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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Saint Jerome, Priest, Confessor and Doctor, 420

Jerome, who is reckoned among the four first Doctors of the West was the son of one Eusebius, and was born at Stridonium, a small town upon the confines of Dalmatia, about the year 342. He was baptized at Rome sometime after his eighteenth birthday, having been a catechumen up to that time. And in Rome he studied under the instruction of the famous pagan grammarian Donatus, and other very learned personages. He traveled in Gaul for the sake of improving his mind, and there sought the friendship of divers godly men learned in the Scriptures, and made with his own hand many copies of holy books. He afterwards betook himself to Grecian Asia Minor, where he attained eminence as a philosopher and orator, in the following of the most famous theologians. At Constantinople, in especial, he sat at the feet of Saint Gregory of Nazianzus, from whom he professeth himself to have learnt his theology. Then, for godliness sake, he went to see the home of the Lord Christ, and so throughout all Palestine. He witnesseth that this pilgrimage, wherein he got the help of the most learned of the Jews for the understanding of the Holy Scriptures, did him much good.
He withdrew himself into the wild deserts of Syria, where he passed four years in studying the Bible, meanwhile neglecting in no wise constant meditation and prayer, and the meditation and prayer, and the mortification of his body in self-denial and chastisement of the flesh. As a special penance, he learnt Hebrew. By Paulinus, Patriarch of Antioch, he was finally ordained priest against his own inclination. Thereafter he went to Rome on account of the quarrelling of certain bishops with the aforesaid Paulinus. There, with Saint Epiphanius, he helped Pope Saint Damasus in the writing of his letters upon Church affairs. But the longing for his old solitude came upon him. And he went back to Palestine, where, in the monastery at Bethlehem, built beside the cradle of the Lord Christ by the Lady Paula of Rome, he set himself to enter on earth the life of heaven serving God in reading and writing without ceasing, regardless of the sufferings of a body tormented by divers diseases and pains, to which he added a most harsh treatment of himself for his sins, specially for his sharp tongue. For he never was a lover of moderation, either in virtue or against vice. For he never was a lover of moderation, either in virtue or against vice.
Hard questions upon the interpretation of the Holy Scripture were sent to him from all parts of the earth, as to an oracle. He was oftentimes consulted by Pope Saint Damasus, or by the holy Doctor Augustine, upon the meaning of the most obscure passages of the Scripture because of his extraordinary learning, and his knowledge, not only of the Latin and Greek tongues, but also of Hebrew and Chaldee ; for, as the same Augustine testifieth, he has read nearly all writers. He ever undertook the defence of the godly and Catholic, as he himself testifieth : I never spared hereticks, and have always done mine utmost to make the enemies of the Church mine own enemies. In his time there was in use a Latin version of the Bible which is now called The Vetus, the Old Testament whereof was based on the Greek Septuagint. Jerome made a new version, now known as the Vulgate ; for he translated the Old Testament from Hebrew into Latin, and reformed, according to the original Greek, the existing version the New. Upon a great part of the Scriptures he wrote commentaries. He translated likewise into Latin the works of many learned men, and himself contributed to the Christian life many monuments of his own wit. He lived to an extreme old age, and passed away to heaven, famous for learning and holiness, in the reign of the Emperor Honorius, upon September 30th, in the year of our Lord 420. His body was buried at Bethlehem, but afterwards was brought to Rome, where it is now, in the Church of Saint Mary-at-the-Manger.

Antiphon on the Benedictus:
Well done, good and faithful servant: + thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: * enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Alleluia.)
Collect:
O GOD, who for the exposition of thy holy Scriptures didst bestow upon thy Church the wondrous teaching of blessed Jerome thy Confessor and Doctor: grant, we beseech thee; that by the intercession of his merits, we may of thee be enabled to perform those things which he taught in word and deed. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

St. Michael and All Angels

St. Michael and All Angels
From a sermon by St. Gregory the Pope
We are accustomed to speak of nine choirs of Angels, because holy Writ seemeth to witness to that number when it speaketh severally of Angels, Archangels, Mights, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. Very many pages of holy Writ witness to Angels and Archangels. The books of the Prophets, as is well known, do often make mention of Cherubim and Seraphim. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, counteth up the names of four choirs, where he saith that Christ is set far above all Principality, and Power, and Might, and Dominion. Again, writing to the Colossians, he speaketh of Thrones as well as of Dominions, Principalities, and Powers. If then we add the Thrones to the four choirs mentioned to the Ephesians, we have five choirs. And when we add unto them the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, we com to the final conclusion that there are nine choirs of Angels.
Now it must be understood that the word Angel is the name of an office rather than the designation of the nature of these beings. For those holy ones of heaven are always spirits, but they are not always accurately called Angels, which is, being interpreted, Messengers, for they are Angels only when they are sent as Messengers. Hence also it is said by the Psalmist : He maketh his Angels spirits, and his Ministers : as if to indicate that he hath made them spirits, and that of these spirits he sometimes maketh some to minister in the office of messenger. They that go on a lesser ambassage are called Angels, that is Messengers. They that go on a great ambassage are called Archangels, that is Chief Messengers. Hence it is that unto the Virgin Mary was sent no common Angel, but the Archangel Gabriel. For the delivery of this, the highest message, it was meet that there should be sent one of the highest Angels. Their individual names also are so given as to signify the kind of ministry wherein each is powerful. Michael is by interpretation : Who is like unto God? Gabriel: The Strength of God. Raphael : the Medicine of God. As often as anything very mighty is to be done, we see that Michael is sent, that by that very thing, and by his name, we may remember that none is able to do as God doeth. Hence that old enemy, whose pride hath puffed him up, so that he is fain to be like unto God, is reported by the Prophet Isaiah to have said : I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will be like the Most High. But this old enemy, when at the end of the world he is about to perish in the last death, having no strength but his own, is shewn unto us a-fighting with Michael the Archangel, even as saith John in the Apocalypse : There was war in heaven ; Michael and his Angels fought against the dragon ; and the dragon fought and his angels. Unto Mary is sent Gabriel, whose name signifieth Strength of God, for he came to herald the coming him who was content to appear lowly that he might fight down the powers of the air. Raphael, whose name signifieth Medicine of God, is the one who, as a physician, treated the eyes of Tobit, so that his blindness was cleared away.
 
