Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
|VENI, redemptor gentium, |
ostende partum Virginis;
miretur omne saeculum:
talis decet partus Deum.
| COME, Thou Redeemer of the earth, |
and manifest thy virgin-birth.
Let every age adoring fall:
such birth befits the God of all.
| Non ex virili semine, |
sed mystico spiramine
Verbum Dei factum est caro
fructusque ventris floruit.
| Begotten of no human will |
but of the Spirit, Thou art still
the Word of God in flesh arrayed,
the promised fruit to man displayed.
| Alvus tumescit Virginis, |
claustrum pudoris permanet,
vexilla virtutum micant,
versatur in templo Deus.
| The Virgin's womb that burden gained, |
With virgin honor all unstained.
The banners there of virtue glow;
God in his temple dwells below.
| Procedat e thalamo suo, |
pudoris aula regia,
geminae gigas substantiae
alacris ut currat viam.
| Forth from His chamber goeth He, |
That royal home of purity
a giant in twofold substance one,
rejoicing now His course to run.
| Aequalis aeterno Patri, |
carnis tropaeo cingere,
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.
| O equal to the Father, Thou! |
gird on Thy fleshly mantle now;
the weakness of our mortal state
with deathless might invigorate.
| Praesepe iam fulget tuum |
lumenque nox spirat novum,
quod nulla nox interpolet
fideque iugi luceat.
| Thy cradle here shall glitter bright, |
and darkness breathe a newer light
where endless faith shall shine serene
and twilight never intervene.
| Sit, Christe, rex piissime, |
tibi Patrique gloria
cum Spiritu Paraclito,
in sempiterna saecula. Amen.
| O Jesu, Virgin-born, to thee|
Eternal praise and glory be,
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Spirit, evermore. Amen.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I haven't packed yet, but I did get out this morning to purchase four new tires for my car, which just turned 101,000 miles old.
Here is a nostalgic picture of the tire place, a no frills joint on South High Street. They don't provide free coffee or magazines to read, but they do offer quick service at quite reasonable prices.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Yesterday we were blessed with a fine crew of volunteers who worked on the convent chapel. In these photos, you can see old door and window openings being filled in to accommodate new doors and windows. The cedar siding was recycled from an interior wall that used to be an exterior wall. You will also see the truncating of a standard door to make it fit a non-standard opening. Some of you will have to stoop before entering the chapel. It's good for you.
Friday, October 23, 2009
VA, secure at her mooring, moved neither to the left nor to the right. She just moved straight down. One of the dock owners went to look things over and found VA looking pretty, but somewhat abbreviated. Her rudder was gone. Either floated off its pintles or bumped off. I was not too upset when I got the phone call, as I had been thinking of buying a new, more aerodynamic rudder -- and then I found out what new ones cost. That sobered me up a bit. Then, two days after the initial call, came another informing me that the lost rudder had washed up at a neighboring dock. The photo shows the wandering rudder next to my garage door, which gives you a scale. It is about six feet high and weighs about 35 pounds (.024 hectares). It could use a wash and brush-up sometime before April.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Last week something or someone bit Mr Martin in the hind leg. The marks of two incisors are still visible. To prevent him from licking the wound, he has been fitted with a protective cone around his neck and forbidden to go outside. He is not happy about this. CONTEST: Caption this photo!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Lamenting the effects of Israel’s security wall upon the Palestinian Christian communion, Patriarch Fouad Twal, Archbishop of Jerusalem, predicted that the number of Christians would dwindle from 10,000 today to 5,000 in 2016 because of emigration fostered by Israel’s security wall.
The wall has “enclosed many Palestinians in ghetto-like areas where access to work, medical care, schooling and other basic services have been badly affected,” he said. “We have a new generation of Christians who cannot visit the holy places of their faith that are only a few kilometers from their place of residence.”
At the event, Father Peter Vasko, President of the Franciscan Foundation for the Holy Land, exhorted us to support our fellow Christians especially through enabling higher education.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Last month, cat #2, Pongo, took sick and died. One Saturday morning he came to the back door, moving slowly as if in pain, entered the house, looked at me and let out a slow cry, and slunk off upstairs to hide. I might have to take him to the vet on Monday, I thought. He went out Sunday night and on Monday morning I found him stretched out on the back lawn. Gone. There was no time to mourn as we were working full-bore on the convent renovation.
