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Weekend 498.2

My library is password protected because in the words of Christopher de Hamel¹, “we all know what a lot you can tell about any person by looking at the book they own”, and in an era of cancel culture, censorship and persecution publishing this list would be dangerous.

One book that is in my library in the Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis. I suspect that Lewis (religious) and Orwell (secular) are like Holy Water to progressives and it’s great to see both writers (titans) appearing in reading lists at book clubs like Unsafe Space. As mentioned in a previous post, I don’t know what to make of Bishop Barron (of Word on Fire). He seems to be protecting and advancing an “Ascendant Liberal Christianity” (NYT) either out of naiveté or something else more sinister. In any case, Word on Fire has published a companion to Abolition of Man by Michael Ward that I’m going to read/review.

One book I can recommend as a companion to AOM is C.S. Lewis for the Third Millennium by Peter Kreeft. I’ve quoted this book extensively over the years.

Bishop Barron Catholicism?

¹The Book in the Cathedral

Weekend 498.1

You rulers, do you render justice? Do you judge your people impartially? No! You devise wickedness in your hearts, and your hands bring about violence on the earth. – Ps 58:2-3

Reflection: The truth cannot be denied. And the truth is that human leaders often play favorites and frequently care little for fairness; rather, they care for themselves and their interests. Knowing this, we do not reject human leaders. We do, however, refuse to put our stock in them. We put our stock in God, and we pray to Him on their behalf.

Source: Daily Meditations on the Psalms

(1) There is a Double Standard in BLM, Capitol Protests… (FPM)

(2) President Biden and Progressive Catholic Fantasyland (The Catholic World Report)

“In a perverse and disturbing sense that is, of course, true. For the package in question is built on the foundation of a false anthropology of expressive individualism, in which the human person is reduced to a bundle of morally commensurable desires, the satisfaction of which is the duty of the state under the rubric of protecting “human rights.” But if the idea of “human rights” is traduced into the law’s endorsement of virtually any form of personal willfulness, then democracy is gravely imperiled.”

“The claim that President Biden, whose grip on basic Catholic social doctrine principles is as insecure as his piety is genuine, will revive the dying progressive Catholic project seems ill-founded: more like a trip to Fantasyland than a likely outcome of the challenging four years ahead.”

(2a) Compromise: In Lieu Of Eucharist, Priest To Offer Biden Non-Blessed But Delicious Nilla Wafer (Babylon Bee)

(3) The Washington Post has been ‘caught out’ by its lies (YouTube)

(4) Parents Are Standing Up To Critical Race Theory (United We Stand)

(5) Unsafe Space: YouTube Suspends Us for 14 Days

(6) Experts: Thornton Talks Business (YouTube)

The colours in the swatch were inspired by “Monks at their Devotions, 15th C.” by Macmillan’s History Pictures.

New York Islanders (Yes! Yes! Yes!)

ClutterbuckGreat playoff run by the NY Islanders (Orange and Blue). It’s tough being far from Bridgeport / Nassau (and soon Belmont Park).

IF you watch a documentary on the history of the New York Islanders you realize very quickly it’s the story of so many (so many) Americans. It’s a real rags to riches (four consecutive Stanley Cups) to rags (John Spano) to riches (Lou Lamoriello/Barry Trotz/UBS Arena) story.

I’ve just highlighted some of the highs and lows but should add a note about three other watershed events in this history of the franchise- the introduction of the Downeaster Alexa / Gordon Fisherman logo, leaving the barn for Brooklyn, and John Tavares backstabbing the Orange and Blue.

(1) Islanders News: A painful end to an amazing season (Lighthouse Hockey)

(2) We Are All Islanders (AHL)

(3) The New York Islanders and Nassau Coliseum (YouTube)

The indomitable spirit of authentic New Yorkers:

(5) Islanders Fans Sing the National Anthem Before Game (YouTube)

(6) New York State of Mind (YouTube)

Weekend 498.0 (mirror of divine clarity or omniscience)

(1) Quotes from The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy:

“Market forces dominated, a fact which permits some degree of confidence in using the resulting compilations as indicators of lay opinion. Lay people wanted prayer-books which, in addition to the core materials of Little Office and ‘Dirige’, enabled them to say their morning prayers, helped them venerate the Sacrament at Mass, or prepared them for its reception at Easter time. They wanted prayers which helped them cultivate that intense relationship of affectionate, penitential intimacy with Christ and his Mother which was the devotional lingua franca of the late Middle Ages, and they wanted prayers which focused on their day-to-day hopes and fears. They wanted books which would provide them with illustrations, indulgences, and other spiritual benefits. And increasingly in the years before the break with Rome, they wanted more vernacular material.”

