Saturday, July 31, 2021

The First Jesuit


The Society of Jesus has been my favorite religious order, despite the turmoil and tempests they have caused in the past. I have always admired their academic rigor as part of their formation. In my opinion, they are, in a manner of speaking, the "brain cells" of the Body of Christ. His "Spiritual Exercises" are not for the faint of soul. I understand it takes a great deal of humility and maturity to apply them. Someday.... 

His biography is here.

His famous prayer:
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess You have given me. I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.
Truly, a soldier for Christ.

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Originally posted 7/31/2008.
Re-posted 7/31/2020.

Monday, July 05, 2021

Still Another "Prime" Birthday Time

For the 17th. time in my life, I have reached an age which is only divisible by itself and one. (And here's hoping I will see the 18th. edition as well, God willing. Because that will mean I have seen another x0 th. birthday.)

As I have done since the inception of this 'blog, I gratefully acknowledge the first and best natural gift I have received:  existence. Yet despite "all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams," it is still worthy of being. Have I made the best of it? Not by a long shot; "what if" is a game I play way too often. I still curse the darkness too much instead of lighting a candle. But by realizing I have fallen short of the glory of God, understanding the many times I haven't done His will, I can continue "with the help of Thy grace" to pursue metanoia, knowing perfection on earth is a worthy struggle. There is still a lot of Augustinian resistance, however. As I have said before, the four hardest words in Christianity are "Thy will be done."

I thank God "I am fearfully, wonderfully made."

In Him do I "live and move and have my being."

May I strive in the next twelve months to be more of the creature the Creator intended me to be.

Sunday, July 04, 2021

Happy Birthday To US



God Bless the United States of America!

**********

Originally posted as "Happy 230th. Birthday" 7/4/2006.
Part of post "Independence Day Reprints" 7/4/2007.
Re-posted 7/4/2008.
Re-posted 7/4/2009.
Re-posted 7/4/2010.
Re-posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.
Re-posted 7/4/2017.
Re-posted 7/4/2018.
Re-posted 7/4/2019.
Re-posted 7/4/2020.

Patriotic Serenade

The tune is a German adaptation of the national anthem of the United Kingdom. Samuel Francis Smith created the original lyrics in 1831. True patriot's love expressed (with apologies to Canada).

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My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From ev'ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
**********
Originally posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.
Re-posted 7/4/2017.
Re-posted 7/4/2018.
Re-posted 7/4/2019.
Re-posted 7/4/2020.

National Praise And Petition

It was originally a poem by Katharine Lee Bates. The hymn was composed by Samuel A. Ward a decade earlier. The two were combined in 1910.

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O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov'd,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.
**********
Originally posted 7/4//2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.
Re-posted 7/4/2017.
Re-posted 7/4/2018.
Re-posted 7/4/2019.
Re-posted 7/4/2020.

Song For The Day

It is considered the country's "unofficial national anthem" (and sometimes debated that it should be made official).

Whether or not it was Irving Berlin's intention, to me it is more a hymn (and is a hymn nothing more than a prayer set to music) than anything else.

Listen and enjoy.

Then maybe pray these words really come to fruition.

**********

Originally posted 7/4/2008.
Re-posted 7/4/2009.
Re-posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016
Re-posted 7/4/2017.
Re-posted 7/4/2018.
Re-posted 7/4/2019.
Re-posted 7/4/2020.

Birth Certificate

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America


When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. -- Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.


He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.



He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.



He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.



He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.


In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.



We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. -- And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.



**********

Originally posted 7/4/2006.
Part of post "Independence Day Reprints" 7/4/2007.
Re-posted 7/4/2008.
Re-posted 7/4/2009.
Re-posted 7/4/2010.
Re-posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.
Re-posted 7/4/2017.
Re-posted 7/4/2018.
Re-posted 7/4/2019.
Re-posted 7/4/2020.

Let Freedom Ring



Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. (Leviticus 25:10) 

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Originally posted 7/4/2006.
Part of post "Independence Day Reprints" 7/4/2007.
Re-posted 7/4/2008.
Re-posted 7/4/2009.
Re-posted 7/4/2010.
Re-posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.
Re-posted 7/4/2017.
Re-posted 7/4/2018
Re-posted 7/4/2019.
Re-posted 7/4/2020.

Carroll's Invocation

When I first saw this prayer posted at Fr. Z's Blog (the former WDTPRS) in 2012, I had wanted to bring it to my infinitesimal corner of the universe. Now is a wonderful time to do it. A fedora doff to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf for this small part of American religious history, a prayer just as needed today as it was when first uttered.

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We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name. 
We pray Thee, Who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation. 
We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty. 
We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability. We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. 
Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Prayer For Government, 1791
John Archbishop Carroll (1735-1815)
Archbishop of Baltimore, 1789-1815

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Originally posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.
Re-posted 7/4/2017.
Re-posted 7/4/2018.
Re-posted 7/4/2019.
Re-posted 7/4/2020.

Friday, July 02, 2021

Halftime Speech

This is the 183rd. day of the calendar year (184th., if it is a leap year).

We are half-way through.

Go back to your New Year's resolutions, if you made them. How are you doing with them? Which ones have you successfully completed? Which ones are still a work in progress but moving steadily toward your goal? Which ones have faltered, even though they still are worthy of your effort?

Take an honest look at where you were, where you are, and where you would like to be. Have you seen a change, even though it may seem imperceptible? Perhaps now is the time to renew your resolve and commitment, whether with what you are striving to accomplish or some new challenge.

As Theodore Roosevelt stated, humanity is at its best when it is in striving for something:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Go Forward.

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Originally posted 7/3/2006, including the year and this {UPDATE (7/5): I goofed. July 2 is the half-way point of the year. The message still stands.}

Resolutely Free

There are claims that today should be our Independence Day, based on the approval of this resolution present by Richard Henry Lee to the Continental Congress this day in 1776:
Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances.

That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective Colonies for their consideration and approbation.
While eloquent enough, what followed two days later is certainly more edifying.


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Originally posted 7/2/2011.
Re-posted 7/2/2013.
Re-posted 7/2/2019.
Re-posted 7/2/2020.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

National Anthem Sweet


In honor of Canada Day (once upon a time called Dominion Day), I present the lyrics to one of the most melodious national anthems in the world.

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O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
**********

A history of how the song developed can be found here.

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Originally posted on 7/1/2009.
Re-posted on 7/1/2010.
Re-posted on 7/1/2011.
Re-posted on 7/1/2013.
Re-posted on 7/1/2014.
Re-posted on 7/1/2016.
Re-posted on 7/1/2017.
Re-posted on 7/1/2018.
Re-posted on 7/1/2019.
Re-posted on 7/1/2020.

July 2021 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

 Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

Social friendship. We pray that, in social, economic and political situations of conflict, we may be courageous and passionate architects of dialogue and friendship.

A reflection for this intention is found here.