Quotidian (4)

4 June 2018 | Monday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

In the Extraordinary Form, it is the memorial of St. Francis Caracciola, Confessor (d. 1608), who burned with such love for the Most Blessed Sacrament that he would spend almost the whole night in adoring It.

It is also the memorial of St. Clotilde (d. 545):
Clotilde was a Burgundian princess who in about 493 married Clovis, King of the Franks. Brought up a Christian, she had their children baptized, and in due course Clovis himself was baptized, somewhere between 496 and 499, marking the beginning of Christian France. When Clovis died in 511, and especially after her son Clodomir died in 524, Clotilde devoted herself to works of charity and founded many churches and religious institutions, setting a pattern that was later followed by many royal widows in Europe. She herself died by the tomb of St Martin of Tours in 545.

I’ve always enjoyed hagiographies of saints who grew up amid privilege but used their wealth and stature to grow the Church by entering religious life after their family obligations were more-or-less satisfied.

It is also, in the Order of Preachers calendar, the memorial of St. Peter of Verona, O.P., the first Dominican martyr. Icons and statues often have the saint depicted with a knife, sword, or axe cutting into his head, as at St. Catherine of Siena parish in Wake Forest, NC.

Last week (Quotidians 1, 2, and 3), much of the family was under the weather in some capacity, but we weathered the storm, so to speak, and had a nice weekend. We went to a birthday party at Adventure Landing (formerly Putt-Putt Golf and Games), complete with ticket-dispensing games, putt-putt miniature golf, and laser tag, which all the children, including my older daughters, greatly enjoyed; the youngest seemed entertained by the flashing light.

Later that Saturday, we attended the parish family picnic at Sacred Heart, which had hamburgers, hot dogs, tacos, nachos, and all sorts of fair foods. The picnic, which was hosted by the Knights of Columbus, was also a fundraiser and raffle to benefit the parish youth ministry’s summer mission trip. Yesterday our parish, Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, celebrated Corpus Christi. Fr. Justin, a Passionist and the rector of the Cathedral, will soon be leaving, and Sunday’s sermon — on his life as a priest and his devotion to the Mass and the Blessed Sacrament — may have been on of the last times my family hear him preach.

Today begins the final week of my eldest daughter’s first year of Pre-K at Thales Academy. She will have five weeks off before she begins Kindergarten. In all, MM has largely enjoyed her time at Thales and we as parents are quite pleased. There is someplace inside of me that thinks that five-years-old is too young for proper schooling and her time should be devoted to playing with her sisters, exploring the creek behind our house, attending daily mass, learning to clean her room and do simple chores around the house, and listening to stories from her parents and grandparents, memorizing prayers and poems, and growing an actual kinder-garden, which we’re doing at the top of our driveway around the mailbox (and needs to be thinned out after a few days of rain).

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Quotidian (3)

30 May 2018 | Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
In the traditional Roman Calendar, we remember St. Felix, pope and martyr. Also, in France St. Joan of Arc, who is at the moment my oldest daughter’s patron, is celebrated.

Last night and into the early AM, I kept a vigil alight for my middle daughter. Her temperature has continued above 100, waking up in the wee hours, coughing and sweating. I’ve always enjoyed the late/early hours for reading and for prayer; I just wish my daughters and wife weren’t sick.

My wife went to her Physician’s Assistant and found out she may have Pharyngitis, which sounds, both in the word itself and the way my wife’s voice intones, like Laryngitis. For this reason, she needs more time for rest and less hands-on time with the girls. Deo gratias, it’s summer recess for me, though this is eerily like Christmas Holiday when I came home to a house of Norovirus.

I have had a few minutes of the Divine Office and to begin reading Fr. Guy Bedeouelle, O.P.’s Saint Dominic: The Grace of the Word. The biography, originally penned in French and published in 1982, attempts to sketch the life of the saint in light of his evangelical preaching and apostolic life. In fact, it’s one part biography, one part exhortation to live and preach like the great father of the Order of Preachers.

Tomorrow in the Extraordinary Form is the Feast of Corpus Christi, traditionally celebrated on the Thursday following the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, which was last Sunday. In the Ordinary Form, Corpus Christi will be celebrated this Sunday (3 June). What’s more, the E.F. celebration of Corpus Christi replaces Pope St. Pius XII’s Immaculate Heart of Mary, which has been transferred to June 9 in order to fall the day after the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, my old parish’s titular feast day.

But, in the current calendar, May 31st is the now the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when the Virgin visited her cousin Elizabeth, the Forerunner leaped for joy at the presence of the Savior in the Virgin’s womb. In the old calendar, this feast was celebrated in early July, but “is now transferred to the last day of May, between the solemnities of the Annunciation of the Lord and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, which agrees more aptly with the Gospel narrative.”*

* Calendarium Romanum (1969), p. 93: Transfertur nunc in ultimam diem mensis maii, inter solemnitates Annuntiationis Domini et Nativitatis S. Ioannis Baptistae, quo aptius consentiat narrationi evangelicae. 

