Monday, May 31, 2010

The Gospel Reading for the Visitation in Syriac

The Church breathes with two lungs East and West. This is the Gospel reading for the Feast of the Visitation from the Syriac Orthodox Church.

The Eclectic Reader

The new Bad Catholic book review is ready at my other blog, The Eclectic Reader.

Memorial Day

Almighty God, we commend to Your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with Your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of Your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Source 1979 BCP p. 823)

O Lord God of Hosts, stretch forth, we pray thee, thine almighty arm to strengthen and protect the soldiers of this country. Support them in the day of battle, and in time of peace keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Source 1928 BCP p. 41)

O Almighty God, the supreme Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to those who truly repent; Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Source 1928 BCP p. 41)

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad Your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever. Amen.
(Source 1979 BCP p. 815)

The Mystery of the Church

"I shall pray," the man said without hope.

"Why not?" Scobie said.

"You are an Englishman. You wouldn't believe in prayer."

"I'm a Catholic, too," Scobie said.

The fat face looked quickly up at him. "A Catholic?" he exclaimed with hope. For the first time he began to plead. He was like a man who meets a fellow countryman in a strange continent. He began to talk rapidly of his daughter in Leipzig; he produced a battered pocketbook and a yellowing snap-shot of a stout young Portuguese woman as graceless as himself. The little bathroom was stiflingly hot and the captain repeated again and again. "You will understand." He had discovered suddenly how much they had in common: the plaster statues with the swords in the bleeding heart; the whisper behind the confessional curtains; the holy coats and the liquefaction of blood; the dark side chapels and the intricate movements, and somewhere behind it all the love of God. . . . They had in common all the wide region of repentance and longing.

From THE HEART OF THE MATTER by Graham Greene.

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Elizabeth

And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill country with haste into a city of Juda.

And she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth.

And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost;

And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For behold as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord.

And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my savior.

Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

Because he that is mighty, hath done great things for me; and holy is his name.

And mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.

He hath showed might in his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:

As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

And Mary abode with her about three months; and she returned to her own house.

EVANGELIUM SECUNDUM LUCAM (The Gospel According to Luke Chapter 1:39-56)

Douay-Rheims Version

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Arlington Ladies Make Sure That No Soldier Is Buried Alone

MSNBC reports on a group of volunteers called "The Arlington Ladies" who attend the funerals of every service man and woman buried at Arlington National Cemetery to help the families and show the respect of a grateful nation. Read the full story here.

Trinity Sunday

Almighty and everlasting God, You have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of Your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see You in Your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Source: 1979 BCP p. 228).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saint Philip Neri

Saint Philip Neri was born at Florence in 1515. He went to Rome and began work with young men among whom he fostered Christian life and formed an association for the poor and the sick. Ordained to the priesthood in 1551, he founded the Oratory where spiritual reading, singing and works of charity were practiced. He excelled in his love of neighbor and in evangelical simplicity along with a joyous service to God. Saint Philip died in 1595.

Father, You continually raise up Your faithful to the glory of holiness. In Your love kindle in us the fire of the Holy Spirit who so filled the heart of Philip Neri. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Venerable Bede, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Saint Bede was born in the neighborhood of the Wearmouth monastery in 673. He was trained by Saint Benedict Biscop and later entered the monastery. Ordained to the priesthood, he spent his ministry in teaching and writing. Saint Bede wrote theological and historical works in the patristic tradition and explained Sacred Scripture. He died in 735.

Lord, You have enlightened Your Church with the learning of Saint Bede, In Your love may Your people learn from His wisdom and benefit from His prayers. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, May 23, 2010


From The Acts of the Apostles:

"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly, a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4 (RSV)

From a sermon by a 6th century author:

"The disciples spoke in the language of every nation. At Pentecost God chose this means to indicate the presence of the Holy Spirit: whoever had received the Spirit spoke in every kind of tongue. We must realize, dear brothers, that this is the same Holy Spirit by whom love is poured out in our hearts. It was love that was to bring the Church of God together all over the world. And as individual men who received the Holy Spirit in those days could speak in all kinds of tongues, so today the Church, united by the Holy Spirit, speaks in the language of every people.

Therefore if somebody should say to one of us, "You have received the Holy Spirit, why do you not speak in tongues?" his reply should be, "I do indeed speak in the tongues of all men, because I belong to the body of Christ, that is, the Church, and she speaks all languages. What else did the presence of the Holy Spirit indicate at Pentecost, except that God's Church was to speak in the language of every people?"

Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy his consolations, through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bishops are not Employees of the Vatican

Lawyers for the Holy See are arguing in a lawsuit filed in Federal Court that American Bishops are not its employees and that the Vatican should not be legally liable for thier actions. Read the full story here.

