Starting Monday Off Right: Jailbreak Edition

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

St. John of the Cross, pray for us.

St. John of the Cross, pray for us.

One of the great jailbreaks in history.  Excerpted from HERE.

It was at Toledo that St. John went through the greatest and most dramatic crisis of his life. He underwent a severe test of his courage, endurance and faith. He was caught in the vortex of a dispute between the Carmelites of the Mitigated Observance and the Carmelites of the Reform. … St. John of the Cross was taken prisoner in December, 1577, from his chaplain’s house at the Convent of the Incarnation in Avila and brought to Toledo…

He was imprisoned in the monastery in Toledo in a room ten feet by six, with a very small slit high in the wall being his only source of light. The room was really nothing but a large closet. Here St. John was locked in for nine months, suffering from the cold in the winter and the stifling heat in the summer. When he was brought out, it was to take his meal of bread and water and sometimes sardines, kneeling in the refectory, and to hear the upbraidings of the Prior. After the meal on Fridays, he had to bare his shoulders and undergo the circular discipline for the space of a Miserere. Each person present struck him in turn with a lash. St. John bore the scars of these beatings throughout his life.

A change in jailers after six months brought a more lenient friar to be his keeper. But he was torn by doubt as to what was God’s Will: Should he try to escape, or was it the will of God for him to die here? His searching prayer was answered by the conviction that he should escape. So he began to plan. While the others were at table, the more lenient young Father, Juan de Santa Maria, allowed St. John to help clean the cell. This included the liberty of walking down the corridor outside the room onto which his prison closet opened in order to empty the night pail. The jailer had also given St. John a needle and thread to mend his clothing. He tied a small stone to the thread and measured the distance to the ground from a window in the corridor. Back in his cell, he sewed his blankets together and found that they would, if used as a rope, reach to within 11 feet of the ground – close enough to permit a jump. Little by little he had also loosened the screws in the padlock outside the cell. On the night he planned to escape, two visiting friars happened to be sleeping in the room outside. They awoke when the padlock fell when St. John shook it, but they went back to sleep again, their sleepy eyes perhaps being closed by a wide-awake angel.

St. John stepped between the friars and silently let himself out through the window and down on his improvised rope. Had he landed two feet farther out from the building, he would have fallen to the rocky banks of the Tagus River below. He next found himself in a court surrounded by walls; he was almost ready to give up, but he finally succeeded in climbing one of the walls and was able to drop into an alleyway of the city. After daybreak, he found the convent of the Discalced Carmelite nuns, who sheltered him and later found a temporary refuge for him in the Hospital of Santa Cruz, very close to the monastery from which he had escaped. The friars from the monastery had come to the convent looking for him while he was there, and now little knew that the emaciated, nearly dead object of their search was being nursed back to life not a stone’s throw away.

I… I think it might be … DEAD.

America.  The Constitutional Republic.  The RULE OF LAW.

I… I, I think it might be… DEAD.

I dunno.  It MIGHT be dead.  But I'm not sure.  If we can just pick up a few more seats in the Senate, or something...

I think it might be dead. Maybe.

Okay.  See that picture above?  That is called ALLEGORY.  ‘Merica, the Constitution and the Rule of Law is that dead carcass with its last remaining tendrils of jerky being eaten by a passing mongrel with y’all standing there looking all shocked and perplexed.  Now, I’m just going to vent a bit, here.  There are a handful of people, like me, who were jumping up and down screaming while the body was still alive and its life could have been saved.  And y’all looked, and were entertained (especially by me, ’cause I know how to hold a room), but did not take any of what was said the least bit seriously, and probably still don’t.  We called ALL. OF. THIS.  And we called it six-plus years ago.  So, please understand that while other “pundits” are energized by these events and now have a whole new rhetorical world open to them, I am pretty much sickened at the thought of writing one more word about it, because, well, let the dead bury the dead.

But then I remember that burying the dead is one of the corporal works of mercy.

So, hand me the damn shovel, I guess.

2.  So, I guess I can go over, again, why it is that “little things” matter with regard to the Rule of Law.  You know, “little things”, like whether or not a person can produce a BIRTH CERTIFICATE.  Or is eligible under Article II Section I of the Constitution to even hold the office of POTUS.  I know that many of you have been browbeaten and “peer pressured” into hating anyone who brings up Obama’s obvious, glaring identity problems, Constitutional ineligibility, and most especially the obviously fabricated and poorly-photoshopped birth certificate of spring 2011 infamy.  You have been conditioned to have a visceral reaction of hatred to anyone who discusses this as being akin to 9/11 truthers or jet contrail whack jobs.  Well played, y’all.  Well played.  By lumping people who were frantically trying to sound the alarm on Obama’s identity and ineligibility, PRECISELY BECAUSE OF THE COROLLARY DESTRUCTIVE IMPLICATIONS TO THE RULE OF LAW AND EQUAL PROTECTION THEREUNDER, into the Alex Jones/David Icke camp, that the entire question could be and was utterly buried.  Mission accomplished.  Well played.  You win.

Why were we screaming?  Why were we so insistent that the whole identity question and lack of eligibility mattered so much?  Because we knew then, and we stand vindicated now in the objective fact that if “We The People” just “let it go” that an openly ineligible man usurped the office of POTUS and CIC, a man who COULD NOT AND WOULD NOT PRODUCE HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE, and then later passed an obvious fake, that the end result would be nothing less than the total dissolution of the Constitutional Republic itself.  Quickly.  Why?  Because the Rule of Law and Equal Protection thereunder DIED, and by mathematical definition the Constitutional Republic died with it, the day such a man was allowed to usurp and install himself in the White House.  I ask you, how can you possibly, possibly have a functioning Constitutional Republic with NO RULE OF LAW?  It is such a simple, simple truth, and yet it seems that it is completely incomprehensible to the vast majority of people today.

