synod of October 2014, Jorge Mario Bergoglio had repeatedly and in various ways shown encouragement for “openness” in matters of homosexuality and second marriages, each time with great fanfare in the media. Cardinal Kasper explicitly said that he had “agreed” with the pope on his explosive talk at the consistory.

But during that synod the resistance to the new paradigms showed itself to be much more strong and widespread than expected, and determined the defeat of the innovators. The reckless “relatio post disceptationem” halfway through the assembly was demolished by the criticism and gave way to a much more traditional final report. ...

From the end of 2014 until today, there has not been even one more occasion on which he has given the slightest support to the paradigms of the innovators.

On the contrary. He has intensified his remarks on all the most controversial questions connected to the synodal theme of the family: contraception, abortion, divorce, second marriages, homosexual marriage, “gender” ideology. And every time he has spoken of them as a “son of the Church” - as he loves to call himself - with ironclad fidelity to tradition and without swerving by a millimeter from what was said before him by Paul VI, John Paul II, or Benedict XVI.
Sandro Magister connects the dots and follows them up with an extensive anthology of excerpts from every time that pope has spoken on the subject. I actually hadn't been worrying about this topic, but reading through the excerpts was interesting.

Dear Church: An open letter from one of those millennials you can’t figure out

Wow, via The Deacon's Bench, comes fascinating reading from a young Methodist that applies to everyone. Here's a bit, then go read it all.
Don’t expect a “worship style” to do your dirty work. Contemporary worship hasn’t worked. The longer we extend the life of this failed experiment, the more we see the results.

In my experience, contemporary worship brings in three groups. Baby boomers who are still stuck in their rebellion against the establishment, parents who mistakenly think that contemporary worship is the only way for their kids to connect to the church, and a small percentage of young adults who’ve never left and who never knew anything other than contemporary worship.

In modeling worship after commercial entertainment, you’ve compromised your identity, and we’re still not coming back.

...

Don’t give us entertainment, give us liturgy. We don’t want to be entertained in church, and frankly, the church’s attempt at entertainment is pathetic. Enough with the theatrics. Enough with the lights, the visuals, the booming audio, the fog machine, the giveaway gimmicks, the whole production. Follow that simple yet profound formula that’s worked for the entire history of the church. Entrance, proclamation, thanksgiving, sending out. Gathering, preaching, breaking bread, going forth in service. Give us a script to follow, give us songs to sing, give us the tradition of the church, give us Holy Scripture to read. Give us sacraments, not life groups, to grow and strengthen us.

Julie and Scott are appalled at the nudity and questionable parenting skills.

What kind of a saint is this? A unique one, it turns out. We discuss Saint Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton in episode 108 of A Good Story is Hard to Find.

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Day 8

Oldest of all novenas, this is still the only one officially prescribed by the Church.


Ottonian Master Pentecost
(Artwork: Pentecost, Artist: UNKNOWN; Ottonian Master,
Date: C. 1030-40, Technique: Tempera and gold leaf on parchment)

THE GIFT OF WISDOM
(Friday, 7th Week of Easter)
The gift of wisdom gives us a loving, penetrating faith, and a clarity and understanding of the unfathomable mystery of God which we never thought possible. It can have to do with the presence and nearness of God, or the Real Presence of Christ in the tabernacle, which produce an extraordinary happiness. ...

The more usual thing, however, will be to find God in everyday life, with no special effects but the the intimate certainty that God watches over us, sees what we are doing, cares for us as for his children, at work or at home. The Holy Spirit teaches us that if we are faithful to his grace, our everyday affairs are the normal way to God, there we serve him in this life and prepare ourselves to contemplate him in Heaven for all eternity.

THE NOVENA
Prayer: The Gift of Wisdom


Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray!

The Gift of Wisdom
Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written "all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Saviour: "Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden light.

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.

Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to you, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of your purity, the unerring keenness of your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the strength and light of my soul. In you I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. I cling to you and give myself to you and ask you, by your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus and looking at his five wounds, and trusting in his precious blood and adoring his opened side and stricken heart, I implore you, adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, to keep me in your grace that I may never sin against you. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, spirit of the Father and the Son to say to you always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
O Lord Jesus Christ who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of your apostles and disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that he may perfect in my soul, the work of your grace and your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of your true disciples and animate me in all things with your spirit. Amen.