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Fra Angelico, “The Mocking of Christ”

 

 

 

Quotidian (2)

29 May 2018 | Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
In the traditional Roman Calendar, we remember St. Maria Magdelene di’ Pazzi, an Italian Carmelite mystic.

Last night the United States Men’s National Team defeated Bolivia 3-0. The World Cup, which will be hosted in Russia, begins in a less than three weeks. The US team will not be completed; neither will the Scots nor the Italians. Two of the three’s omission is more surprising than that third, and it’s funny that I’ve never cared for the Italian National nor do I watch Serie A, and yet I’m saddened that Azzurri will not be in Russia. And, of course, Scotland hasn’t qualified for the World Cup since France in ’98.

Part of this Italian sadness is due to a footie podcast I’ve been listening to. James Richardson (A.C. Jimbo), who used to panel the Guardian Football podcast jumped ship with Ian McIntosh to develop The Totally Football Show empire, including Golazzo, a show dedicated to the Italian game. N.B., if you want an excellent show to try on, the episode on the 1970s Lazio team is worth your time.

Today, after I dropped my oldest daughter off at school this morning, I went into the STMA for my last official workday of the 2017-2018 school year. It was quite low-key: I shared a biscuit with my headmaster, responded to some emails from both current and former students, and began thinking about Latin Honors for the coming year. The morning was accented by few shorter conversations with colleagues and moving some books around. But my wife. who had been without her purse for a few days, needed a few errands run, and today’s workday was optional, so I cut out early for lunch and reading with the girls.

Tonight, as my second child has now come down with a fever, I tried to comfort her with good cheer as I cooked fish for dinner. My father had brought home a small haul of dolphin (read mahi-mahi) and Virginia mullet. These went over well with my wife and the girls, and bedtime has come quickly for the lot.

Lastly, I said Compline, or Night Prayer, this evening after running to the store for more ibuprofen for Laura. Alongside my prayers (“Fratres, sobrii estote et vigilate..,” “”Nunc dimittis servum tuum, Domine,” etc.) the Friars of the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., have a lovely album of chant for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I commend the entire album to you, especially their Salve Regina, which I attempted to pray along with them. Thank you, friars.

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John Opie, “Confession”

Quotidian (1)

28 May 2018 | Monday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
In the traditional Roman Calendar, we remember St. Augustine of Canterbury.
It is Memorial Day in the United States of America.

On Saturday, St. Thomas More Academy, the small Catholic prep school where I teach, held its sixteenth commencement exercises for the graduating Class of 2018. It was a memorable event, complete with a visit and apostolic blessing from His Excellency Luis Rafael Zarama,  our newly installed Bishop of Raleigh, and a commencement address by Dr. Paul J. Griffiths, who was my advisor at Duke Divinity and the Warren Chair of Catholic Theology. Other guests including Monsignor Jeffrey Ingham, pastor of St. Joseph’s and our unofficial chaplain at STMA, and Father Phil Tighe, former pastor at St. Catherine’s in Wake Forest and current Director of Vocations for the Diocese of Raleigh. Lastly, seated right behind the bishop were two STMA alumni seminarians.

STMA students had attended His Excellency’s August Installation Mass, the March Chrism Mass, and in April a priest’s funeral at which Bishop Zamara was its principal celebrant, but this was our first event in which he was able to offer us his words and blessing. The Bishop’s remarks were generous and encouraging: directed to the students, he urged them to stay close to Jesus and the Sacraments and to allow the Savior to serve ‘as the control tower as these graduates take off into the airspace’ of their adult lives; he also urged parents to stay in touch with their children as they head off to school, notably to call, not to text.

I had not connected with Paul much since leaving Duke, but it was good to see him and to hear his words to our graduates. He spoke about work: sweat-work, beauty-work, and leisure, and how in a good life these three are braided together in service to the Lord and His Church. He’s recently written a work on Christian anthropology, entitled Christian Flesh, something that has been in the works for a few years and due out in September. He will retire from Duke this summer without seeking another academic post. He says he will continue writing. His recent piece for the May 2018 First Things is “A Letter To An Aspiring Intellectual.”

This morning my wife was under the weather, so the girls — all three of them — and I went to Mass  at Sacred Heart, which has been downgraded to a church but is not (yet) a parish, though the Passionists, Fr. Justin and Fr. Justin, have continued to offer daily masses Monday through Saturday for many of the downtown faithful.

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MM and Va visit the grotto at Sacred Heart.