Former Baptist Minister, Married and Father of Six Children, to be Ordained a Catholic Priest

A married former Baptist minister has been granted a dispensation to be ordained a Catholic Priest in the Latin Rite. Full story here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Is Henry VIII in Hell?

The Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams gave a sermon the other day about the martyrdom of Carthusian monks who refused to recognize Henry VIII as the head of the church.

Archbishop Williams raised the question as to whether King Henry is in Heaven or Hell. If he is in Heaven, Dr. Williams says, it is due to the prayers of his victims.

Very interesting. Read the whole thing here.

Henry Morton Robinson's THE CARDINAL

I just finished reading the sixty year old pot boiler The Cardinal.

In its day this book was extremely popular. According to the blog Abandoned Books, The Cardinal was the number one bestseller of 1950 and the number four bestseller of 1951. Director Otto Preminger made a movie of the same name based upon the novel starring actor Tom Tryon. Having now read the book and seen the movie, the novel is far superior to the film which changes and condenses plots and in some cases drops plots and characters altogether.

About the only facts which I could dig up about the author, Henry Morton Robinson, came from the "About the Author" blurb in back of the book and the short article on Wikepedia. Robinson was born in Boston, Mass. in 1898 and served in the navy during World War I. He taught English at Columbia University and was the author of a number of popular books. Robinson died in 1961 after taking a sedative and going to sleep in a bathtub.

The Cardinal is the story of the life and career of the title character, Stephen Fermoyle, who rises from being the son of poor Irish immigrants in Boston to be a Prince of the Church. It is reportedly very loosely based on Cardinal Spellman. Being the story of one man's life, the novel has no one single plot and can instead be considered a series of linked stories and plots which involve Fermoyle at various stages of his career.

The characters in The Cardinal are mostly caricatures and stereotypes. The book describes a Catholic Triumphalism which would not be possible in a contemporary novel. The novel also takes a very romanticised view of the Church and clerical life in general. It is full of cliches and characters whose only purpose is to evoke a romanticized piety in the reader.

For instance, Father Fermoyle's sister Ellen is a pious Carmelite nun who contracts tuberculosis. Obviously she is intended to evoke the memory of Saint Therese. When Fermoyle is feeling that his vocation is challenged by his love for a woman, he goes off to a Benedictine monastery and is assigned to work in the kitchen beside a simple lay brother who stays mystically close to God through his work. Obviously, this is supposed to evoke shades of Brother Lawrence of The Practice of the Presence of God fame.

The reader has to be taught a moral lesson, so when Father Fermoyle's little sister refuses to marry a nice Catholic boy like she ought to and runs off with a Hispanic dancer (who also turns out to be a notorious back alley abortionist), we know that things are not going to turn out well. After all, the wages of sin is death. Mona, who is pregnant in a flop house, goes to a church and prays before a statute of Saint Anthony to be found by her family. Mona's prayers are answered and she is rescued by her brothers. However, there is a complication in her pregnancy which requires Monsignor Fermoyle to decide to let the doctors abort the child or let Mona face certain death. Of course, Mona dies in child birth and Monsignor Fermoyle names his newborn niece Regina in honor of the Blessed Mother. (I was told by an older lady of my acquantance that Protestant girls of her generation hesitated before dating Catholic boys because of this very scene in this novel.)

I have to say that the book is very well written for the type of thing that it is which is what we today would probably call beach reading. (In fact, I read a whole bunch of The Cardinal at the beach week before last.)

The Cardinal is a cliched Catholic soap opera. In short, The Cardinal is wonderful and I had great fun reading it. It would be well worth the time and money for anyone who loves the Church to dig up a copy of this old pot boiler.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Saint Matthias, Apostle

From the Acts of the Apostles (1:15-26):

In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty):

Men, brethren, the scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus.

Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out.

And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, the field of blood.

For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take.

Wherefore of these men who have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us,

Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection.

And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

And praying, they said: Thou Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two thou hast chosen,

To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place.

And they gave them lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

(Douay-Rheims Version)

Father, You called Saint Matthias to share in the mission of the apostles. By the help of his prayers may we receive with joy the love You share with us and be counted among those You have chosen. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Ascension of the Lord

From the Acts of the Apostles (Chapter 1 verses 6-11):

They therefore who were come together, asked him, saying: Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

But he said to them: It is not for you to know the time or moments, which the Father hath put in his own power:

But you shall receive the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the uttermost part of the earth.

And when he has said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up: and a cloud received him out of their sight.

And while they were beholding him going up to heaven, behold two men stood by them in white garments.

Who also said: Ye men of Galilee, why stand you looking up to heaven? This Jesus who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him going into heaven.