And that’s just Obama.  MF Global was the same song, second verse.  MF Global was yet another open declaration that the Rule of Law and Equal Protection thereunder was DEAD.  And it was blown off completely.

There have been so many confirmations of the dissolving of the Rule of Law over the last six-plus years that it literally makes me sick to think about listing them here.  And each was observed, like a perverse form of entertainment.  Frowny faces were made.  Hands were wrung.  Facebook posts were “liked”.  Millions of fundraising emails were sent, and billions of dollars were raised to “fight it”.  And then it was all forgotten within hours.  And even now, Obama’s amnesty and the utter capitulation to it is … fading from memory.  Because a couple more of Dr. Huxtable’s RAPE VICTIMS came forward today. And football.  And Kim Kardashian’s butt.  And mah show be on. Man, if only Sheldon Cooper could marry Lady Mary.  Then life would be pretty much perfect….

3.  So, in case you have noticed, let me just confirm that YES, there are some pretty striking similarities between Obama and Pope Francis.  With regards to this post, let’s focus in on how both are all about acquiring personal power and popular appeal by destroying the Rule of Law.  Now, Francis is by no means the first in the Church to attack the Rule of Law.  It is just that he is so open and flagrant about it.  His toadies have said repeatedly that they have no intention of “formally changing” doctrine, only changing the enforcement, or praxis.  Well, if you apply two brain cycles to this, you realize that what they are saying is precisely this:  It is our intention and goal to collapse the Rule of Law within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.  Because that is what “ignoring the law” is.  And as we all know, anarchy always leads to tyranny, and in the secular realm, tyranny leads to mountains of dead bodies.  More terrifyingly, in the realm of the Church, it leads to countless souls being lost to hell.

And this is why, a year and a half ago, when Pope Francis failed to genuflect at the consecration of the Eucharist at his installation Mass, I immediately called out the warning.  He was telling the world right then that “the rules would not be observed”, and that NOT “every knee shall bow…” Little things point to big things.  See Point 2 above.  To deny this is pure childish delusion.

4.  Which leads us to tactics.  I’m sure I have written this somewhere before, but let’s go over it again.  The reason the enemies in both the secular world and in the Church are steamrolling over everyone and everything in their path is NOT because they are super-geniuses.  It is simply because they are BOLD.  They act.  They execute.  So, Pope Francis goes out and says, “Who am I to judge?” and the entire planet takes that as an abrogation of the 6th Commandment.  And then we are over here trying to formulate some hyper-convoluted “explanation” of it that NOBODY WILL EVER HEAR, MUCH LESS UNDERSTAND.  And, now, until the actual end of the world, the words of Pope Francis and his toadies as they continue their cacophony of croaking, whether they be Jesuitically dancing the line of heresy, or outright heresy itself, will be used as a justification and ratification of sin NO MATTER WHAT.  Let’s say Bergoglio dies tonight and the next Pope is Gregory XVII (which means super-duper conservative and manly).  It won’t matter, because now, forever, until the Our Lord returns in glory, the words of Francis will be used to OVERRIDE the Truth and the authentic teaching of the Church.  “Well Pope Francis said it was okay….”

Game, set and match. Once you let the Rule of Law get away, it requires a war to get it back.  In the context of the former United States, and probably a goodly portion of the earth, we are talking about a hot counter-revolution.  In terms of the Church, we are talking about a spiritual war, and let me just hasten to point out that there have been hot wars to defend the Church as well.  Don’t forget that.

5.  Finally, yes, I believe that the discussion about deposing Pope Francis Bergoglio is a necessary and mature one, just as I wrote and spoke openly and prolifically early on about the need to remove Obama.  This possibility and eventuality was foreseen and written about at length by great doctors and men of the Church.  If the entire notion or possibility of a heretic Pope is impossible and sinful to even entertain, then why in the world did St. Thomas Aquinas, John of St. Thomas, St. Robert Bellarmine, Cajetan, Suarez and over a hundred others all write on the question, and why is there near-perfect agreement that an heretical pope not only should be deposed, but MUST be?  CITATION HERE.

Do I think this will happen?  Oh no.  Good heavens, no.  The men who should be leading the way on this are terrified of their own shadows.

Oh, we can maybe say one thing, sotto voce, in private, but to PUBLICLY declare one’s ACTUAL position?  Oh, my dear, it simply isn’t done.  How gauche.  “Let your yes be yes and your no be no?”  Well, I have a career and social circle to think about.  One can’t go about burning bridges with the flames of immoderation.  Come, come now.  We must retrench, lay low, and be more clever and appealing to the world in our arguments.

Meanwhile, every single day, human souls are lost to hell because no one cared enough to stand up for the Truth, and its derivative, the Rule of Law.  Nobody can be bothered.

And if the absence of the Rule of Law has such profound supernatural consequences, how could we expect to have the Rule of Law destroyed in the secular realm and not have catastrophic negative earthly consequences?

Starting Saturday Off Right: Liquid Sadness for Dark Days Edition

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Today is the Feast of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music.

Here is the second movement (Allegretto) from Beethoven’s 7th in A Minor, which is at once liquid sadness, but because it oscillates into A Major, also cautiously optimistic. Every key in music carries its own specific emotional correlation – which I find miraculous in and of itself. Why do certain keys and chords in music elicit specific, consistent emotional responses across humanity? It’s just miraculous.

The key of A Minor is sadness, straight-up. The key of A Major is described by Schubart as, “suitable for declarations of innocent love, hope of seeing one’s beloved again when parting; youthful cheerfulness and trust in God.”