“All fifteen of the ‘Oes’ [Fifteen Oes of St Bridget] are conceived as pleas for mercy to a merciful Saviour whose understanding of the human condition is guaranteed by the fact that he took flesh and suffered for us, and whose suffering forms and enduring bond of endearment and tenderness between him and suffering humanity. Jesus in these prayers, as in the affective tradition in general, is loving, tender, brotherly.”

(2) Coventry Ring (British Museum)

Weekend 497.0

(1) The Guennol Triptych

The colours in the swatch were inspired by the Guennol Triptych which was included in the Becket Exhibit at the British Museum.

“The importance of reliquaries in the church is witnessed by their place in the liturgy, and by the requirement of holy relics for the consecration of an altar and, therewith, of the church building. Such was the popular appeal of relics, that, despite official disapproval, their veneration often transcended the bounds of proprietary to extremes of idolatrous intensity.”

Source: The Guennol Collection Volume 1

(2) A scan from the Art and Craft of Stained Glass by E.W. Twining.

Plate III: A Sketch by Messrs. Clayton & Bell

No. 3912, Class No. D993

Inflation, inflation, inflation…

(1) Federal Reserve Delivers Bad News About Expectations For Inflation, Raising Interest Rates: Report (Daily Wire)

Line in the Sand

“The man who commits violence against his mother [i.e. the Holy Church] revolts against humanity.”
– Louis VII

I would rather be in a congregation of one than have the CC bend the knee on something so fundamentally contradictory to church teachings and doctrine. I’m using Reuters to highlight “journalistic” integrity via their choice of hyperbolic words like rifts, divisions, and rocked. It’s important for Reuters to build and advance a narrative.

(1) U.S. bishops vote to draft Communion statement that may rebuke Biden (Reuters)

“U.S. Roman Catholic bishops announced on Friday that they had voted to draft a statement on Holy Communion that may admonish Catholic politicians, including President Joe Biden, who support abortion rights.”

(2) St. Thomas Becket & Joe Biden: The Next Four Years ~ Fr. Kirby (YouTube)

(3) Courageous Priest Proclaims Joe Biden is an Embarrassment to Catholicism (YouTube)

Weekend 496.2

(1) My June 12, 2021 Record Store Day diamond from Sleeve Notes Records.

Weekend 496.1 (Thomas Becket Exhibit)

“Chosen before the foundation of the world in Christ, Saint Thomas in his propitious birth lit up the capital of the British Isles, London.” – Edward Grim, Life of St Thomas Becket 1171-2

I spent a day at Westminster Abbey earlier in the week and have started to post photos on Flickr. This afternoon I was at the British Museum for an exhibit on Thomas Becket (murder and the making of a saint). During my trip to Canterbury Cathedral one of the guides mentioned the stained-glass window showing the miracles after Becket’s martyrdom was on loan to the British Museum. In lieu of normal glass the staff at Canterbury Cathedral replaced the loaner with a facsimile. You can tell right away because the colors are muted and the figures are bit garish.

I also visited Room 40 (Medieval Europe 1050 – 1500) to see the Towton Ring.

(1) Quotes from The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy:

“That the primers were more than texts can be readily gathered from handling a few of them, manuscript or printed. The ornamentation that most primers contained would have established for their readers the fact that they were, in the first place, sacred objects. Paintings or woodcuts of the Trinity, of the life of the Virgin, of the saints with their emblems, above all scenes depicting the suffering and death of Christ, served in themselves as focuses of the sacred, designed to evoke worship and reverence. They were often conceived as channels of sacred power independent of the texts they accompanied.”

“Above all, the saint desired pilgrimage to his shrine, and a promise to visit the saint’s relics and there offer a coin or a candle was held to be the most likely way to attract his interest and help.”

