Céad Míle Fáilte ~ A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!

Here we seek a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little kindness. This blog is dedicated to peace, truth, justice and a post- industrial, post-petroleum illumined world in spite of all odds against it. I very much like the line about the ancient knight (see poem below) "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees" It is reminiscent of "beating swords into ploughshares" a sentiment I heartily approve of. Thank you for visiting ~ I hope you return!

Waterfall Animation Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, February 27, 2009

Self Immolation of Wal-Mart Worker

This is so very sad, and without knowing any details, does make one reflect on the immense spiritual poverty of a solely materialist worldview. Despair and absolute degradation can be the end result. The sage reminds us to be kind ~ everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

May God have mercy on his soul. Orbis non sufficit. ("the world does not suffice" or "the world is not enough".)

Domine dirge nos. ("The Lord guide us.")

From Chicago Breaking News
QUOTE A 58-year-old Wal-Mart employee who said he "couldn't take it anymore" lit himself on fire outside the Bloomingdale store where he worked late Thursday night and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said this morning.In an interview, his son said his father went to work last night with nothing seeming out of the ordinary. "This had nothing to do with the economy. I want to make that clear," he said, adding that the family may never know the reason for the public suicide.

The Carol Stream man, who worked the overnight shift, was in a parking lot of an adjacent sporting goods store in the west suburban strip mall when he set himself on fire with lighter fluid around 10 p.m., said Randy Sater, a watch commander with the Bloomingdale Police Department. At least 10 people, including some teenagers, witnessed the suicide and several attempted to help the man by throwing their coats on top of him in an effort to put out the flames, he said. "He said he didn't want any help and threw the coats off," Sater said.

When one of the first officers tried to speak to the man, who by that time was severely burned, he responded, "I just couldn't take it anymore," Sater said, citing the officer's report. UNQUOTE

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Power to the People

I'm resurrecting an golden oldie for song of the day today. These tough economic times have hit us hard, with my business folding quietly under its own weight (read: my expenses slightly exceeded my income more times than not and I saw this depression coming) and my husband on the short list awaiting layoffs if things don't turn around, like, yesterday.

We have become a nation of whiners, softies and navel-gazing infants compared to the elders who saw the previous Dust Bowl and great depression. Whether we can adapt is a matter of will and of tapping into some dormant pioneer and tribal DNA which found hard times the norm and survived handily. This song from the raucous sixties was labelled a Black Power mantra, but in truth it also is a strong reminder that We The People are the backbone of this country and not the mega-corporations, advertising megaplex and government wankers.

In Power to the People, jazzman Joe Henderson improvises and carves out a Celtic-knot-like wreath of affirmation of the power of one man, one woman, one citizen who is not and will never be a "consumer". Unfortunately I can't find the Henderson version up on YouTube. So here's Mike Gravel, which is just silly as a substitute for Joe, but kind of neat.

The power of the person is much less about brute force than it is about elasticity, flexibility and the ability to reform difficult circumstances on the run, to improv a better world.

Power to the people. Right on.

a sample of Henderson...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Rosemary Tree Ground Rules

It seems to be time to make a little "public service announcement" regarding The Rosemary Tree, what it is and what the ground rules are. If you have looked over the site much at all,you will have found the little "mission statement" paragraph at the very bottom of the page, the one entitled "Welcome to the Rosemary Tree". Here it is for those who are lazy about scrolling to the bottom of the page:

Welcome to The Rosemary Tree
I am hopeful of providing a little respite from the junk-food of politics, finance, doom & gloom, peak oil/climate change and celebrity hoohah. Here we strive for a rest in the shade, some cool water and a little civility, if not chivalry. This blog is dedicated to Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mother Mary, Saint Joseph, Saint Patrick, Saint Deborah and the glorious Bridget of Kildare.

