Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts

Saturday, March 16, 2019

On The Road

Whoever said life'd be easy? No one, and with that in mind I left the sylvan groves of old Texas for the concrete metrosprawl of the DFW megacity, not once but twice. Why? Because I had meetings in the 'sprawl and duty called.

The first part of the drive on I35W isn't bad, a fairly empty 4 lane highway through rolling farmland, passing by Itasca and Grandview. Then you get to Alvaredo and the pace picks up as you drop into the Fort Worth lowlands.

Metroplex at Night. Yellow Line = Connecticut

There you are in the Metroplex, on a multilane racetrack dreamed up in bowels of Hell. It goes on for miles, 9,286 square miles to be precise, about two thirds the size of Holland and larger than the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined. It's growing, too, like a monster.

Well you can't blame people for moving here from socialist hellhole states, but I'd argue you can blame the so-called urban planners who decided that city and 20 lane highway were synonyms. You'd think, after several thousand years of Western civic culture, that we could come up with something better than the 'sprawl. Thank God I live in a road, said no one ever.

It Was Going to be This

Great, readers, will be the fall of it. I know, that'll never happen because the way we live now will go on forever and ever, per saecula saeculorum, but imagine the grid went down, which of course it never will because the grid's immortal, but say for example it did. And you're living in the 'spawl with no water, electricity and before long, food. How would you get out?

But Ended up This

Dirt bikes, on foot? Apocalypse aside, the meetings were good, though it seemed strange to be in the city. Back in the country, Mexican music's in the air and with it the delicious aroma of slow cooked carnitas

This makes fasting difficult and speaking of roads, Jack Kerouac was a catholic.

Drive safe,


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

This & That

The day started off well, with strong covfefe on the porch.

It moved ineluctably to guns, note health food.

And now? Stations of the Cross.

God bless,


Sunday, March 10, 2019

The World The Flesh And The Devil

What shall it profit a man?

To gain the whole world

And lose his soul?

Here at the Compound we hope you've enjoyed this photo homily and don't be scared, victory's assured.

Deus Vult,


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ash Wednesday

Lent's begun and with it the invitation to enter the wilderness with Christ and commit ourselves to the spiritual battle against evil. I've found Benedict XVI's reflections helpful, here's an excerpt:

What is the essence of the three temptations to which Jesus is subjected? It is the proposal to exploit God, to use him for one’s own interests, for one’s own glory and for one’s own success. And therefore, essentially to put oneself in God’s place, removing him from one’s own existence and making him seem superfluous. Each one of us must therefore ask him- or herself: what place does God have in my life? Is he the Lord or am I?

You can read the whole thing here and while we're at it, the Ash Wednesday Collect which governs the season.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God bless,


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ash Wednesday Valentines

It's Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day, when we celebrate a martyr, love, and mark our foreheads with an ashen cross as a sign of penance; remember, O man, that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return.

Love is the unifying factor in this apparent clash of Feasts. The love of the martyr for Christ, even to death, the love of a man for a woman and the love of our Lord, supremely manifested on Calvary. So perhaps the calendar isn't as confusing as it seems but I'll spare you the sermon. Here's the Collect instead.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

God bless you all this Lent,


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Glitter Ash

Just when you thought Western religion couldn't get any gayer , along comes Glitter Ash. That's right, Glitter Ash, instead of the cis gendered, heteronormative oppression ash which churches typically use on Ash Wednesday. But don't take my word for it, here's Parity, describing the thinking behind Glitter Ash.

Ashes are a statement that death and suffering are real.Glitter is a sign of our hope, which does not despair.Glitter signals our promise to repent, to show up, to witness, to work.Glitter never gives up -- and neither do we.

Glitter signals our promise to repent. Unh hunh, sure, all the way to the nearest disco. Parity continues.

Glitter+Ash is an inherently queer sign of Christian belief, blending symbols of mortality and hope, of penance and celebration. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, a season of repentance. During Lent, Christians look inward and take account in order to move forward with greater health. At this moment in history, glitter ashes will be a powerful reminder of St. Augustine’s teaching that we cannot despair because despair paralyzes, thwarting repentance and impeding the change that we are called to make.

Oh yeah, right, of course. Next time you see some dude wandering around wearing leather chaps and no trousers, with some glitter on his forehead, think of St. Augustine. And repentance, obviously.

Glitter+Ash exquisitely captures the relationship between death and new life. We do not live in fear of ash - of death - we place it on our foreheads for the world to see. 
How very beautiful. Glitter Ash is incredibly gay a symbol of resurrection and new life in the midst of death, as opposed to being an exercise in degenerate, narcissistic exhibitionism.