Antiphon on the Benedictus:
There was silence in heaven for a space, whenas Michael and his Angels made war against the dragon, * and Michael waxed valiant in fight, and turned to flight the armies of the contrary part (Alleluia)
Collect:
O EVERLASTING God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant that, as thy holy Angels always do thee service in heaven, so, by thy appointment, they may succour and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 28, Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia, M, (929)

Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia, was called of God to the hard task of defending Christianity when his subjects were just beginning to learn the Faith, and the devil’s hatred thereof was first being manifested. He was the son of a Christian father, Duke Wratislas I, and a mother, named Drahomira, who was Christian only in name. But he had in his paternal grandmother a most holy foster-mother, namely Saint Ludmilla, who trained him up in godliness. Therefore, he became a man eminent in all graces, and one who carefully kept chastity unsullied throughout the whole course of his life, and in the midst of great wickedness.
After his father’s death, his mother seized the supreme power through the foul murder of Ludmilla, and did all that she could to extirpate Christianity. But some of the nobles, wearied with her tyranny and wicked government, cast off her yoke, and hailed Wenceslas, in the city of Prague, as their ruler. At once he issued a proclamation that he would rule justly, but with mercy, and he did. To the orphaned, the widowed, and the destitute he was very charitable, so that sometimes in the winter he carried firewood to the needy on his own shoulders. He helped oftentimes to bury the poor; he set captives free ; and at the dead of night he went many times to the prisons to comfort with money and advice them that were detained therein. To a prince of so tender an heart it was a great grief to be behoven to condemn any to death, however guilty. For the Church and her clergy he had a most earnest respect, and it was his pleasure to sow and reap the corn, and press the grapes, with his own hands, wherewith to provide for the holy sacrifice. When Tadislas, Prince of Gurinna, invaded Bohemia, Wenceslas, to save the bloodshed of many, went out to meet him in single combat. Faced with such courage and goodness, his enemy bowed in reverence before him, and made with him a league of friendship. When he went to Germany, the Emperor was so impressed with his evident holiness that he arose from his throne, embraced him in his arms, decorated him with the insignia of royalty, and gifted him with relicks of the holy Martyr Vitus. Nevertheless, his godless brother, at the exhortation of their mother, sought him out in a church, where he was praying, thinking to kill him. There this unnatural brother, Boleslas, together with some accomplices in crime, wounded him with their swords. And then Boleslas despatched him with his own hand, running him through the body with a lance. He suffered a little after midnight on September 28th, 935. At once he was acclaimed by the people as a Martyr who had given his life to uphold the Faith against pagan opposition ; and since about the year 985 his feast hath been observed in Bohemia. He is considered the national patron of the Czechs.


St. Exuperius of Tolouse, BC,(410)
St. Eustochium Julia of Rome, V, (420)
St. Lioba of Mainz, V, (781)
Collect: O God, who through the victory of martyrdom didst exalt thy blessed Saint Wenceslas from his earthly principality to the glory of thy heavenly kingdom: we pray thee, at his intercession, to defend us against all adversities, and to suffer us to rejoice in his eternal fellowship, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Hymn

Good King Wenceslas look'd out,
On the Feast of Stephen;
When the snow lay round about,
Deep, and crisp, and even:
Brightly shone the moon that night,
Though the frost was cruel,
When a poor man came in sight,
Gath'ring winter fuel.

"Hither page and stand by me,
If thou know'st it, telling,
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence.
Underneath the mountain;
Right against the forest fence,
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh, and bring me wine,
Bring me pine-logs hither:
Thou and I will see him dine,
When we bear them thither."
Page and monarch forth they went,
Forth they went together;
Though the rude winds wild lament,
And the bitter weather.

"Sire, the night is darker now,
And the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go on longer."
"Mark my footsteps, good my page;
Tread thou in them boldly;
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod,
Where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod
Which the saint had printed.
Therefore, Christian men, be sure,
Wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor,
Shall yourselves find blessing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

September 27, Saints Cosmas and Damian, Mm

Saints Cosmas and Damian were eminent physicians in the time of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, were brothers, and by race Arabs, but born in Cilicia. And they were wont to give their services to the poor, for which reason in the East they have the title: The Moneyless Ones. When the Prefect Lysias learnt that they were Christians, he commanded them to worship the gods, under threats of torments and death. But when he found that threats could not shake them, he practiced upon them torments by water, by fire, and by other cruelties, and lastly had them beheaded. Thus did they bear witness for Christ Jesus even until they grasped the palm of victory.
Antiphon on the Benedictus:
Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered: * fear not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Ss. Cosmas and Damian
Collect :
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who observe the heavenly birthday of blessed Cosmas and Damian, thy Martyrs, may by their intercession be delivered from all evils that beset us, Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.,

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September 26, St. Cyprian and Justina, Mm, Orthodox saints

Many stories are told of Cyprian and the virgin Justina to show the powerlessness of the devil against Christians, who trusted in the might of the Cross. According to these old legends, Cyprian first practiced sorcery, but afterwards lived and practiced the science of the Cross, and so died a martyr. When he was pursuing the evil arts, a young man, who lusted after the Christian maiden Justina, came to him for a love-potion wherewith he might seduce her. Cyprian thereupon sought from the devil some knowledge as to how to accomplish this evil end, but became convinced that all his arts were wasted on any who truly worshipped Christ. Wherefore he became a true Christian believer. For this cause, he and the Virgin Justina were arrested together, beaten with blows and scourging, and cast into prison, if haply they might change their mind. Afterwards they were further tortured, and in the end beheaded, at Nicomedia, on September 26th, in the year 304. Their bodies were thrown out, and lay unburied for the space of six days, at the end of which time some sailors took them secretly by night on board a ship and carried them to Rome, where they are said to be buried hard by the baptistery in the Lateran Basilica.