I very much like the line about the ancient knight - "His helmet now shall make a hive for bees;"probably because my name Deborah means "the bee" in Hebrew, so I have always enjoyed references to them. It's also reminiscent of " beating swords into plough shares" a sentiment I also approve of.Thank you for visiting the site, hope you return!
~ Pax Christi, Deborah

You will note that nowhere is mentioned anything about guns, or hatred, or violence, or racism or anything that I have recently had to reject some comments for promoting. This site is about love, and peace, and a truly Catholic worldview which understands that the incarnate God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, loves humanity, that He is a kind and merciful God whose very breath is love.

God Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all that is visible and invisible, isn't concerned with "ethnic groups" and doesn't condone genocide, the stealing of lands from the innocent, and re-instituting human sacrifices (wars)after His Son gave us the ultimate Sacrifice. All are welcome to the Father through the Son -- "red and yellow, black and white" as the song goes, Hebrews or Italians, Arabs or Koreans, Africans or Native Americans.

God loves us all. If you are here to promote something different than this, kindly please leave.

Note: Serious discussion, if conducted in a civil and respectful manner, is always welcome.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

happy mardi gras Pictures, Images and Photos
art credit: jsmart84
Laissez les bon temps rouler!! Let the good times roll...Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. It is also called Carnival, or Carneval, which derives from Carnivale, Latin for "farewell to flesh". It is celebrated as the last chance to party hearty before the season of Lent begins. Lent is the period pertaining to the last forty days of Christ's life on earth. Easter Sunday evokes a new beginning with the remembrance of Christ rising from the dead, and the end of Lent.

Melkite MIssion of Nebraska

Christ Hagia Sofia Pictures, Images and Photos

Dear Friends of the Melkite Mission of Lincoln NE,
We are pleased to announce that Fr. Daniel Lenz will be offering the Divine Liturgy for the continuation of our services on March 1st at St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church, 3330 North 13th Street, Lincoln.

Fr. Peter Mitchell, who is in the process of obtaining bi-ritual faculties to assist our community, will be serving at the holy altar with Fr. Daniel. Please come and help welcome Fr. Peter into our community.

This Sunday is the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the Byzantine commemoration of the seventh ecumenical council which condemned iconoclasm, a heresy that attempted to destroy religious imagery. There will be a procession outside of the church so if you have a favorite icon bring it for the feast. It is customary to carry an icon in the procession and hold it during the Divine Liturgy.There will also be a small gift 'shop' at the coffee social where you can purchase Eastern Christian books, CDs, artwork, and jewelry. And don't forget to visit our new site on the internet with a lot of new information directed at answering common questions about the Divine Liturgy.

The schedule for March 1st is as follows:
3/1 Sunday
9:30 AM Morning Prayer
9:50 AM Outdoor procession with icons for the Feast of Orthodoxy (commemoration of the Seventh Ecumenical Council) 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy

followed by a potluck meal: For the sake of those attempting to hold to the fast, please avoid bringing foods with eggs, dairy, meat, and fish (shellfish is ok).
Fr. Daniel will be available for Holy Confession before the Divine Liturgy. Please pass this message on to whomever you think might be interested.
For more information call Sebastian Carnazzo: (402) 797-3703 or http://melkitenebraska.blogspot.com/
Icons Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, February 23, 2009

Let's Get Serious About Lent

Today is "Clean Monday" for Eastern Rite Catholics across the globe. We are tightening our belts and going temporarily vegan for as much of Lent as possible, the first week and Holy Week at the very least. Those faint of heart (that's me) can take some eggs and cheese in the intermittent weeks, with fish for celebratory days such as the Feast of the Annunciation. That is also the reason your Byzantine friends may catch themselves doing a little eye-rolling when they hear the (gasp) Roman Catholic fast of abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Fridays...
Big whiff, Biff, say the Byzantines!! :D

Here is Saint John Chrysostom on fasting. QUOTE Do you fast? Prove it by doing good works. If you see someone in need, take pity on them. If you see a friend being honored, don't get jealous of him. For a true fast, you cannot fast only with your mouth. You must fast with your eyes, your ears, your feet, your hands, and all parts of your body. UNQUOTE

Whatever your fasting ideal, the time is nigh to get serious about it. The joyful soul-making sorrow of the Lenten spring is upon us.
Lent Pictures, Images and Photos
art credit: CasaBeltran
From Catholic Exchange.

