Random Conjectures

"Act locally; bitch globally."

Month: April, 2016

‘Sometimes I take a great notion…’

As one can perhaps tell from my choice of title and music, I’m a bit down right now. Now, where to start as to why…? Read the rest of this entry »

An episcopal apology I’d like to hear some day

When I was a child at a Roman Catholic grade school in Southern California, long ago, the practice of the nuns who taught there was to have the students of in each class room line up in their own line at the end of each recess. One morning, the kids in my class room, while in their line, were being particularly loud and unruly, so much so that they delayed the whole school from going in to their respective classrooms by at least ten minutes.

My teacher, a particularly tall and stout Carmelite nun, came up to me, and said, “I want you to apologize to the whole school for the behavior of our class.” I quietly protested to her, “But I didn’t take part in what they did!” And the nun quietly said to me, “I know that. Nonetheless, I would like you to apologize on behalf of your class. Could you do that for me?” I nodded, and in as loud a voice as I could muster, I apologized to the school on behalf of my class.

It seems that these days, I have heard tell of a number of bishops who are remonstrating with their unruly and disorderly flocks. I have remarked here and there about such bishops. I’m afraid that I have not been very charitable with these bishops, and for that, I apologize myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Some thoughts on study


In an earlier post, I suggested that Christians (and indeed, all humans) might want to get off their dead, er, intentions, and take steps to become the persons they were meant to be. I proposed a four step program, for starters, involving prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and study.

The only problem with such an approach is that our Lord has told us to pray, not openly, but in one’s inner closet; to fast, but not to make a big show of it; and to give alms, or to help people, but in secret. In short, it seems that our Lord is giving us similar counsel to that given by Patrick Dennis in one of his books about either sex or money: “Those who have it, don’t talk about it.”

Fortunately, I can get around Our Lord’s strictures in two ways. First, rather than tell you what I think about our Lord’s counsels, I can tell you what Sacred Scripture, what the Fathers, and what the Saints have said about prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Second, as neither our Lord nor any Person of the Holy and Life Giving Trinity has said anything against talking about study, it seems that I am free to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

Stating the obvious


Anyone who has been following RC religious news lately has perhaps also been following the story of Michael Voris. Briefly, Mr. Voris has founded the website, ChurchMilitant, which in turn has been making a number of allegations. Read the rest of this entry »

It is better to light one small stick of dynamite, than to curse the silence.


This is a wake up call, for me and for my five or six readers now. I’ve mourned the death of my late wife, Beth, for long enough. I have also mourned the death of all that I have loved in the Church of my youth for long enough.

It is time to wake up to what we must become, rather than who we now are. Read the rest of this entry »

I feel much better, now that I’ve given up hope.


Well, today is my 63rd birthday. It would be better if my late wife, Beth, were here to enjoy it (or for that matter, my first late wife, Carolyn, but as I often say, ‘If wishes were horses, we’d all be knee deep.’). Bur friends are posting greetings to me on my e-mail and my Facebook page. And Beth appeared to me in another dream last night, and we had a nice talk. One accepts one’s blessings with gratitude and humility, if one is wise. Read the rest of this entry »

Why, this is Hell, nor am I out of it.

I’ve been trying to put off this one for some time now. I’ve got my cheap brandies and sodas (abundances of them) and the quesadilla con carnitas (I know, I’m an incurable gringo) from the local food truck. It’s a warm spring night. I’ve helped to sing a beautiful Divine Liturgy at my church. I’ve spoken with my brother about having my 63rd birthday next Sunday at my mother’s place in Manhattan Beach. I’m planning on boeuf bourgignon and Caesar salad, rice and egg noodles, possibly a German chocolate cake with the classic frosting from a German bakery in South Gate (if it is still open) and a superb cheesecake from my nephew with the Cordon Bleu certificate and a true gift for baking. That should be enough, now. Shouldn’t it?

Apparently not. I appear to live my life in a number of layers. Read the rest of this entry »

‘You always end with a jade’s trick. I know you of old.’

I was there when you lot of spoiled priests said that the Spirit of Vatican II said that we had to drop the use of Latin in the Mass like a live hand grenade. And so we did. It didn’t matter that the Council Fathers said that they wanted to keep Latin in the liturgy. You did it anyway.

I was there when you lot said that we had to stop singing Gregorian chant, and do your Hootinanny masses instead. Ditto everything else beautiful from Josquin de Pres to Maurice Durufle. Again, it didn’t matter that the actual Council documents said otherwise. You just did it.

I was also there when you replaced the strains of organs, brass, winds, and choirs with guitars and Kumbaya. Good going, guys. Read the rest of this entry »

How my faith (in the RC Church) became mostly dead

Once again, the e-magazine Patheos has given me food for thought. This time, the feast provided was through an essay there entitled ‘How my faith became mostly dead‘. I must say that I feel for the author of that essay: how his faith in God and His Church have slowly dried nearly to the point of nonexistence. I feel for the writer, because my faith in the Triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and the Kingdom of Heaven are, if anything, stronger than ever. But I have little if any faith that the Roman Catholic Church on Earth, as presently constituted, inheres very much in that Kingdom at present, or is likely to come to inhere in that Kingdom during my lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »

A confession, and an apology

Those of the five or six readers of my weblog will perhaps have noted that I have talked somewhat about the grief that I have had for my late wife, Elizabeth, who died back in August of 2016 of bone cancer. Some fewer of those readers will also perhaps have noted that I am also in grief for my first wife, Carolyn, who will have the twenty-third anniversary of her death from lung cancer in early May.

And, unfortunately, there are many more, readers of this weblog and of my page on Facebook, as I have gone up and down in that latter hyperspace, and to and fro in it, seeking what mischief I may, who have experienced my poisonous tongue and pen. One of them, a particularly dear friend, has repeatedly asked me, “Why are you doing this, Bernie?  You’re better than that.”

Unfortunately, I could not tell her why I was doing these evil things, because I did not know the answer myself. Until now. Please let me tell you what I have found. Read the rest of this entry »