O Lord, who never failest to look down in mercy on them on whom thou bestowest the succour of thy Saints : grant, we pray thee, that the intercession of the blessed Martyrs Cyprian and Justina, may evermore avail to comfort and defend us, Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday's

Saturday's are days that have always gotten sorta lost for me. I mean I often don't do much productive on Saturday's. What are we supposed to do with a Saturday? For me I guess part of the problem is that the type work I like to do focuses and requires mental effort and focus, and with everyone being at home and requiring attention that is a distraction from reading, writing, and so forth.

I did go to Vesper's tonight in preparation for Mass tomorrow. That is a small accomplishment, or certainly something one should do each weekend.
The first lesson tonight was Job chapter two, where Satan presents himself before the Lord at the same time as the "sons of God." Job is an example to us of faithfulness to the Lord in the face of suffering and adversity.
I would hope I could be so steadfast if such things befell me. I fear I don't have that strength and virtue.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Our Lady of Mercy and Ransom, September 24

Our Lady of Mercy and Ransom
In the early part of the thirteenth century, much of Spain lay crushed under the yoke of the Saracens. By whom countless numbers of the faithful were held in brutal slavery, with the lively danger of being made to deny, and so to forfeit, everlasting salvation. Amid such sorrows as these a wealthy and godly man, Peter Nolasco, was earnestly pondering within himself how he could succour so many suffering Christians dwelling in bondage to the Moors. And it is related that the Blessed Virgin appeared to him, and told him that it would be well-pleasing to her Son, if an Order were founded in her honour, for the purpose of redeeming prisoners from their slavery to the infidels. Strengthened by this heavenly vision, the man of God (so it is said ) began to burn with the desire that he himself, and the Order which he should found, might exercise that live, greater than which hath no man, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Upon the same nigh (so the story hath it) the Virgin also appeared to Saint Raymund of Pennaforte, and to King James of Aragon, charging them concerning the funding of the Order. Now it happened that Peter had for his confessor this same Raymund, to whose governance he right humbly submitted himself. Then came King James, and the three took counsel together, and all with one consent entered upon the institution of an Order, under the invocation of Saint Mary of Ransom, for the redemption of captives.
From lack of historical records, no verification of the foregoing stories is possible, but it is known that Peter Nolasco founded such an Order. The brethren whereof took (in addition to the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience) a fourth vow, whereby they bound themselves to give themselves in pawn to the unbelievers, if need so required, for the liberation of Christians from their bondage, and this Institute, under the Blessed Virgin’s patronage, spread through all the world. That due thanks might be rendered for the many mighty works which have come to pass form these examples of Christian charity, this Feast of our Lady of Mercy hath been instituted, and is become the titular feast of those works of mercy undertaken under her patronage.

Collect
O God, who through the most glorious Mother of thy Son didst vouchsafe to increase thy Church with a new offspring for the redemption of thy Christian people from the powere of the heathen : grant, we beseech thee, that like as we on this day do honour her for the work of her institution, so by her merits and intercession we may be delivered from all our iniqiuties and the bondage of the devil, through the same thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Poor Christian teetotalers

Those Christians committed to the notion that true disciples won't touch alcohol just can't catch a break from modern archaeology and anthropology. Another careful study purports to show that ancient Israelites not only drank wine ( a well established fact,) but also drank a great deal of beer. As disconcerting as this is to our puritan friends, who scorn God's creation by declaring bits of it evil, it really should surprise no one that a drink that results in an alcohol preserved form of grain for human consumption would become popular in a pre-refrigeration culture. Besides, if alcohol were evil why would the Holy Ghost inspire scripture passages like the psalm  "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;  And wine that maketh glad the heart of man," ( psalm 104, KJV,) or "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake," ( I Tim.)

http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c5ee953ef0134879f4c0d970c

Somehow he always gets me.

I don't know for sure what it is about this former Beatle that always gives me that feeling, a feeling at the moment the word for which eludes me. Not only his music but also his own person was for me very evocative. I guess it must be the gentleness of his music and words, and the knowledge that religion was a huge motivation for him. I don't agree with his religion, still it seems thoroughly benevolent and peaceful. I was very sorry when he died.

Here is one of my favorites of his. It was really strange to me, and for that all the more evocative.
Crackerbox Palace

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A new video I have posted at my Youtube channel, the Feast of the Day.

I worked all day on this. I hope I haven't wasted my time. May the Lord bless it and may it be an encouragement to you who view it.
St. Maurice & Companions

The Feast of St.Maurice and companions, Mm


Maurice with certain brave Companions was martyred about the 287, near Agaunum, in Gaul. These holy men are by some authorities identified with the Theban Legion, that is, a band of Christian soldiers recruited from Upper Egypt. At the frontiers of Gaul, the army paused to sacrifice to the gods ; and the Theban Legion, that they might not be defiled by any share in the unhallowed rites, withdrew themselves. Therefore the Emperor sent soldiers unto them to bid them, if they valued their lives, to come back to the sacrifice. They answered that the Christian religion did not allow them so to do. He therefore despatched a part of his army to the killing of one man in every ten of them. By their own will, and at the urgent exhortation of Maurice, they chose rather to endure this martyrdom than to obey the commandment of the unrighteous Emperor. At the last, the Emperor, upon the 22nd day of September, bade his whole army fall upon them and slay them all. And they confessed Christ bravely even to the end.

Antiphon on the Benedictus
Wonderful things hath he done among the people, * and all the congregation shall declare his alms.

Collect
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that this solemn festival of thy blessed Martyrs, Maurice and his fellows, may in such wise gladden us ; that, like as we do lean upon their advocacy, so we may ever glory in their heavenly birth, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

