Wednesday, October 07, 2015


Battle of Lepanto (c. 1572), 
by Paolo Veronese (1528-1588)

Today's feast commemorates this battle.

Dr. Thursday's favorite poet published this work in 1911.

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run,
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold.
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world.
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain - hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,-
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, 'Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces - four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.'
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still - hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.
St Michael's on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.
King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed -
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.
The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plum├Ęd lions on the galleys of St Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives, sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that swat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign -
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania! Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!
Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade...
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)
G.K Chesterton


Originally posted 10/7/2006.
Re-posted 10/7/2010.
Re-posted 10/7/2011.
Re-posted 10/7/2012.
Re-posted 10/7/2013.
Re-posted 10/7/2014.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Angels Amoungst Us

Yes, it is a children's prayer. But didn't He mention something about being child-like? On this Feast of the Guardian Angels, take time to say "thank you" to yours.

Angele Dei, qui custos es mei,
Me tibi commissum pietate superna;
Hodie, Hac nocte illumina,
custodi, rege, et guberna. Amen.


Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom His love commits me here,
ever this night be at my side,
to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

What is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man that you should care for him? You have made him little less than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.

Psalm 8:5-6


Originally posted 10/2/2006.
Re-posted 10/2/2010.
Re-posted 10/2/2012.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Even More Intercession

Once again, I seek stable, suitable employment.

Back to this prayer again (this will be the fourth time I've used it in a post).


Prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua: 
Good Saint Anthony, in God's providence you have secured for His people many marvelous favors. You have been especially celebrated, good Saint Anthony, for your goodness to the poor and the hungry, for finding employment for those seeking it, for your special care of those who travel, and for keeping safe from harm all who must be away from home. You are widely known also, good Saint Anthony, for securing peace in the family, for your delicate mercy in finding lost things, for safe delivery of messages, and for your concern for women in childbirth. In honoring you, Saint Anthony, for the many graces our Lord grants through your favor, we trustfully and confidently ask your aid in our present need. Pray for us, good Saint Anthony, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 
May it be a source of joy, O God, to your Church that we honor the memory of your Confessor and Doctor, Saint Anthony. May his spiritual help always make us strong, and by his assistance may we enjoy an eternal reward. This we ask through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen. 
(This post will remain at the top until further notice.)

October 2015 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:

Universal Intention Human Trafficking. That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated. 
Evangelization Intention - Mission in Asia. That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.

Reflections for these intentions are found here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Choir (Of Angels) Members

Today marks the feast of the Archangels St. Michael (Who is like God?), St. Gabriel (God is my strength), and St. Raphael (God has healed).

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf at What Does The Prayer Really Say gives a brief synopsis of the origins of today (and from where I found the photo--fedora doff to the good priest).

At the 'blog of Ignatius Press is a re-post (see, I am not the only one who does this) from an excerpt of a book by Dr. Peter Kreeft, a professor of philosophy at Boston College.

Speaking of priests, Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP, who has his own 'blog (Domine, da nihi hanc aquam!shares his homily.

Finally, there is my post from 2006 which links to a post from the Happy Catholic.


Originally posted 9/29/2012.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Holiday PSA

There are only 99 shopping days until Christmas.

(Just a friendly reminder, for all you looking to beat the rush.)

UPDATE 9/15/2015:  That was back when there wasn't the glut of stores being open on Thanksgiving Day. Now it seems that day must be counted as well.

Anyway, there are only 100 shopping days until Christmas.

Avoid that last-minute rush.


Originally posted 9/15/2008.

Monday, September 14, 2015

A Stumbling Block

Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine.


Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died.


O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee.


So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory.


But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)

I include my post from 2006 as well.


Originally posted 9/14/2007.
Re-posted 9/14/2011.
Re-posted 9/14/2012.
Re-posted 9/14/2014.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

X Marks The Date

It all started with this.

And to think it all started ten years ago.

Has it really been that long?


And, like the lyric from the Grateful Dead, "What a long, strange trip it has been."

It has not been easy. There have been times I have wanted to throw in the towel and have my infinitesimal corner of the universe be swallowed into the black hole of defunct 'blogs. Really, what did I have to offer in terms of a voice in this cacophony of chatter? Many of my posts have been laboriously crafted--clear thoughts took too long to develop, I rarely could add anything of substance to a topic, and my writing style is very elementary.  Add to this not having the desire to address the issues of the day and I can see how I was never cut out to be a decent, prolific amateur writer. (Again, a fedora doff to the pros.)

I look back and see at times (and more times than maybe prudent) this has become an on-line diary. It was never my intention to have it be that. But I do have to thank God for using this to intervene in my life when I had seemingly run out of options. And I thank what readership I do have for bearing with what amounts to venting on occasion.

But then I look back and see some thing of which I am proud to have penned. My meditations on the "O" Antiphons and the "Seven Last Words", my Christmas Eve Reflections, and my Independence Day tribute I consider my best work, meager offerings as they are. My touching upon some things regarding the liturgical calendar and highlighting some of the feast days celebrated have held some promise. And then there are the "obligatory" dates like January 22 and September 11; while efforts on those days have been hit and miss, there have been efforts to mark the occasion.

What I wrote in my first post is still true. This still is "a small, quiet voice for now. So many subjects, so little time!" Although I have narrowed my focus somewhat, now I have to have the courage of my convictions and do the hard work of research and writing. While I still won't let 'blogging interfere with my life, I hope it can continue to be part of it, despite the dearth of posts the past few years (at least I have been consistent in my inconsistency). I go back to a reference a 'blogger by the pseudonym of the Holy Fool said about me when I first started. May I fulfill that promise.

As it was "In The Beginning", is now, and ever shall be, until this 'blog comes to an end:  "Welcome to my infinitesimal corner of the universe."

Let's keep improving for the next ten years.