QUOTE Aside from what the Church law of fast and abstinence requires of us, we should come up with a personal program for spiritual growth. This is our personal maintenance program. I have always recommended that we come up with something negative and something positive.
By something negative, I mean that each person should commit themselves to giving up something or a number of things. This sacrifice should be serious and demanding. The self-control that we exercise in giving up a legitimate pleasure strengthens our will and curbs the inclinations of our passions.
By something positive, I mean that each one should also do some kind of act that we would not normally do on a regular basis. Attending daily Mass, visiting the sick, volunteering time at the parish or praying a Sunday evening Rosary with the entire family are positive acts of virtue that have helped many people progress in their relationship with God.
Lenten practices of penance have great benefits for our spiritual lives. A serious Lent will be like a spring cleaning which will purify the clutter that has accumulated in our souls. A serious commitment to penance will also help us to conquer addictions, obsessions and compulsive behavior. A serious Lent will purify our soul and allow us to experience a deeper interior freedom.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Now, That's A Priest For You

Sparring with the altar guild and bucking the local Planned Parenthood are for little-leaguers. Here's a real man for you ~ standing up to the Mafia, an act which got this priest's predecessor murdered for his troubles.

Last October troops were drafted on to the streets of a lawless town in southern Italy after a spate of killings linked to the local mafia. But with many living in fear, one campaigning priest is risking his life to stand up to the notorious Comorra gangs - despite the fact they murdered his colleague for doing the same. As the Greeks, say, axios!

Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed On Jesus

Can I get an amen? I do love gospel music.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Steps Towards Church Unity

Cardinal Sepe Visits Bartholomew I
ISTANBUL, Turkey, FEB. 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- QUOTE The archbishop of Naples was received in audience Tuesday by the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, who noted the prelate's efforts to promote Christian unity.The Neapolitan archdiocese reported that the meeting between Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe and Bartholomew I took place in Istanbul. The prelate was accompanied by Archbishop Armando Dini, retired archbishop of Campobasso, Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, the apostolic nuncio in Turkey, and several members of the Catholic lay Sant'Egidio community. During the meeting, Bartholomew I referred to Benedict XVI's visit in November 2006, and his decision to "go forward on the common path of unity, in the hope of seeing, as soon as possible, the mending of the fracture between the two sister Churches."UNQUOTE

The gateway to divine repentance has been opened. Let us enter eagerly, purified in our bodies and observing abstinence from food and passions, as obedient servants of Christ, who has called the world into the heavenly Kingdom. Let us offer to the King of All a tenth part of the whole year, that we may look with love upon His Resurrection.
Matins for Monday in Cheese-Fare Week

Ron Paul on Real Time w/ Bill Maher 02/20/2009

The good doctor, appearing on Real Time yesterday, has more of his common sense approach to everything. I don't agree with the man on all his positions, but drat, it is so refreshing to hear a politician in whom there is no guile. I suppose anyone who can get the establishment Republicans as angry at him as RP does should be listened to carefully.

Fascinating trivia fact: he is close friends with Rep. Dennis Kucinich ~ evidence that people are still capable of nuance thinking, and that there are folks who can see the shades of gray rather than a stark picture in black and white. I wish I knew both of them personally, such candor and integrity is rare indeed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

TARP: A Photo Essay

Perfect. Simply perfect metaphor. Courtesy Jim Sinclair.

go for the kill!! JK!! its like lions atr the watering hole.... Pictures, Images and Photos
art credit: hanaxneji

It's Friday and I'm Willin'...

The biblical saying goes, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. how true that is in so many areas of life. St. Paul rightfully noted that that which he desired to do came very hard to him, while that which he desired to avoid was happening in him almost automatically. Anyone who has tried to change a bad habit or a propensity to sin will note the truth of Paul's observation.

