Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The "Triumph" of Communism in Cuba

Just came back from my first visit (ten days) in Cuba, the land of my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

I, in my white (tropical) roman priest cassock, spoke with a thousand Cubans, mostly in Havana, and prayed with them, gave them miraculous medals, rosaries, a blessing, etc. All of them believe in God and are very well disposed towards the Catholic priesthood. None of them are happy with their plight.

Of all the images I might provide from that complex experience, I will leave you with one.

The first beach I visited was west of Havana in the Miramar neighborhood (at the "paradero" of the Bus P2: "La Concha" beach, right in front of "La Isla del Coco" amusement park).

Here is what that place is today. Followed by images of what it used to be.

This is where my dad learned to swim, in the 40's.

Havana alone has thousands of examples of such deterioration. Practically the entire city is like that, the wreckage of an imperial glorious past.

Except for cigars and rum, there is hardly any industry in Cuba, and all the people, except the king, are kept down to a minimal existence. It is a land of one king and 11 million slaves.

Cf. The Erstwhile Clubs of Havana

Cf. The Double Life of Fidel Castro, Sanchez, 2014.
Red Star Over Cuba, Weyl, 1960.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Catholic Regulations for Lenten Fast and Abstinence, Old and New

Rules for fast and abstinence

Why do we fast and abstain?

Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish.” (Lk. 13:5)
Because we are sinners, justice requires each of us to make recompense to God for the honor we have denied Him by our sins. Because we have misused our goods, our souls and bodies—as well as those of others—the natural law requires us to strive to restore the order we have disturbed by our sins. Thus, the Natural Law and the Divine Law bind us in a general way to perform acts of penance. In order to help us fulfill this requirement, Holy Mother Church, knowing our weakness and laziness, binds us under ecclesiastical laws to perform works of penance at certain times.

Throughout the centuries, these ecclesiastical laws have changed, sometimes becoming more strict, sometimes relaxing the discipline of penance. Regardless of changes to the Church laws, which exist to make our obedience to the natural and Divine laws of penance easier, the fundamental requirement remains: “Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish.”

Considering the alternatives of unending bliss in heaven or unending misery in hell, and considering that the effects of original sin and of our own sins make us lazy and apt to forget our duty towards God, it seems much more reasonable to err on the side of too much penance, especially in times of relaxed Church discipline such as our own, rather than on the side of too little.
Only the Church can hold us guilty of mortal sin for failing in this or that specific act of penance, but we can certainly offend God mortally by neglecting penance completely over a length of time. This principle should be kept in mind when deciding on concrete penitential practices in accordance with the requirements and guidelines listed below. “Rules for penitential days under present Church law” details the bare minimum of penance which we must accomplish if we are to hope to stay out of mortal sin.
Nevertheless, we will easily fall into mortal sin if we confine our entire penance for the year to those days and acts required by the current law. “Guidelines for traditional penitential practices” spells out the strongly recommended practices which were observed until just after the Second Vatican Council.

Rules for penitential days under present Church law

In 1966, Pope Paul VI promulgated a new set of regulations for fasting and abstaining by his apostolic constitution, Paenitemini. These new rules are listed in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canons 1249-1253 and all Roman Catholics are bound to strictly observe them.
There are two sets of laws that apply to the Church's penitential days:
  1. The law of abstinence: this refers to abstaining from meat.
  2. The law of fasting: this refers to the quantity of food taken, thus also refraining from eating between meals.

Who is bound to observe these laws

  • The law of abstinence binds all Catholics, beginning on the day after their 14th birthday.
  • The law of fasting binds all adults (beginning on their 18th birthday) until the midnight which completes their 59th birthday.

What is forbidden and allowed to be eaten?