Check out the link under the picture for many more scans of wonderful art.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lagniappe: The familiar face of the little devourer

All the items being devoured are gingerbread cookies, just to help orient you. This is one of those passages that made me appreciate Hawthorne did indeed have a sense of humor.
Phoebe, on entering the shop, beheld there the already familiar face of the little devourer — if we can reckon his mighty deeds aright — of Jim Crow, the elephant, the camel, the dromedaries, and the locomotive. Having expended his private fortune, on the two preceding days, in the purchase of the above unheard-of luxuries, the young gentleman's present errand was on the part of his mother, in quest of three eggs and half a pound of raisins. These articles Phoebe accordingly supplied, and — as a mark of gratitude for his previous patronage, and a slight super-added morsel after breakfast, put likewise into his hand a whale! The great fish — reversing his experience with the prophet of Nineveh — immediately began his progress down the same red pathway of fate whither so varied a caravan had preceded him. This remarkable urchin, in truth, was the very emblem of old Father Time, both in respect of his all-devouring appetite for men and things, and because he, as well as Time, after engulfing thus much of creation, looked almost as youthful as if he had been just that moment made.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables

Worth a Thousand Words: The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armour on Horseback


Giuseppe Castiglione, The Qianlong Emperor in Ceremonial Armour on Horseback, 1758
Via Wikimedia
No special reason for this ... I just liked it!

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Day 7

Oldest of all novenas, this is still the only one officially prescribed by the Church.



THE GIFT OF COUNSEL
(Thursday, 7th Week of Easter)
There are many moments when we could stray from the path which leads to God. There are many side tracks we could wander down. But God has reassured us with these words: I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you (Ps. 32:8). The Holy Spirit is our best Adviser, our best teacher, our best Guide. Our Lord's promise to his Apostles for when they might find themselves in very difficult situations, is very heartening: When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you (Matt. 10:19-20). They were to have the special assistance of the Holy Spirit as would Christians through the centuries when placed in similar circumstances. ...

The gift of counsel presupposes that we have used all the other means necessary to act prudently: to obtain the necessary data; to foresee the possible consequences of our actions, to learn from the experience of similar situations in the past, to ask advice when the moment comes. this is natural prudence which is then reinforced by grace. Along with supernatural prudence we receive this gift of counsel which allows us to make a sure and quick decision regarding the means to be used, or the reply to be given, or the way to be followed. ...
THE NOVENA
Prayer: The Gift of Counsel


Heal our wounds -- our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away!

The Gift of Counsel
The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Your holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Your commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.

Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to you, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of your purity, the unerring keenness of your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the strength and light of my soul. In you I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. I cling to you and give myself to you and ask you, by your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus and looking at his five wounds, and trusting in his precious blood and adoring his opened side and stricken heart, I implore you, adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, to keep me in your grace that I may never sin against you. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, spirit of the Father and the Son to say to you always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
O Lord Jesus Christ who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of your apostles and disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that he may perfect in my soul, the work of your grace and your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of your true disciples and animate me in all things with your spirit. Amen.

Check out the link under the picture for many more scans of wonderful art.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Well Said: The Man With Utmost Daring

I am the man who with utmost daring discovered what has been discovered before.
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
That's the story of my life. But I guess it doesn't make the discovery any less valid or exciting.

Worth a Thousand Words: Book of Durrow

The beginning of the Gospel of Mark from the Book of Durrow.
Source: Wikipedia
There is a sense of space in the design of all the pages of the Book of Durrow. Open vellum balances intensely decorated areas.
I'm a sucker for illuminated manuscripts, especially Bibles. I'd love so much to have an illustrated Bible, old school.

I'm also a sucker for good use of space and not feeling one has to fill every bit of the page up. And for stylized animals as parts of capital letters.

So this scores on several fronts.

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Day 6

Oldest of all novenas, this is still the only one officially prescribed by the Church.



