Weekend 575.0

(1) More quotes from On Modernism’s Ruins: The Architecture of “Building Stories” and Lost Buildings by Daniel Worden:

“For Samuelson, as for Ware, history is present through objects, and the passage of time entails a regretful decline in the value ascribed to those objects.”

“Ware comments that one of the things that drew him to the project was its emphasis on Louis Sullivan’s early modernist architecture, which seemed to be ‘frozen life.’ As a form, comics rely on dialectical relationships between the fragment and the whole; each panel is both discreet and bound to its predecessors and antecedents. Ware’s phrase ‘frozen life’ suggests an analogous fragmentation, a necessary episodic moment that can be observed in and of itself, yet also placed in a temporal continuum.”

Downtown Local by Hudson Talbott 1980 (Paper Moon Graphics)

Immortalized in Stained-Glass

A quote from Bermuda’s Story by Terry Tucker:

“On the north side of the nave in the Bermuda Cathedral in Hamilton you will see a stained-glass window picturing the storm on the sea of Galilee and the small boat struggling through mountainous waves. At the foot are the words: ‘In Memory of the First Settlers in these Islands and of their Historian, Sir John Henry Lefroy, K.C.M.G., sometime Governor of this Colony.’ This seems a meagre public reminder of a governor who did more for Bermuda than would seem possible for one man in the short span of a six-year tour of duty. To you who want to know the story of your home-land, no name can mean more than that of Lefroy who was Governor and Commander-in-Chief from 1871 to 1877.”

Weekend 560.2 (pro Ecclesia contra mundum)

Excerpt from “Benedict XVI and the Call to Holiness” by Joseph Pearce

The spirit of worldliness within the Church, which is made manifest in modernism, can only be countered by a spirit of other-worldliness, a spirit of sanctity. “Saints … reformed the Church … by reforming themselves,” Benedict reminds us. “What the Church needs in order to respond to the needs of man in every age is holiness….” The Church does not need modernists calling for the power of the people, she needs saints, the true people of God who live and love in communion with the Mystical Body of Christ.

And so we return to where we started. It’s all about the battle between good and evil. As Pope Benedict reminds us, the Church doesn’t need programs, or committees, or bureaucracy; she needs saints. “The Church, I shall never tire of repeating it, needs saints more than functionaries.”

Weekend 557.1

“Let us not hesitate to give pride of place to silent daily prayer in the solitude of our room. In a perfect symbiosis with the cloisters of monasteries, it is necessary to experience an intimate relationship with God in the sanctuary of our room and to fight the good fight of faith through prayer and silence. Today, in this pagan would besotted with idols that boasts of the most abominable sins, God himself demands through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah that we go into our rooms to keep ourselves safe from all contamination and all slavery of sin, but especially to pray intensely with a view to our conversion: ‘Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while…. For behold, the Lord is coming forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of earth…. Or let them lay hold of my protection, let them make peace with me’ (Is 26:20-21; 27:5). We can become true contemplatives by living in peace with God if our houses become temples of God.” — Cardinal Sarah

Weekend 555.0

“The monastic tradition calls ‘Great Silence’ the nocturnal atmosphere of peace that is supported to reign in the communal areas, as well as in each cell, generally from Compline until Prime, so that each one can be alone with God. But each person ought to create and build for himself an interior cloister, ‘a wall and a bulwark’, a private desert, so as to meet God there in solitude and silence.” — Cardinal Robert Sarah

Orval Abbey in Belgium

Pope Benedict XVI (1927 – 2022)


Effectively, the Shroud was immersed in that profound darkness that was at the same time luminous; and I think that if thousands and thousands of people come to venerate it without counting those who contemplate it through images it is because they see in it not only darkness but also the light; not so much the defeat of life and of love, but rather victory, the victory of life over death, of love over hatred. They indeed see the death of Jesus, but they also see his Resurrection; in the bosom of death, life is now vibrant, since love dwells within it. This is the power of the Shroud: from the face of this “Man of sorrows”, who carries with him the passion of man of every time and every place, our passions too, our sufferings, our difficulties and our sins Passio Christi. Passio hominis from this face a solemn majesty shines, a paradoxical lordship.

Ridin’ around in the breeze…

“The age-long procession of our townsfolk wends its way through Southampton, towards the far horizons of time. And so shall we all, all pass into the sun-traced shadows which lie across the pleasant fields of memory.” — Elsie M. Sandell

“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come.
From God, who is our home.” — William Wordsworth

I love the house where you dwell, O Lord, the place where your glory resides. — Ps. 26:8

“O Lord, I see Your glory in the Church, Your Body. May it shine froth also from me, in my words and deeds.¹”

“Death looms before us like a great door. It is awesome because it is larger than any other reality we ever face. It sums up all that has been and brings to an end all that might be yet to happen. It is a great and silent door. But for the person of faith, it becomes an inviting mystery. In the course of the years one becomes weary of conflict and sorrow. One longs for the fulfillment of the most profound needs of the human heart—for peace from conflict within and without, for a place free of danger and disappointment, for relationships untroubled by change and unmarred by selfishness. One longs to see, at last, the beauty of God, which has summoned us throughout life, shining out here and there. The words of Psalm take on a poignant meaning as one gets older, ‘I have loved. O Lord, the beauty of thy house and the place where thy glory dwells’ (Ps 26:8). One desires to embrace again loved ones gone long ago—from childhood and adolescence. Death becomes a possibility of going home to our Father’s house. For the believer, it begins to lose the bitterness and sting that St. Paul spoke about and begins faintly to resemble what death was supposed to be before the Fall, a passing on to a far better place, a coming home after a long journey.” — Benedict J. Groeschel, C.F.R.

