Monthly Archives: November 2022

Happy Birthday! I Got You a Blanket.

“This morning, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, condescended to come and dwell within me, and gave Himself to me!”

Any day that starts with those words is a good day for me.

In fact, any day above ground is a good day for me. But today was a special day in many other ways. First, though, it is Advent and Our Lord has seen fit to give me many opportunities for growth in holiness. I, unfortunately, being a notorious sinner, will probably bungle the whole thing. But here’s what we’ve got… I’ve got daily Mass (Deo Gratias!), my daily rosary (and He’s given me plenty of time in each day to get it done), the St. Andrew Christmas novena, my ongoing St. Rita novena (I am still praying for all of you!), an Immaculate Conception novena, and in a few days, a Guadalupe novena. Couple that with the fact that our parish priests have done such a good job of driving home the need to fast, sacrifice, and mortify more; and this Advent could be the best ever.

But this morning… I hopped out of bed at 6AM more cheerful than I am usually am. I went for my coffee (I take it black, thank you) and said the Angelus. Then I began with my morning prayers. I do this on my front porch with the aforementioned coffee (and usually a smoke). This morning it was a chilly 35 degrees – just like I like it and just perfect for the classic red union suit I wore under my PJ’s and robe. And THEN I went to Mass to celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew, who is my patron saint by way of my confirmation and so I bear his name (buried in the midst of a few others).

I spent most of the day running a few errands. I took my sister to the airport. She had been visiting for Thanksgiving. I spent the rest of a few gift cards I had for Lowes on a giant new tool for my workshop that I’ve had my eye on. Believe me, I’m not a carpenter but woodworking runs in my family and I have done a few projects that I think are kind of cool. With this baby, I will be doing a whole lot more.

Why is any of this important?

You might remember the reference in last night’s post to the Brazilian steakhouse. All of it – Mass, the new tools, lunch with my sister and kids? I was celebrating two of the most significant moments in my life.

Today is my twin sister’s birthday. The problem is that I don’t get to visit her these days. We live kind of far apart but we’ll always be close. It’s a twin thing. I asked another sister if she could pick up my birthday present for the twin and deliver it and she graciously agreed. It’s funny, but I’ve been getting her the same gift for years now. Every year it’s the same old thing. It’s a blanket. It’s my way of taking care of the earthly abode she will one day inhabit again.

Nice arrangement if I do say so myself.

OK, so for those who aren’t familiar, the above is called a grave blanket and they are ubiquitous in the Northeast this time of year. I don’t know if they are as common in other parts of the country but I have not see many outside of my homeland. She would have been 45 today and I think that’s just grand. It is my solemn duty to celebrate for her and I have never let her down on that front. Therefore, the party continues through the night.

But it also continues for another, equally significant reason. You see, 32 years after my twin was born, to the day (and three minutes earlier on that same day), my beautiful daughter was born. Today I can no longer say I have “children” in the proper sense as both of mine are now teenagers. But no matter how old she gets, she will always be my baby girl. I remember joking with my wife when we were expecting our daughter that one day my wife would come home to find me and the daughter watching Hallmark Christmas movies while drinking hot chocolate and eating candy. This, I figured, would be how I would bond with a daughter.

Well, here we are. As I write this, I’m back in my PJ’s. My daughter demanded it. Also, I don’t really have PJ’s. I’m a grown man; they’re lounge pants for sleeping in cold weather. Regardless, we’re nestled on the couch, the dog between us receiving the petting of both of us in an alternating pattern. I just put my hot chocolate down for a bit. On the screen? You guessed it. Kristin Chenowith in a Hallmark Christmas movie. The plots are ridiculously predictable and that’s OK. It was what the daughter wanted and for her birthday, I will comply.

By the way, all those prayers I was eager to pray earlier? It might just have to do a little something with wanting to make sure I stand a chance at getting to spend just one more birthday with my sister. I am three minutes older, but she lives in eternity now so that one’s going to be a little odd. Also, there’s a fun little fact about me buried in the post. I hope you spot it because my late father, the actuary, was truly impressed that I beat all probability with this one.

May God bless us all and the Virgin protect us!

St. Rita and St. Andrew, pray for us!

Tuesday Night Roundup: Now with Personhood!

A Peronist’s a Peronist, No Matter How Evil

Word out today is that Antipope Bergoglio has reportedly told reporters that he will not answer the question of whether an unborn human child is a person because “it’s an unsettled question” or something like that. Someone online pointed out that the not always perfectly worded 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church states exactly the opposite.

“How can he say such things in opposition to the Catechism?!” they say.

I ran this past a friend of mine who responded, “No matter. He’ll just change the Catechism.”


Folks, if you don’t get by now that this man who does everything he can to outright destroy the Catholic faith is NOT the actual Vicar of Christ then you probably never will.

