Saturday, March 22, 2008

Holy Saturday and Easter in the Home

The vigil of Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday should be the focal point of the whole year. This is the "Feast of Feasts"! Florence Berger describes preparing the Easter breads and other victuals, decorating and hiding Easter eggs (including the tradition of the "Alleluia Egg"), and incorporating blessing of foods at the Easter meal. These blessings come from older form of the Roman Ritual. There are now updated blessings from the "Book of Blessings" or new Roman Ritual.


Christ our passover has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep festival, not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (Lesson from Vespers of Easter)

Holy Saturday services were always confusing to me as a child. I couldn't understand why we should be sharing in the blessing of new fire, and a new Paschal candle, and new water when Christ still lay in death. Why, in the early hours of Saturday morning, should we pray, "This is the night in which . . . Christ arose victorious from the grave"? And again, "on this sacred night receive the evening sacrifice of this incense. . . . O truly blessed night." Sometimes I wish they would put these ceremonies back where they belong — as a vigil service of Easter. The ears of children are sharp and quick. Once they hear the "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia" at the Holy Saturday Mass, it is Easter for them. [Editor's Note: This was written in 1949. The Church did restore the Holy Saturday vigil Mass in 1955, and it is still celebrated on the eve of Easter, instead of Saturday morning. --JGM]

As soon as the "Ite, missa est" sends them forth, they are racing home to prepare the feast. There are eggs to color and cakes to bake and bread to knead. There are shoes to shine and backs to scrub and curls to roll. There are flowers to gather and fruits to polish and baskets to hide. All things must be renewed at home as the fire and light and water were renewed at church.

In years past it was customary to re-light the family hearth fire with the Easter fire of the Church. There is a beautiful prayer which was recited as the home fire was kindled by the light from the Paschal candle. All food was cooked at this fire. How old the prayer is, we do not know, but in it pagan and Christian virtues rub elbows. This was used as a morning prayer as the hearth was lit to sanctify the day's work in Christ.

I will kindle my fire this morning In the presence of the holy angels of Heaven, In presence of Ariel of the loveliest form, In presence of Uriel of the myriad charms Without malice, without jealousy, without envy Without fear, without terror of anyone under the sun But the Holy Son of God to shield me. God, kindle Thou in my heart within A flame of love to my neighbor To my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all, To the brave, to the knave, to the thrall, O Son of the loveliest Mary From the lowliest thing that liveth To theName that is highest of all. [read more]

Packers Update

Packers to honor Favre by retiring his No. 4

Packers sign first free agent, acquire former Rams LB

Grant will do offseason workouts but won't sign minimum tender

The Packers need to make signing Grant a priority. He is more than worth the money. DR

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Thursday

The last three days of Holy Week are referred to as the Easter or Sacred Triduum (Triduum Sacrum), the three-part drama of Christ's redemption: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

Holy Thursday is also known as "Maundy Thursday." The word maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (commandment) which is the first word of the Gospel acclamation:

Mandátum novum do vobis dicit Dóminus, ut diligátis ínvicem, sicut diléxi vos:
"I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you." (John 13:34) [read more]

Another Activist Judge Steals Freedom Away From Americans

California Ruling

I have been looking at the filed brief of the California Court case that "outlaws" homeschooling. See it here. It's very interesting.

One of the first things that stands out, to me, is this statement:

"However, California courts have held that under provisions in the
Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children."

I wasn't aware that California's educational code was capable of defining the limits of the rights of individuals outlined in The U.S. Constitution. But then the U.S. Constitution doesn't specifically address parental rights, nor does it include provision for the public instruction of children. Perhaps, having recognized from Mr. Blackwell's writings the uniqueness at that point in history of having one's children actually counted as one's own rather than the property of the king or government, they could not conceive of a time when a free citizenry would willingly part with that right. Perhaps they considered it so basic as to not require specific inclusion among our "unalienable rights". (No, I will not address in this post the fact that wives and servants were also considered property under those laws as that has been addressed by our current system of laws already.) Perhaps, our founders thought, as do I, that since children used to be considered the property of the state or ruler, but were no longer considered so under the English common law at the time of the Revolutionary War, they should therefore fall under the category of personal property. Property of the parents, not the state. [read more]

Good marriage equals good blood pressure - A stressed one can be worse than being single, new study suggests

updated 8:15 a.m. CT, Thurs., March. 20, 2008

NEW YORK - A happy marriage is good for your blood pressure, but a stressed one can be worse than being single, a preliminary study suggests.