Anyhow, a fave old trucker song by Lowell George from way back when came to mind this morning, so here it is, and a couple of others just for fun. Our old long-lost friend Mark Rhodes did a great back porch rendition of it - just his voice and guitar (it was one of Mark's favorite songs and the first place I ever heard it and still the best version of it, & that includes Little Feat and Linda Ronstadt).

I simply adore the spirit of gettin' back up when you're knocked down, of doing one's duty no matter how "stove in" one is. Ronstadt did a good version of it too. And I sure would love to meet "Dallas Alice", she must've been something else. Every man I've ever heard sing this put so much nostalgic longing into singing her name...
Anyhoo, Happy Friday, and Mark - we love you, wherever you are!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Featured Blog: Antioch Abouna

I am featuring an Antiochian priest's lovely blog, Antioch Abouna. As you know, the Melkites and the Antiochians are basically the same church, aside from some spirited comments about who the chief bishop should be... :D

Rembrandt's Prodigal Son Pictures, Images and Photos
Rembrandt's Prodigal Son

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Debussy: L'après-midi d'un faune

Thinking of gardening is making me think of spring! A celebrated spring-like performance conducted by Leopold Stokowski with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Festival Hall, London, 14 June 1972. (Part one of two.)

Guerilla Gardening ~ Fun With Seeds

Woo hoo! Who knew that there were such things as guerilla gardeners? Pepper your town's ugly vacant lots with seeds of love! Let beauty and useful edible things take over the deserted wastelands of our inner cities and foreclosed suburbs.

gardeners delight! Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Flutes


Making a Police State

Note: Native Americans wisely know that when the government hands out blankets and trinkets, it may have a "reservation" cordoned off just over the next ridge. And watch out for that smallpox in the freebies...

It is sobering to realize that the collateral damage in the so-called war on terror is all of us, and the innocent are accused along with the guilty, violating the very bedrock of the vaunted freedoms of the West.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor on the Recession and Values

Here is wisdom ~
From the Times online
QUOTE Pride, avarice, lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth: sometimes it feels as if Britain is in the grip of the seven deadly sins. There are arrogant politicians, greedy bankers, lecherous television presenters, furious trade unionists, obese children, competitive shoppers and an underclass of people who do not work. To the doom-mongers, British society is not broken, it is shattered.
According to the Archbishop of Westminster, the economic downturn could be the very thing that brings us to our senses. “It's the end of a certain kind of selfish capitalism,” Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said. “This particular recession is a moment - a kairos - when we have to reflect as a country on what are the things that nourish the values, the virtues, we want to have ... Capitalism needs to be underpinned with regulation and a moral purpose.”

Cravings For Soul Food

Three deep cravings of the self, three great expressions of man's restlessness, which only mystic truth can fully satisfy. The first is the craving which makes him a pilgrim and a wanderer. It is the longing to go out from his normal world in search of a lost home, a "better country"; an Eldorado, a Sarras, a Heavenly Syon. The next is the craving of heart for heart, of the Soul for its perfect mate, which makes him a lover. The third is the craving for inward purity and perfection, which makes him an ascetic, and in the last resort, a saint.

~ Evelyn Underhill, in a forward to Green Dolphin Street by Elizabeth Goudge
Prayer Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy St. Valentine's day! Whether the love of God, or the love of a priest for his flock in trouble (as the early Church was for the real St. Valentine) or the love of a spouse, or child, or sweetheart ~ or just LOVE its own sweet self,whose source is the Eternal God ~ here are some celebrations of love.

Philip Gerard Johnson

Philip Gerard Johnson is a 24 year-old Catholic man from Virginia. He is also a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy having served various positions since graduating from the US Naval Academy in 2006.

After two years as an officer in the Navy, Philip's life was changed forever when he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor on October 15, 2008.In January 2009, biopsy results revealed that the tumor was worse than originally anticipated. Doctors have diagnosed Philip with a Grade III cancerous Astrocytoma. The average prognosis for such a tumor is 18-24 months.