  • The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat. This does not apply to dairy products, eggs, or condiments and shortening made from animal fat.
  • The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day and two smaller meals. The two smaller meals should not equal the quantity of the main meal (which in the United States is customarily observed as the evening dinner).
  • Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids are allowed, including milk and fruit juices.
  • Fish and all cold-blooded animals may be eaten (e.g., frogs, clams, turtles, etc.).

In the Universal Church

Obligatory days of fast and abstinence:
  • Abstinence is obligatory on all Fridays, except on Solemnities (i.e., I Class Feasts).
  • Fasting and abstinence are obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

In the USA:

In Paenitemini, Pope Paul VI gave authority to the episcopal conferences on how the universal rules would be applied in their region. On November 18, 1966, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops legislated the following to be observed in the United States:
  • Abstinence is obligatory on all Fridays of Lent, except Solemnities (i.e., I Class Feasts).
  • Fasting and abstinence are obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
  • Abstinence on all Fridays, though not obligatory under pain of sin, is “especially recommended.”
  • Fasting on all weekdays of Lent, though not obligatory under pain of sin, is “strongly recommended.”
The local ordinaries also have authority to grant dispensations from these rules within their dioceses.

Guidelines for traditional penitential practices

Here are the traditional rules of fast and abstinence as observed per the 1962 liturgical calendar and outlined in Canons 1250-1254 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law.

Who was bound to observe these laws?

  • The law of abstinence bound all Catholics, beginning on the day after their 7th birthday.
  • The law of fasting bound all Catholics, beginning on the day after their 21st birthday and ending at the midnight which completed their 59th birthday. [Note: The USA's particular law has lowered the obligatory fasting age to 18.]

What was forbidden and allowed to be eaten?

  • The law of abstinence forbade the eating of flesh meat and of broth made of meat, but did not exclude the use of eggs, dairy products, or seasonings made from the fat of animals.
  • The law of fasting prescribed that only one full meal a day was taken with two smaller meals that did not equal the main one.
  • As to the kind of food and the amount that might be taken, the approved customs of the place were to be observed. It was not forbidden to eat both flesh meat and fish at the same meal, nor to interchange the midday and evening meals.

In the Universal Church

  • Abstinence was obligatory on all Fridays, except on Holy Days of Obligation outside of Lent.
Fasting and complete abstinence were obligatory on the following days:
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Fridays and Saturdays in Lent
  • Good Friday
  • Holy Saturday (until midnight 1)
  • Ember Days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday)
  • Vigil of Pentecost
  • Vigil of Christmas
  • [NB: both the Vigils of the Immaculate Conception and All Saints were omitted from the 1962 calendar]

Partial abstinence

Fasting and partial abstinence were obligatory on all other weekdays of Lent (i.e., Monday through Thursday—Friday was always complete abstinence); this meant that meat could be eaten at the principal meal on these days.

Some further clarifications to universal laws

There are few more distinctions to take into account fasting and abstaining when a usual fast day was in concurrence with a Sunday (always a non-fast day):
  • Sundays throughout the year and Holy Days of Obligation outside of Lent cancelled the fasting and/or abstinence of any penitential day which coincided.
  • If a fast-day Vigil fell on Sunday, the fasting and abstinence associated with the Vigil were not anticipated on the Saturday, but dropped altogether that year.

Particular rules observed in the USA

On January 28, 1949, the United States bishops issued a statement modifying the regulations of fasting and abstinence in America (thus differing slightly from the universal laws) after receiving a ruling from the Sacred Congregation of the Council.
Fasting and partial abstinence was obligatory on the following days:
  • Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Vigil of Pentecost
  • all other weekdays of Lent including Saturdays
Liquids, including milk and fruit juices, might be taken at any time on a day of fast, but “other works of charity, piety, and prayer for the pope should be substituted” to compensate for this relaxation.
In 1931, Pope Pius XII gave an indult to the American bishops allowing them to dispense with Abstinence on any penitential day that was a civic holiday and on the Friday that followed Thanksgiving Day. (Canon Law Digest, vol. 1.)
The United States bishops had the faculties to dispense the faithful from the obligation to fast and abstain on penitential days that fell on civic holidays.