St. Matthew the Apostle

A Homily by St. Jerome the Priest

The other Evangelists make mention of Matthew as Levi (by which name he was known as a publican ), and thus avoid the use of the name by which he ordinarily was known as an Apostle, as if from respect and honour thereto. Both names were his. But in his own Gospel he frankly called himself Matthew the Publican, according to the counsel of Solomon : He that is first in his own cause (that is, to accuse himself) seemed just : and as Isaiah saith : Declare thou (that is, enumerate thy transgressions) that thou makest be justified. For he would shew his readers that none who will strive to do better need be hopeless of salvation, since he himself had been all of a sudden changed from a publican into an Apostle.
Porphyry and the Emperor Julian the Apostate will have it that the account of this call of Matthew is either a stupid blunder on the part of a lying writer, or else that it sheweth what fools they were who followed the Saviour, to go senselessly after any one who called them. But there can be no doubt that before the Apostles believed, they had considered the mighty works and wonders which had gone before. Moreover, the glory and majesty of the hidden God, which shone somewhat through the Face of the Man Christ Jesus, were enough to draw them which gazed thereon, even at first sight. For if, as it is said, there be in the loadstone and amber a magnetic power which can make iron rings thereunto, how much more must not the Lord of all creatures have been able to draw upon himself those whom he called?
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him. They saw how that a publican who had turned to better things had found a place of repentance, and therefore they also hoped for salvation. It was not, as the Scribes and Pharisees complained, sinners clinging to their sinfulness who came to Jesus, but sinners repenting ; as indeed appeared from the next words of the Lord, where he saith : I will have mercy and not sacrifice ; for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The Lord went to the banquet of sinners that he might find an occasion to teach, and to break spiritual bread unto them which bade him.

Antiphon on Benedictus:
Ye which have forsaken all, and followed me, shall receive an hundredfold, * and shall inherit everlasting life.

Collect
O Almighty God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom to be an Apostle and Evangelist : grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires, and inordinate love riches; and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth world without end. Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2010

St. Eustace and Companions, Mm


Eustace, with wife and sons, martyrs
Of this Eustace no historical records exist, nor of his holy Companions. But there is sufficient evidence of the holiness of his life and death in the veneration of him as one of the best beloved of Martyrs, which began very early, and was very early widespread both in the East and in the West. He is accounted the patron of huntsmen, and as such is reckoned as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. The account which is popularly given of him is on this wise. He had been a rich Roman nobleman and distinguished soldier, and under Trajan rose to be a military commander. One day while hunting, he pursued a great stag. The same turned about stood at bay, whereat Eustace thought he saw, Between his antlers, the Lord Christ, shining glorious on his cross, and saying : Rather, thou shouldst pursue eternal life. Thereupon Eustace, and his wife Theopista, and their two little sons, Agapitus and Theopistus, enlisted under the great Captain Christ. Not long after, he lost all his wealth, and was obliged to leave his wife and children, whilst he went to work as steward for a great land-owner. But Trajan recalled him as a captain to the army ; and when thereafter he returned to Rome a conqueror, and was united to his family, Trajan commanded him to offer sacrifice to the gods, in thanksgiving for his victories. And when he would not, he and his wife and sons were burnt, namely, on September 20th, about the year 118. And because of his holy and adventurous life he was invoked in olden times by huntsmen and those who must live dangerously, as on of the most blessed of the Holy Helpers.

Collect
O God, who vouchsafest unto us to keep the heavenly birthday of blessed Eustace and his Companions, thy holy Martyrs : grant, we beseech thee, that we may rejoice in the perpetual felicity of their fellowship in heaven. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who livest and reignest with thee and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Evening Lecionary for Trinity XVI

                                                I Kings 17:8-9, 17-24


And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee. And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son? And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed. And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son? And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again. And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. And Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth. And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth.

St. Luke 7:11-17


And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

The Collect

O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sings like an angel BUT.

Well of course I was delighted that my daughter Elizabeth came with us to Liturgy this morning and I pray it will lead to her joining formally, but a side effect was that, since her boon friend was in attendance, my daughter Cecilia opted to stay in the pew for intermittent chatting, in luie of singing with us in choir. Cecilia has tended all her life to rely greatly on the companionship of her sister, and doesn't very often step out on her own. It's funny also, because she sometimes resents Lizzie's independence and greater ability to connect with other kids and risk the rejection and whatnot.

Cecilia really ought to sing in choir because she has a nice voice and she sings in the school choir, but I guess it is a small price to pay if Lizzie will come regularly and convert to the Faith.

The weekly struggle.

Am I alone or do other orthodox parents (or in my case, parent, singular) struggle to get their children ready for Sunday morning services? And in this case I am only speaking of the temporal kind of readiness; awake, appropriately clothed, combed, teeth brushed, etc. There is of course the more critical spiritual prepardness, which I confess this week I may not have accomplished even for myself. I have to begin getting them to select clothes the day before so that there won't be a debate over what is appropriate attire for God's house on the Lord's Day (or any day really.) One victory I have been given this morning; my oldest daughter is coming with us. May the Lord grant that this be a new beginning to a completed sojourn for her to Christ's Orthodox Catholic Church.

Mass Propers for XVI Sun afer Trinity

Mass Propers for Trinity VI
Introit Miserere mihi. Ps. 86
BE MERCIFUL unto me O Lord, for I will call daily upon thee: for thou, O Lord, art good and gracious, and of great mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Ps.  Bow down thine ear, O Lord, and hear me: for I am poor and in misery. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,  and to the Holy Ghost;
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,  world without end. Amen.

Epistle:   Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.


GRADUAL. Ps. 102. The heathen shall fear thy Name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy majesty. V. When the Lord shall build up Sion: and when his glory shall appear.
Alleluia, alleluia. V. Ps. 98 O sing unto the Lord a new song: for he hath done marvelous things. Alleluia.


GOSPEL. Saint Luke 7:11-17
AND it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.
 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her.
 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.
 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.
 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.
 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.
COLLECT.O LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church: and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Ember Saturday in September, Mass propers and Lessons

Ember Saturday in September


Gradual:     Be merciful unto our sins O Lord : wherefore do the heathen say: Where is now their God? V. Help us O God of our salvation: for the glory of thsy Name, O Lord, deliver us.

The Continuation of the Holy Gospel, according to St. Luke.

Jesus spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
 7Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
 8And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
 9And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
 10And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
 11And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
 12And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
 13And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
 14And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
 15The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
 16And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
 17And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

Ordination of St. Lawrence
Collect: 
O ALMIGHTY God, who hast committed to the hands of men the ministry of reconciliation; We humbly beseech thee, by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, to put it into the hearts of many to offer themselves for this ministry; that thereby mankind may be drawn to thy blessed kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

My wife has an accident at work. Ouch!