But Philip is not "average." He is a young man rich in virtue and holiness; despite all that has happened to him, he is determined to respond to the call he has felt to the Priesthood of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He has been encouraged by countless laity, clergy, and even bishops to do so, and with trust that "nothing is impossible for God," he is moving forward to embrace the most noble of vocations.

I have never been so awestruck by the Faith and devotion of a single person. Philip really does believe God can work miracles, and he remains content to submit to God's will in all circumstances - even if it means never having the chance to become a priest.

This, my brothers and sisters, is the character of a true man of God: a man who has been called to shepherd, guide, and minister to the world. I ask that you join with me in prayer for Philip Johnson - that God have mercy upon his body, heal it, and allow him to become a Roman Catholic Priest for his own good and for the good of every soul he will minister to.

I believe in miracles because I believe in One powerful enough to make them happen. The question is: do you?

In keeping with Philip's own requests, all those who join this group are asked to recite the following intercessory prayer to Fr. Thomas Frederick Price daily:

"Father Thomas Frederick Price, intercede for our brother, Philip Gerard Johnson. Heavenly Father, who desires that the faithful be drawn to the heroic virtues of Your priest, Fr. Thomas Frederick Price, grant Your healing gifts to Your son, Philip Gerard Johnson. We ask this in the Name of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen."

To learn more about Philip and Fr. Price, visit Philip's blog at:http://philipgerardjohnson.blogspot.com/

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Benedict XVI: "Holocaust Denial Unacceptable"

Deo gratias. Good!
I really didn't want to go back to being Orthodox-in-schism, or a Tibetan Buddhist, or a Lakota believer (my two runner-sup religions, if there was no orthodox Catholic faith.)

A Little Traveling Music

I have a lot of errands to do today before going to work this afternoon, and likely won't find much more blogging time today, so in the spirit of a busy Thursday, here's a little "traveling music". Hope you have a wonderful day! Slainte!

Bonaparte's Retreat Aly Bain & Company

Canan Nan Gaidheal - Karen Matheson

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Truth Will Out ~ It Really Will

Because the truth will always out, vengence really is His, and karma will eventually find you no matter where you hide, I think America is going to shake off this sickness which possesses our nation, and heal up. Those who try and return to the corrupt old ways will find this generation's version of tar and feathers awaiting them. You can push people just so far.

From Nicholas Von Hoffman in The Nation.

QUOTE People are furious, all kinds of people for all kinds of reasons, most of which are good and sufficient, if not always prudent and well thought out, but they've used, gamed, duped, lied to, betrayed, ripped off, conned, humiliated, scammed, cheated, plundered, rooked, screwed over, hosed, dissed and dishonored. Americans, left, right and center, have had it.

Some are angry over Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, the countless deaths--our own and others--in Iraq, waterboarding, torture, eavesdropping, the suspension of habeas corpus and other acts classified as war crimes or crimes against humanity. Many cannot forget and certainly not forgive, as they demand that former President Bush, Dick Cheney--he of the lopsided, evil grimace--and their aides or accomplices should be tried for what they did.

Others are apoplectic about Bob Rubin, the ex-secretary of the treasury, ex-Goldman Sachs, ex-Citigroup guy and his confederates/collaborators. They want them put on trial, those men and women who, in the opinion of the infuriated millions, ruled and raped the financial system. It's easy to imagine vigilante committees forming to administer frontier justice to the bankers, brokers, hedge fund operators, real estate swindlers, derivative peddlers and bucket shop operators who have cost millions of people their homes, their hopes for a college education, their retirement and, most of all, their jobs. UNQUOTE

p.s. Don't forget, America, when the "Mr. Potters" have you in a corner, to kneel in prayer. Then help is on the way.

Its A Wonderful Life Pictures, Images and Photos

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TRT's Recipe Corner

I have been bumping into this recipe all over the Internet this week, so I thought I'd post a link to it as a reminder to make it some time soon! And if you try it, let me know if it truly is foolproof. I know whole grain bread is much better for you, but as a treat once in a while, a good homemade white bread like this one or a good French or Italian bread can't be beat.

