Saturday, May 31, 2008

Feast of the Visitation

Father in heaven, by your grace the virgin mother of your incarnate Son was blessed in bearing him, but still more blessed in keeping your word: Grant us who honor the exaltation of her lowliness to follow the example of her devotion to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord."

And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."

And Mary remained with her about three months and then returned to her home.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday Red Mr. Peanut Bank and Gallito Mescalito Blogging

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, look at this! A blog with photos of cute toys!
¡El Penguino! The Byzigenous Buddhawhat?
The Mighty Moose of Vermont Padre calls him "Paul."
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love That's certainly easier. I think he's making some kinda ecumenical statement or something.
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank I think we should encourage them to post more photos.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love With stories!
The Mighty Moose of Vermont That would be great!
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love How do you think we should handle this, Bunrab?
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House Get Padre to write a comment inviting them to put up some photos.
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Good idea! Padre! Please send those cuties a message from us!
Padre, off camera You're not the bossa me!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love No, the Lovely Mona is, followed by Chompita, but I'm next in line. GET ON-LINE!!!
Padre, off camera Yes, dear.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Well, let's see how they respond to our invitation. I'm so excited!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Where'd Bunrab go?
Gallito Mescalito ¿Shriek? ¡Shriek!
The Mighty Moose of Vermont Yeah, I think he heard the dog.
¡El Penguino! He's safe there behind the printer.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Oh no! They're not sure, but they seem to think we were joking!
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Well, they DID send their warm regards to everyone, especially me, which only makes sense!
Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House They're beautiful! So plush! So voluptuous! So full of stuffing! SO CLEAN!!!
The Mighty Moose of Vermont Settle down, Bunrab! Can we read something else?
Red Mr. Peanut Bank Oh yes! Let's check the blogs of the members of our Face Book Fan Page; they're the greatest!
Everybody, in one voice YAY! THEY'RE THE BEST!!!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank This is Ann's blog

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love What exactly IS an Episcopalifem?
The Mighty Moose of Vermont I think it's a made-up word!

¡El Penguino! I saw a singing cat on this blog last week!

Fran Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!

The Mighty Moose of Vermont I think of this as Jan's blog.

Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House This is the blog of Kirsten van Gogh, seminarian! And now we will continue our Web Surfing in alphabetical order (by the blogger's name)!

Our gal in Viet Nam!

¡El Penguino! It's Caminante's fault loving gesture that brought me to this madhouse!

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love I like wine better than dogs or psychology!

The Mighty Moose of Vermont Home of the iPhone photo!

Red Mr. Peanut Bank Ah yes, the domain of Leonardo Ricardo!

¡El Penguino! There's a cute kitty at on this blog, too.

Red Mr. Peanut Bank This guy's somewhat serious, but he does post Padre's comments

Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Every Friday like clockwork, pal!

¡El Penguino! I AM a Wounded Bird!


Red Mr. Peanut Bank I don't really care for sports, but this guy makes one mean Red Mr. Peanut Bank pancake!!

The Mighty Moose of Vermont Tía Sue is here with us in Panamá

Bunrab, the Filthiest Toy in the House These fug girls crack me up!
Miss Egyptian Hippo of Love Heh heh heh. They are SO mean!!!
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!

Everybody, in one voice AWWWWW!!
Gallito Mescalito ¡Shriek!

Friday Random Top Ten

Ya presses "shuffle" and ya takes yer chances. . .

1. Sally Simpson The Who
2. Baggy Trousers Madness
3. I've Been Wrong Before Elvis Costello
4. Home Is Where You Hang Your Head Elvis Costello and the Attractions
5. Bye Bye Shonen Knife
6. Kid A Radiohead
7. Too Much Spice Hüsker Dü
8. Here Comes That Feeling Squeeze
9. Vergine Chiara E Stabile In Eterno (Palestrina) The Hilliard Ensemble
10. Miniature Sun XTC

Well, I likes evertin on here, although I don likes it when de shuffle picks the same artist twice ina row. Elvis' cover of Cilla Black is pretty interesting, except he tends to moan a bit too much for my tastes. I love Kid A because Radiohead didn't do what their manager and record company and everyone else wanted and expected them to do: a second O.K. Computer. No, they went in a totally different and much more interesting direction. What can I say, any list which includes Hüsker Dü, Madness, XTC, Squeeze, AND Shonen Knife is a winner in my book!

Friday Funnies

I nicked these from

The Presidential Campaign

Bush Regime Failures

This cartoon reminded me of when I was a Boy Scout. We were on a campout one year during dry season some of the other boys didn't extinguish the fire completely and our tent caught fire. While we were putting out the fire someone grabbed my suitcase out of the flaming tent and opened it. Everything was on fire except my bible, and my wallet was sitting on top of my bible (gee, maybe I should have become a Televangelist!). Everyone stood there staring at the miracle, except for me; I yelled "quit staring; we're putting out a fire! AND GET MY WALLET OUTTA THERE!" Next time, Jesus-shaped suitcase.