Holy Days of Obligation in the USA

A Holy Day of Obligation is a day on which we are bound to hear Mass and to abstain from servile works. In the USA, the Holy Days of Obligation are:
  • All Sundays
  • Octave Day of the Nativity ( January 1)
  • Ascension Day
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15)
  • Feast of All Saints (November 1)
  • Immaculate Conception (December 8)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

La La Land Lie is Fornication, Irreligion

Christ and the Woman of Samaria II  Guercino

Having gone to the movies yesterday, to "the feelgood movie of the year" I wake up this morning with a bad feeling about it.

The story is conflicted because of the centrality of its fornication. The plot is built upon an illicit union, which is presented glamorously and without the least hint of wrong. However, the instability of that false union is a central element of the irrational and non-sequitur nature of the Alice in Wonderland-ish plot. The trouble is that the fact that the fornication culture is a major and central source of the superficiality of the present American experiment is totally lost on both producers and audience. By movie's end, one is left with an unidentified consciousness of profound tragedy. Fornication is the tragedy of La La Land. It is the greatest personal failure which only steals from every success.

Marriage is permanent, exclusive and fruitful: God-like, i.e. holy.

To it's credit, La La Land did show the difference between marriage and fornication, regarding permanence and fertility. But the obvious fact of our fornications is that the fornicator is deeply damaged by his moral failure in that act, dirtied by the condom, and poisoned by the pill, and that the fornication causes murder (e.g. at least with abortion and abortifacients). In addition to ignoring the great ill of impermanence, another great omission is the failure to present the absence of fidelity (exclusivity) in passionate flings outside of marriage. Surely Sebastian, the fornicator, without Christ, would not be celibate for five years in the absence of his concubine. Whence his inexplicable newfound implicit chastity? Pure fiction!

One final great fiction of the film is that God is totally absent from show-business, except to take His name in vain. Even the Hollywood fiction is not that unreal. There are churches and believers all over LA! The arts are naturally filled with the the Lord of beauty! To exclude Him is to create a monster, even if an attractive one.

Read Romans 1:18-32. Atheism is the source of all of our confusion, and our abandonment to our lusts is the manifestation thereof. And, ultimately, the La La Land Godless myth leads to homosexualism (total moral disorientation) and to death! because we reject the God of truth and life, Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Oscar Wilde, Homosexual, Repented and Converted to Catholicism, as did Closest Friends and leading English Decadents

The first thing we need to know about [Oscar] Wilde is that he was at war with himself. Wilde the would-be saint and Wilde the woeful sinner were in deadly conflict, one with the other. In this he was no different from the rest of us. Throughout his life, even at those times that he was at his most “decadent”, he retained a deep love for the Person of Christ and a lasting reverence for the Catholic Church. Indeed he spent much of his life flirting with Catholicism. He almost converted as an undergraduate at Trinity College in Dublin, and was on the brink of conversion a year or so later as an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford. There were no doctrinal differences preventing him from being received into the Church. He believed everything the Church believed and even spoke eloquently and wittily in defence of Catholic dogmas such as the Immaculate Conception. The only reason he failed to follow the logic of his Catholic convictions was a fear of being disinherited by his father if he did so. Years later, after his fall from favour following the scandal surrounding his homosexual affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, he spoke wistfully of his reluctant decision to turn his back on the Church. “Much of my moral obliquity is due to the fact that my father would not allow me to become a Catholic”, he confided to a journalist. “The artistic side of the Church would have cured my degeneracies. I intend to be received before long.”* In the event, he was finally received into the Church shortly before his death in 1900.

