It has been a whirlwind of a few days for me. Between company going and coming and going again, and all the multiple airport runs that entails, I have been caught up in a beautiful festivity.
This day just passed was the feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Mother. This happens to be a feast on the “old” calendar that was stripped from the new. I cannot for the life of me figure out why a hierarchy that seems to detest motherhood (let alone authentic women) would want to suppress such a feast. Remember when he said our mothers needn’t “breed like rabbits”? What a vile and vulgar man…
I remember in seminary when our weekly rector’s conference was replaced one week by an aging couple who appeared at the pulpit in our chapel to teach us seminarians all about the joys of natural family planning. Oh they checked all the boxes of NuChurch fabulosity. They kind of reminded me of Bob and Penny Lord but without the charm. Plastered smiles and helmeted hair… Keep in mind that Aquinas was nowhere on our reading list; but NFP? They made sure we knew every in and out and, well, mostly out. It seemed to me that the number one priority of a priest was to teach couples how not to create souls for God.
My brother texted me this evening. “Did you celebrate John XXIII?” My reply, “Gross,” apparently was not what he was expecting. No, instead I started the day at the start of the day – midnight – in Adoration and singing 35 minutes of Marian hymns with other parishioners as a gift to Our Mother. I rounded out the day with my 15 decades and a sung Mass.
While I was kneeling during the canon, incense still billowing through the sanctuary, a thought came to me. Our Lord gave us this Mass because he loves us. He loves us enough to have died for us. And he loves us enough to give me – a degenerate and faithless sinner – a way to tell Him I love Him too. This Mass, this liturgy is His. It is His gift to us for it is His sacrifice but also because it is not an invention of man. Read the Fathers. Read Fortescue. Read the seers and visionaries and all the Catholic prophecies. Christ Himself showed us how to worship Him. This is in stark contrast to the New Order Mass written by Freemasons on a napkin in a cafe.
And then it really hit me. This is all possible because Mary is a mother. She was the living tabernacle of the Son of God. She suffered with Him in His sacrifice that I now kneel before. And He brought her body and soul to His glory. My Mother, your Mother is queen of Heaven and Earth because she is a mother.
Moms out there, let that sink in next time you doubt your vocation.
This evening after returning from Mass, I opened a very lovely email from a priest in Oklahoma. He was curious about something in my last post – Seen and Heard.
In brief, his question was: “Why is there a picture of a window in a church in Oklahoma City when your story describes something at a French Congolese Mass?” Clearly, there is no such Mass in that area. Fr. knows this.
First, I am very grateful for the question and the opportunity to clarify. Fr. was most professional and respectful in his email and for this I am very thankful. If I had a gold star, I would give it to him now.
Second, and here is the clarification, I do not always match the pictures I use to the posts. This is not normally a problem if the post is not about a specific place. I use pictures of sacred art – stained glass windows, statues, etc. – in my posts to both brighten the place up and give my readers a glimpse of sacred art. The patrimony of the Church is not limited to basilicas in Rome, you know. I have been blessed to encounter many truly beautiful churches right here in the US. I also try to stick to ONLY using pictures I have taken myself. Recently, I was in Oklahoma City and snapped a few pictures. Hence, when looking for a picture of a window or statue of the Blessed Mother to put into my post, that picture came up first.
Today, a close source informs me that the local ordinary presided over a “liturgy” for the French Congolese “community” at a local “multicultural” parish. I won’t name names but perhaps he was brain-injured by the climate shock of his last move. Or it could have been the vax. He was pretty prominent about getting that nonsense injected into his arm. The source – a dear friend of many years – had missed the earlier Mass and had no other options. Or so she thought, as I will argue in another post to come. If the New Order Mass is your only “option”, you might actually have no option at all.
Regardless, this source informs me that things got weird really fast.
Oh it was a revival alright – a revival of Soul Train, from the description she provided.
I’ll spare you the gory details and skip to the “homily”. I couldn’t tell you what the Epistle or Gospel were about because the New Order Mass uses a different “cycle” and calls them silly things like the “First Reading,” etc.
The ordinary apparently meandered his way through a few banal thoughts before spewing forth the following gem.
Ok 1) No. 2) What the hell? Pandering to people is now “evangelization”. And 3) See point number 1. Also, many of the Congolese in this particular parish were born here but whatever.
If only there was a universal rite of the Church that goes back to ancient days, given to us by Our Lord Himself. Imagine if all Catholics could walk into a Catholic church and worship in the same way as their ancestors and not wonder if they had wandered into a low rent Protestant megachurch. Imagine if prelates knew and believed and taught the authentic Catholic faith – vital things that might help their flocks advance in sanctity? What would that be like to enter such a Church?
Friends, I recently began another novena to “my” saint – St. Rita of Cascia, saint of the impossible. I began these nine days of prayer for several close intentions of mine but also because of a new friend who told me that he had started this novena after reading about St. Rita on my blog.
Let me tell you, with God all things are possible. His beloved servant Rita is held aloft by the Church as a patroness of the things we think impossible. I attest that she will intercede and she will deliver. Of my several intentions, one was already delivered today. And these are no small petitions.
So I invite you, whether your prayer is to be able to continue going to the TLM daily in these dark times or it is to conceive a child when even doctors have told you that you cannot or to reconcile a wayward spouse; I know that Our Lord wants you to make your impossible intentions known to Him. He already knows the secrets of your heart before your heart was formed. But He asks you to give these things to Him to demonstrate your faith in and love for Him.
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.
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.
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