Amish White Bread from AllRecipes.com

White Sandwich Bread Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Monday Cassandra

Great rant this week by Jim Kunstler, with the usual drill: Eff Bomb alert.

Obama has the same problem that Bush had. His adminstration has already been hijacked by the Washington political class. Just look at his cabinet picks and leaders he is dealing with in Congress. Taking away gun rights, crushing freedom of speech, promoting abortion, corporatism and expanding the Dem party base while ignoring the real issues.

Be sure and read it all. And BTW I do not endorse the limiting of property rights. He's a Cassandra, not a Christ-figure.

QUOTE The argument about "change" during the election was sufficiently vague that no one was really challenged to articulate a future that wasn't, materially, more-of-the-same. I suppose the Obama team may have thought they would only administer it differently than the Bush team -- but basically life in the USA would continue being about all those trips to the mall, and the cubicle jobs to support that, and the family safaris to visit Grandma in Lansing, and the vacations at Sea World, and Skipper's $20,000 college loan, and Dad's yearly junket to Las Vegas, and refinancing the house, and rolling over this loan and that loan... and that has all led to a very dead end in a dark place. UNQUOTE

Regina Coeli: Queen of Heaven

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare. alleluia,
Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist. He was one of the most influential musicians of his time, and represents the culmination of the style of the Venetian School, at the time of the shift from Renaissance to Baroque idioms.
Performed by the Gabrieli Consort.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Who Are the Eastern Catholics?

Catherine Alexander speaks with Father Maximos of Holy Resurrection Romanian Catholic Monastery in Newberry Springs, CA about Eastern Catholic identity.

Questions Asked:
1. Some people say Eastern Catholics are Roman Catholics of an Eastern rite, some say they are orthodox Christians who are currently in communion with Rome, and some say Eastern Catholics are primarily a bridge of unity between East and West. I'd like to discuss each of these three positions with you.

2. I'd like to discuss the title, "Roman Catholics of an Eastern rite." The emphasis is that they're Catholic first, and believe all things that the Roman Catholic Church believes, while living out that faith through a different liturgical and devotional framework. Will you discuss what it means to be an Eastern Catholic in light of this title?

3. Some people say that Eastern Catholics are Orthodox Christians in communion with Rome as a means of asserting the Eastern Catholic Churches' independence from Rome and their unity with Orthodoxy, especially in the areas of history, theology, and spirituality. What do you think the benefits and pitfalls are of using this title to describe the relationship Eastern Catholics have with Rome?

Part 1

Part 2

That's Sound Advice!

Gentleman Pictures, Images and Photos

Hat tip to my old buddy Zachary Bowman, who found the following on the Art of Manliness website.

Three Phrases Men Everywhere Stumble Over — Yet Women Long to Hear by Tim Clark

QUOTE Men today, we agreed, face challenges of a different sort. And increasingly, words, rather than actions, dominate metrics of manhood. I was struck by Mr. Amano’s assertion that there are three crucial phrases that many men find almost unutterable. That’s too bad, because they’re precisely the three things most women long to hear. I assured Mr. Amano that the problem of lack of chivalry, while acute in Japan, is universal.
So, are you ready to test your international manliness quotient? Then assess how frequently - and on what occasions - you voice the Three Magic Phrases.

Friday, February 6, 2009

New Fun Quiz! Test Your Catholic Knowledge

Please scroll down to the bottom of the page for a neato quiz!

Another Orthodox Rosary: The Jesus Prayer

An Eastern Orthodox rosary (the beads not the prayer) is known as a "Chotki". This Oriental form of rosary is known in the Hellenic Greek Church as Chaplet or String of Knots of Beads(komboskini) in the Russian Church as Vervitza (string), chotki (chaplet), or liestovka (ladder), and the the Rumanian Church as matanie (reverence). Our everyday name of "beads" for it is simply the Old Saxon word "bede" (a prayer) which has been transferred to the instrument used in reciting the prayer, while the word rosary is an equally modern term.