You can get your Glitter Ash here when it's back in stock.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ash Wednesday

Here we are again at the beginning of Lent and that's usually the Compound's cue to unleash TS Eliot's poem, Ash Wednesday. But here's something new, an excerpt from a sermon by the late Fr. Crouse.

In the Scriptures for last Sunday, Quinquagesima, the Lenten theme was brought to still more perfect clarity, with Jesus’ announcement to the twelve: “Behold we go up to Jerusalem.” That is the central theme of Lent. We go up to Jerusalem with Jesus, to witness there the almighty charity of God in the Passion of his Son, and to be transformed by that same charity. As with the blind beggar by the road to Jericho, in that Gospel lesson, the blind eyes of our faith are to be opened to the glory of his sacrifice, and, as St. Paul told us on the Epistle lesson, that charity, that obedient, self-giving love, that steadfast, clear-sighted willing of the good, which is manifest in Calvary, is to be the substance of our own new life, the very essence of our spiritual maturity, the good and honest heart, the very habit of life of heaven, without which – whatever our gift, our struggles and achievements – we are “nothing worth”; just “sounding brass and tinkling cymbal”, just noisy nonsense.
The Scripture lessons for those weeks of preparation have shown us the meaning, and the character, and the urgency of the pilgrimage of Lent. Now it remains only to undertake it, and today’s lessons urge us to do just that; with penitence for our wickedness and carelessness and double-mindedness; with a discipline which is not just external forms, but the inner discipline of mind and heart; striving not for worldly self-improvement, but for the treasure of eternal good. It is only by earnest, and persistent, and sometimes painful discipline that we are weaned from mindless conformity to worldly ends, and find that renewal of the mind which is spiritual freedom and maturity. That liberation is what Lent is all about. “Behold we go up to Jerusalem.” There is our treasure, in the charity of God, and there must our hearts be also.

I find that helpful, you can read the whole thing here.

God bless,


Friday, February 26, 2016

Fire On The Mountain

One of the things some local Baptists do well here is a men's prayer breakfast. They meet every Friday and they're a good, straight-up group of guys who like to ride, shoot and fish and aren't ashamed of their faith.

I like to go for the prayer and fellowship and to hear a short, simple but direct message. Today's was on Elijah and the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings. Elijah called down fire from heaven and confounded the evil prophets of an evil god. These met a grisly end, which serves as a warning to the idolatry of our dark and increasingly barbarous age. So be filled with the fire of God that is the fire of love, and repent.

Texas This Morning. Note Water

My mind went back from that to Exodus, the burning bush and the Divine Name, I AM THAT AM, or, in the Septuagint, He Who Is, and then forward in time to Pentecost and the tongues of fire that rested upon the Apostles.

No Comment

Some say that the episcopal mitre represents this fire. Others again point to the awkward bit in the Gospel about wolves in sheep's clothing, to say nothing of the demon Baal and its false prophets.

Make of that what you will.


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Don't go to a Liturgical Dance, Ride Instead

You wake up, it's a beautiful day and you think to yourself, "I know, I'll go to a liturgical dance!" Resist that temptation, and go for a ride.

Goofing Off

Liturgical Dance is goofy.

Horses Scorn Liturgical Dance

Riding is not goofy, mostly.

Bad And Weird

Liturgical Dance is bad.

Good Horse

Riding is good.

Blasphemous Nonsense

Liturgical Dance is blasphemous.

Don't go Liturgical Dancing, Fool

Riding is not.

I hope this short educational post helps all of us to keep a better, more disciplined and holy Lent. Remember, when temptation strikes, as it so often does, don't go liturgical dancing! Go for a ride instead, it's better for mind, body and spirit.

That is all.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Shrove Tuesday

As faithful Christians were gearing up for Lenten penance, Hillary Rodham Clinton was getting a shriving in New Hampshire, handily beaten by a 74 year Communist, Bernie Sanders. 

The GOP establishment took one in the face too, with celebrity real estate mogul Donald Trump dominating the Republican Party field. Sorry, bow tie and tasseled loafer brigade, you lose.

So what does it mean, we asked ourselves over pancakes at the Missions. A Bern v. Trump shoot-out for the Presidency? A return to the good old days of better dead than red or vice versa and devil take the hindmost?

One thing's sure, if the old commie keeps up at this pacemaker it's going to take a whole lot of flying monkeys to keep Hillary in the running, and out of jail.

Don't forget to go to Mass tomorrow, it's Ash Wednesday.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is upon us and with it a crashing reminder of our own mortality and the need to repent of past and present wickedness. So, in a penitent attempt to atone for the frivolity and shallowness of this small donut shop on the side of the mighty information super-highway, I'll leave us with some wisdom from the Imitation of Christ:

Dear soul, from what peril and fear you could free yourself, if you lived in holy fear, mindful of your death. Apply yourself so to live now, that at the hour of death, you may be glad and unafraid. Learn now to die to the world, that you may begin to live with Christ. (Romans 6:8) Learn now to despise ail earthly things, that you may go freely to Christ. Discipline your body now by penance, that you may enjoy a sure hope of salvation.