It was an eventful evening. Expecting a quiet night at home while my wife worked concessions at a football game at one stadium and my daughters watched thier schools team at another stadium, me and the son's were just settling down for preparing pizza for dinner when the phone rang. It was my wife's supervisor at the stadium asking if I could come and take her to the emergency clinic as she had fallen and landed face first. Me and the boys went to the stadium and when we got inside and to the concession booths, she was in the very back propped on two chairs crying her eyes out. She was embarrased and scared she might have knocked her teeth out.


No missing teeth resulted, just a long wait at the Care Now clinic to be seen by a doctor. She has a sprained hand and a bruise on her leg under her knee. She is recuperating at home with her loving family. She was shown a lot of love and concern by he supervisors and co-workers, and a nurse at the stadium. The Lord was merciful. God be praised!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Matins Lesson, Antiphon, and Collect for Ember Friday

Ember Friday in September

A Homily by St. Gregory the Pope
Of what doth the Pharisee remind us, presuming upon his false righteousness, save of the chosen of God, the Jewish people? And of what doth the woman remind, which was a sinner that came and wept at the Lord’s feet, save of the conversion of the Gentiles? She brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head ; and ceased not to kiss those feet which she had thus anointed and wiped. Therefore, that woman is typical of us, if so be that after our sins we turn unto the Lord with all our heart, and imitate the sorrow of her penitence. And what meaneth the ointment, save the sweet savour of a good report? Whence Paul saith ; In every place we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ.

Therefore, if we by good works spread abroad through the Church the savour of a good report, what do we but pour ointment upon the body of the Lord? The woman stood behind Jesus, at his feet. We withstood the Lord, at his very face, what time we were in sin, and went contrary to his way. But when we turn again, and truly repent us of our sins, we stand behind him, at his feet, for we follow in his footsteps, even as once we withstood him before his face. The woman washed his feet with her tears. This we also do in very deed whenever we are moved by loving-kindness toward any of the least of his members, and whenever we feel compassion with his saints in their tribulations, and whenever we count their sorrows to be our own.

Therefore, we ourselves wipe the Lord’s feet, as it were with the superfluous hair of our head, whomsoever we shew loving-kindness to his saints by helping them from what we have over and above our own necessities, and in such wise that our bountiful hand proveth our compassion of heart. On the other hand, we wash the feet of our Redeemer with our tears, but wipe them not with the hairs of our head, whensoever we are conscious of the sufferings of our neighbours, but give them no help from what we have over and above our own necessities. That man weepeth but wipeth not, who offered words of tenderness, but removeth not the source of sorrow by ministering such things as be lacking. The woman kissed the feet which she wiped. And we do likewise if we not only offer aid from our superfluities, but also keep true charity in our hearts, in such wise that the neediness of our neighbour is not irksome to us ; nor the penury which we relieve, burdensome ; but rather that when the hand is giving what is needful, the heart is not untouched by compassion.
Ant on Benedictus: A woman in the city which was a sinner, stood at the Lord’s feet behind him, and began to wash his feet with tears, * and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
Collect:
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God; that we, who year by year devoutly keep this holy ordinance of fasting, may serve thee acceptably both in body and soul. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A disagreeable neighbor spells trouble for the Christian household


Arrgghh! I am still seething from yesterday's after-school incident. My son and some of his school chums were playing with the football in our backyard yesterday. The first I was aware of them was when, after he had been out playing in the neighborhood for sometime, I hear voices in the backyard. So naturally I go to the back door and open it to check who it is, to make sure everything is kosher. There are my son and 4 to 5 of the neighborhood school kids. They are playing with the football, kicking it off and running with it, tackling each other, whatnot. So after exchanging a few words, with them and watching the play for a moment, I go back inside to watch TV or what have you. They had receded from mind for the most part, when some 10 minutes later, there is a loud pounding on our front door. There stands the neighbor woman, trembling with anger and, the instant I open the door, she shouts, "the next time anyone from this house comes into my yard, I will call the police. The next time!" And, without waiting for a response she stalked away. I checked out back and everyone was gone. Hmm.

We had had this sort of run in with this woman before, over one of our cats that had got in her yard. She filed a complaint in court ("cat at large" was the official term,) that our cat had entered her yard and caught a bird. We had to appear, but the judge was not impressed with her complaint and dismissed it saying, "cats are not at large, dogs are."

In perhaps another 10 minutes there is another pounding on the door. At first I was going to ignore it, assuming she had thought of something else threatening or inane to shout at me, but after another knock I went to the door and there was a police officer. What I expected was a "so what is the story with you and this lady next door?" information gathering type interview, but he launched into a stern interrogation. He was shortly joined by another patrolmen, and with the second officer observing, he proceeded to grill me about who had been here, where they were now, why weren't you watching what they were doing, etc. I think I explained that my son and some of his friends had been playing ball in the back and almost certainly the ball got over the fence and one of them went to get it. He asked where they were now, and I answered I guess at one of their houses ( no doubt she scared the devil out of them and so they all left.) He asked me, “where do they live?” And, as I don't know precise addresses for all my son's school chums, I answered "I don't know." "So you don't know where your son's friends live?" There was one whose I did know, a couple of streets over, so I offered, “One friend lives a couple of houses over on that street" He challenges, "so why are you changing your story?" After grilling me this way a couple of more minutes, and I remarked on this officer's belligerent demeanor, I offered what I believed was the sober cool-headed version of the event, that the ball went over the fence and one of them went to get it, the patrolmen left, I suppose to interview the folks at the home I had indicated.
When I finally got with my son, and got the full story from him, it was confirmed of course that no nefarious actions were intended by any of these 10 to 12 yr old boys that would necessitate summoning the police and holding draconian assizes such as I endured. In fact, MY son had never left OUR property, he is not the one that kicked the ball over the fence, and the boy that went into her yard left our property and entered her yard from the alley. Yet I am the one she sicked the police on and who was treated as a criminal suspect by the city's finest. Grrr!
Seriously, is this the sort of thing about which we have to call the police? How pathetic! If I found a boy in my backyard retrieving a ball I would gently but firmly instruct him in future to come to the door so I could fetch it for him.

Dear ones, the passions are strong! I have lost sleep over this and confess I would dearly love to punch her ugly, pallid face. Please pray for me.

