My new friend Andrew from St. Luke’s Gallery (do check out his site and his amazing work) reached out to me this evening with the following picture.
I am blessed to have been able to spread devotion in any small way to this saint of the impossible. She means so much to me and, as I can see, to many of you as well. Know that I am in a perpetual novena for all of you. Please, in your charity, pray for me.
Of Teeth and Matches
My lighter flamed out tonight. It was a Bic. No big deal. They last a few months and then, well, they die. No Last Rites, no Apostolic Pardon. They just eat dirt. I went searching in my emergency stash – my top dresser drawer – and found, among my meticulously folded underwear and a treasure trove of sentimental things I will never part with, the following.
Imagine my surprise when I slid the box open to find not matches to light my Marlboro with but two tiny teeth in a little bag. It seems I know the Tooth Fairy pretty well these past 14 years and he seems to have left my childrens’ chompers there as a gift to remind me of some of the happiest times of my life. I needed to see that (especially now when my kids are practically old enough to vote and my reason for existence is questionable at best).
Upon This Priest Rock
There is a priest visiting my parish from Ireland. He said the noon Mass today. Pray for the priests. I was intrigued after Mass so I went home and Google-stalked him. Turns out our young Father gained some notoriety during the Coof-o-Rama by celebrating the Sacrifice on ancient rock formations along the coast of the Emerald Isle. if you know, then you know. Apparently not long after that he decided that the ancient Mass was what he needed to be immersed in. What a blessing to us in Traddyland! That did not , however, stop some of his detractors online from ranting about his being drawn into tradition. I found the following online and I share it for one reason that you will see presently:
If only it was an issue of vernacular language, you ankle-grabbing twit. Continuing…
“Primarily one of pastoral service”? You are retarded.
The priesthood is a sacrament whereby a man (you know, a full grown biological human with a Y chromosome, testosterone, facial hair, and male gonads who happens to not have any degenerate sexual predilections) is configured to Christ the High Priest in order to carry on the Sacrifice of Calvary. Pastoral service? Did you pull that line out of a Marty Haugen ditty or was it revealed to you in a fever dream?
Yes, pray for our priests who are under assault not only from the devil himself but also from his minions in the form of spongiform-brained hippie-dips with a slightly-better-than-DSL connection to the internets.
St. Patrick, pray for us!
*The original version of this post incorrectly labeled the St. Rita statue as being found in Ss. Peter and Paul. It has since been corrected.
So, friends, here we are. I don’t pretend that I have the world’s largest audience nor do I really care. When I began the re-worked iteration of my now 15 year-old blog I said a prayer asking God for one favor. I asked Him that He would use me to convert at least one person to the authentic Catholic faith and to help establish devotion to the Latin Mass. He, of course, will know when and if that has happened. In the meantime, I happily share my musings on the state of the Church in the world today and my most informed guesses as to where She will be tomorrow. I truly appreciate all of the kind notes I have been receiving and even more when a reader shares my writing with others. Thank you.
And yesterday, we saw the Arlington (VA) Diocese walk itself to the edge of a cliff, place one foot over the edge, and as if on cue, wait to make the final leap until a major Marian feast some five and a half weeks hence.
Others have spoken at length by now of the gyst of Bishop Burbidge’s directives and I invite you to read and watch what they have to say. Bring yourself up to speed. This is the place to dive more in-depth and analyze it from the perspective of a Catholic, a man, a husband, and a father. I will say, though, that one theory floating around the vastness of the internet is that the letter was actually penned by Arthur Roache, Prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and then simply forced upon Bishop Burbidge under penalty of removal from office. Truth? I know not. It seems plausible as does anything these days. About the only thing I do know is that, if you believe Traditiones Custodes was written in response to a bishops’ survey or that any bishops actually wrote Dubia in reference to it, there’s a lovely bridge I’d like to sell you over the East River. Gothic arches and all.