St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, Old North End, Boston, MA (unrelated to post topic)

Anyone who’s ever worked with children, or taught children, or held a newborn, or truly observed a woman with child can tell you the truth. But if you insist on jumping backwards through mental, flaming hoops trying to square the circle that a heretic usurper is the one and only living pope, then 1) you will eventually go insane or lose your faith or both and 2) I can’t help you.

For everyone else, Cling to Our Lord, Who Is Truth.

Anticipating the Big Day

I’m just putting it out there, Brazilian steakhouses are amazing. I’ve been on the carnivore diet for the past two months. Incredible results. Some of you know that I took up weightlifting and conditioning hardcore after my second spinal fusion surgery a few years ago. I didn’t have a whole lot to lose but it was time for a shred phase as I had done a bulk over the summer. A restaurant where a team of waiters descend upon you with cuts of expertly cooked and cut meats is the perfect place to celebrate the vigil of a major feast. More on that tomorrow.

Mother of Good Counsel, pray for us!

Prayers for Eternal Repose Requested

I just got off the phone with a dear friend. As many of you know, I spent the better part of fifteen years teaching Catholic moral theology to high school students in addition to my work as a school administrator. This was after my time in seminary and a five-year stopover in the world of broadcast TV news production. I am proud to say that I forged many lasting friendships with the young men and women who were in my charge every day. One such young man is now a college senior in Ohio. It was he who called me just now. And the news he shared was horrifying.

This young man had been born in New Orleans before moving to Texas with his family as a youngster. His father had not always been a Catholic but had entered the Church as an adult. The DRE at their parish in New Orleans, whom my friend describes as the most solid woman he’s known, was responsible for helping his dad enter the Catholic Church. This woman was rewarded for her efforts by becoming the godmother to my friend. They kept in touch over the years and he even says that they spoke regularly on the phone.

This woman – Ruth – was currently working as a pastoral associate at her parish outside of New Orleans. She was in the habit of having the retired pastor over to dinner every now and then. Yesterday (Sunday), she had invited Fr. over to watch the Saints game. A wanton thug apparently broke into the home and abducted the two. He then drove off with them before ultimately torching the vehicle with the pair still inside. He has been arrested and charged with murder.

Click here for the story from a local New Orleans station.

Please stop right now and pray for the repose of their souls. Then pray that justice – true justice – be done. The man responsible for this deserves no less than the forfeiture of his earthly life and to be sent to God for his judgment.

Go ahead, I’ll wait…

My friend concluded by telling me, “I mean, I know she’s in heaven. She was a good woman.”

And that’s when I stopped him.

“I am sure she was a good woman if you are vouching for her. However, we do not know if any of us are going to make it. In charity for her soul, pray. Pray and have Masses offered for her. If she loved the Church as you say she did, there is nothing she would want more from you at this moment.”

The same all-merciful and all-just God who will deal with her murderer will, we hope, look kindly upon the prayers of those offered for his servants who must still be purified before seeing His Vision. “Lord Jesus Christ, for the sake of the tears of your Mother, hear our prayer and have mercy on us!”

Please pray for her soul and continue to pray for all the dead.

Advent is Upon Us!

Here is your first penance for this penitential season. Brought to you by VII (and don’t try to tell me it wasn’t)… It’s already cued up to play at just the right moment but if for any reason it doesn’t play correctly, go to 6:55.

Friends, go to Mass. Fast, pray, give alms. Read the Scriptures. Live the Gospel. Remember that Our Lord is not a liar. He cannot be as He IS Truth. He will come again and we know not the day nor the hour; but He’s given us some pretty stellar clues so watch and pray. Pray your rosaries. Do NOT prance about a church sanctuary like Agnes DeMille on Xanax. It will do you no good and it just looks like you have a brain injury.

Come Lord Jesus!

The Marriage at the End of the World

Today, Mrs. Harvey and I attended a wedding. We left our home last evening and flew (during the busiest travel period of the year and with inflation-jacked airfares) into Northern Virginia to celebrate as the daughter of good friends got married. Given the above details, you can tell we really like these people.

The only thing that was a little unusual about this wedding was that the groom is not Catholic and so there was no Mass. as I am a daily Mass-attendee, this meant that we would have to go somewhere else. So after landing and getting to our place and into bed by about 1:30 AM, we were back up at 5:30 to head off to a TLM in a gymnasium a half-hour away. But enough about the Arlington Diocese…

Today was the final day of the liturgical year. This, coupled with the wedding I was going to, made me think of the end of times. No, it’s not because I think of marriage as a death sentence – far from it. It is a great institution given to us by Christ and I love every minute of mine. It is because, as Fulton Sheen points out, Calvary is the wedding ceremony par excellence. At Calvary, Our Lord poured Himself out in the perfect act of love, from which, as Paul reminds us, all marriage takes its form. And Calvary must make us think of the Second Coming of Christ. How can one stand beneath His cross and not imagine His Precious Blood dripping down on us, saving us, and then remember that His cross is the throne of our judgment.