Ss. Cornelius, P, and Cyprian, B, Mm


Matins Lesson and Collect, Ss. Cornelius and Cyprian

Cornelius of Rome and Cyprian of Carthage were friends, and are mentioned together in the Gregorian Canon, and commemorated together on this day. Cornelius was Pope during the time of the first anti-pope, namely, the heretick Novatian, against whose rigorist errors, in refusing absolution to Christians who had weakened under torture, Saints Cornelius and Cyprian have warned and defended the Church for all time. Cornelius was a Roman, who succeeded Saint Fabian in the Popedom in 251. He, and the holy Lady Lucina, took the bodies of the Apostles Peter and Paul out of the Catacombs and hid them in a safe place, against the time when they could be more honorable buried. When this became known to the imperial authorities, and likewise that Cornelius was the means of making many Christians, he was banished to Centumcellae where Cyprian, the holy Bishop of Carthage, comforted him by letters, which are still extant.

Cornelius is believed to have died from the effects of this cruel treatment, whereof Cyprian hath written : Should not he be ranked with the most illustrious Martyrs and Confessors, for he gave sufficient evidence of his love by being ready to suffer all that he could suffer? But some say that he was beheaded, namely, on the 14th day of September, in 253. Cyprian was beheaded in 258.
St. Jerome, in his Book on Ecclesiastical Writers, hath left the following account of him. Cyprian was an African. He was first distinguished as a teacher of rhetoric. He afterwards became a Christian at the persuasion of the priest Caecilius, (whose surname he took,) and parted all his goods among the poor. It was not long afterwards that he was ordained priest, and then made Bishop of Carthage. It would be idle to enlarge upon his wit, seeing that his works are as well known as the sun. He suffered under the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, in the eighth persecution, and upon the same day, though not in the same year, that Cornelius testified at Rome.
Collect:
Protect us, O Lord, we beseech thee : who observe the feast of blessed Cornelius and Cyprian, thy holy Martyrs and Bishops ; and grant that by their meritorious supplication we may ever find favour in thy sight. Through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today is the Commemoration of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Hymn:  O God, in whom all grace doth dwell,
            Grant us the grace to ponder well,
            The Virgin Mother's sorrows seven,
            The cruel wounds to Jesus given

            O may the tears which Mary poured,
            Gain for us pardon of the Lord;
            The holy tears which in their worth
            Excel all penances of earth.
          
            And may the contemplation sore,
            of those five wounds which Jesus bore,
            With all the Virgin's sorrows be,
            Our joy thoughout eternity.

            Praise, Virgin-Born, to thee we give,
            Who died to make thy servants live;
            Whom with the Father we adore,
            And Holy Ghost, for evermore.  Amen.
           
 Chapter at Lauds:  Lam. 2:13
What thing shall I take to witness for thee? what thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Zion? for thy breach is great like the sea

Collect
O God, in whose passion the sword of grief did pierce the gentle soul of the glorious Virgin Mary, thy Mother, that so might be fulfilled the word of thy Prophet Simeon : mercifully grant that we who here do call to mind her sorrows; may be fulfilled woth the blessed fuits of thy passion. Who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.  Amen.

My new video

It was a little late but I finally finished it. I am not vain, I just didn't have any english recordings of the sung propers, so I sung them myself. I hope you can stand it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lessons for the Feast: Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today, September 14, is the day we commemorate the finding of the True Cross by St. Helena. Following are the Lessons and collect appointed for celebration of Holy Communion for this day.

Philippians 2:5-11.
LET this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


 
St. John 12:31-36.
NOW is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die. The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.

Whoa!

What was I thinking. I got on the computer and was reading my emails and looking for new yahoo groups and checking my blog, when suddenly I heard airbrakes and a familiar rumble outside in front of our house. OH NO! I forgot to wake up Tony for his bus! He tends to get emotional in any kind of a pressure situation, because he is mildly autistic, and so he was crying since he didn't know where his shoes were and he was afraid the bus would leave without him. Totally my fault, but of course the bus didn't leave without him and all was well. Except he is wearing what he wore to bed. It's acceptable for school, but of course it is pretty wrinkled, and he looks pretty unkempt.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another twist of the dental thumb screw.

Poor Lizzie,

I had to tighten her expander again tonight, (or is that expand it?) and the pressure against her teeth made her cry. But she didn't cry long. I think she just doesn't like it. I feel bad when I do it, but it must be done.

This clip though is actually from when she had the extractions done. All our kids got braces except Tony, but only Liz needed the expander. It's a part of growing up for some kids, huh? Well that's all I have time to report now. Check back tomorrow.

Lectionary for Evening

The First Lesson

Ecclesiasticus 34:18 - 35:3

He that sacrificeth of a thing wrongfully gotten, his offering is ridiculous; and the gifts of unjust men are not accepted. The most High is not pleased with the offerings of the wicked; neither is he pacified for sin by the multitude of sacrifices. Whoso bringeth an offering of the goods of the poor doeth as one that killeth the son before his father's eyes. The bread of the needy is their life: he that defraudeth him thereof is a man of blood. He that taketh away his neighbour's living slayeth him; and he that defraudeth the labourer of his hire is a bloodshedder. When one buildeth, and another pulleth down, what profit have they then but labour? When one prayeth, and another curseth, whose voice will the Lord hear? He that washeth himself after the touching of a dead body, if he touch it again, what availeth his washing? So is it with a man that fasteth for his sins, and goeth again, and doeth the same: who will hear his prayer? or what doth his humbling profit him? He that keepeth the law bringeth offerings enough: he that taketh heed to the commandment offereth a peace offering. He that requiteth a goodturn offereth fine flour; and he that giveth alms sacrificeth praise. To depart from wickedness is a thing pleasing to the Lord; and to forsake unrighteousness is a propitiation.



                                                                 The Second Lesson

St. Matthew 7:1-12

Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.



     The Collect

             Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

KEEP, we beseech thee O Lord, thy church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

President's Socialism on loan from Dad

This is a long article but oh, so revealing. It's worth the time you will invest reading it to understand the mind of the man who occupies the office occupied by Washington.