What I can further say is that there are two words I will be delving into in tomorrow’s post:
That legal entity aside, let’s look at some finer points of Burbidge’s Letter of Doom (BLD).
I spend a good amount of time in the counties of Northern Virginia. I lived there for three years early in my marriage. My daughter was born and baptized there. I still travel there frequently. Arlington is, in many ways, a victim of itself. In the wake of Summorum Pontificum, many of the priests there learned the TLM and began offering it in their parishes. As you see from the BLD, there are currently 21 out of 70 parishes offering TLM Masses. Partially as a result, the FSSP and ICKSP never set up shop here. One group who did establish a presence is the SSPX during the Coof-o-rama. They came and offered masses at the Warren County Fairgrounds north of Front Royal in compliance with the ridiculous Coof Diktats and Bishop B scolded them for it. He even told his people in a letter not to attend anything with the SSPX as they were “schismatic”.
Sorry, Bishop, they aren’t; and you calling them names doesn’t help. But guess what? They’re moving full-steam ahead on a permanent church in FroRo so there’s hope.
Point By Point
In the Directive at point #2 we learn that, as per Traditiones Custodes (TC), a priest will be appointed to oversee all of this garbage. If I am correct in my guess, than I personally know this priest. He is a friend and I will pray for him. To be sure, he is a good man but this is not a path he needs to be on, overseeing the sunsetting of the venerable Mass and I hope he realizes that. Fr., I still love you as a friend.
At point #3, in another example of no one having read anything prior to 1962 we have the patently false notion that because Fwancis says so, a valid Roman priest may not celebrate the TLM without permission. See Quo Primum, friends. “In perpetuity…” I have also been informed (though this needs further sourcing) that new priests may not even learn the TLM. Next, they’ll be telling us we can’t even think about it! How the hell do you stop someone from learning something?
At point #4 we see the list of parishes “allowed” to continue using the TLM. They include 3 parish churches and five other locations within the bounds of parishes. One of these locations is a Montesorri school. You can’t say the Mass in a church building so here are some colored blocks, an ironing board, and some number chains. Have at it! Also in this point comes the now-standard directive that, if I’m reading this right, says there won’t be any TLM’s during Holy Week or the Triduum, even at these eight locations.
My personal favorite is point #5. I’m going to quote it so you can’t mistake the lunacy of what we’re both encountering.
A midwit, mid-level manager in Rome is now directing what can and cannot be in our bulletins and on our websites? I’m going to find out the times and publish them here. Are you literally kidding me with this Northern Virginia Horseshit?
Point #6 mandates use of the vernacular for the Epistle and Gospel. They’ve already been doing this on their own in Arlington since last summer. It’s crap.
Point #8 says “no new groups” of faithful who are attached to the Latin Mass are to be established”. I may have to move back to Virginia just to establish a lay-run totally unofficial group.
But it is Point #9 that tells you all you need to know. They are absolutely shutting you down and they’re doing it swiftly. Take a look.
Friends in Arlington, can you feel it? Are you superjazzed and oh-so-excited to be lead back into the sole expression of the Roman Rite? It won’t be long now before you conform. Before you know it, you too will be liturgical dancing and stripping down to your boxers to jump in a lake for Mass on a raft.
They are coming for all of us. They want you to think it’s for your own good. They cannot stand up to a madman antipope because they fear ramifications. They fear they’ll be Lefebrve’d. Lord God, help these men find their balls soon.
I received the following email from a reader this morning.
Here is my response.
Now Let’s Talk About Grooming
Hair: It should be short. Sorry, gents, but we’ve advanced as a society far enough now that scissors are a widely available thing as are electric clippers. In fact, there was really only one man in history Who had long hair that worked for Him. And you’re not Him. I see my barber every 3-4 weeks and get a high and tight. Again, your hair should not be a distraction nor should it be the focal point of your existence and stature.