Needless to say, Wilde’s Christianity informed the moral dimension of his work. His poetry exhibits either a selfless love for Christ or, at its darkest, a deep self-loathing in the face of the ugliness of his own sinfulness. His short stories are almost always animated by a deep Christian morality, with “The Selfish Giant” deserving a timeless accolade as one of the finest Christian fairy stories ever written. His plays are more than merely comedies or tragedies; they are morality plays in which virtue is vindicated and vice vanquished. And The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde’s only novel and a true masterpiece of Victorian fiction, is a cautionary tale in which a man destroys himself and those with whom he comes into contact in his insane desire to escape from the constraints of morality and the dictates of his conscience.

This is shocking enough, and warrants the censorship of Wilde’s puritanical modern admirers, but it’s only a small part of the whole shocking story. It is not only Wilde who succumbed to the love that dare not speak its name. Most of the other Decadents who influenced Wilde or with whom he fraternized also fell in love with Christ and His Church. Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine and Joris Karl Huysmans, the leading lights of the French Decadence, were all received into the Catholic Church, the last of whom spending the last years of his life in a monastery. Even more shocking is the fact that Wilde approved of Huysmans entering the monastery and expressed a desire to do the same...

And there’s more. Most of the leading lights of the English Decadence also became Catholics, including the poets Lionel Johnson, Ernest Dowson and John Gray, the last of whom, the physical inspiration for Dorian Gray, went on to become a Catholic priest. Even Lord Alfred Douglas, the man who induced Wilde to abandon his wife and children in pursuit of sordid and transient pleasures, saw the error of his ways and was received into the Catholic Church. And when all of Wilde’s fair-weather friends abandoned him, leaving him to a life of penury in Paris, it was another convert to Catholicism, Robert Ross, the very man who is thought to have first introduced Wilde to homosexual practice, who stood by him, fetching the priest who would receive Wilde into the Church.

...This is the love that dare not speak its name. It is the love of Christ which calls sinners to repentance, and the love of the penitent soul for the forgiveness of God. It is a love that is so shocking that it must be thrust into a closet and hidden.

Oscar Wilde and a host of others have learned that there is only one true love. It is the love that inspires the laying down of one’s life for ones friends and enemies. Wilde came out of the darkness of the closet into which his own sinfulness had thrust him, finding the true light of day. This is Wilde’s revolutionary secret, which the bourgeoisie seek to conceal. It is a secret which we should proclaim from the hilltops, in spite of the persecution and hatred that it might provoke. Come out of the closet of your self-enclosing Pride, all ye dwellers in the shadows. Come out into the fullness of the light of Christ and the Love that transfigures the soul.

*H. Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde: A Biography (London: Eyre Methuen, 1976), p. 368

Joseph Pearce is the author of The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde (Ignatius Press). This and other books by Joseph Pearce may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

Cf. Español

A Fine Short Story

The Selfish Giant (1888) - A fairy tale about a giant who comes home after a seven-year visit with an ogre, to find children playing in his garden. He puts up a wall and posts a sign that says, “trespassers will be prosecuted.”


Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant’s garden.

It was a large, lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. “How happy we are here!” they cried to each other.

One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.

“What are you doing there?” he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.

“My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant; “any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.” So he built a high wall all around it, and put up a notice-board.

TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. “How happy we were there,” they said to each other.

Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all the year round.” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down. “This is a delightful spot,” he said, “we must ask the Hail on a visit.” So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.

“I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,” said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden. “I hope there will be a change in the weather.” But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden she gave none. “He is too selfish,” she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. “I believe the Spring has come at last,” said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out.

What did he see? He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. “Climb up! little boy,” said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny.

And the Giant’s heart melted as he looked out. “How selfish I have been!” he said; “now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put the poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground for ever and ever.” He was really very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them around the Giant’s neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. “It is your garden now, little children,” said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at twelve o’clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.

All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.

“But where is your little companion?” he said: “the boy I put into the tree.” The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.

“We don’t know,” answered the children; “he has gone away.” “You must tell him to be sure and come here to-morrow,” said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. “How I would like to see him!” he used to say.

Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said; “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.” One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.

Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly, was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, “Who hath dared to wound thee?” For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.

“Who hath dared to wound thee?” cried the Giant; “tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.” “Nay!” answered the child; “but these are the wounds of Love.” “Who art thou?” said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, “You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.”

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms. THE END

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) - An Irish-born English poet, novelist, and playwright. Considered an eccentric, he was the leader of the aesthetic movement that advocated “art for art’s sake” and was once imprisoned for two years with hard labor for homosexual practices. An Anglican, always attracted to Catholicism, he became Catholic shortly before his death in 1900.
"Wilde’s Christianity informed the moral dimension of his work. His poetry exhibits either a selfless love for Christ or, at its darkest, a deep self-loathing in the face of the ugliness of his own sinfulness. His short stories are almost always animated by a deep Christian morality, with 'The Selfish Giant' deserving a timeless accolade as one of the finest Christian fairy stories ever written." --Joseph Pearce The Imaginative Conservative December 8, 2016

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The "Negative Confession" of the Book of the Dead

One of the best-known sections of the Book of the Coming Forth by Day (The Book of the Dead) in the Papyrus of Ani is the Negative Confession. The forty-two Gods and Goddesses of the Nomes of Egypt conduct this initiatory test of the soul before the scale of Ma’at. In this translation by pioneering Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge, we hear the initiate’s assertion of blamelessness before the Court of Osiris. For clarity, divine names and city names in parentheses have been added to the 1895 text of Chapter 125 from Budge’s 1913 edition.

1. Ani saith: “Hail, thou whose strides are long (Usekh-nemmt), who comest forth from Annu (Heliopolis), I have not done iniquity.”

2. “Hail, thou who art embraced by flame (Hept-khet), who comest forth from Kheraba, I have not robbed with violence.”

3. “Hail, Fentiu, who comest forth from Khemennu (Hermopolis), I have not stolen.”

4. “Hail, Devourer of the Shade (Amkhaibit), who comest forth from Qernet, I have done no murder; I have done no harm.”

5. “Hail, Nehau, who comest forth from Re-stau, I have not defrauded offerings.”

6. “Hail, god in the form of two lions (Ruruti), who comest forth from heaven, I have not minished oblations.”

7. “Hail, thou whose eyes are of fire (Arfiem-khet), who comest forth from Saut (Asyut), I have not plundered the god.”

8. “Hail, thou Flame (Neba), which comest and goest, I have spoken no lies.”

9. “Hail, Crusher of bones (Set-qesu), who comest forth from Suten-henen (Herakleopolis), I have not snatched away food.”

10. “Hail, thou who shootest forth the Flame (Utu-nesert), who comest forth from Het-Ptah-ka (Memphis), I have not caused pain.”

11. “Hail, Qerer, who comest forth from Amentet, I have not committed fornication.”

12. “Hail, thou whose face is turned back (Herf-ha-f), who comest forth from thy hiding place, I have not caused shedding of tears.”

13. “Hail, Bast, who comest forth from the secret place (Bubastis), I have not dealt deceitfully.”

14. “Hail, thou whose legs are of fire (Ta-retiu), who comest forth out of the darkness, I have not transgressed.”

15. “Hail, Devourer of Blood (Unemsnef), who comest forth from the block of slaughter, I have not acted guilefully.”

16. “Hail, Devourer of the inward parts (Unem-besek), who comest forth from Mabet, I have not laid waste the ploughed land.”

17. “Hail, Lord of Right and Truth (NebMa’at), who comest forth from the city of Right and Truth (Ma’ati), I have not been an eavesdropper.”

18. “Hail, thou who dost stride backwards (Tenemiu), who comest forth from the city of Bast, I have not set my lips in motion against any one.”

19. “Hail, Sertiu, who comest forth from Annu (Heliopolis), I have not been angry and wrathful except for a just cause.”