THE GIFT OF UNDERSTANDING
(Wednesday, 7th Week of Easter)
The gift of understanding enables us to grasp the deeper meaning of the Scriptures, the life of grace, the presence of Christ in each sacrament, and in a real substantial way in the Blessed Eucharist. It gives us, as it were, an instinct for what is supernatural in the world. For the eyes of one of Christ's faithful, illumined by the Holy Spirit, there is a whole new universe to be discovered. The mysteries of the Most Blessed trinity, the Incarnation, the Redemption, and the church become living realities affecting the day-to-day life of the Christian. They have a decisive influence on his work, on his family life and friendships. Prayer becomes deeper and easier.
THE NOVENA
Prayer: The Gift of Understanding


If thou take thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay,
All his good is turned to ill.

The Gift of Understanding
Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion BY faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Your Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of You, Holy Spirit and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.

Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to you, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of your purity, the unerring keenness of your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the strength and light of my soul. In you I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. I cling to you and give myself to you and ask you, by your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus and looking at his five wounds, and trusting in his precious blood and adoring his opened side and stricken heart, I implore you, adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, to keep me in your grace that I may never sin against you. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, spirit of the Father and the Son to say to you always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
O Lord Jesus Christ who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of your apostles and disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that he may perfect in my soul, the work of your grace and your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of your true disciples and animate me in all things with your spirit. Amen.

Check out the link under the picture for many more scans of wonderful art.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Well Said: The Catholic Church and the Mood of the Age

The Catholic Church never suits the particular mood of any age, because it was made for all ages. A Catholic knows that if the Church married the mood of any age in which it lived, it would be a widow in the next age. The mark of the true Church is that it will never get on well with the passing moods of the world. "I have chosen you out of the world therefore the world hateth you" – John 15:19.
Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, Love One Another

Worth a Thousand Words: PB & Jelly

PB & Jelly
James Neil Hollingsworth
As you already know, I love paintings that reflect contemporary life. In a hundred years they'll be historical documents also! This one raises the humble peanut butter and jelly sandwich level to artistic heights. Look at the jewel-like tones of that jelly!

31 Years of Wedded Bliss

It's our wedding anniversary today and although our lives have their fair share of challenge at the moment, it has done nothing to our marriage but draw us closer together.

That makes all the years of working out how to best love and serve each other worth it. I'm sure we'll look back on this time and find it has done nothing but add to our deep love and respect for each other.

Dear, even-tempered Tom is truly my soul mate. I'm so very lucky that he loves me as much as I love him. He has taught me so much over the years about music, about thinking, about humor, about originality, about kindness and consideration. Not because he actively taught me but just by being around him. That in itself tells you a lot about the sort of person Tom is.

I'd be remiss not to mention that we are also very indebted to our parish's Beyond Cana program. It's the sort of thing we wished for when we hadn't been married very long and ran up against problems in learning to live together. Which is simply to say that in these days, often without the wisdom of our elders easily available, we need good advice. Beyond Cana offers that for us. As have books like For Better, For Worse, For God and Just Married. Just as in practicing your faith, when you are in a long-term relationship you have to keep paddling or you'll get swept downstream. No one in a good, long marriage makes it without work and advice.

It's wonderful having spent 31 years with someone. You know each other's references (jokes become real one-liners), you understand each other's moods, and it is a deep, restful relationship that is not without delightful times of surprise and passion.

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Day 5

Oldest of all novenas, this is still the only one officially prescribed by the Church.



THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE
(Tuesday, 7th Week of Easter)
The gift of knowledge enables man to understand created things as signs which led to God, and the meaning of their elevation to the supernatural order. Through the world of nature and grace the Holy spirit enables us to perceive and contemplate the infinite wisdom, power and goodness of God God's nature is reflected in created things. Like the gifts of understanding and of wisdom, the gift of knowledge is a contemplative gift enabling us to see into the very mystery of God (M.M. Philipon).

Through the gift of knowledge the Christian who is docile to the Holy Spirit will learn to discern perfectly between what leads to God and what separates from him, in the field of arts, of fashion, and in the world of ideas. Truly he will be able to say that wisdom guided him on straight paths; she showed him the kingdom of God, and gave him knowledge of angels (cf Wis 10:10). The Holy Spirit himself will warn us when what is good and true in itself is in danger of becoming bad by leading us away from our last supernatural end. It could be a disordered desire for material possessions, or an attachment to these goods in a way that does not leave the heart free to serve God.
THE NOVENA
Prayer: The Gift of Knowledge


Light immortal! Light divine!
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill.