Yeah. That’s exactly right. Exactly. Hurts so good.

Here is the full list of Schubart’s Affective Key Characteristics, if you’re interested.

Saint Cecilia, pray for us.

Ugly Windows and Weiners

1.  I received an email from a reader who, like so many others, was victimized by faithless, unbelieving Catholic clergy in her youth.  She was dating a divorced Protestant man, and long story short, the priest was gung-ho about them getting married, and referred to the annulment process as “this Catholic shit”.  The boyfriend thought this was hilarious and “this Catholic shit” became a punchline for ribbing.  Thankfully, that marriage did not happen and the reader is now happily married.  Yay!

2.   But this brings up several points.  First is a question in my mind, and as you know, I’m not much for asking questions here.  I prefer to answer questions, inasmuch as I can.  But this one question is one that has always mystified me, and continues to.  I cannot understand why in the world someone would become a priest or a nun if they didn’t believe any of it.  That is like hating children and becoming a school teacher (but we all can probably remember teachers in our elementary and junior highs who clearly hated children, but there they were).  Or hating beets and becoming a beet taste tester.  I guess some certainly did it for the sex, and I’m not being facetious.  Since the Asteroid hit, sodomites of both sexes have been aggressively recruited, and many western seminaries turned into de facto bathhouses.  I reckon the lesbians just flocked together.  I had a friend years ago who had a brother who was a priest, a Capuchin Franciscan.  He told me that the priest brother joined up for the “retirement benefits”, as he was “way too smart to actually believe any of that shit.”  RETIREMENT BENEFITS?  You dedicate your life to something that you don’t actually believe in so you can get the RETIREMENT BENEFITS? I remember very early on in my reading my way into the Church having gone to Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in downtown Denver, wherein Mozart’s Coronation Mass was the setting, performed by the Colorado Symphony.  It was glorious.  Anyway, this was one of the first Masses I had ever attended.  The next time I saw the priest brother of my friend, I asked him – get this: “What is the significance of the ringing of the bells?”  Well, the ringing of the bells is done at the consecration of the Eucharist.  Guys, I could not have possibly lobbed this priest a bigger grapefruit than that.  His response?  He shrugged his shoulders, grunted “Idunno”, and RAPIDLY changed the subject.  You know, because the Cool Kids… are in it for the retirement package?

3.    This also brings up the point that we all, I think, probably understand, but it needs to be formally stated.  One of the features of this sick, twisted society is the whole business of people wallowing and luxuriating in sin as a bonding mechanism.  This is how oligarchies, both macro and micro, function.  On the micro level, we all remember social cliques in high school.  Remember how the acceptance of smoking and/or sexual activity was used as a social litmus?  “Yeah, she smokes.  You’re cool with that, right?”  “Yeah, she has sex.  You’re cool with that, right?”  Either you’re fully in favor of the sin or you are socially cut-off.  You are UNCOOL.

In the adult world, it is, “Yeah, they’re having an affair.  You’re cool with that, right?”  “Yeah, he’s gay.  You’re cool with that, right?”  “Yeah, it’s all a ponzi scheme.  Stupid muppets.  Heh.  You’re cool with that, right?”  Because to ratify sin, to be “in” on it, makes small people feel special, and perhaps more to the point, ELITE.  Because to believe oneself to be above the Law is, in a sense, to believe oneself to be above God Himself.

This “elitism” also manifests today in terms of aesthetics.  People, desperately trying to make themselves “elite”, now luxuriate in ugliness, and cast themselves as morally superior in doing so.  They declare things that are objectively ugly – and yes, beauty is an objective reality because it is a constitutive quality of God – as beautiful, and then imagine themselves as “elite” because they are beyond God Himself and His “peasant” aesthetic.  One has to consciously pervert one’s mind to hate beauty and celebrate ugliness.  But that is precisely what this culture is all about, and why there is almost no beauty in art or architecture any longer, and why much of the popular music of today is, in fact, dissonant, hellish noise.

I am reminded of a new construction church in Denver which recently installed stained glass windows.  Instead of installing beautiful windows with images of Our Lord, the Angels and Saints, and edifying and catechetical scenes from Salvation History, hideous, post-modernist windows were commissioned and installed.  These windows are not just ugly, but violently so.  They contain clashing colors, and jagged, angry, chaotic, random shapes.  And the priest who commissioned them goes on and on about how beautiful they are, and all of the people who want to fit in and be thought “cool” and “smart” nod in agreement.  Because we know better than God Himself what is and what is not beautiful.  Disregard the Natural Law written on your hearts.  Disregard objective reality.  Wallow in ugliness and call it beauty and be one of the ELITES.  Wink.

4.   It occurred to me that perhaps a way to describe the Law, and the reason why Our Lord says, “If you love Me, keep My Commandments”, is this:  The Law simply tells us how NOT TO HURT GOD.

Every single item of the Law, every single sin could fit into this formula:

If you do ______________, it will hurt Me.

If you don’t love Me, it will hurt Me.
If you don’t go to Mass, it will hurt Me.
If you have sex outside of marriage, it will hurt Me.
If you lie, it will hurt Me.
If you steal, it will hurt Me.
If you don’t forgive your enemies, it will hurt Me.
If you are indifferent to the eternal fate of others’ souls, it will hurt Me.

The Law is simply God telling us the things that we do that HURT HIM.  And isn’t that what we are supposed to do with each other?  If we have a friend or family member or spouse that is hurting us, aren’t we supposed to tell them?  And if we are hurting in some way someone we love – even if inadvertently or through ignorance – shouldn’t we WANT to know so that we can stop hurting them?  How then could God, our Tremendous Lover, NOT tell us the things that we do that hurt Him?  And how could we possibly, possibly ignore Him?