20. “Hail, thou being of two-fold wickedness (Tutu), who comest forth from Ati (the Busirite Nome), I have not defiled the wife of any man.” E. A. Wallis Budge Page 13

21. “Hail, thou two-headed serpent (Uamemti), who comest forth from the torture-chamber, I have not defiled the wife of any man.”

22. “Hail, thou who dost regard what is brought unto thee (Maa-antuf), who comest forth from Pa-Amsu (Panopolis), I have not defiled myself.”

23. “Hail, thou Chief of the mighty (Heruru) who comest forth from Amentet (Nehatu), I have not caused terror.”

24. “Hail, thou Destroyer (Khemiu), who comest forth from Kesiu, I have not transgressed (the law).” 
25. “Hail, thou who orderest speech (Shet-kheru), who comest forth from Urit, I have not burned with rage.”

26. “Hail, thou Babe (Nekhenu), who comest forth from Uab (Heqat), I have not stopped my ears against the words of Right and Truth.”

27. “Hail, Kenemti, who comest forth from Kenemet, I have not worked grief.”

28. “Hail, thou who bringest thy offering (An-hetep-f), I have not acted with insolence.”

29. “Hail, thou who orderest speech (Sera-kheru), who comest forth from Unaset, I have not stirred up strife.”

30. “Hail, Lord of faces (Neb-heru), who comest forth from Netchfet, I have not judged hastily.”

31. “Hail, Sekheriu, who comest forth from Utten, I have not been an eavesdropper.”

32. “Hail, Lord of the two horns (Neb-abui), who comest forth from Saïs, I have not multiplied words exceedingly.”

33. “Hail, Nefer-Tmu, who comest forth from Het-Ptah-ka (Memphis), I have done neither harm nor ill.”

34. “Hail, Tmu in thine hour, who comest forth from Tattu (Busiris), I have never cursed the king.” 

35. “Hail, thou who workest with thy will (Ari-em-ab-f ), who comest forth from Tebu, I have never fouled the water.”

36. “Hail, thou bearer of the sistrum (Ahi), who comest forth from Nu, I have not spoken scornfully.” 

37. “Hail, thou who makest humanity to flourish (Uatch-rekhit), who comest forth from Saïs, I have never cursed God.”

38. “Hail, Neheb-ka, who comest forth from thy hiding place, I have not stolen.”

39. “Hail, Neheb-nefert, who comest forth from thy hiding place, I have not defrauded the offerings of the gods.”

40. “Hail, thou who dost set in order the head (Tcheser-tep), who comest forth from thy shrine, I have not plundered the offerings to the blessed dead.”

41. “Hail, thou who bringest thy arm (An-af), who comest forth from the city of Ma’ati, I have not filched the food of the infant, neither have I sinned against the god of my native town.”

42. “Hail, thou whose teeth are white (Hetch-abhu), who comest forth from Ta-she (the Fayyum), I have not slaughtered with evil intent the cattle of the god.” “. . . I have tried thee. . . Advance thou, in very truth thou hast been tested.”

Cf. Religion and Culture, Christopher Dawson, New York: Meridian, 1958, 121.

Lumen ad Revelationem Gentium

This is the chant proper to the procession at the beginning of today's Mass of today's Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"One Nation of Immigrants Under God": Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez on Immigration Executive Orders

January 31, 2017

Last week was hard. It is sad to see it come to this — that the president of the United States must define, by an executive order, the precise meaning of the word “wall.”

“‘Wall’ shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous and impassable physical barrier,” according to one of the three executive orders issued last week on immigrants and refugees.

The first thing to say is that these executive orders seem like they were put together too fast. Not enough thought seems to have been given to their legality or to explaining their rationale or to considering the practical consequences for millions of people here and across the globe.