The Gift of Knowledge
The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth--in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Your glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to You, and Your eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.

Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to you, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of your purity, the unerring keenness of your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the strength and light of my soul. In you I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. I cling to you and give myself to you and ask you, by your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus and looking at his five wounds, and trusting in his precious blood and adoring his opened side and stricken heart, I implore you, adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, to keep me in your grace that I may never sin against you. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, spirit of the Father and the Son to say to you always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
O Lord Jesus Christ who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of your apostles and disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that he may perfect in my soul, the work of your grace and your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of your true disciples and animate me in all things with your spirit. Amen.

Check out the link under the picture for many more scans of wonderful art.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How my mother raised 10 kids on 25 words or lessThe Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio: How my mother raised 10 kids on 25 words or less by Terry Ryan

Having seen the movie I was curious about how closely it hewed to the book. It turns out to have been a surprisingly close telling that captured the feel of the book well.

The book itself has the same feel as Cheaper By the Dozen, if that family's father had been an alcoholic, putting them always one contest win away from abject poverty. It is also a look back at small town life in the 1950s and 60s.

Evelyn Ryan's story is woven through the humorous tales of raising ten children. She parlayed her writing skill and determination into enough income to overcome one financial crisis after another. Ryan did this in a way unique to the time, by entering numerous jingle-writing contests, and submitting poems and humorous stories to publications. Many of these are scattered through the text and they almost serve as a mini-history of product contests.

Along the way Ryan taught her family a precious lesson about how to live a full, rich life no matter your economic status. Author Terry Ryan, one of the daughters of the family, pulls off telling a positive, upbeat story without denying the reality and severity of the trials that had to be overcome.
At that moment we knew that as long as we used our brains, we were not victims. By striking out to write our own ticket, we would grow up to be like our mother, winners.
I listened to the audio book and enjoyed it. I've seen people complain about the narration as over the top and too enthusiastic but I don't agree. I thought the straight forward feel perfectly reflected the tone of the book.

Well Said: A Poem About Fire Ought to Burn

It is the crowning virtue of a work of art, as it is of a man, that it should be an example of its own doctrine, an incarnation of its own main symbol. A poem about fire ought to burn. A poem about a brook ought to flow. A poem about childhood ought not just to tell about children but ought to be like a child itself, as are the best of Blake's Songs of Innocence.
Harold C. Goddard, The Meaning of Shakespeare

Worth a Thousand Words: After Dark

After Dark. Wilkie Collins. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1876.
via Books and Art
I don't know what this story is about but the cover makes me want to find out. It's creepy but what kind of creepy? What is that paper? Are they just reading it or signing an agreement?

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Day 4

Oldest of all novenas, this is still the only one officially prescribed by the Church.



THE GIFT OF FORTITUDE
(Monday, 7th Week of Easter)
The virtue of fortitude, perfected by the gift of the Holy Spirit, enables us to overcome the obstacles that in one way or another we encounter along the path of holiness, but it doesn't remove the weakness of human nature, the fear of danger, pain or weariness. A person who is strong can still experience fear, but can overcome it thanks to love. Precisely because of love, a Christian is able to face greater risks, even though one may feel repugnance not only at the beginning, but also for as long as the trial lasts or the desired-for object is still being sought. Fortitude does not always eliminate the deficiencies inherent in all created beings.

This virtue can bring one to offer one's life willingly in witness to the faith if our Lord so desires it. Martyrdom is the supreme act of fortitude, and God has demanded it of many of the faithful throughout the history of the Church. The martyrs have been -- and are -- the Church's crown, another testimony to her divine origin and her holiness. Every Christian ought to be prepared to give his or her life for Christ if circumstances demand it. The Holy Spirit would then give one the strength and courage to face this supreme test. Normally, though, what is asked of us is heroism in the little things, in the daily fulfillment of our duties.
THE NOVENA
Prayer: The Gift of Fortitude


Thou in toil art comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.