Psalm 118, a declaration of love for the Law, is simply this.  We love the Law because it helps us to hurt Our Blessed Lord less, and love Him more.

5.  It occurred to me during my Rosary the other day that we should envisage ourselves standing in line at the Judgment with our enemies in line ahead of us such that we can see them standing before Our Lord, but NOT hear what is said.  Then we see the result of their Judgment.  They either are carried up into heaven, or carried off down to hell.  Now, here is the exercise:  Imagine your enemies.  People that you despise.  People who have wronged you and/or others, and have incited wrath and anger inside of you.  Let’s use, as an example, a public figure we all agree is truly despicable and has committed grave public sins.  I’m coming up with Anthony Weiner.  Man, that guy makes my flesh crawl.  What a horrible, horrible person.  Okay.  So Anthony Weiner is standing before Christ being judged.  Two questions:

1.  Am I rooting for Anthony Weiner to be saved?
2.  If I see Anthony Weiner carried up into heaven, do I celebrate this, or does it make me angry?

If we are, at any point, rooting AGAINST the salvation of any human being, we’re in serious trouble ourselves.

If we are embittered by the thought of a sinner achieving the Beatific Vision as “unfair”, we’re in extremely deep trouble ourselves.

I shall henceforth make a mental list of my enemies and imagine them, one by one, just about to be condemned to hell, until I am able to feel the horror of their loss, and beg Our Lord for clemency on their behalf.

I do not want Anthony Weiner to go to hell. Miserere nobis, Domine.

I do not want Anthony Weiner to go to hell. Miserere nobis, Domine.

 

 

Barnhardt-Van der Leun Musical Awesomeness Cagematch

So Gerard Van der Leun over at AmericanDigest.org, a frequent syndicator of this strange website and frequent poachee of mine, cross posted the Sting/Lute/Fields of Gold clip, because he is a gentleman, a poet, and a scholar.  How could he not?  But now I feel we need to keep this thing going.  He posted today an INCREDIBLE cover of “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” by Joan Osborne, who, quoting Arsenio Hall, sings her face off.  Here it is:

“TELL ME.  TELL ME!”

A’ight.  A’ight.  I feel you.  I’ll see your Joan Osborne and raise you Miss Bonnie Raitt covering Del Shannon’s “Runaway”.  ON VINYL.

Oh, smack.  It’s on now!  Barnhardt dropped the VINYL.

I’m a walkin’ in the rain
Tears are fallin’ an’ I feel the pain
Wishin’ you were here by me
To end this misery….

Mailbag Mélange

A dip into the ol’ mailbag:

1.  From a Spanish translator.  “The Secret of Lío”

Dear Ann,

Ever since Pope Bergoglio made his famous exhortation to the Catholic youth to “Vaya lío” I’ve been dissatisfied with the way we’ve tried to translate this expression into English. Almost every time the expression is quoted, people offer an attempt to convey what was meant, while obviously not really being sure. Often they’ll give a number of options, like Fr. John Zulhsdorf: “Original Spanish: lío, which is really “mess, chaos, havoc”; Italian trans.: chiasso; French: bruit … “noise”? “bruit”? No. Perhaps in an extended sense, “noise”. Italian “chiasso” is closer.”

I was trained as a translator, and I know what it feels like to have to “settle” for a translation that isn’t really good. A proper translation doesn’t just plug in an English word for a foreign word; it succeeds when it also conveys the sentiment, the background, so to speak – when an English-speaker feels the same reaction that the native speaker felt when hearing the text.

You yourself used the term “chaos” in a recent post referring to this term, which I think comes closer than “mess”. (“Mess” to me creates a mental image of dirty diapers, or tumbled baby blocks.)

But yesterday I found the perfect translation, so perfect that I think that God must have written it. We’ve all been trying much too hard to cling to the literal meaning, and studying the words so closely we’ve ignored the actual meaning. What Bergoglio told those young people to do was “Raise hell”.

A colloquial expression requires a colloquial expression. And I think it’s providential that we have this expression in English, because it goes to the heart of this papacy. Hell is its method and its goal, yet always with a thick shellac of smirking deniability.

Signed,
W

2.  Emphases mine.

Dear Ann,

Thank you for speaking the truth on your blog. I am a middle aged woman, a relapsed Catholic. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year, and this last updated post answered so many questions.  (“The Cool Kids Don’t Actually Believe Any of that Bullshit…”)

I will share some of my tale with you, in the hope that it will help others. Jumping to the point, I have come to believe that (1) this NewChurch that is being forced upon is is designed to drive people away from God, not to draw them closer, and (2) misleading people about the teachings of the Church is NOT a mercy.

My religious education ended shortly after my First Communion. My father had never been a regular church-goer, and my mother stopped attending also, coincidentally in the very early seventies after the Church threw open the windows to allow the fresh air to enter. Ha.

I was a deeply religious child, so I followed my mother’s lead, and satisfied my spiritual hunger in a number of new age quackeries. I will spare you the boring details, but I did marry at one point, to another misguided soul, in a new age ceremony, presided over by a minister (methodist, I think, but we only used him because we needed someone to marry us). I have no idea if my husband was ever baptized. We were formal followers of another religion, though I must honestly say I never actually renounced Catholicism. It simply did not register, period.

I divorced and later remarried.