Facial Hair: This one’s not as tricky as it sounds. I tend to say either clean shaven (all the time) or, better yet, grow it out but keep it trimmed. I remember feeling so cool when I was 13 and shaved for the first time. It was manly and I was now a man (or so I thought). Years later I was teaching CS Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters and read (and re-read many times) the following passage. It’s advice from one demon to another.
I’ve given this one some thought and I’ve worn a beard for the past five years. I recognize not all men can grow a beard. I believe that has to do with the overall feminization of the West – soy products and overall lower levels of testosterone. OK 1) Eat meat. That being said, I say, if you can do it, do it.
Posture: Stand up straight. Shoulders back. Suck in your gut. Chest out. Make yourself big.
Chivalry: Learn it. Live it. Grab that door for every lady (and really for any person). Give of yourself. Another thing I learned from Dad was in watching how until the last time he drove a car, he always held the car door for my mom. I try to do that for my wife. She agreed to take on your life, your name, and your children. Treat her like it.
Accessories: First, don’t ever use that word. I’m just using it here for reference. Shoes should be polished. They should match your belt which should match your eyes which should be hazel. I’m only kidding about that last part but you get it.
Other than that, there’s not much to it. Ann Barnhardt mentioned a preference for not going wild with colors and not giving into the trend of “skinny” tailoring. First that brings up an important point. If you are able to and need to, get your more important clothing tailored. Many dry cleaners have a tailor on site. It’s a one-time thing (unless your weight fluctuates wildly) and worth the relatively minor cost. WEAR YOUR PANTS AT YOUR WAIST – Not below, Not above. And yes, I agree. I wouldn’t go the skinny route. I know some will push back and say “but I look good in that!” If you do, that probably means you are skinny. Don’t be afraid to put some meat on your bones. Remember we men are distinguished by greater muscle mass. Ask any swimmer who’s competed against Will Thomas. And as far as bright colors, the word I would use is gauche or flamboyant. I own exactly one pink tie. I bought it for my daughter’s baptism which occurred on Gaudete Sunday. Other than that, a tiny splash of color is OK, as Ann says, in ties, pocket squares, etc. Don’t make a habit of it.
And for heaven’s sake, don’t wear jewelry. It should go without saying that earrings are for pirates and queers. Tough love moment? Sorry. Your wedding ring, gentlemen, is a sacramental, not jewelry. Treat it accordingly. Your scapular (and you should be wearing one) stays beneath your shirt. It is for your benefit. Trust me, everyone else in that Trad parish has one on and they assume you do as well.
Wow, that was longer than I was expecting. Perhaps this becomes a regular feature? Likely not.
My thoughts at the end of this mid-week night are all over the map, friends. Bear with me. I promise you’ll enjoy the round-up (even if there isn’t any actual DDT).
Nancy and Frankie
Nancy took Communion at the Vatican. Exactly. She “took” Communion in the same way a thief takes your jewels. Her bishop ordered her not to present herself for Communion. She said she didn’t care. She jetted off to Rome on our dime despite her net worth being in the way-up-there-millions. She met with Antipope Bergoglio. He apparently blessed her which has as much worth as my own blessing but less so. She then “got in the line” and “took Communion”. She is a foul, festering, and atrocious bitch. There is no other word. You were thinking the same thing. We’re moving on.
New Apostolic Letter, Same Old Garbage
Antipope Bergoglio issued some kind of apostolic letter today. I think it was called Desilu Studios or something like that. Trying to sift through the nonsense. It’s like trying to read through the end paper of a group project foisted upon a cohort of graduate students in a program in Education. Yes, friends, yours truly had to slog through that too thanks to the ridiculous MS in Educational Administration I had to get along the way. Here’s a hint. It’s like reading an 8th grade book report from the kids who didn’t read the book. I’ll summarize it so far. If you are Catholic, as in you believe everything handed down to you from the apostles and worship Our Lord in the Mass of Angels and Saints, then apparently you’ve got some problems. They may be psychological. They may be physical. We really don’t know. But you had better get on board soon. They’re really tired of having to play “good cop/bad cop” over there at Casa Sancta Marta. If you didn’t flip for them a year ago with Traditiones Custodes, maybe the kinder, gentler version will help you conform.