“The primary purpose of pilgrimage had always been to seek the holy, concretely embodied in a sacred place, a relic, or a specially privileged image. Such localization of the holy in sacred places was often criticized in the later Middle Ages, not least by Thomas à Kempis in the Imitation of Christ. In fact the practice of pilgrimage, travel to seek the sacred outside of one’s immediate locality, had important symbolic and integrative functions, helping the believer to place the religious routine of the closed and concentric worlds of household, parish, or gild in a broader and more complex perception of the sacred, which transcended while affirming local allegiances. Pilgrimage also provided a temporary release from the constrictions and norms of ordinary living, an opportunity to review one’s life and, in a religious culture which valued asceticism and the monastic life above the married state, an opportunity for profane men and women to share in the graces of renunciation and discipline which religious life, in theory, at least promised.”

(2) Public Lecture. ‘The Library of Saint Thomas Becket’, by Christopher de Hamel, FSA

(3) Tour of Thomas Becket: murder and the making of a saint exhibition (British Museum)

(4) British Museum Becket exhibition features treasures from the Parker Library

Weekend 496.0

Just a reminder…

Caedite eos, novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

Weekend 495.0 (Now is thus)

(1) The Battle of Towton

(1a) The Towton Ring (British Museum)

(2) “Now is the winter of our discontent” – Richard III by William Shakespeare

(2a) King Richard III had the ‘Princes in the Tower’ murdered, historian finds (Live Science)

(3) A quote from The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy:

“Under both the Angevin kings and their Plantagenet successors the cult of the saints often had a political dimension. The victims of political struggles might become martyrs, and popular devotion to such “saints” might be the vehicle for criticism or resistance to the political status quo. A number of fifteenth century English cults had a strong political dimension, like the anti-Lancastrian cult of Archbishop Scrope of York, executed for treason by Henry IV, or the anti-Yorkist cult of Henry VI. Scrope quickly became the focus of a popular cult openly hostile to the monarchy – it was part of the cult legend that Henry IV had been stricken with leprosy as an immediate consequence of Scrope’s martyrdom. Henry VI’s miracula include very overt political miracles, like the healing of a little girl afflicted with the “King’s evil”, whose parents had refused to bring her to be “touched” by the “usurper”, Richard III. Henry VII attempted to mobilize the cult of Henry VI in support of his own dynasty, building a magnificent chapel at Westminster Abbey to house Henry VI’s relics, and promoting his cause at Rome. The process foundered in the late 1520s, but “good King Harry” would almost certainly have been canonized had not bad King Harry’s matrimonial affairs strained and eventually broken ties with Rome.”

(4) A Lament for Our Lady’s Shrine at Walsingham: A lament for a Catholic place of pilgrimage devastated by Henry VIII, this simple ballad delivers a powerful sense of grief (The Guardian)

Weekend 494.1

(1) A quote from The Art and Craft of Stained Glass by E.W. Twining:

“To be able to design for glass, in colour, a beautiful figure, perfectly proportioned, gracefully posed and draped in a suitable setting is a fine thing. To be able to do the same with a number of figures grouped in a well balanced composition is a glorious achievement indeed, but to be able to do this latter and then carry the design through to its ultimate end places the artist in the very front rank of his profession. It has been said, and I think truly, that stained glass is either a trade or an art, according to whether the various portions of the craft are divided up amongst a number of operatives or whether it is carried through by one brain and pair of hands.”

(2) British Society of Master Glass Painters

(3) Tracery Tales – Exploring History, Architecture and Culture – One Adventure At A Time

The image is a scan from The Art and Craft of Stained Glass

Dover via Canterbury

The White Cliffs of DoverAt Dover Cliffs
Scarce hear the surge that has for ages beat,
Sure many a lonely wanderer has stood;
And whilst the lifted murmur met his ear,
And o’er the distant billows the still eve
Sailed slow, has thought of all his heart must leave

― William Lisle Bowles¹

Take a walk at the White Cliffs of Dover (Map from the National Trust)

Note: My Flickr album is organized sequentially.

Dover as a tourist destination is a little like the Poconos circa 1980 something. It’s heyday has long past and there are placards everywhere promising redevelopment. It doesn’t have the shopping of Brighton or the history and dining of Bristol. It’s a port city you pass through. Who knows though what places like Dover (and the Poconos) will like be post-pandemic as the cost/inconvenience of international travel changes domestic tourism.