In 2005, I experienced a spiritual reversion, triggered by the courage and grace exhibited by Pope John Paul II, in contrast the state-sponsored murder of Terri Schiavo that was going on at the same time. I cannot describe what came over me with words, only that it felt like the mortar that holds my cells together was quaking. I was at a “Catholic” college at the time, so I went to the religious center, sought out a nun, and expressed my desire to come back to the Church. She asked what had prompted this, and when I told her, she informed me that John Paul was an awful man who hated women, and she gave me a list of the “right” type of churches for me to attend. When I look at my sinful, wretched life, I can say that I was wholly undeserving of the Grace that I was given in that moment, because I clearly and calmly saw who she was, where she was coming from, and I followed my inner prompting to find the most conservative church that I could.

I started assisting at Mass, but did not receive Communion until I put my life in order. In one of the most shameful moments of my life, I forced myself to do a face to face confession as a lesson in humility. I explained my divorce and remarriage, and was assured that confessing the divorce and remarriage cleared everything up. Yes, you read that right.

During all this time, I was trying to educate myself via the internet, which continues to this day. I received no guidance, no mentoring, no counseling, and RCIA was embarrassing in its cookie-cutter uselessness. Shortly after my confession, I read somewhere that my marriage was not valid and I could not receive communion unless it was convalidated by a priest. I approached a priest at my parish, explained the situation to him, and he married my second husband and me.

Only after many months of sorting things out, trying to do things the right way, did I start receiving Communion. Oh, Joy!

My faith, however, was probably more the size of an atomic particle than a grain of mustard seed. The corruption and outright perversion of many American bishops were an excuse that I used to keep me away from Mass and confession. Last year, in desperation, I simply started reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Next thing I knew, I was getting Confirmed and attending Mass and Confession regularly.

In the summer of 2013, when the bishops pulled another stunt, I seriously considered leaving the Church, and found myself going to confession, instead (thank you, Father Z, for those blog posts). As I sat there, an inner voice said, “are you here for them, or are you here for Me?” Well, that was that. I sat there, weeping, and the Church hierarchy and its corruption will not drive me from the foot of the Cross. Another moment of grace for which I am profoundly thankful.

Fast forward to this year. Believe it or not, it was only because all of the furor over the Synod, that I have come to realize (remember, no formal instruction, poorly catechized, misinformed by priests) that I may still be in an adulterous state. My second husband and I both learned that he had never been baptized (he is not Catholic). I thought I was in a sacramental marriage, and I am not. I have been receiving communion, and perhaps I should not have been. In other words, a mess.

Bottom line: when I returned to the faith, I wanted to follow the rules, and to do everything by the book. I sought out help, and followed the little guidance I received. I respected the rules and the procedures, and was led astray, deliberately so, I have come to believe. My family is going through some very trying times, both health wise and financially, and I must now seek out a canon lawyer and figure all of this out, when it would have been a mercy to tell me the full and accurate truth 9 years ago. And I will do it, BECAUSE I WANT TO PLEASE AND HONOR OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BY FOLLOWING HIS RULES. This situation and its timing are causing me needless suffering.

Priests: you are functioning as proxies for Jesus Christ. You do not have the right to make up rules, and lie to us, just to be popular or because you think, in your limited state, that it is more merciful. That comment was for the well-intentioned but misguided. For those who are not misguided, but who are actively undermining doctrine to lead astray and attempting to destroy the Church: read Matthew 18:6.

God bless you, Ann.

Signed,
T

3.  This came from someone who saw it posted on Facebook and sent it to me:

Just posted by someone on Facebook:

“I’ve been told that being an “internet trad” doesn’t help people, you have to go out into the peripheries and promise them donuts after Mass, etc. etc.
And while an anecdote is not a statistical trend, I thought you might like to hear that the Traditional Latin Mass community I attend is going to start giving instruction in the faith to a woman who read her way into the Church on the internet.
And the reason she sought a TLM out?
Ann Barnhardt.
This pretty much made my weekend.”

Kinda shoots down the whole “don’t talk about these Bergoglian unpleasantries because it might damage people’s “simple” faith” line, eh?

Scream it.  Scream it from the rooftops.  With dilated pupils and blinking with insufficient frequency.  Why?  Because if ONE PERSON stays because they heard the Truth, because if ONE PERSON enters because they heard the Truth, because if ONE PERSON makes it because they heard the Turth, it is all worth it.

Our Lord has said that He would go through His entire Passion, repeatedly, for ONE PERSON.
Every single person IS THAT ONE PERSON.

Every single person IS THAT ONE PERSON.

 

Starting Tuesday Off Right: First Marian Apparition Edition

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Grigorii

Meet St. Gregory the Wonderworker.  Aside from his prolific working of wonders, he is the earliest known person to have had a vision of the Blessed Virgin, in the company of St. John.  He was confused about some things, specifically the Trinity, and they tutored him, and from that event came what would be the final formulation of the Creed.  St. Gregory of Nyssa reported that the actual autograph of the dictation St. Gregory the Wonderworker took from St. John at that apparition existed and was used by him as a reference when he (Gregory of Nyssa) was writing the biography of Gregory the Wonderworker. Gregory of Nyssa’s other main source was his grandmother, St. Macrina, who was an eyewitness to the life of Gregory the Wonderworker.

St. Gregory the Wonderworker died in ARSH 275.

“While [Gregory] was passing a sleepless night because of these worries, someone appeared to him in human form, aged in appearance, clothed in garments denoting a sacred dignity, with a face characterized by a sense of grace and virtue. Gregory, looking frightened, rose from his bed and asked him who he was and why he had come.

The other, in a subdued voice, after soothing his distress, told Gregory that he had appeared by divine will, because of the questions that Gregory found ambiguous and confusing, to reveal to him the truth of pious faith. After hearing these words, Gregory regained his serenity and began to observe the other man with a certain joy and wonder.