Boys Will be Trad Men
I wandered into my family room this afternoon to something I thought I’d never see. My teenage son and two of his friends were on the couch watching a YouTube video called “Novus Ordo Cringe Compilation vol. 3” I seriously love these young men. There is hope that we’re raising tomorrow’s men right.
As I was getting dressed for mass this beautiful (if not sweltering) Texas Sunday, I reached onto my dresser for my cuff links.
A note on that… I always wear my best for Sunday mass. Today it was my tan linen suit topped off with my dad’s old straw boater hat. I do believe I’ve just doxxed myself if any of my fellow parishioners are reading.
The cuff links – the charging primers from a couple of old .38 specials – were in a box amidst the myriad other things that have accumulated on my dresser. I’m generally a very tidy guy – some might say OCD – so the fact there is a pile of things on my dresser distresses me.
I grabbed the links and turned around and as I did I heard the sound of a piece of paper hitting the floor. Think about that. Paper hitting the floor. Wouldn’t usually make a sound and yet it sounded like a ten lb. weight. I turned back and looked down to find a holy card with a picture of the foster-father of Our Lord and the words “Ite ad Joseph” – Go to Joseph.
I do believe perhaps Our Lord is directing me to turn to the man who protected His very life in the womb of the Blessed Mother and again when The government tried to kill Him and countless other times.
Go to Joseph I will.
I’ve tried to foster devotion to him for many years, being a husband and father and all. But I know devotions don’t always flourish without any input. I should know this. I’ve got a flower bed in my front yard. I have to make sure it gets watered or I’ll have a crop of dead zinnias on my hands. Actually my wife will have a crop of dead zinnias. I hate gardening. I like the look of the flowers but I hate gardening. I do my best to take care of it for her because I love her.
And because I love her and our kids and the unborn; and because I am a man who strives to protect them all; and because Our Lord loved Joseph (and clearly dropped that holy card at my feet), I will go to Joseph.
I think we all need a little reminder from time to time that everyday, ordinary life continues amidst the chaos of the world in which we dwell.
Last night, my daughter informed me that she had just lost a tooth. “Sweetheart,” I said, “If you lost it, how is it in your hand?” She’s come to expect these rejoinders from her old man. *Eyeroll* “Daddy,” she said, “anyway… It’s a silver tooth.” Then she sauntered away as though that should mean something to me. I believe, in fact, that this is probably her last baby tooth. I think she had this silver tooth going back to early childhood when the pediatric dentist we were taking her to insisted that this particular tooth, even though a baby tooth, should be filled and not pulled because it would be quite a while before an adult tooth would take its place. I ought to know since I’ve been taking her to the dentist her whole life. Apparently when the dentist talks I should “actively listen” and not continue to skim through the four month old office copy of People.
This morning I went into the kitchen to get my morning coffee. It is a well established fact that the glorious extract of the coffee bean has power to improve heart function, lower blood pressure, boost testosterone (thus putting proverbial hair on one’s chest – a shock if one is a woman), energize the neurons in the brain, and wake one up in the morning. Perhaps the first few items in that list I made up. Haven’t had enough java yet.
On the counter near the coffee pot I discovered a large, handwritten note. It said something to the effect of: “Dear Tooth Fairy, Here’s the tooth. It’s silver so you better not ‘cheap out’. I’ll expect my $$$ by the morning. Love, Harvey’s daughter” Succinct. But in fact my daughter and this Tooth Fairy fellow (for he clearly is a very handsome and virile MAN who drinks a lot of coffee) have had a back-and-forth dialogue like this for years. At one point my daughter lost a tooth while on a trip through Ontario. Don’t you know that “TF” paid her in Canadian dollar coins and even left her a note in English and French.
About twenty minutes after I drank my first cup of morning gold, and after a quick trip to the ATM (you know, for like, whatever, I needed cash), the following note had replaced the first.