The Holy Family, stained glass, Holy Family Cathedral, Tulsa, OK

But what really got me thinking of the end times is this. I witnessed the Novus Ordo rite of marriage and began to think of how Satan and his minions have caused a mass apostasy in the true Church and how that is being manifest in the Synodal Gay Way. In particular, I thought of the number of bishops worldwide promoting a “gay marriage blessing”, AKA: sodo-pseudo-marriage.

Why on earth are they wasting their time and energy trying to craft and implement such a thing. They’ve already had it for fifty years and they’ve been testing it out on straight folks the whole time. I listened as the traditional vows were obliterated. No mention of obedience. Hell, they didn’t even mention cherishing at this one, just love and honor. No real mention of procreation. Remember, being open to children is the primary purpose of marriage (but what does that mean to “couples” who cannot reproduce because, you know, two wangs don’t make a right). No Ephesians 5. Instead we got “Love is patient…”. Good words, to be sure, but they refer to supernatural Charity and not romantic infatuation.

Marriage is serious stuff, folks. The Novie rite of marriage is anything but and it’s the rite I got married in so I get it.

Marriage joins a man and a woman for their sanctification. Husbands and wives need to live out their marriages with the eye on heaven for the other, helping each other grow in holiness. For what purpose? To get to Heaven!

Wives be submissive to your husbands. Husbands love your wives as Christ loves the Church. Get married. Make lots of babies. Get to Heaven. It’s not that complicated. What more can I say?

Virgin Most Prudent, pray for us!

PS: Hi Pep!

An Update on the Trump Dilema

A guest at my Thanksgiving dinner last evening did what we all love to do and brought up politics at Thanksgiving dinner. It was no issue, really, as we get along, so to speak. His question to me was this. “You wrote a lice recently stating that you would update us the next day as to your thoughts on Trump’s re-election bid. Where is that piece?”

Well, it’s not here.

The truth is that I have much consideration to make still. So this time I will make the same promise, absent the word “tomorrow”.


St. Thomas More, pray for us!

Thanksgiving Traditions of the Trad Dad

First, A Feast

Today we celebrate the feast of the great Spanish mystical theologian, John of the Cross who, along with St. Teresa of Avila, reformed the Carmelite Order.

Last Advent a friend and I decided to tackle St. John’s masterpiece Dark Night of the Soul. No easy task, that. I can tell you that it was one of the most challenging reads I’ve ever undertaken. I will have to return to it one day to find some greater comprehension.

Monastery of the Infant Jesus of Prague and of St. Joseph, Discalced Carmelites of Dallas, Dallas, TX

John’s feast was moved to December 14 in the Nu calendar for no apparent reason but that’s OK because we’re all the same Church, right? Either way, as they say, “On Carmel’s heights, day and night, someone is always praying for you.” Thank God for that! Stepping off of soapbox now.

Second, Another Feast

This morning I continued the great tradition handed on by my dad. When I was 14 years-old, my father, who never cooked a day all year but insisted on assuming the responsibilities of Thanksgiving dinner in toto for his family of 16, woke me up at an ungodly hour. I think it was before 5AM. I am the youngest son in my family. Eight older brothers and he picked me for the task. Not sure if it was because he trusted me over them, if it’s because I faithfully accompanied him to early Mass every morning, or because I was the last one… “Its time to stuff a few birds,” he said. I stumbled out of bed, grabbed a cup of coffee and learned from the man how to feed an army on the native bird. I still remember cracking a joke that he didn’t find too amusing. “I’ve conducted a postmortem,” I said. “Looks like he died of blunt force trauma,” I remarked of the 25 lb turkey as I pulled it’s neck out of its thoracic cavity. “Poor bastard never stood a chance.” But dad took this day very seriously. He furrowed his brow and then said, “Hand me that can of beer. I have to batter the stuffing.”

The following year I was eager to help Dad again. I went to bed excited to rise early and spend time preparing dinner with the patriarch. Except it didn’t go down like that. He was no fool. It turns out he had only been training me – not for some distant future when I’d have my own family to feed but for the next year when he would finally get to sleep in. “Son, it’s time for you to stuff the birds…” And I’ve been doing it ever since.

And I still love this day. It reminds me of him. It reminds me of the importance of family, of being grateful to God for my Catholic faith, my many blessings, and of course, my wife and children, and all the friends we get to feed this year.

An additional note: one of the things Dad and I would do on this day would be to start the traditional Christmas music playlist. We’d have the classics going all morning in the kitchen while the parade played on a TV in the next room.

This morning I kept that one up too. When my kids asked me, “Where’s Mariah Carey?” I had but one response.

“One, kiddos, she’s a twit and also, no.” As I explained further, “Since my liturgical ‘preferences’ lie in 1954, my Christmas music may as well, too.” And then I played the following for them.

By the way, I totally want to host a party like the one above – gold Century 21 realtor’s jacket and all.

Happy Thanksgiving!

St. John of the Cross, pray for us!