The other then held up his hand, as if to point out, with his index finger, something that had appeared opposite him. Gregory, turning his gaze in the direction indicated by the other man’s hand, saw before him another figure, which had appeared not long before. This figure had the appearance of a woman, whose noble aspect far surpassed normal human beauty. Gregory was again disturbed. Turning away his face, he averted his glance and was filled with perplexity; nor did he know what to think of this apparition, which he could not bear to look upon with his eyes. For the extraordinary character of the vision lay in this: that though it was a dark night, a light was shining, and so was the figure that had appeared to him, as if a burning lamp had been kindled there.

Although he could not bear to look upon the apparition, Gregory heard the speech of those who had appeared, as they discussed the problems that were troubling him. From their words, Gregory not only obtained an exact understanding of the doctrine of the faith but also was able to discover the names of the two persons who had appeared to him, for they called each other by name.

For it is said that he heard the one who had appeared in womanly form exhorting John the Evangelist to explain to the young man the mystery of the true faith. John, in his turn, declared that he was completely willing to please the Mother of the Lord even in this matter and that this was the one thing closest to his heart. And so the discussion coming to a close, and after they had made it quite clear and precise for him, the two disappeared from his sight.”

St. Gregory of Nyssa, “Life of St. Gregory the Wonderworker”

On Diamonds, Princes, Foxes and Lutes

1.  I have received many emails over the years asking my opinion of diamonds as a means of  wealth storage.  I have never said anything one way or the other because I really didn’t know much about it.  Well, I visited at length with a friend who has experience in the retail jewelry business, and it turns out the answer to the diamond question is a resounding NO.  Gold and silver are pretty much your only options.  Diamonds and other so-called “investment grade gems” are pure sucker bait.  Steer well clear.

I am not a big jewelry hound, but confess to buying a pair of diamond stud earrings years and years ago as a little wealth storage play.  It turns out that my earrings, as well as pretty much all other diamonds out there are worth very, very little, and are almost impossible to sell.  Unlike … gold and silver, the markets for which are robust.

My friend sent me a link to a completely fascinating article on the DeBeers cartel and how the whole diamond market and mystique is a stone-cold fabrication – one of the most successful scams ever pulled, if you ask me.  Did you know that diamond engagement rings are a pure invention of DeBeers within the last century?  Further, did you know that DeBeers conditioned the global populace to assign an almost supernatural value to diamonds, thus keeping people from ever trying to sell them back into the market?

“Gasp!  You can’t sell Mom’s wedding ring!  Mom and Dad’s marriage is physically embodied in that diamond!  A diamond is FOREVER!”

It’s a pure con.  Brilliant, and scary in how effective it has been, but a pure con.

HERE is the article from the February 1982 issue of The Atlantic.

The thing that is so fascinating to me about this article is the fact that it was written in ARSH 1982.  This isn’t propaganda put out by some prepper/goldbug blogger last week.  This is thirty-two years old, guys.  Heck, Barack Obama was in Pakistan with the Chandoo brothers, just a glimmer in Bill Ayers’ and Khalid al-Mansour’s eyes, and ‘Merica was a shining city on a hill, when this was published.

And on a personal, life-coachey note: gentlemen, if you get sweet on some chick, and she gets all loud demanding that you spend x percent of your income on a ring, you need run as hard and as fast as you can in the opposite direction.  Seriously.  I knew a guy who asked some chick to marry him, and she demanded that he spend $45,000 on her ring.  And he did – he had to get a loan, which he is probably still paying off.  And it was the most hideous monstrosity you ever saw.  And she freely told everyone not only how much it cost, but that the marriage was contingent upon the ring.  And she wasn’t kidding.  You just kinda suspected that she was the type to have already planned out the alimony package based off of duration and income projections.  I just wanted to shake him.

My advice?  Take your young lady to a Swarovsky Crystal store.  They have some gorgeous faux-diamond rings.  I saw one not long ago that was right at $100.  If she doesn’t bat an eye, you picked a winner.  Proceed with all due dispatch.

Bottom line: don’t buy gems as a wealth storage vehicle, because you will be FLAYED ALIVE if you try to unload them.  There is no resale market, and they aren’t even rare or scarce.  They are just sparkly.

2.  The only jewelry I own and wear are a pair of fake diamond stud earrings (they match everything and I never take them out), my watch, which is exactly ten years old and in perfect shape – it’s a Rado, a brand I recommend heartily, and my lapel pin.  People have asked me for years what my lapel pin is (you can see it in all of my videos).  It is the Little Prince.  Chapter 21 of The Little Prince, the chapter with the Fox, is one of my favorite bits of prose.

It was then that the fox appeared.

“Good morning,” said the fox.

“Good morning,” the little prince responded politely, although when he turned around he saw nothing.

“I am right here,” the voice said, “under the apple tree.”

“Who are you?” asked the little prince, and added, “You are very pretty to look at.”

“I am a fox,” the fox said.

“Come and play with me,” proposed the little prince. “I am so unhappy.”

“I cannot play with you,” the fox said. “I am not tamed.”

“Ah! Please excuse me,” said the little prince.

But, after some thought, he added:

“What does that mean–‘tame’?”

“You do not live here,” said the fox. “What is it that you are looking for?”

“I am looking for men,” said the little prince. “What does that mean–‘tame’?”

“Men,” said the fox. “They have guns, and they hunt. It is very disturbing. They also raise chickens. These are their only interests. Are you looking for chickens?”

“No,” said the little prince. “I am looking for friends. What does that mean–‘tame’?”

“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. It means to establish ties.”

“‘To establish ties’?”

“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .”

“I am beginning to understand,” said the little prince. “There is a flower . . . I think that she has tamed me . . .”