I’m on a plane. I paid for the WiFi. I’m taking advantage of it and writing another installment. I think we left off with a priest showing up through a priest hole in my closet, like Narnia but in reverse. And without the goat-man.
We emerged into the dining room to find a folding table set up against the front window of the house. Our house faces north of that means anything. I never did tell you Fr.‘s name. And I cannot remember it now. We’ll call him Fr. Chad. Upon Fr.’s request my wife produced alter linens ala table cloths. But linens alone do not an altar make. “Fr.,” I asked, “I’m no expert but I sort of am but don’t you need like a chalice or some other things for mass?” At this moment Sister walked past me with a crate of “mass supplies”, set them down, and silently returned to a chair at the back of the room.
“I gotch-u, baby,” said Fr. with all the air and confidence of a 1970’s street pimp.
Yes, it was at this precise moment that I gave up and decided simply to go along with all that almighty God had planned for me. Clearly I have no clue.
“Introibo ad altare Dei.” *”I will go unto the altar of God.”
With these words, Fr. began the holy sacrifice of the mass. As he continued on through the Confiteor, I glanced beyond him and out the large picture window over the “altar”. The snow was now coming down heavily. It really was a beautiful sight. Reminded me so much of my childhood growing up in New Jersey. the only difference here is that elm and split leaf maples are swapped with crepe myrtles. But the fresh-fallen powder on the barren branches is still magnificent.I
I have always loved the snow. I think it has something to do with the peacefulness of it all. Even the noises of the atmosphere are dampened by a blanket of snow. Everything is almost silent when it falls. People can’t venture far past their streets. Families “huddle” together. And then there’s the child-like sense of wonder in me. As a kid, I loved seeing something fall from the sky that was so beautiful. As a man, I can’t help but think back to my boyhood and the true happiness I felt when we’d get a significant snowfall. Imagine if you will the combination of a picturesque scene out the window and the eternal, super-beautiful reality taking place just below it.
“Ite, missa est.” *”Go, the mass is over.”
We prayed the Leonine prayers, took a few moments to offer our thanks to God, and headed to the kitchen for lunch. Even Sister looked pious while kneeling to pray.
By now (after our meal) it was getting to be later in the afternoon. I stepped onto the porch to see how much had fallen. It was 12 degrees. I know this is Texas and the weather is schizophrenic but this is truly crazy. I noticed about six inches on the ground. The little kid in me got real giddy. I can’t help it. I’ve been in Texas almost a decade. We never see this. I went back inside to find that Fr. had vanished. I asked him to use the door but I think he went back through the priest hole. In fact I know he did due to the presence of a draft in my house. The re-pointing of hose bricks won’t be cheap. But Sister was at least still with us. And she had set up a board game at our kitchen counter.
We rounded out our afternoon in the typical fashion. We played Yahtzee and I shotgunned a gin and tonic. Sister played the oboe (did I neglect that detail?) and the children danced. It was “Flight of the Bumblebees”. Stupendous.
We all drifted off to sleep this peaceful night with no clue of what lie/lay/lain ahead of us. Yeah, I couldn’t figure the correct form. Whatevs, shuge.
In our next installment we enter the darkness. Hope you’re ready.
Folks, I got off all that social media nonsense a while ago. Sorry but I'm not on Twitbook, Facepalm, YouHu, WingWang or any of the others. Maybe an event will happen to make me change my mind like Peter and Paul coming down with flaming swords and commanding it be so. Until then, read the blog and if you feel a comment is in order or you feel like sharing a tip or suggestion for a topic, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvey is a funny, witty and interesting read. Want to know what's going on in the world of Harvey? Then make a point to subscribe to his blog! You just never know when those pesky Weebles will show up. Hmmm, speaking of Weebles - haven't heard from them in a while (wink). Seriously, you just never know what to expect and whatever you find, it never disappoints! -- Debbi Robertson @ Photos and Facets