A few days later, I heard a powerful scratching at the back door and looked out to see another cat. For two days he beat on the back door and jumped up onto outside window sills, staring wildly through the glass. I gave up. Now he lives here. Mr. Martin, the original cat of the house, affects not to see him. The newcomer has been named Other Kat. O.K. for short.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Those who have never been to Ohio, and most of those who live in Ohio, when thinking of Ohio (if they ever do), don't picture such a scene as this. But there it was, just a week ago Sunday evening, as seen from the cockpit of the sloop Vidi Aquam.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
It's best for me to stay out of stores that sell used books -- I can never confine myself to browsing; inevitably I leave with more books than I came in with. Yesterday I succumbed to this unmanly weakness and entered a congenial shop, where I purchased a couple of books about sailboats. In addition to selling wonderful used books, this store features a neon sign spelling out the most important rule of the establishment, a rule we would all do well to heed:
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
In that spirit, I have created a Parish Diary for St. Stephen the Martyr Parish.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Those who believe in the precise use of words say that we should avoid calling other human beings "creative" because only God can create something from nothing. What is one supposed to say, however, when one meets up with the latest creation of Parishioner A? "Imaginative" is too weak, "resourceful" suggests the boy scout. No, what you see before you rises to the level of artistic achievement. And he did it all without one penny of grant money.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Today marks the 40-year anniversary of a remarkable feat of single-handed sailing. On April 22, 1969, Robin Knox-Johnston became the first man to sail around the world alone and unaided, without making a single stop or taking on supplies at any point in the journey. A psychiatrist who interviewed him pronounced him "distressingly normal." Sir Robin Knox-Johnston (yes, of course he was knighted) later commented that the psychiatrist seemed a bit off. Knox-Johnston, now 70, keeps up an active career training new sailors for great adventures. Congratulations Sir Robin!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Mexico City and environs, known as the "Federal District", form a vast nightmarish landscape, like Mordor with really good food. 22 million persons inhabit the "DF" and I tip my hat to them, because you have to be really tough to live there. Just getting to work is hard work. Commuting times are long, roads are bumpy, and the traffic is indescribable. Drivers make up rules of the road as they go along. In addition to the usual stop signs and speed limit signs, the authorities have put up signs reminding people to do what the signs tell them to do. Let's think about the thought process that went into this decision. (1) authorities notice that drivers ignore speed limit signs (2) authorities notice that drivers ignore "yield" signs (3) authorities notice that drivers ignore "one way" signs (4) authorities conclude that additional signs reminding drivers to respect existing signs are a good investment. Now you understand Mexico.
On the plus side, I found that the Metro (subway) was mnre comfortable than that of Rome, even though Mexico City's Metro isn't a real subway in my opinion, because it has rubber tires. Real trains have steel wheels. Still, the trains are pretty clean, well lit, not too noisy, and the stations and platforms are of ample dimensions. I have seen much worse in New York City.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Another young man from our parish is off to the seminary to try his vocation with the Institute of the Incarnate Word. Please pray for Julian who hits the road on March 24. That makes three young men from our parish aspiring to the priesthood. So far.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I have been thinking of buying an MP3 player, aka an "IPOD." But I don't want to buy an ipod. I used to have one, actually -- an Ipod shuffle, about the size of a pack of gum. It was made of bulletproof white plastic, cost almost 200 dollars, had no screen and a cool affect, as the clinicians say. It was imported because I bought it in London, Ontario. Oh, I almost forgot. When you shelled out for the shuffle, you also got a CD loaded with spayshul Apple software called "Itunes." This is what I don't want, really. I'd be happy to own an Ipod if the Apple overlords did not require me to lead Itunes on my hard drive. Listen, Apple people, and understand: you are trying to sell me a portable memory stick that plays mp3 files. That's all it is. I don't need special software for that. Windows already comes with copy and paste capability. Some people, by the way, claim that Itunes is buggy, but this is disputed by others who say that it works fine if you just, you know, chill, dude.
What I find baffling is the widespread assumption that if you want an "ipod" you have to buy something made by Apple, when several gazillion other companies offer various objects that do exactly the same thing. And here is where I help millions of consumers everywhere by supplying a link to a site that backs up my claim.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
It was a great blessing to return to my little parish where the music at the vigil Mass was dignified and lovely. And not a bell tree in sight.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
The Fish Fry was almost as noisy and chaotic as the Spanish Mass Wednesday night but had more of a festive atmosphere...Everyone who came gave the fish high marks. In all 220lbs of perch was sacrificed to facilitate Lenten penitence. In addition to the fish classic (fried) we also offered baked fish and and third option, of which I am especially fond: Perch Francese. White wine + Lemon + homemade crumbing = fish heaven. To those who eat fish, no explanation is necessary. To those who do not eat fish, no explanation is possible.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
4 p.m. on Mardi Gras. Another grueling meeting. This time to taste-test possible menu items for the fund-raising dinner to be held Tuesday, May 5 -- Cinco de Mayo, get it? -- to build up our convent fund. Bucking the trend, we will be opening a convent in August to house the Missionary Servants of the Word Sisters from Mexico. To make this happen, I'm going to have to eat a lot of Mexican food. This is a tough job but somebody's gotta do it. We tested several possible appetizers, entrees, and desserts. The only problem was that everybody liked everything! Hmmmmmm......flannnnn.....