How Obama Thinks

The Lectionary for today

The Morning Lesson

II Corinthians 10

Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you: But I beseech you, that I may not be bold when I am present with that confidence, wherewith I think to be bold against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled. Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? If any man trust to himself that he is Christ's, let him of himself think this again, that, as he is Christ's, even so are we Christ's. For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed: That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters. For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. Let such an one think this, that, such as we are in word by letters when we are absent, such will we be also in deed when we are present. For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.

The Collect


Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity

KEEP, we beseech thee O Lord, thy church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sings like an Angel


My daughter Cecilia, who has been in Choir at school for three+ years now, finally joined with the Choir at Church this morning. A good thing too, because we were short quite a few people. She sings beautifully and made a wonderful addition. Cecilia is on the left with specs and the others in this photo are my darling wife Laurie, and my oldest daughter Elizabeth.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Are all book fires a gateway to terror?

The planed Koran-burning by a Florida Pastor’s small fundamentalist congregation is burning up the blogosphere and cyber-world in general. It’s a touchy subject, thorny and not so clear cut, I think, as may seem at first glance. It’s been pointed out that many of the objections are motivated by our culture’s widely accepted view that all religions are equally noble and good (or in a growing but, thankfully, still small minority‘s view, equally bad,) so to destroy any religion‘s writings is bad. I think the repulsion to the burning of books is also rooted in a subconscious connection to the archetypal book-burning regime, Nazi Germany. The Nazi’s rightly are universally reviled for the ideas that motivated their atrocities, including book burnings. So it is sort of assumed, again subconsciously, that any other group that burns books must be cut from the same cloth.


But ask yourself honestly, would you object to a gathering to burn, say, the Satanic Bible? The charter of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan? For those among us who are son’s and daughters of the Protestant Reformation, was Luther a silly, petty yokel for burning the Pope’s decree? No, friends, all religious texts are not equal and all book burnings are not Nazi bonfires of ignorance and savage bigotry. They may be the solemn act of enlightened souls that demonstrate their resistance to a force attacking human dignity.

Pornography should be more strictly regulated.

The question of just what comprises pornography seems simple at first blush, yet so learned an individual as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart has claimed he couldn’t define it intelligibly, but “I know it when I see it”. That, though, was a legal mind attempting to formulate a precise definition that would permit some of the less egregious and more artful forms, while disallowing more gross and visceral depictions. For the purpose of this treatise let’s say pornography is a depiction, in word or visual medium, of persons in a manner suggestive of sexual activity, or displaying the subject or subjects in a way so as to direct the viewer’s or hearer’s attention to their sexual attributes as objects of desire.


It has become common intellectual currency among large segments of our culture that our government must be, because of the doctrine of freedom of Religion, totally neutral on questions of morality. Aside from being factually inaccurate from an historical perspective, this assumption doesn’t hold water logically, as all law is ultimately based in some scheme of morality. Our laws proscribing murder or theft certainly can be argued to accord well with the familiar biblical injunctions “thou shalt not kill” and “thou shalt not steal”, as well as owe their origin and general acceptance to the same. Pornographic materials owe their own legal and moral status outside legitimate art to the religious roots of our culture as well.

Sex and sexuality are intrinsically tied up with the bearing of children and family life. That this line of reasoning, as clear and intuitive as it is, excites so much wrath among the proponents of so many of the social experiments of our times itself tells us how far we have strayed as a society from this sane and simple truth. Gay Rights advocates, radical feminists, pedophile apologists, (there are some), and producers of pornography, all rail against and ridicule this simple, and understandable, common sense observation in the most vitriolic terms. Why? Because it reveals our appetite for unfettered sexual activity for what it is, a perversion of a good thing by our own selfish desire into something harmful, just as gluttony perverts the normal and good desire for food into something that does us harm. Thus we can conclude that sex, just like food, is of itself a positive good, and in more ways than one.

Pornography is intended to display persons in a manner so as to incite feelings of desire in those that view or listen to it. While such desire clearly is not inherently harmful or illicit, when excited outside the context of a marital relationship it can result in an abuse of the divinely intended purpose of sex, the procreation and rearing of children in a stable and loving home environment.

Another detrimental effect of pornography is the tendency of it’s consumers to view members of the opposite sex as objects, mere vehicles for the satisfaction of sexual desires, and not as full persons that deserve our attention and esteem for their own complete character as human beings made in the divine image. A convincing argument can be made that widespread availability and use of pornography has attributed to the coarsening of sexuality even for law abiding men (Jensen).

Freedom of Speech is the principal adopted by those who defend pornography, but an historical review of the intent of the founding generation that drafted that Constitutional Amendment can make clear that it was never intended to protect smut, but the freedom of the populace to criticize their government without fear of reprisal in the form of imprisonment or death or any other governmental obstruction. Even that freedom has not been held to be absolute in time of war. How much less prurient “entertainments” that make objects of our daughters, sisters, wives and mothers.

The inability, or unwillingness, of government to strictly regulate and ban pornography has permitted an industry that inflames possibly dangerous passions to grow and thrive to a phenomenal extent. The internet has further fueled the use and popularity of pornography by permitting greater secrecy and anonymity for users, pushing the worldwide total revenue for the pornography industry to over $97 billion, and in the U.S. alone the total of all mediums for pornography reached $13.3 billion (Ropelato).

The spread of such an industry unchecked can and will lead to greater and greater coarseness in our culture, cruelty and feral relations between the sexes, and is detrimental to the stability and health of children. I submit it is therefore required of a civilized culture that we hope to achieve and maintain to rigorously ban pornography.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

All I can say is, just, wow. Arrogance in high places.

I was floored when I read these quotes.  The brazen arrogance and yet unselfconsciousness of these individuals.  These people are truly dangerous. Most especially to our liberties.
Obama's Burden of Being So Bright
Come'on November 2!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Fast vs slow justice at First Thoughts blog

An interesting entry by Joe Carter at the First Things site on the blog First Thoughts, In praise of Slow Justice.
View the comments section for my response.