Foolish man, how can you promise yourself a long life, when you are not certain of a single day? (Luke 12:20) How many have deceived themselves in this way, and been snatched unexpectedly from life! You have often heard how this man was slain by the sword; another drowned; how another fell from a high place and broke his neck; how another died at table how another met his end in play. One perishes by fire, another by the sword, another from disease, another at the hands of robbers. Death is the end of all men (Ecclesiasticus 7:2) and the life of man passes away suddenly as a shadow.(Psalm 38:7; 143:4)

Who will remember you when you are dead? Who will pray for you? Act now, dear soul; do all you can; for you know neither the hour of your death, nor your state after death. While you have time, gather the riches of everlasting life. (Luke 12:33; Galatians 6:8) Think only of your salvation, and care only for the things of God. Make friends now, by honouring the Saints of God and by following their example, that when this life is over, they may welcome you to your eternal home.(Luke 16:9)

Keep yourself a stranger and pilgrim upon earth, (I Peter 2:11), to whom the affairs of this world are of no concern. Keep your heart free and lifted up to God, for here you have no abiding city.(Hebrews13:14) Daily direct your prayers and longings to Heaven, that at your death your soul may merit to pass joyfully into the presence of God.

I wish you all a holy and blessed Lent,


Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent Begins...

I know it's two days late and several dollars short, but I hope you all had a blessed and penitential Ash Wednesday and beginning of Lent.

I'll leave you with some Eliot, from Ash Wednesday:

Lady of silences 
Calm and distressed 
Torn and most whole 
Rose of memory 
Rose of forgetfulness 
Exhausted and life-giving 
Worried reposeful 
The single Rose 
Is now the Garden 
Where all loves end 
Terminate torment 
Of love unsatisfied 
The greater torment 
Of love satisfied
 End of the endless 
Journey to no end 
Conclusion of all that 
Is inconclusible 
Speech without word and 
Word of no speech 
Grace to the Mother 
For the Garden 
Where all love ends.

Reads like a Litany, I always think. CS. Lewis hated TS Eliot's poetry, apparently. I like both.

God bless,


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sandman - Fixing up a Lee

If you see a sportered Lee Enfield No. 1 Mk. III, with a decent bore, matching serials and good looking BSA stamp (1917), all for the price of a cheap pair of shoes... well, you buy it, of course. Then you stare at it for awhile and like a child fascinated by the workings of a watch, take it apart.

tools of the trade
The metal was covered with a thick coat of baked on black paint from a 1951 refurb and the wood was covered in some kind of badly applied finish; I'd guess gloopily applied linseed oil. After removing the paint  with a mixture of K3 Stripper, Aircraft Remover, a plastic scraper and fine grade steel wool, I turned my attention to the wood.

First you strip off the old finish. I used K3 and it's easy to use, in a noxious kind of way. Brush on the stripper and let it work its chemical magic for around 10 minutes. Then scrape off the finish with a flexible plastic scraper. Use gloves, work with the grain, don't gouge the wood. Repeat, then repeat again, this time using steel wool. After several goes the old finish is off. Clean the wood with mineral spirits and enjoy the look of the thing; you'll have a glimpse of how it'll appear when it's refinished. Then...

You sand, and sand, and sand, and sand.

in between sanding -- use a tack cloth

I started with 180 grit and worked up through 600. Use a sanding block or your work will be uneven (some suggest a rectangular rubber eraser -- I used an old dish sponge I'd cut down to size). Be careful around stampings and sharp lines. Clean the wood between sandings with a tack cloth.

Some time later the wood will done. Clean it off with mineral spirits and congratulate yourself on the sheer patience of the thing; the stock is now ready for finishing.

Don't attempt this if you are an impatient, nervous, erratic person who doesn't like sanding. 

Also, don't lose sight of your Lenten rule, whatever that may be.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

They say that the word Lent comes from the old English for Spring, and it was like that here today after such unseasonably cold weather. Regardless, I always find Ash Wednesday has a bleakness about it, "Remember O man that thou art dust"... But whoever said a penitential season was supposed to be fun.

Still, a parishioner lent me a red-dot optic (Aimpoint copy) for the carbine - well done that man, and the missions seem to be pulling together in a good sort of way. Quite unlike NASA's climatologists, who appear to be little better than a "Kantian fact factory in full swing." Then there's the Arlington Pipebombers that got busted before they could strike a blow for the jihad, or mental instability, or both.

Horses tomorrow and perhaps a shoot - might be interesting to check out the new scope.

Have a blessed Ash Wednesday and a holy Lent.