(Douay-Rheims Version)

Father in heaven, our minds were prepared for the coming of your kingdom when You took Christ beyond our sight so that we might seek Him in His glory. May we follow where He has led and find our hope in His glory for He is Lord for ever. Amen.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Crime of Being Catholic

The 40 Catholic Martyr Saints of the English Reformation

Catholic Christians in the U.S. and Western Europe may not be suffering "red martyrdom" by being tortured or put to death, but many are most certainly facing "white martyrdom" by being persecuted for their beliefs.

Apparently, if you are a doctor in Ireland, (Holy Ireland, who would have thought such a thing possible fifty years ago!) it is illegal to practice medicine according to the laws of the Church. An Irish physician has been hauled before a medical ethics tribunal for refusing to give fertility treatments to an unmarried couple.

Full story from the Irish Medical Times.

Saint Nereus, Saint Achilleus, and Saint Pancras

Today, May 12, the Church remembers 1st century martyrs Saints Nereus and Achilleus and 4th century martyr Saint Pancras.

"According to Pope Saint Damasus, Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers of the 1st century who became Christians and refused to remain in the service. They were martyred for the Faith and buried in the cemetary of Domitilla on the Via Ardeatina. The bas-relief of Achilleus being stricken is the oldest known representation of martyrdom.

The legendary Acts of these martyrs state on the other hand that they were servants of Flavia Domitilla, a niece of the Emperors Titus and Domitian, who became a Christian. They further relate that she was banished to the island of Pontia and was finally martyred at Terracina together with Nereus and Achilleus.

Saint Pancras was a Phrygian of noble birth who was baptized at the age of 14 and proceeded to give all his possessions to the poor. This drew the attention of the authorities to him and ultimately to the fact that he was a Christian. When he refused to renounce his Christianity, he was decapitated under Diocletian about the year 304.

PRAYER: Almighty God, we have seen Your glorious Martyrs Nereus, Achilleus, and Pancras remain steadfast in their profession of Faith. May we also experience their piety in their intercession for us before You. Amen."

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ready for the United Nations Internet Tax?

The World Health Organization wants all United Nations members to impose a tax on internet use on their citizens. Welcome to the Brave New World. Full story from Fox News.

A Taste of Things to Come: Georgia Senior Citizens Ordered to Stop Praying Before Meals

The elderly patrons of a Senior Citizens Center near Savannah, Georgia have been ordered to stop saying grace before meals because the food has been subsidized by the Federal Government. According to the company managing the program, Federal regulations prohibit any religious activity. Read the full story here.

When the Federal Government is providing us all with health care, will everyone be prohibited from praying since the health of our bodies is now paid for by Federal dollars?

If these senior citizens were predominantly Islamic, I have wonder if it would be the same result?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Raquel Welch Says Enough is Enough

Sex symbol Raquel Welch says that enough is enough on sexual promiscuity. Read the full story from CNN.

Vote Early! Vote Often!

LOVE IN THE RUINS has been nominated in two categories in the Cannonball Catholic Blog awards. (Best New Blog & Best Underappreciated Blog). Voting is open through May 14th. So the Bad Catholic is asking all of his loyal fans to VOTE NOW.

My Great Grand Daddy, Thomas Lowell Watson, was a Precinct Captain for Governor Eugene Talmadge of Georgia in the 30s and 40s. The story is that Daddy Watson and all of the other Talmadge men would gather on election day and vote in Thomaston, Georgia, the county seat of Upson County, Georgia. Then they would all get on the train and ride to Yatesville, Georgia and all vote for Gene Talmadge again.

The year that Eugene Talmadge died before the election results could be counted, the Talmadge supporters all made write in votes for his son Herman Talmadge (pronounced "Hummon"). (Lewis Grizzard once said that God probably sounds more like Herman Talmadge than anybody). Reportedly, in the Talmadge's home town of McRae, Georgia, several hundred deceased persons made write in votes for Herman Talmadge in alphabetical order.

So remember BAD CATHOLIC supporters, Governor Gene says "Vote Early, Vote Often."

Christ is Managing Pizza Parlor in Massachusetts

The blog Acts of Apostasy reports that a pizza parlor manager in Massachusetts has legally changed his name to the "Lord Jesus Christ." He was hit by a car last week while crossing a street. Mr. Lord J.C. is apparently O.K. The driver who hit him has been charged with failing to yield in a cross walk.

The News Is In: Don't Go To Law School

It's official. Don't go to law school! Find a real job. Full story from Yahoo News.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Torah of Liberalism

Interesting article from the American Thinker about the attitude of theologically liberal Jews to Israel.

Note especially the comment from the Rabbi telling his parishioner that she shouldn't believe that the Holy Land was promised to the Jewish people "Just because the Bible says so." Believing the Bible is, after all, so antiquated.

Looking for a Few Good Swiss Catholic Men

The Pontifical Swiss Guard is about to swear in 30 new recruits. Learn more about the Swiss Guard at the website of the Holy See.