Poor chile

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Returning Dignity To The White House

George W. Bush is the reason the United States of America is the most respected nation on the planet!

Helicopter Crash in Panama City

Photo: AP/Arnulfo Franco

A helicopter crashed into the Banana Price department store (across the street from the Machitazo, John) in the Calidonia neighborhood of Panama City at 2:13 this afternoon. It exploded on impact. Calidonia is a very busy area with many shops and hotels.

General José Alejandro Bernales, director general de Carabineros de Chile (Director of Police in Chile) and his wife; Commander Oscar Tapia and his wife; Commander Ricardo Orozco Ugalde; Captain Mauricio Fuenzlida; and four other persons. The Chileans were in town for an anti-terrorism conference. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet declared three days of morning in Chile.

The pilot is presently in intensive care at hospital Santo Tomás, along with four other people from the accident scene. We don't know how many people in the department store were injured.

President Torrijos has canceled his scheduled trip to El Salvador.

Residents of the area are being evacuated while firemen fight the fire. I've been watching the coverage on television and it looks like a war zone, in fact, it reminds me of the photos of the invasion in 1989.

There is no information on what caused the crash, but I understand that the helicopter was an old model from the 1960's and had been used by General Omar Torrijos back in the day.

Pray for the people in Calidonia and the families of the people from Chile who have died.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Feast of the Venerable Bede, Priest and Monk of Jarrow (Transferred)

The Feast of St. Bede is May 25, which was a Sunday this year. Since the Feast of St. Augustine of Canterbury is on May 26, St. Bede's feast is transferred to today!

Heavenly Father, you called your servant Bede, while still a child, to devote his life to your service in the disciplines of religion and scholarship: Grant that as he labored in the Spirit to bring the riches of your truth to his generation, so we, in our various vocations, may strive to make you known in all the world; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Bede, or Baeda, was probably born in the year 673, the year of the Council of Hertford, the council in which the Bishops of England agreed to respect each others' diocesan boundaries and the date for Easter was settled. He was born on lands which were given to Benedict Biscop's new monastery, St. Peter's of Wearmouth. At the age of seven years, his parents placed him in the care of Abbot Benedict for his education and upbringing. The next year he was tranferred to the monastery in Jarrow, under the care of Abbot Ceolfrid, and he remained there for the rest of his life. Abbot Ceolfrid was a holy man and a a scholar, and young Bede was greatly influenced by his love of learning. Years later, Bede wrote a biography of Ceolfrid, which contains an incident which probably refers to Bede's boyhood. It tells of how, in the year 686, the plague attacked Ceolfrid's monastery, killinig all the choir monks capable of maintaining the regular services of the Church, with the exception Bede writes, of the Abbot himself and one boy reared and educated by him, who is now a priest of the same monastery and commends the Abbot's admirable doings both verbally and in writing to all who desire to learn them. Greatly distressed by this catastrophe, the Abbot decided to discontinue their usual practice, and to recite and sing all the psalms without antiphons except at Vespers and Matins. But when they had done this for a week with great sorrow and regret, he could bear it no longer and directed that the psalms and their antiphons were to be restored in their appointed course. So with the help of all survivors, he and the aforesaid boy carried his decision with no little trouble until such time as he could either train or procure from elsewhere sufficient numbers to assist at the Divine Office.

Ceolfrid's training and encouragement of the young Bede filled him with a love for the Divine Hours and the Church's services, and it was said that he believed that the angels attended all the Daily Offices and would not miss a service because "the angels would ask 'Were is Bede? Why does he not attend the appointed devotions with his brethren?'" Bede was ordained a deacon at the age of nineteen, which is really something since canon law set the normal age for ordination to the deaconate at age twenty-five. His scholarship and devotion must have been recognized as exceptional for him to be ordained so young. He was ordained a priest eleven years later, and he spent the next fifty-nine years writing commentaries on the scriptures and writing histories. He is called the Father of English History because of his classic work A History of the English Church and People which covers the years from 597 to 731, the period in which Anglo-Saxon culture developed and Christianity became the religion of the British Isles. His History is considered a prime source for historians studying early English history because of the care he took collecting information from those most likely to know, his meticulous listing of his authorities and his separation of historical fact from hearsay and tradition. His descriptions are very vivid and bring the story alive to the reader, which is another element of good historical writing in our own era, too. His biblical commentaries were highly appreciated by his contemporaries, because he would use the Vulgate Bible, old Latin texts, and the Greek texts in his studies, and would use the writings of St. Augustine of Hippo, St. Jerome, St. Ambrose, and St. Gregory combined with his own insights. He wrote some twenty-four commentaries, several histories, a book of Hymns, a book of Epigrams, a Martyrology, a book on the Art of Poetry, a book on Tropes and Figures, and a book entitled On the Nature of Things. There was no printing press, so these books were all handwritten and then copied by others, so the production of so many books is really quite amazing!