The "Jesus Prayer" Rosary prayed by the Eastern Orthodox is a string of 33, 100, or 300 beads on a string or knots made of wool; they are not divided into decades. (I have a 33 knot wool chotki bracelet which travels nicely on the wrist.)

On each bead or knot is prayed the following "glorious" mantra: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner." The modern Chotki, as it is known, calls for a slightly different mantra: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Both this mantra and the Glorious mantra above are derived from the Gospel story of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank Thee that I am not like other men--extortionists, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess'. But the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 18.10-14)

and listen to St. Andrew of Crete: 'Boastful am I, and hard of heart, all in vain and for nothing. Condemn me not with the Pharisee, but rather grant unto me the humility of the Publican, O only merciful and just Judge, and number me with him' (Great Canon, Ode 4).

(The Hail Mary, of course, comes from the Angelic Salutation coupled with a later additional prayer.)
From Bishop Kallistos Ware:
QUOTE There is one type of private prayer, widely used in the west since the time of the Counter-Reformation, which has never been a feature of Orthodox spirituality - the formal 'Meditation,' made according to a 'Method' - the Ignatian, the Sulpician, the Salesian, or some other. Orthodox are encouraged to read the Bible or the Fathers slowly and thoughtfully; but such an exercise, while regarded as altogether excellent, is not considered to constitute prayer, nor has it been systematized and reduced to a 'Method.' Each is urged to read in the way that he finds most helpful.
But while Orthodox do not practise discursive Meditation, there is another type of personal prayer which has for many centuries played an extraordinarily important part in the life of Orthodoxy - the Jesus Prayer:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."
Since it is sometimes said that Orthodox do not pay sufficient attention to the person of the Incarnate Christ, it is worth pointing out that this - surely the most classic of all Orthodox prayers - is essentially a Christo-centric prayer, a prayer addressed to and concentrated upon the Lord Jesus. Those brought up in the tradition of the Jesus Prayer are never allowed for one moment to forget the Incarnate Christ.
As a help in reciting this prayer many Orthodox use a rosary, differing somewhat in structure from the western rosary; an Orthodox rosary is often made of wool, so that unlike a string of beads it makes no noise.
The Jesus Prayer is a prayer of marvelous versatility. It is a prayer for beginners, but equally a prayer that leads to the deepest mysteries of the contemplative life. It can be used by anyone, at any time, in any place: standing in queues, walking, traveling on buses or trains; when at work; when unable to sleep at night; at times of special anxiety when it is impossible to concentrate upon other kinds of prayer. But while of course every Christian can use the Prayer at odd moments in this way, it is a different matter to recite it more or less continually and to use the physical exercises which have become associated with it.
Orthodox spiritual writers insist that those who use the Jesus Prayer systematically should, if possible, place themselves under the guidance of an experienced director and do nothing on their own initiative.
For some there comes a time when the Jesus Prayer 'enters into the heart,' so that it is no longer recited by a deliberate effort, but recites itself spontaneously, continuing even when a man talks or writes, present in his dreams, waking him up in the morning.
In the words of Saint Isaac the Syrian: 'When the Spirit takes its dwelling-place in a man he does not cease to pray, because the Spirit will constantly pray in him. Then, neither when he sleeps, nor when he is awake, will prayer be cut off from his soul; but when he eats and when he drinks, when he lies down or when he does any work, even when he is immersed in sleep, the perfumes of prayer will breathe in his heart spontaneously' (Mystic Treatises, edited by Wensinck, p. 174).
Orthodox believe that the power of God is present in the Name of Jesus, so that the invocation of this Divine Name acts 'as an effective sign of God's action, as a sort of sacrament' (Un Moine de l’Église d’Orient, La Priére de Jésus, Chevetogne, 1952, p. 87). 'The Name of Jesus, present in the human heart, communicates to it the power of deification ... Shining through the heart, the light of the Name of Jesus illuminates all the universe' (S. Bulgakov, The Orthodox Church, pp. 170-171). UNQUOTE


Hindi Lullaby ~ Marta Sebestyen

Best known stateside for her music in the film The English Patient, Marta is a Hungarian national treasure whom I have just discovered very recently. Her music is a bit gypsy, a bit folk, a bit pathos, a bit romance, and quite philosophical. It says "It's only life. Enjoy it. Why become distraught over man's follies? Man is born to die. Have a Hungarian wine and relax, and dance to the music..." Take a listen: illumination awaits.