It is true that the refugee orders are not a “Muslim ban,” as some protesters and media are claiming. In fact, the vast majority of Muslim-majority countries are not affected by the orders, including some that have real problems with terrorism, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

That does not make these orders less troubling. Halting admissions of refugees for 90 or 120 days may not seem like a long time. But for a family fleeing a war-torn nation, or the violence of drug cartels, or warlords who force even children into armies — this could mean the difference between life and death.

And it is a simple fact that not all refugees are terrorists, and refugees are not even the main source of terrorist threats to our country. The terror attack here in San Bernardino was “home grown,” carried out by a man born in Chicago.

I am pleased that one of the orders will mean that our country will finally begin giving priority to helping Christians and other persecuted minorities.

But does God intend our compassion for people to stop at the borders of Syria? Are we now going to decide that some people are not worthy of our love because they have different skin color, a different religion or were born in the “wrong” country?

As a pastor, what troubles me is that all the anger, confusion and fear that resulted from last week’s orders was entirely predictable. Yet that does not seem to have mattered to the people in charge.

I worry that in the name of showing toughness and determination, we are communicating to the world a harsh indifference.

Right now, no nation accepts more refugees than the United States. So what kind of message are we sending to the world?

Those moments in our history that we are the least proud of — from the Holocaust to the ethnic cleansings of the 1990s — are moments when we closed our borders and our hearts to the sufferings of innocent people.

We all agree that our nation has the obligation to secure its borders and establish criteria for who is permitted to enter and how long they are permitted to stay. In a post-9/11 world, we all agree there are people both inside and outside our borders who want to hurt us. We share a common concern for our nation’s security and the safety of our loved ones.

But our approach to all these issues must be consistent with our ideals. America has always been different — some would say exceptional. Welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees has always been something special and essential about who we are — as a nation and as a people.

It is true that these new orders on immigration mostly call for just returning to the practice of enforcing existing laws.

The problem is that our laws have not been enforced for so long that we now have millions of undocumented people living, working, worshipping and going to school in our country.

That includes millions of children who are citizens living in homes with undocumented parents. These children have the right — as citizens and as sons and daughters of God — to grow up with some assurance that their parents will not be deported.

These new orders do not change the fact that our nation needs true and lasting reform of our immigration system. Do we really want to hand over the fate of millions of fathers, mothers and children to overworked caseworkers in an underfunded immigration court system?

A policy of enforcement only — without reform of the underlying system — will only lead to a human rights nightmare.

As a Church, our priorities remain with our people. We will continue to follow the call of Christ through our parishes, charities and relief organizations.
And I repeat, as I have said before: the most constructive and compassionate thing our government can do right now is to stop the deportations and the threat of deportations for those who are not violent criminals.
Our Christian mission is clear — we are called to hear the cry of the poor and we are called to open our doors to the stranger who knocks and to seek the face of Christ who comes to us in the immigrant and the refugee.

Please pray for me this week and I will be praying for you.

And may our Blessed Mother Mary help all of us — and especially our leaders — to meet the challenges that we face as one nation of immigrants under God.

Plinthos Postscript
Immigration law should have a statute of limitations. If we have ignored the law for over a decade or two and the illegals have honorably invested their lives here it is totally unjust to uproot them without further cause.
To require regular law enforcement to enforce immigration law will unduly expose the illegals to every manner of criminal violation against them in the fear of being deported. In other words, if you treat illegal immigration status as a crime, then, by definition, all illegals are criminals and will live in total distrust of law enforcement and the justice system. Chaos!
For example: a man beats his illegal wife or rapes an illegal female, the violated will be reluctant to report the crime if the criminal system will likely prosecute her for coming forward. That type of open season on illegals will be the result of such a confusion of immigration and criminal law enforcement.
Just a few years ago an entire police department in New Jersey was convicted of stealing millions of dollars from illegal immigrants, just because they were illegal.
Surely Washington cannot ignore such basic, obvious and fundamental aspects of the law and rights of persons.
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