“It is possible,” said the fox. “On the Earth one sees all sorts of things.”

“Oh, but this is not on the Earth!” said the little prince.

The fox seemed perplexed, and very curious.

“On another planet?”

“Yes.”

“Are there hunters on that planet?”

“No.”

“Ah, that is interesting! Are there chickens?”

“No.”

“Nothing is perfect,” sighed the fox.

But he came back to his idea.

“My life is very monotonous,” the fox said. “I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat . . .”

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

The fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

The Fox gazed at the little prince, for a long time.

“Please–tame me!” he said.

“I want to, very much,” the little prince replied. “But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.”

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . .”

“What must I do, to tame you?” asked the little prince.

“You must be very patient,” replied the fox. “First you will sit down at a little distance from me–like that–in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . .”

The next day the little prince came back.

“It would have been better to come back at the same hour,” said the fox. “If, for example, you come at four o’clock in the afternoon, then at three o’clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o’clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you . . . One must observe the proper rites . . .”

“What is a rite?” asked the little prince.

“Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox. “They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours…”

3.  Here is something beautiful.  I have always liked “Fields of Gold” by Sting, and have the original recording on the Jukebox Ann page.  But I came across this version today which is Sting and Edin Karamazov performing “Fields of Gold” with only two lutes.  The Lute is a guitar-like instrument, and man, does this ever work.  It is just gorgeous.  Better than the original, in my opinion.  Enjoy.

 

Starting Sunday Off Right: Psalm 110 Edition

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

Psalm 110:

I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; in the council of the just: and in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord: sought out according to all His wills. His work is praise and magnificence: and His justice continueth for ever and ever. He hath made a remembrance of His wonderful works, being a merciful and gracious Lord: He hath given food to them that fear Him. He will be mindful for ever of His covenant:

He will shew forth to His people the power of His works. That He may give them the inheritance of the Gentiles: the works of His hands are truth and judgment.

All His commandments are faithful: confirmed for ever and ever, made in truth and equity.

He hath sent redemption to His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever. Holy and terrible is His Name: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding to all that do it: His praise continueth for ever and ever.

panto

Here Rests In Honored Glory

(This was originally penned and posted for Memorial Day ARSH 2012, and was quite popular, and it makes a perfect Veterans’ Day post, and is extremely timely given the renewed hostility toward and war against liturgical solemnity, masculinity and beauty by the infiltrators of the Church.)

HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.

Those are the words engraved on the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. Here is a video of the Changing of the Guard.

I think we can all agree that the Tomb of the Unknowns, the 24/7 guarding of the Tomb, and the intense precision of the ceremonial rubrics therein is one of the most excellent things in American culture. The old saying goes, “You may judge a nation by how it treats its fallen warriors.” In an otherwise degraded and despair-inducing society, the Tomb of the Unknowns is a beacon of cultural light and hope.

The Tomb of the Unknowns is also extremely instructive, and believe it or not, it instructs us about . . . the Mass. The reason the Tomb of the Unknowns instructs us today about the Mass is because the Tomb of the Unknowns rubrics are highly informed by the rubrics of the Mass, which were themselves informed by military rubrics, which were informed by even older liturgical rubrics. Military ceremonials and the Ceremonials of the Church are intertwined.  Only since the Asteroid hit in the 1960s has the masculinity and, if I may use the term, militant aesthetic been utterly purged, in an attempt by the infiltrators to destroy the Chuch Militant from within by concealing its very nature from itself – MILITANCY. And so I am reminded of a quote I once heard:

It is important for Christians to know their own history, because if you know your own history, no one else can tell you who you are.

And that is precisely what has happened, and continues to happen.  The enemies and infiltrators desperately want all knowledge of WHO and WHAT the Church truly is suppressed and forgotten so that they can lyingly “tell you who you are”.  And if you have no knowledge of your own history, you will have no way to discern what is truth and what is lies, and you can thus be conned into believing that you are what you are not, and deceived into believing that you are not what you in actuality are.

For those of you who have never seen a pre-1969 Tridentine Mass and are used to the clownish, degraded, irreverent Novus Ordo Masses of the last 45 years, or of Superfun Rockband church, I hope the sense of reverent awe and solemnity you feel when watching the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns helps you understand what exactly it is that has been robbed from you.

After watching the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns above, I want you to imagine the guards walking about casually, maybe wearing a partial uniform jacket, but with jeans and sandals. Imagine the guards walking out and introducing themselves, “Hi, my name is Lieutenant Jones, but you can call me Lieutenant Jake, or just Jake.” Then the guard might say something like, “Isn’t it a beautiful day today? It sure was rainy yesterday. I had to wear a rain jacket. I’m so glad you all could make it to my shift today. I’m going to be guarding the tomb for the next few hours, and I know that it can sure get BOOOORING! That’s why I have asked a local band to come in and play some awesome new music for you guys, because I want this to be A FUN EXPERIENCE for all of us!”

If this happened, you would be shocked and disgusted, right? Do you understand that what I have just described is a watered-down comparison of what has happened to the Holy and August Sacrifice of the Mass? The Mass went from being even more reverent than the rubrics of the Tomb Guard to what I just described above – and many times even worse than what I described above.  And this happened for many people within a span of several WEEKS in late 1969 into early 1970.

Let’s walk through some of the many parallels.