The Gift of Fortitude

By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to under take without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from You, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.

Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to you, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of your purity, the unerring keenness of your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the strength and light of my soul. In you I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. I cling to you and give myself to you and ask you, by your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus and looking at his five wounds, and trusting in his precious blood and adoring his opened side and stricken heart, I implore you, adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, to keep me in your grace that I may never sin against you. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, spirit of the Father and the Son to say to you always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
O Lord Jesus Christ who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of your apostles and disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that he may perfect in my soul, the work of your grace and your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of your true disciples and animate me in all things with your spirit. Amen.

Check out the link under the picture for many more scans of wonderful art.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Day 3

Oldest of all novenas, this is still the only one officially prescribed by the Church.



THE GIFT OF PIETY
(Sunday, 7th Week of Easter)
Piety enables us to appreciate our divine filiation, giving our relationship with God the tenderness and affection of a son for his father.

Divine filiation is an effect of the gift of piety that causes us to relate to God with the tenderness and affection of a good son towards his father, and to relate to the rest of mankind as brothers of the same family.

In the Old Testament this gift is seen in many ways, particularly in the constant prayer of the Chosen People to God: sentiments of praise and petition; adoration of God's divine majesty; intimate confessions with express to the Heavenly Father with all simplicity our joys, sorrows and hopes ... Especially in the psalms we can find all the sentiments that fill the soul in its confident dialogue with God.
THE NOVENA
Prayer: The Gift of Piety


Thou, of all consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast
Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The Gift of Piety
The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.

Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to you, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of your purity, the unerring keenness of your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the strength and light of my soul. In you I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. I cling to you and give myself to you and ask you, by your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus and looking at his five wounds, and trusting in his precious blood and adoring his opened side and stricken heart, I implore you, adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, to keep me in your grace that I may never sin against you. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, spirit of the Father and the Son to say to you always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
O Lord Jesus Christ who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of your apostles and disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that he may perfect in my soul, the work of your grace and your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of your true disciples and animate me in all things with your spirit. Amen.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Novena to the Holy Spirit: Day 2

Oldest of all novenas, this is still the only one officially prescribed by the Church.

THE GIFT OF FEAR
(Saturday, 6th Week of Easter)
Love and fear. These must be the accompaniments of our way. When love banishes fear, fear itself is changed into love (St. Gregory of Nyssa). It is the fear of a child who loves his Father without reserve, and who will allow nothing in the world to distance him from that Father. Then the soul understands better the infinity which separates it from God and at the same time its condition as a child of God. Never until now has it trusted more in God; never, either, has it respected and venerated him more. When the holy fear of God is lost, the sense of sin becomes diluted or vanishes. Then tepidity easily enters the soul. It fails to discern the power and majesty of God, and the honor due to him. ...

Among the principal effects which the fear of God works in the soul are detachment from created things, and an interior attitude of vigilance to avoid the least occasion of sin. The soul acquires a particular sensitivity to discern whatever can grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30).
THE NOVENA
Prayer: The Gift of Fear


Come, thou Father of the poor!
Come, with treasures which endure!
Come, thou light of all that live!

The Gift of Fear
The gift of Fear
fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."

Prayer
Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set you, my Lord and God, before my face forever. Help me to shun all things that can offend You, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Your Divine Majesty in heaven, where You live and reign in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God world without end. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary ONCE.

Glory be to the Father SEVEN TIMES.

Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body to you, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of your purity, the unerring keenness of your justice, and the might of Your love. You are the strength and light of my soul. In you I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness to grace and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. I cling to you and give myself to you and ask you, by your compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus and looking at his five wounds, and trusting in his precious blood and adoring his opened side and stricken heart, I implore you, adorable Spirit, helper of my infirmity, to keep me in your grace that I may never sin against you. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, spirit of the Father and the Son to say to you always and everywhere, "Speak Lord for your servant is listening." Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit
O Lord Jesus Christ who, before ascending into heaven did promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Your work in the souls of your apostles and disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that he may perfect in my soul, the work of your grace and your love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of your divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with you and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, and the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease him. Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of your true disciples and animate me in all things with your spirit. Amen.