As a gateway to the Cliffs of Dover the city is fine (even IF the relationship seemed badly neglected). My first afternoon was spent ambling around the town centre (getting my bearings) and probing the approach to the infamous cliffs. I’m not a typical traveler and don’t depend on guide books or countless hours of research on the internet. My trips are usually centered around an event (e.g. football match) or a place and the rest is just freeform exploration and discovery. The absence of an agenda makes it very easy to whittle the hours away at a coffee shop.

The eastern approach to the cliffs via the Athol Terrace/Coast Path was kind-of-maybe-sort-of-closed because of falling rocks (chalk in this case) so I found an alternative route via Castle Hill Road. The site of Dover Castle from any vista is impressive but dominates the horizon as you make the climb up Castle Hill Road. My adventure for the day unfortunately ended at Upper Road due to overambition². On my way back to the hotel I took a picture of St. Martin’s Guesthouse because of its promise of ‘tea and coffee making facilities’ (plus it’s the surname of the pastor at my church).

Miracle of the Feet
It was a fast start on Sunday morning after my feet (and legs) had a couple of hours to rest. My approach to the park (national trust) was via Upper Road. There’s a church on the route that was damaged in WWII and is now preserved as a Grade II listed building. I stopped for a photograph on the top of Connaught Road and a sign post for Burgoyne Fort (for Bear). There was NO sidewalk/trail/path on Upper Road but it was SO early that cars only passed sporadically.

I finally made it to the visitor centre and my first vista of the White Cliffs of Dover! I had NO idea HOW big the park was so my decision to “call it quits” the day before was just lucky. On Saturday night, whilst subjecting my feet to a recovery regimen that was some Mr. Miyagi style stuff, studied a map of the park. The walk to the lighthouse is about 50 minutes, BUT I stopped to explore every nook and cranny SO it was well north of that number. My return trip included a descent into Fan Bay (feets of strength™) before climbing down to sea level to explore the ribs of a wreck on Langdon Beach.

I left the park via the aforementioned eastern approach (the one with the signs about falling chalk). This route gives you a nice birds eye view of the port and takes you under the A2. I’m not a very good writer because this post omits the absolute majesty of this amazing space but if you’ve ever wanted to live in a Turner painting visit the White Cliffs of Dover. I think English skies are so beautiful because all that chalk acts like a filter when it’s picked up by the breeze.

IMPORTANT: There are few times when my feet and legs have been so tired/sore so IF you plan on traversing from sea level to lighthouse to bays and holes (the latter is inappropriate) wear something more durable than Vans (and bring sunscreen).

¹Sonnet: At Dover Cliffs, July 20th 1787 by William Lisle Bowles (poetry.com)
²Overamition in my case is a combination of NO food, a very early start, and poor footwear

Weekend 494.0

(1) France’s Great Debate Over the Sources and Meaning of Muslim Terror (Tablet)

“During the electoral campaign of 2011, the Muslims of France, appalled by the populist-nationalist campaign of President Sarkozy—for whom they had voted in large numbers in 2007—had massively rallied behind Sarkozy’s opponent, the socialist candidate Hollande, who based his own campaign on analysis provided by the main left-wing think tank of the era, Terra Nova. According to that analysis, the “traditional” left-wing electorate of the prosperity decades—a mix of the white working class and civil servants—was now leaving the stage, to be replaced by a melting pot of young, well-off urban gays and lesbians, and the young Muslim offspring of migrant families. Hollande mistook the rallying of anti-Sarkozy Muslims to his campaign as a confirmation of that view.”

The risk of think tanks sounds very, very familiar. Our elites / betters are the ones with real privilege and use their wealth and network to experiment with culture in a very dangerous way. You could replace Olivier Roy with John Kerry or John Brennan (or any of the other Yale/Harvard graduates like Eric Ciaramella cycling in and out of government agencies). These are the modern day Chamberlains without an ounce of common sense whose hubris cost blood and treasure.

Some other thoughts…

If you are going to decolonize you better have a plan to protect your borders.
Nuance is a code word used by the left to explain away common sense.
The alliance between the left and radicals like the squad (wink wink) isn’t going to last. It’s a marriage of convenience built on extreme naïveté.