The soldiers are in full dress uniform, meticulously turned-out and maintained. They are not in combat gear that soldiers would use to walk a patrol in Afghanistan. The Tomb guards are doing something DIFFERENT, and thus their uniforms reflect that. Really, what the ceremonies surrounding the Tomb are is the highest form of ART. It is living ART, not consisting of a mere two-dimensional representation, not consisting of inanimate objects, but ART consisting of human beings in action. The uniforms, the gait, the precise rubrics, words, gestures and movements – these all combine into a perpetual work of art that not only moves and inspires the people who witness it, but also accomplishes the goal of making tangible a RESPECT for and a REMEMBRANCE of all of the fallen unknown soldiers. The Tomb Guards walk their patrol whether anyone is there to see them do it or not. It isn’t a show. It is a service. It is a liturgy.

The ceremonials at the Tomb of the Unknowns during Hurricane Sandy.

The ceremonials at the Tomb of the Unknowns during Hurricane Sandy.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is exactly what I just described, except that the Mass is the most perfect artistic action in the universe because the Mass is the artistic creation of God Himself.  The Mass is SUPERNATURAL ART. The Holy Spirit taught the Church the Mass. The Mass is art that is so perfect that it actually causes something SUPERNATURAL to happen – it causes Heaven and Earth to touch, it causes time to be bent such that the moment of “now” touches and intersects with the moment of Calvary 1981 years ago, and it causes bread and wine to be transubstantiated into the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, made PHYSICALLY SUBSTANTIALLY PRESENT. Man calls down God, and God, in His infinite love, responds and fully submits in complete love, making Himself present on the Altar both at the moment of His death, and in His resurrection, so that He may go into us not only spiritually but also physically as Food.

-In the Tridentine Mass, the priest observes “custody of the eyes”, never looking around and NEVER looking out at the people. Like the guards, priests are supposed to keep their eyes on exactly what they are doing without distraction. The Guards at the Tomb wear mirrored sunglasses to block out all eye contact. Priests are supposed to keep their eyes DOWN or CLOSED, with a couple of exceptions such as just before the consecration when they are to look up to Heaven. This is like the Guards’ rubric of looking from side-to-side very deliberately when inspecting the rifle and the relieving officer. Did you catch that?

-Priests are also supposed to walk with a very deliberate gait – slow, measured and reverent in exactly the same way the Tomb Guards walk in a slow, deliberate, reverent gait.

-Priests are only supposed to say very specific words – no improvisation, no modifications. The Guards are the same way. They have a very strict announcement that they make at the changing, and they have very strict words that they say when telling people to be quiet and observe reverent silence (there is a YouTube video of that happening, look it up.) There is no chatting or extemporaneous speech. In the Church, the command is “Say the black, do the red,” in reference to the layout of the Roman Missal with the words of prayer in black and the instructions for the intensely precise rubrics, down to every gesture, in red.

-I would analogize the exaggerated heel-clicking movement that the Guards do to the genuflecting of the Priest (and servers, and laity, ahem) to the rubric of ALWAYS genuflecting to the right knee EACH AND EVERY TIME the axis of the Tabernacle is crossed. In many Catholic Churches, the Tabernacle, which is the center of the Church – heck, it is the center of the universe – has been moved off to the side, or even hidden in a sacristy. Where a Tabernacle is present, Our Lord, physically present inside, is largely ignored. I have never seen a Novus Ordo priest consistently observe the loving rubric of genuflecting to the Tabernacle every time the plane is crossed. (I have learned since originally writing this that the General Instruction of the Roman Missal for the Novus Ordo Mass states that there are to be no genuflections to the Blessed Sacrament except by the priest at the consecrations.  Sit in stillness with this for a moment.  Do you see why I say that the Novus Ordo was conceived in malice by the infiltrators, and thus cannot be “fixed”?)

In fact, most Novus Ordo priests wander around the sanctuary with their backs turned to the Tabernacle while they put on their “performance.” This would be analogous to the Tomb of the Unknowns itself at Arlington being moved “out of the way” and instead a stage being erected upon which the Guards would perform. It makes you sick to think of that happening at Arlington – but that is largely what has happened to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

-There is even an analogue in the Changing of the Guard ceremony to the Consecration of the Host in the Mass. Did you hear it when you watched the video above? It comes at the 2:36 mark. A rifle is fired, its report thus commemorating the moment of death of the Unknowns. In the Mass, the moment of consecration and transubstantiation are the report of Christ’s words spoken by the priest:

HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM.
(This is My Body.)

Finally, the words engraved on the Tomb of the Unknowns:

HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD

This is analogous to the words of the Mass:

ECCE AGNUS DEI, ECCE QUI TOLLIT PECCATA MUNDI.
(Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world.)

In the Mass, Christ is obviously alive, physically substantially present in the Eucharist, veiled under the mere appearance of bread and wine. At the Tomb, the Unknowns remain dead – only their memory, veiled in anonymity, is honored.  There is absolutely NOTHING supernatural about the Tomb of the Unknowns.  Let me say that again: There is absolutely NOTHING supernatural about the Tomb of the Unknowns.  It is most excellent, to be sure, but it is not a supernatural thing.

The point is this: if we all know and understand and FEEL the power of the excellent, excellent ceremonial rubrics of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, if we understand the power of “living art”, and we understand how important the concepts of reverence, solemnity, precision, dignity and beauty in movement and action are in the context of the Tomb, why, oh why, do we continue to tolerate the lack of reverence, the lack of solemnity, the absence of liturgical precision and dignity and the resulting UGLINESS that has been unleashed on the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which is not just a mere memorial of Calvary, but is Calvary Itself, made supernaturally present, and Our Resurrected Lord physically substantially present?

The Tomb of the Unknowns merits the excellent, beautiful, solemn, reverent, disciplined ceremony of the Guards.

Our Lord, Crucified, Risen and physically substantially present to us deserves INFINITELY MORE excellence, beauty, solemnity, reverence, discipline and dignity in His Mass.

Demand it. Now.