Thoughts on Our Lady from the Founder of the Marians

O, you are truly sweet, Virgin Mary! For has there ever been anyone who, filled with bitterness, called upon you, the Sweetest One, and left without being comforted? Has there ever been anyone who, heartbroken and filled with grief, approached you and was not immediately strengthened? Has there been anyone who, tormented by vexing temptations, did not experience the sweetness of your heart? You comfort, strengthen, support, and uplift all those who are oppressed, crying, tempted, and depressed. You are sweet to all, gracious to all. I wish I could express how sweet you are as well as I understand that you are sweet! For even though the entire Christian world experiences and tastes your sweetness, it is not able to express it.

Inspectio Cordis — Blessed Stanislaus Papczynski

Illiteracy (of history, literature, etc.)

Here follows a quote by Kevin O’Brien (Theater of the Word)

My friends, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. We are the most literate culture in history, and thousands of volumes of the greatest works of literature can be carried in a cell phone in your pocket. The Bible has never been more accessible to more people at any time ever.

And yet we are stunningly illiterate.

Well, nobody said that having access to vast amounts of information would make you knowledgeable.

We are all in the process of being formed–formed to have certain attitudes, philosophies, etc. They are often from the media we take in.

But, what if the menu contains 1,000,000,000 items? (actually more…) What do we choose? Who do we listen to?

In the end, the most important person to listen to is the one who meets you on the other side, when this life is over, the “Judge of the living and the dead.”

But still, it’s important to have historical and cultural literacy too. We do not live in a vacuum. Knowing what was said in the past can help prevent one from falling for a scheme in the present that is doomed to fail. Also, when you know how old many ideas are, they seem less “novel” more more “ancient.” Some people talk about the Bible being an old book, but do they know their ancient Greek philosophy? Many allegedly “new ideas” were thought about back then. The most important ideas are the eternal ones, of course.

You might say “knowledge is power,” or perhaps, “knowledge can keep you from being gullible.” Either way, there is a need for literacy of the classics.

A Little Perspective

World War II to Woodstock: 24 years
Woodstock to now: 43 years

World War II was ancient history to the kids at Woodstock.
The heady days of “Post-Vatican II” experimentation, to the current younger generation, would be the equivalent of 1926 (43 years before) to the Woodstock generation.

And the liberal communities (stuck in the ’60s) wonder why they aren’t getting many vocations….
Remember the flappers? They seemed rather progressive in 1926.

Mariological Society of America

I just attended the annual meeting of the MSA at Mount Angel Abbey in Portland, Oregon. The long travel there and back was a bit tiring, but it was a beautiful place to have such a meeting, and there were a number of good talks. I particularly liked Fr. Andrew Apostoli’s presentation on the Mariology of Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen.

The MSA has gone through various phases since it began in 1949. Some people may have been turned off by some of the studies that came out in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, but I can assure you that there is definitely a focus on orthodoxy at the MSA these days.

You can listen to a radio program about the MSA at the following link: MSA show on Radio Maria

Karate Kid and Not Succeeding

Kevin O’Brien at his blog, Theater of the Word Incorporated referenced an article called “How The Karate Kid Ruined the Modern World” by David Wong.

The article talks about how becoming the best is not all that easy, and sometimes people think they will become the best and bet on it by buying lots of stuff on credit. Actually, that’s sort of the reason the Great Depression happened. It isn’t a new problem.

Generally, I think the whole “loser guy ends up winning in something against the odds (and some mean dudes) and gets the girl because he goes through a whole music video sequence of practice” idea is not realistic, and we know that.

But, we can feel good about a fictional story that portrays this, and Hollywood bets we will pay to see it.

Strangely enough, though, it seems like we can also feel good about not succeeding, despite good efforts. There is occasionally a movie like this, where the main character doesn’t win the event but wins the “virtue” award.

That’s very telling. In the end, virtue trumps a temporal win. There is something unsatisfying about temporal wins because they are just that: temporal. Ok, you won that game, but what about this one?

And bad music during the music video training sequence can hurt that win too.

An old poem (122 years old, in fact)

“Tota Pulchra Es.”

THOU art all fair, O Mother blest!
In thee is found no stain;
Thou’rt purer far than whitest crest
That decks the troubled main.

Thy soul no taint did ever bear
Of imperfection’s shade;
And Satan never counted there
The blots his wiles had made.

First creature formed since Adam’s fall
Who shared not Adam’s sin;
Thy life was spent that mortals all
Celestial life might win.

Blest day, that sees a saint conceived,
A soul all undefiled!
What wondrous mysteries are weaved
Around that sinless child!

Glad sight to Heaven’s highest court.
They view their peerless Queen;
And feeble man’s most firm support
In that weak babe is seen.

O thou fond Mother, guard me well!
I trust my soul to thee;
Defeat the serried ranks of hell.
Safe guide me o’er life’s sea.

And when, all spent my mortal days,
I kiss Death’s fatal rod.
Be “Tota pulchra es” the phrase
My soul shall hear from God.

A. B. O’N., C.S.C.
December 8.

From Ave Maria Magazine, December 13, 1890

When CBN had lots of old shows on.

Way back in the mid 1980’s I was introduced to a plethora of old TV shows via CBN (“The Family Channel”). They were played overnight (on weekends, I believe). Over the years, some of these shows have appeared again and some are rather difficult to find.

Here are the ones I remember:
George Burns and Gracie Allen
Jack Benny Show
Bachelor Father
Patty Duke Show
Bill Dana Show
Love That Bob
Father Knows Best
I Married Joan
My Little Margie
You Bet Your Life (Groucho Marx)

There were others, including some shows in color! (Gasp!) However, I’m not coming up with anything at the moment.

Cleaning Up the Blog

I’ve deleted a few posts. The blog definitely needs some direction.

At this point, I wish to return to a theme the blog has taken from time to time: Good (and Old) Catholic Novels.

I first mention Dion and the Sibyls. The “Dion” mentioned is Dionysius the Areopagite. He will become the first bishop of Athens. The book takes place during the time of Christ, for the most part, and has many real historical figures.

The book is chock full of adventure, action, and suspense. There are gladiators, a crazy emperor, brave men, and of course beautiful women. I can imagine a decent movie could be made from this story. It is not the greatest novel I’ve ever read, but it was worth the read.

It once required you to find a copy somewhere, but now the entire novel is available as a free PDF to download. You could put it on your IPhone, Kindle, etc.

Dion and the Sibyls