Preterist view is biblically sound, most Orthodox prophecy position

The End of The World: New Testament vs. Popular Culture


If we stopped a hundred people on the street and asked them what comes to mind when they hear the phrase “end of the world,” we might get a hundred different answers. Most of those answers though, would center around destruction of the material world and, especially, of human life. Earthquakes and asteroids, plagues and pestilence, famines and drought, World War and nuclear annihilation might all be part of what a person envisions when confronted with this term. Many no doubt would also think of a New World Order under the Devil’s apostle, Antichrist. Such scenarios have haunted people at various times in Christian history, and especially in the last century. But modern day anxiety over, and obsession with, end times largely result from major misconceptions over the purpose and meaning of prophetic bible passages. End-time fears were one motivation for my own conversion to Christianity, but with maturity and greater familiarity with the Bible, I learned that scripture teaches something different from what modern authorities say it does.

The most recent era of intense focus on end-times bible prophecy has roots in the nineteenth century. In that era numerous End Times driven denominations arose, both in Europe and America. The most influential among them are the Plymouth Brethren, one of whose founder’s, John Nelson Darby, was the first to teach about a secret “Rapture,” in which Christ would rescue His Church from imminent disaster before destroying the earthly kingdom of the Beast. His teachings were then popularized in the Schofield Reference Bible, produced by Cyrus Schofield, an American Dispensationalist. Until this time, American Christians had favored a view that God had prevailed in history through Christ, and things would progressively improve as His kingdom advanced in the world. The disaster of the Civil War, followed by the yet worse carnage of World War I, shook this confidence and left fertile soil for the pessimism of End Times speculators.

Doubtless the teachings of Premillennialism result from the conclusion that, since Christ hasn’t physically returned to earth, raised the dead, and established a visible, earthly kingdom, the prophetic passages of the New Testament are unfulfilled. I affirm that the Bible does communicate truth about God and His Kingdom, but the reader must be aware that it communicates in symbolism and idioms that require appropriate interpretation. When Christ tells the High Priest “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven”, one needs to know that “coming in the clouds” is not a description of how he travels, but is code for divine punishment. ( King James Version, Matt. 26:64 )

More importantly, the Bible reader must understand that prophecy is not offered in scripture to satisfy curiosity or even to prepare us for coming calamities, but to call people to faithfulness to their moral responsibility as believers. In the context of Jewish and Christian religion, a prophet is not someone who predicts future events, but one who acts as a mouthpiece for God, to warn His people to return to full obedience. This is the chief purpose of Old Testament prophecy, pronouncing God’s judgment on Israel for disobedience and apostasy. New Testament prophecy is in fact no different, decreeing the fate of Israel for the ultimate apostasy of executing as a criminal their Messiah, Jesus. This is where “end of the World” gets garbled in interpretation from the context of the Bible narrative to the common parlance of our day. The Synoptic gospels contain the account of the Olivet discourse, which begins with Christ shocking His disciples by predicting the razing of the Temple. The astounded apostles then ask him, “…and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” ( Matt. 24:3 ) Greek manuscripts of the New Testament show that the word rendered in English as “world” is eon, in our day more accurately translated as “age“. The apostles were concerned about the end of the Era of Jewish Temple worship, not the dissolution of the created order. For them the Old Covenant paradigm was the world, their chief point of religious and national identity, and it’s destruction marked a shattering change for them.

Finally, I am convinced that the fearful events predicted in various Bible passages were fulfilled in the past, from both the immediate time-frame references in the texts themselves, and other internal textual evidence. The example of time frames are in Revelation, “to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass,” and one verse later, “Blessed is he that readeth, …and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” ( Rev. 1:1, 1:3)

And that Revelation is about events that were concurrent with the Jewish War of 67-70 AD, can be shown in the following cross-reference. Luke’s Gospel records Christ admonishing the women that lament His execution saying, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.” ( Luke 23:29 & 30 ) This dire remark is echoed in Revelation as the vision to John is begun in earnest, “ …said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb…” ( Rev. 6:16 )

From this we can conclude that what Christ warned the lamenting women would befall them, and in fact did in the 70 AD destruction of Jerusalem, is what was foretold in Revelation would shortly take place.

What Christians have to look forward to from God is not destruction and wrath, but the fruition of a victory already won by the cross and empty tomb, the end of sin and the evils of the world that sin has brought about. While until then, some suffering may come our way, God will finally renew us, and all creation, in Christ.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Found a great blogger I am now going to pay attention to. You go girl!

Tabitha Hale is a writer, blogger, and the Interactive Media Coordinator for Freedom Works.
Her job is definitely cooler than mine (though at the moment I don't have one.)

Here is one particular piece of hers that is amusing to say the least, and heartening for us in flyover country. Leftist Tailspin:When in doubt, theaten to murder them.

Academia demonstrates again it's loathing of America

What a pathetic example of intellecual exercise. If this article is supposed to be a product of an enlightened mind, I'm a monkey's uncle.

From "First Things" magazine online, Catholic Persecution, Muslim Acceptance

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Obama misattributes quote on new Oval Office rug

Is this a surprise? I say it isn't. As one of the commentors notes, "I never met a liberal with an appreciation for history."

http://tinyurl.com/2fqqft5

Posting this to prompt discussion.

Is this for real or is this more wacky conspiracy theory. I am not sure either way.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-515319560256183936#

I will be looking into this some more because if it is true it constitutes both a grave threat to our welfare and liberties, and a colossal fraud against America and the world. Of courst it could be more silly conspiracy paranoia, of which there is an abundance in our media saturated world, so after due diligent study I will render my verdict, for what that is worth.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My poor daughter had an expander put in today. Ow!

My daughter, who I still think of as my little girl, is now a big 16 yr old, but she cried today. I guess I would too though. The thing is painful and makes it difficult to eat. Poor baby.

Western Orthodox Worship




This is a clip from our church here in North Texas. From Matins on a Sunday.

Can Islam and the modern world coincide?

I got into a minor debate on a yahoo group of which I am a member when one individual posted a statement of a Russian Orthodox bishop to the effect that anyone who speaks ill of Islam is not truly Christian. Considering it in total, it's long history of militaristic and brutal campaigns to dominate all the world, I can't see how anyone can avoid a negative stance regarding this retrograde "faith." Here is one more example of the 8th century barbaorism imported into the modern age by this bloodthirsty, intolerant faith.
http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-05-007-c

I truly fear for Christian society when we can't see and with manly determination oppose such barbarity.