Poland Mourns 3,000 Martyred Priests

The Polish Church honored the approximately 3,000 priests who were killed in World War II. Full story here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

British Street Preacher Charged with Hate Speech for Saying that Homosexuality is a Sin

A steet preacher in England has been arrested and charged with "hate speech" for saying that homosexuality is a sin.

How long will it be before the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church are deemed to be forbidden books because of all the "hate speech" contained therein.

Prominent Englishmen are demanding the arrest and prosecution of the Holy Father, and British diplomats think that the Pope should visit an abortion clinic, endorse the use of condoms and perform a same sex wedding. How long will it be, "in the country that used to be England," as Mark Shea says, before the Catholic Church is declared an illegal religion like it used to be back in the good old days of Queen Elizabeth I?

Full story here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Franklin Graham Says That Persecution of Chrisitans is Coming in the U.S.

Full story from NewsMax here.

Pakistan Producing 10,000 Jihadists a Year

The Indian Express is reporting that approximately 10,000 new jihadists a year are being produced from Pakistan's madrassas.

Cinco De Mayo!

Here's my Cinco De Mayo post from last year:

Today is the 5th of May or CINCO DE MAYO. Contrary to popular belief in the United States, Cinco de Mayo IS NOT Mexican independence day.

CINCO DE MAYO celebrates the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. While the United States was busy fighting the Civil War and unable to intervene, France invaded Mexico after the Mexican government defaulted on payments of loans which France had made. French forces landed at Vera Cruz on the Mexican Gulf Coast and attempted to march inland to attack Mexico City. The French Emperor, Napoleon III, sought to install his relative, the Archduke Maximillian of Austria, as Emperor of Mexico, thus effectively making Mexico a colony of France.

Although outnumbered almost two to one, the Mexicans, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, soundly defeated a larger and better equipped French army. The Mexican victory was of limited strategic importance, however, as a year later the French captured Mexico City and installed Maximillian as Emperor. In 1867, Maximillian was overthrown and the French were driven out of Mexico by forces led by President Benito Juarez. Maximillian was later executed.

CINCO DE MAYO is primarily a holiday among Mexican and Chicano communities in the United States. The celebration has taken on a significance far beyond celebrating a military victory in an obscure battle. Like ST. PATRICK'S DAY among those of Irish descent, CINCO DE MAYO is a day for Americans of Mexican ancestory to celebrate their heritage.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Should We Be Concerned?

Uh, should we be just a little wee bit concerned that the alleged Times Square bomber, whose name was on the no-fly list, was still able to go right through airport security and get on an airplane. Should we be concerned that our airport security maybe needs a little tweaking? Full story here.

More News From the Country that Used to be England

Mark Shea at National Catholic Register has more news from the Country that used to be England.

British Judge Rules that Christian Beliefs are not Worthy of Legal Recognition

In a case in which a therapist was fired for refusing to give "marriage counseling" to a same sex couple, a British High Court Judge has ruled that Christian beliefs are "purely subjective" because they cannot be proven by evidence and, therefore, are not entitled to any legal recognition.

In other words, it's OK if you crazy people want to believe all this stuff as long as you don't actually practice it in your life. Very soon, brothers and sisters, orthodox Christians will probably be barred from holding public office, holding professional licenses, serving on juries, and may even be barred from voting. The United Kingdom is not far from this type of persecution. The concerns of the former Archbishop of Canterbury were dismissed by the Judge as unfounded.

The Bad Catholic has to wonder,however, how Great Britian can continue to have an established religion, which is supposed to be Christianity, if that established religion is not entitled to any legal recognition? Since, by all reports, Britain will soon be a Muslim country governed by Sharia law, I wonder how the learned judge would have ruled if this had been a Muslim therapist who was fired?

Full story from the Huffington Post.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Car Bomb in Times Square

Here are several stories about the attempted car bomb attack in Times Square in New York City. Yahoo News and the London Telegraph.

As Jihad Watch points out, the American press is not reporting, as is the British press, that the car bomb was planted near the offices of Viacom which operates Comedy Central.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker

I posted this on May 1st of last year:

Today, May 1st, is the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker. Of course, May 1 is MAY DAY, which was celebrated by Communist countries as a celebration of workers. As a response to this the Church, the Bad Catholic thinks it was Pope Pius XII but is not sure without looking it up, declared this the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker in order to sanctify the atheistic communist holiday for Christ.
From the Liturgy of the Hours: "Saint Joseph faithfully practiced the carpenter's trade. He is a shining example for all workers, alleluia."

I was very impressed by this morning's second reading from the liturgy of the hours. This is a quote from the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world of the Second Vatican Council: "Where men and women, in the course of gaining a livelihood for themselves and their families, offer appropriate service to society, they can be confident that their personal efforts to promote the work of the Creator, confer benefit on their fellowmen, and help to realize God's plan in history." Amen.