¹Daily Meditations on the Psalms

Historical Parallels

I’m reading Faith Of Our Fathers: A History of True England by Joseph Pearce. He first mentioned the IDEA for this book on YouTube. The content is surprisingly topical given the total marginalization of people of faith by secular fundamentalists and their trampling jackboots. The book is also full of hope since Catholicism has survived (and thrived) in the UK whilst most other churches have been razed or converted into museums and cafes.

Quotes from Faith Of Our Fathers: A History of True England:

“The king’s usurpation of the religious rights of the Church, and therefore the religious liberties of his subjects, set in motion a process of secular nationalism that would lead to the rise of the sort of secularism which ripens into secular fundamentalism. When the state gets too big for its boots, trampling on religious liberty, it is not long before the boots become jackboots, trampling on the defenseless and the weak, and piling up the bodies of its countless victims.”

“In terms of realpolitik, Henry would not have been able to get his hands on the wealth of the Church without bribing the nobles with a promise of a share of the plunder. Had the aristocracy not been bought in this way, they would no doubt have rebelled in defiance of the king and in defense of the Church. It was, therefore, in appealing to the baser appetites of the ignoble nobility that Henry succeeded in sacking the Church and removing her power from his realm.”

“Three days after the martyrdom of John Fisher, Henry ordered preachers to denounce the treasons of Sir Thomas More from their pulpits. Since More’s trial for treason wasn’t due to start until a week later, on July 1, the king’s orders signified, if such signification were necessary, that the trial was already a foregone conclusion and that only one verdict would be tolerated. The parallels with the justice system in other secular tyrannies, such as the show trials in the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin are clear enough.

“The plunder, which, Cobbett called an ‘act of monstrous tyranny’, was made possible by the passage of an Act of Parliament in March 1536 for the suppression of the monasteries and the passing of all property and wealth owned by these religious communities into the hands of the king and his heirs.”

“‘Almost overnight,’ wrote Simon Jenkins, ‘the City and its surrounding land saw a transfer of ownership and wealth on a scale not witnessed even during the Norman Conquest.’ The vast bulk of this property ‘passed to aristocrats, merchants and cronies of the monarch.'”

A walk through Walsingham with Joseph Pearce (YouTube)
New Decorative Scheme for St George’s Chapel

Henry VI, Part 2

Henry was more martyr than king and developed a cult after he was slain.

Quotes from The Brothers York by Thomas Penn:

“As a shuffling Harry was led the short distance to the west door of St Paul’s – Westminster, apparently, was too much of a stretch – his physical frailty and mental instability were palpable. In the intervening decade he had become, if anything, more detached, more unearthly. One Londoner followed the standard Lancastrian line, explaining away Henry’s ‘ghostliness’ as ‘saintliness’; another delicately summed up the problem, observing that he was ‘no earthly Caesar’. The Burgundian chronicler Georges Chastellain put it more bluntly. The king was ‘ordered like a crowned calf’, his uncomprehending gaze taken by his handlers as assent. ‘And’, Chastellain added, the real ‘governor and dictator of the realm’ was Warwick, who ‘did everything’.”

“In a last-ditch attempt to boost Londoners’ morale, George Neville ordered Henry VI to be put on a horse and led through the city’s streets. Where, ten years previously, Edward’s hastily constructed inauguration ceremonies had convinced most Londoners, this limp procession backfired spectacularly. His hand held all the way by Neville – perhaps in reassurance, perhaps to stop him falling out of his saddle – Henry was dressed in a shabby long blue gown, ‘as if’, remarked one observer, ‘he had no more clothes to change with’, adding that the whole thing was more ‘like a play than the showing of a prince to win men’s hearts.'”

“At St Paul’s, to the singing of the Easter hymn Salve festa dies, celebrating God’s victory over hell, Edward offered up his battle standards, ripped and shredded by gun- and arrowfire. He then had Henry VI paraded through London, to the Tower. In a spitefully effective touch, the Lancastrian king was dressed in the same blue gown that he had been wearing since his ineffectual display of regality the previous Thursday.”

Quotes from The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy:

“Henry VI had been an unassuming man in his own lifetime, dressing in farmer’s boots, wearing the gown and rolled hood of a slightly run-down urban worthy; up to the Reformation his shabby hat could be tried on by Windsor pilgrims suffering from headache. He liked to appear to his clients in just such unassuming garb, dressed like a pilgrim, unshaven, and walking up and down with a friendly face, ‘giving…no little ground of hope and amazement.'”

“The victims of political struggles might become martyrs, and popular devotion to such ‘saints’ might be the vehicle for criticism of or resistance to the political status quo. A number of the 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…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.”

“What was true of the Virgin applied, to a lesser degree, to all the saints. They too could be appealed to as loving friends, who would not be too hard on poor weak flesh and blood. In the cases of saints like Archbishop Scrope or Henry VI, this emphasis was related to their own histories: the victims of persecution or judicial murder could be expected to have a special tenderness for those who suffered similar injustice. The fact that Henry VI had been wrongfully imprisoned and treated, as his biographer Blacman commented, ‘like a thief or an outlaw’, together with his well-known readiness during his lifetime to forgive malefactors, meant that he could be called on to rescue those whose human law had judged beyond the pale.”