That second finding is a surprise because prior studies have shown that married people tend to be healthier than singles, said researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad.

It would take further study to sort out what the results mean for long-term health, said Holt-Lunstad, an assistant psychology professor at Brigham Young University. Her study was reported online Thursday by the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. [read more]

Cardinal Arinze: True Liturgical Reform Must be in Continuity with Tradition and Faithful to Rubrics

Catholic News Agency (

Cardinal Arinze clarified the nature of the reforms of Vatican II, saying they must be seen as continuous with the past rather than as a dramatic break. “The Catholic Church is the same before and after Vatican II. It isn’t another Church,” he said.

The Divine Liturgy or "Mass" is the heart of Catholic Worship. The Eucharist is the "source and summit" of our faith. It is an invitation into the heavenly mysteries and a participation in the eternal Scarifice of Christ. Cardianl Arinze is one of a growing number of Church Leaders expressing sincere concern that it be celebrated with the dignity and fidelity set forth in the Rubrics and which the faithful deserve.

NAIROBI (CNA) - Cardinal Francis Arinze, the Church’s “liturgist-in-chief,” recently made a speech at an African university in which he criticized liturgical abuses and protested Masses where the recklessly innovative priests act as “Reverend Showman”.

The Nigerian-born Cardinal Arinze, who is Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, was in Kenya to conduct a workshop and a retreat on liturgy for the bishops, according to CISA.

While he was at the Catholic University of East Africa, the Cardinal delivered a public lecture in which he discussed the importance of following liturgical rubrics and the proper place of inculturation in the liturgy.

The Cardinal discussed sentiments that cause errors in worship, such as regarding everyone as an expert in liturgy, extolling spontaneity and creativity to the detriment of approved rites and prayers, seeking immediate popular applause or enjoyment, and ignoring approved liturgical texts.

He said that liturgical abuses were often due to an ignorance that rejects elements of worship whose deeper meaning is not understood or whose antiquity is not recognized. [
read more]

McCain Backs Israeli Reprisals in Gaza

Associated Press
March 20, 2008

SDEROT, Israel (AP) -- Touring a war-battered town, Sen. John McCain said Wednesday he understands Israel's tough response to Palestinian rocket fire, adding that there is no point in negotiating with the Gaza Strip's Islamic Hamas regime.

The Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting also praised the moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, saying he is committed to reaching a peace deal with Israel -- though McCain is not meeting Palestinians this time.

McCain's visit to Israel is part of a weeklong trip through the Middle East and Europe. After a day of meetings with Israeli leaders, he visited Sderot, the southern Israeli border town that has been the target of thousands of crude Palestinian rockets in recent years.

''That is not a way for people to live,'' McCain said. ''No nation in the world can be attacked incessantly and have its population killed and intimidated without responding. That's one of the first obligations of government, to provide security for its citizens.'' Israel has been widely criticized for military operations aimed at stopping the rocket attacks, as well as its blockade of Gaza. [read more]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The most serious threat to your religious freedom

The homosexual legal agenda is not about marriage...

The homosexual legal agenda is not about "equal rights."

It is not about "equality."

It is not even, ultimately, about sexuality.

The homosexual legal agenda is nothing less than a calculated effort to enforce unconditional acceptance – and even endorsement – of behavior that is incredibly harmful both to the individuals that practice it and to our society as a whole. While extolling tolerance for homosexual behavior, advocates also demand intolerance for any who disagree with their views.

Simply put, it is the principal threat to religious freedom in our nation today. [read more]

O'Reilly: Media Burying Obama Pastor Story

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 8:36 AM

By: Philip V. Brennan

It is a major scandal that threatens to derail Barack Obama's campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, but the mainstream media is treating it as a minor political scuffle, says Fox's Bill O'Reilly.

In his talking points memo Monday night, O'Reilly played tapes of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright's (Obama's former pastor's) rants against the United States and then said that all clear-thinking Americans including Sen. Obama are appalled by what he called "those hateful words."

Noting that Obama said that the picture being painted of Wright is not accurate, O'Reilly wanted to know what about it was inaccurate and added, "Americans also don't know very much about Barack Obama. And so he has some explaining to do — and not with soft-ball interviewers either."