What made Bede so prolific? Why did he write so much? He was a monk, a very dedicated monk, and a scholar. Bede experienced God through the use of his mind, through study and research and contemplation and writing. He ended his History of the English Church and People with this little prayer: I prayer you, noble Jesu, that as You have graciously granted me joyfully to imbibe the words of Your knowledge, so You will also of Your bounty grant me to come at length to Yourself, the Fount of all wisdom, and to dwell in Your presence for ever.

Bede was a scholar right up to the end, dying after dictating an English-language translation of the Gospel of John. He died on May 25, the Eve of the Ascension, in the year 735. One of his scholars, Cuthbert, who later became the Abbot of Jarrow, wrote an account of Bede's death, telling how he continued to work for several days even though he was short of breath. On Tuesday before the Feast of the Ascension, he was dictating and teaching but was having a difficult time breathing. He said to his students, "Learn quickly! I do knot know how ling I can continue, for my Lord may call me in a short while." That night, instead of sleeping, he spent the night giving thanks to God. That morning he continued to dictate the last chapter of his work on John's gospel. At three o'clock that afternoon, he said to Cuthbert "I have a few valuables in my chest, some pepper, and napkins, and some incense. Run quickly and fetch the priests of our monastery, so that I may share among them these little presents God has given me." Cuthbert fetched the priests, and Bede spoke with each one and gave him a present. They were all crying, and Bede said, "If it so pleases my Maker, the time has come for me to be released from this body, and to return to the One who formed me out of nothing. I have lived a long time, and the righteous Judge has provided for me well throughout my life. The time for my departure is near, and I long to be dissolved and be with Christ. My soul longs to see Christ my King in all his beauty." Cuthbert says that Bede spent the rest of the day in gladness until the evening. Wilberht, the boy who was taking dictation, said, "Dear master, there is still one sentence that we have not yet written down." Bede said, "Then write it down quickly. " When the boy was finished, he said, "There! It is written!" Bede said, "Good! It is finished; you have spoken the truth. Hold my head in your hands. I would please me much if I could sit opposite the holy place where I used to pray, so that I may call upon my Father sitting up." Bede sat on the floor of his cell, his head held by Wilberht. He said the Gloria Patri and breathed his last. He was buried in the chapel of the monastery of Jarrow, but his remains were moved to Durham and placed in the nave of the Lady Chapel of the Galilee Cathedral, in the year 1020. He received the title "Venerable" about a hundred years after his death. There is a legend which says that the monk carving the inscription on Bede's tomb was at a loss for a word to fill out the couplet Hac sunt in fossa Bedae -blank- ossa (This grave contains the -blank- Bede's remains). That night an angel came and filled in the blank with the word Venerabilis.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Yoots Aks Kweshuns

Don't we have some beautiful young people in our church? And they're smart, too. AND they ask questions about the Bible. They actually request more Bible study, not like the little heathens in your parish. They actually hold "Prayer Concerts" and put all of us to shame. They are strong Christians AND beautiful to boot!

So yesterday one of the youth says to me, "Padre, I have a hard question. We have been studying the Book of Genesis, and we have a question that we were unable to answer." I asked what the question was. "Well, it's a difficult question, Padre. Can God make a mistake?" Padre thinks: Oh no! Be careful with the answer. I'm gonna get burned at the stake!! but says: "Well, what do you mean by mistake? We can't always understand God's ways." Our Questioning Yoot continued: "We've been studying Genesis, and, you know the place in the story of Noe when God says that He will never send another flood to kill everyone again? It sounded to us as if God was, uhm, repenting for what He did. So we were wondering; did God think He had made a mistake?" I told them that I was proud of their question, because some young people would be a little nervous about presenting such an idea to the priest. I decided against telling them that the story of Noah was a re-write of a Babylonian myth and told them that I want to think about this question.

So, you all have lots of opinions and I've seen you all talking about serious stuff at other blogs. How would you answer the members of Luz de Mañana? Do you think God felt guilty for flooding the earth? Can God make a mistake (no George W. Bush jokes, please; that's just too easy!)? All kinds of questions arise when one reads the Noah story, and not just "how'd all them animals keep from eating each other, and what did they do with the "droppings?" You guys have opinions on everything. How do you answer this question?

The comments are open!

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