Friday, February 6, 2009
One of the responsibilities of every priest is to provide his own replacement by encouraging young men who are preparing to be ordained priests, or just thinking about it. While I can't take a lot of credit for the good news I am relating here (the Holy Spirit gets the credit), I am very pleased and proud that two members of our parish set off this morning for Washington, D.C., to try their vocation. William Pacheco and Samuel Castro will be living at the seminary of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, a very dynamic and fast-growing congregation of priests. As we go to press, word reaches us that they may soon be joined by a third young man from our parish. Pray for them!
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
|Sator princepsque temporum,|
clarum diem laboribus
noctemque qui soporibus
fixo distinguis ordine.
Mentem tu castam dirige,
obscura ne silentia
ad dira cordis vulnera
telis patescant invidi.
Vacent ardore pectora,
faces nec ullas perferant,
quae nostro haerentes sensui
mentis vigorem saucient.
Praesta, Pater piissime,
Patrique compar Unice,
cum Spiritu Paraclito
regnans per omne saeculum.
|Creator, Lord of time and tide|
The hours in order you divide:
For work, you give us daytime bright;
For rest, the quiet sleep of night.
The inner self keep pure from sin,
Lest silent darkness deep within
Expose the heart to wound and woe
From deadly arrows of the foe.
Let passion’s fire from us depart,
Lest, burning hotly in the heart,
Its flames around our feelings bind,
And wound the vigor of the mind.
O grant it, Father, only Son,
And Holy Spirit with them one:
The God whom all things must obey,
Reigning in everlasting day.
translation copyright 2005, Fr. Thomas Buffer
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Jesus, Son of Mary, fount of life alone,
here we hail thee present on thine altar-throne.
Humbly we adore thee, Lord of endless might,
in the mystic symbols veiled from earthly sight.
Think, O Lord, in mercy on the souls of those
who, in faith gone from us, now in death repose.
Here 'mid stress and conflict toils can never cease;
there, the warfare ended, bid them rest in peace.
Often were they wounded in the deadly strife;
heal them, good Physician, with the balm of life.
Every taint of evil, frailty and decay,
good and gracious Savior, cleanse and purge away.
Rest eternal grant unto them, after weary fight;
shed on them the radiance of thy heavenly light.
Lead them onward, upward, to the holy place,
where thy saints made perfect gaze upon thy face.
Words: Edmund S. Palmer, 1902, 1906
based on the author's original text in Swahili
Thursday, January 22, 2009
By the way some have suggested that we connect the house to city water. That is possible. But the "tap fees" alone would be around 5000 dollars. That does not include any of the work to dig up the ground and install any plumbing. So we will make do with the well for the present.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
As a boy I was blessed to be able to spend a fair amount of time with older relatives during periodic visits to family in Illinois. They were a hard-working lot who had to work hard because they didn't have much money. Taking time off from work because you didn't feel well was rarely an option. Consequently they gave an unsympathetic ear to anyone who claimed to be sick. "It's all in your head" was the usual response to someone who thought he might have a cold, a sore throat, a cerebral hemorrhage -- all malingering. My father, who inherited this bedside manner unmollified, forbade my siblings and me to have allergies. When I tell this to others they are sceptical. "What do you mean, you weren't allowed to have allergies?" they ask. It's not as if Dad said outright "no one in this house will have an allergy." His method showed more cunning than that. We had a number of cousins who had to take shots because of allergies. Like all children, we feared the needle. So, if one of us exhibited any such pantywaist behavior as sniffing, coughing, wheezing, sneezing, and said, "I think I'm allergic to (fill in blank)" all Dad had to say was "Do you want to give yourself shots every day like your cousins?"
"NO!" we screamed.
"Then shut up."
Having been brought up in this sensible fashion, I was smugly pleased to find the paternal philosophy vindicated by a recent study indicating a correlation between reported allergies in children and parental hysteria. While third world kids breathe easy, the children of wealthy left-wing slackers are threatened by death every time their Mexican nanny opens a jar of Jif. Here, read about it for yourself.