"How," O'Reilly asked "can you have a close association with an American hater for 20 years? Surely Senator Obama knew how Wright felt even though he might not have heard the exact words. Also, what kind of judgment allows a sitting senator to attend a church that radical?" [read more]

McCain Gets Warm Welcome in Israel

Associated Press
March 19, 2008

JERUSALEM (AP) -- John McCain received a warm welcome in Israel during a visit aimed at burnishing his leadership credentials in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, but some questioned whether his uncritical support for Israel best serves Mideast peace efforts.

McCain was scheduled to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other Israeli leaders during a two-day trip that started Tuesday, but had no plans to see Palestinians.

With his war hero status and a record of strong support for Israel, the presumptive Republican nominee is widely popular in the Jewish state. [read more]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Joseph: Virgin Husband

What were the thoughts of Mary and Joseph on being united under the eyes of God? Ah! They wee surely turned toward Christ who was to come, toward the promised Messiah. The expectation of the Messiah was in the heart of every good Israelite. The Patriarchs, on entering into marriage, had in view primarily the propagation of the race from which the Messiah was to come. [read more]

“Honor Killing” was NO Honor!

In my last post, when I was looking for a link to the Hillary affair story I found this wonderful and informative blog, Atlas Shrugs. While searching through posts on the blog I found an older story regarding an “honor killing.” A cold blooded murder that many of you may not have heard. It is about a father who killed his daughters. Because they were too Americanized. What did he expect? They were living in America and born in America! Here is a part of the story in Atlas Shrugged. [read more]

Monday, March 17, 2008

A True Conservative - Jim Inhofe

We are proud to announce our endorsement of Senator Inhofe. The Senator has a proven conservative track record and his re-election should be a priority for any conservative. Please consider making a donation to his campaign, and if you are one of our Oklahoma readers voting for him.

Breastplate of Saint Patrick

Breastplate of Saint Patrick

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
By power of faith, Christ's Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River;
His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the Cherubim;
The sweet 'Well done' in judgment hour;
The service of the Seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles' word,
The Patriarchs' prayers, the Prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death-wound and the burning
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Translation: Cecil Frances Alexander

h/t: Church Year

Photo Credit

Saint Patrick

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world's most popular saints.

Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone's Irish.

There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote

"The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more." [read more]

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Iceland sees more Russian flights in N. Atlantic

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Russia has stepped up military activity over the North Atlantic in the past 18 months, Iceland's prime minister told Reuters, sending long-range bombers through the region no less than 12 times.

"We have not seen much increased naval activity. There have been some exercises but there has been more aviation activity," Prime Minister Geir Haarde said in an interview on Thursday.
[read more]

h/t: 1913 Intel

Catholic League News Release


Today’s issue of the University of Virginia’s student paper,
The Cavalier Daily
, featured a cartoon depicting a naked man smoking a cigarette in bed. Standing beside the bed, a woman in her underwear buttons up her shirt and asks, “Come on God, be honest—Did you really get a vasectomy? I can’t let Joseph find out about this.” The man replies, “Well, Mary, you’re F***ed.” Yesterday’s paper ran a comic portraying a crucified Jesus telling jokes onstage.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue had this to say:

“The hate-mongers typically come out of the woods in the days leading up to Holy Week. Easter can’t come and go without someone taking aim at Christianity. This has been a relatively tame Lent thus far. Until, that is,
The Cavalier Daily
decided to once again dip into the well of bigotry.

“In the Fall of 2006, we wrote to the paper requesting an apology for cartoons that mocked the crucifixion and indicated that the Virgin Mary had an ‘Immaculately Transmitted’ venereal disease (This apology was originally denied, though eventually the vile cartoons were removed from the paper’s website and a statement of regret was posted.) And now
The Cavalier Daily
has returned to its old tricks, just as we approach the holiest time of the Christian calendar.

“Even more telling of the attitude of those at the University of Virginia’s paper is the hypocrisy at play. Today’s issue also shows a cartoon that acknowledges that any and all depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammed are banned. Last year, the paper’s editorial board forced a cartoonist to resign after the campus chapter of the NAACP objected to a cartoon mocking Ethiopians. And in 2005, the paper was quick to apologize to homosexuals for remarking that the crane is the ‘gayest-looking of all birds.’

“It’s clear that there’s a double-standard at play in the offices of
The Cavalier Daily
. Tell the paper’s editor to afford Christians the same consideration shown to blacks, Muslims and homosexuals.”

Write to Elizabeth Mills at

Kiera M. McCaffrey
Director of Communications
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
New York, NY 10123
212-371-3394 (fax)