Random Conjectures

"Act locally; bitch globally."

Another rant

Through the kindness of Fr. Ivan Moody, who posted the above YouTube clip on Facebook this afternoon, I have been listening to and greatly enjoying the above album from Harmonia Mundi. Not only does it have the whole Missa Viri Galilaei of Palestrina, but also the chant propers of the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The album closes with a motet by Palestrina based on the chant Introit of the Feast, ‘Viri Galilaei’.

I suppose that I should be happy with this, and the fact that this evening I shall be helping to sing and to serve the Feast today, according to the Byzantine use of the Russian Orthodox service.

But I am saddened to consider that for most of my sixty-four years, and quite likely for the remainder of my life, most of us, myself included, have been and will continue to be deprived of the liturgical and spiritual treasures of the West.

Woe unto you, ye false bishops and priests of the West!

You have not only sold your birthright for a pot of message, for a false claim of ‘relevance’, but you have deprived three generations of the faithful of their rights, under canon law and the express orders of the Councils, even including those two of the Vatican, of the artistic, musical, and spiritual treasures of our faith!

You false clerics are worse than the Pharisees whom our Lord Christ condemned. You have prevented the faithful from entering into the Kingdom of Heaven through the worship of the Divine Liturgy, and you have excluded yourselves from it as well!

You have taken the most precious thing on this earth, the worship of the Lord God through the Divine Liturgy, and you have made of it a laughing stock!

By your foul and secret sins, you have desecrated the image of Christ that had been impressed upon you through ordination!

But worse, by every inattentive word that you have spoken, and every inattentive act that you have done, during the service of the Lord, you have desecrated that very service, and you have dis-served the people who came to you for spiritual food and spiritual drink!

You are worse than sons of Eli, or sons of Belial! For you have not simply made gain of your position as priest by robbing the people, you have not simply dressed in sacerdotal robes while you were befouled by your own sins, but you have abused and defiled the children of God, most especially those little ones whom the Lord particularly loves!

Therefore, if you do not repent of your sin and wickedness, it will not simply be your lot to be cast into Hell!

Since you priests were the ones to assist the people under your charge to leave Christ’s Church, and to lead them astray, it will be your lot that your very skulls will be the paving stones to Hell, upon which those whom you have led astray will walk in their path to perdition!

And you bishops! You whose charge it was to oversee your flock! You will be set as signposts on that path to perdition! And it will be your eternal duty to watch those whom you were supposed to lead into Heaven, to be led into Hell instead!

Aftermath; and some progress

It has now been three weeks since I had my little ‘incident’ requiring emergency admission into the local hospital and a colonoscopy. The good news is that I do not appear to have colo-rectal cancer. The bad news… Read the rest of this entry »

Last Week

the invalid

The Invalid wakes up in terror
To feel his toes becoming numb,
The doctor’s made another error--
What unknown symptoms are to come?

From The Fatal Lozenge, by Edward Gorey

The whole wretched mess began last Thursday, at about 12:30 noon, when I had a sudden need to go to the bathroom. When I wiped, I found that the toilet tissue was soaked in bright red blood.  “That’s odd,” I thought to myself: “That hasn’t happened before.”

At 2 p.m., I had a sudden need to go again to the bathroom, but this time, it was the toilet bowl which was filled with bright red blood. Read the rest of this entry »

Progress Report

Well, since a nephew of mine has solemnly informed me that no one reads this wretched little weblog, and since I have also noted that I haven’t written anything in said wretched little weblog for several months, I might as well write something. As Tom Lehrer once said, “Life is like a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.” And so with Random Conjectures. Read the rest of this entry »

On Great and Holy Lent


Well, I suppose that I am suffering from blogospheric peer group pressure, as it seems that just about everyone Catholic is talking about fasting, and what they are ‘giving up’ for Lent. Today also seems to be the Feast of St. Patrick, so loads of people are talking about dispensations from the Friday fast so that they can have their corned beef and cabbage. Looks like we have opportunities for cognitive dissonance galore here. Read the rest of this entry »

More Maudlin Maunderings

Well, the house blessing has come and gone. The duck cassoulet was the hit of the party, The dessert cheesecake went quite well with the champagne and the port, and a good time was had by all. I wish that I could have invited more, including the six or seven readers here. ‘Had we but world enough, and time…’ Read the rest of this entry »

Some maudlin maunderings…

Well, the house blessing is coming Sunday. The house is getting cleaned, more slowly than I would like, because of the residuum of this damned cold/flu. Meanwhile, I’m putting together the items of the menu for the priest, the rest of our choir, and a few friends. There are a lot more that I’d like to invite, but space and time are limited, especially in my little hovel. Maybe another time and place. In the meantime, I must say that I’m sorry that I can’t provide for all of my other friends. Maybe in the Kingdom of Heaven. Maybe. Read the rest of this entry »

Valentine’s Day after Beth


Actually, maudlin thoughts aside, this is more along the lines of thinking about things that I did for and with my late wife Beth, that made Valentine’s Day special, and that any poor schlep (or shlepette) can do for his or her beloved.

Yeh, I could brag that I am, if not a great chef, at least a competent one, and can rustle up some Eggs Benedict or Dover Sole a la Bonne Femme or Boeuf Bourgignon or Quiche Lorraine, and all.

I could. But that would fall into the category of ‘True, but unhelpful.’ What y’all need are some quick fixes. Here are three: Read the rest of this entry »

Another open letter to an excellent essayist

It seems that Dr. Adam De Ville has written yet another good essay in his weblog. Those who wish to may read it, here. I found in it some areas of disagreement, and I attempted to communicate those to him, privately, on his weblog. Unfortunately, I was informed that only members of his weblog could make comments on it. Thus, I am reduced to making them in my poor weblog instead: Read the rest of this entry »

Remedial Education: Progress Report, of a sort…


Those four or five people who actually read this miserable weblog may, from time to time, wonder why I have not been writing all that much in it, lately.

Well, part of the reason was that I was working on a big project for a friend. You know, you promise to help a guy, and then you find out that it’s turned into a federal case.  The literal kind. Like, before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and all. Read the rest of this entry »