He's Got A Point

A bit of an Eff Bomb alert, but hilarious. Stewart has a point, Cheney's just off the wall with this one.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Mercy On the Hudson

You've probably heard about the crash landing of Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009. No one was seriously injured, except a man with two broken legs. Politicians and news anchors named it the "Miracle on the Hudson." In the history of aviation no jet airliner had ever made an emergency landing on water without casualties. Here's the backstory of the Divine Mercy shown by God that fateful, wintry New York day. Besure and click over & read it all, it is a wonderful and inspiring story.

From The Divine Mercy.org

QUOTE "I got into a cab and went to the airport," he said. "My flight was delayed about 15 minutes, so I sat there and started reading Vinny's book. I was really taken by it. I boarded the plane and continued to read. Just as we were rolling out for takeoff, I put the book away and closed my eyes and began to reflect on what I had been reading. Then, I heard the impact, then the explosion, and the plane shook violently. I was sitting in seat 16A, which is behind the wing. I could see smoke coming out of the left engine. You could smell the jet fuel."As soon as Fred, a private pilot, realized the second engine was also not functioning, he became tense, like everyone else around him.He heard some cries from the cabin. "Some of us looked at each other," he said. "There was nothing to be said. I knew that the only thing I could do was pray." UNQUOTE
US Airways Flight 1549 Pictures, Images and Photos

Queen of Argyle

A busy day, with much driving about and errandry, so I'll not have time til tonight for much posting.

From acclaimed Scottish band, Silly Wizard, The Queen of Argyll.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Vatican: Holocaust Denier Must Recant

Good. This is welcome news, and cannot be acted upon too swiftly.

As for those within the Vatican who would misinform or ill advise your Pontiff and construct scenarios which make the Church disgraced in the eyes of God and man: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me. (And thee.)

Benedict XVI: "In these days in which we remember the Shoah, I return to the memory of the images seen at Auschwitz, one of the concentration camps where millions of Jews were massacred, innocent victims of a radical and religious, blind hatred. While I renew with sentiment the expression of my full and unquestionable solidarity with our chosen Brothers of the First Covenant, I hope that the memory of the Shoah causes humanity to reflect on the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man. The Shoah is for all a warning against forgetfulness, denial or reductionism, because violence done against one human being is violence against all. No man is an island, a famous poet wrote..."

Cold Water

Let's just go ahead and say the "D" word. A big bucket of cold water on the fevered heads of us all. Shocking and not altogether comfortable but somehow bracing. From UrbanSurvival.com.

QUOTE So, while the whining from the financial community about salary caps of $500,000 being announced by the Obama administration will be expected, the real problems of America come down to promises versus performance:

What you thought you were working 40-years for was:
A sound retirement
Equal or lower levels of work to achieve a given lifestyle
Sound money
A country you were proud to pass on to your kids

What you got and are getting more of is:
Disappearing retirement plans - debasement of 401(k)'s
More work, longer hours, less pay to maintain a lifestyle
Continuously depreciating money.
A country mortgaged to crooked financiers which your kids will either have to pay off or overthrow.

Are you getting even a little insight as to why the social contract is ripping globally?

As we are now halfway through another work week, be ready to pinch yourself tomorrow when productivity numbers come out: Remember 100% productivity means no humans need apply. Oh, and Friday's unemployment numbers should be a gem, too. I can hardly wait.

Let Them Eat Doritos

Watching the Super Bowl Sunday evening, I was astounded at the banality and cynicism of the Doritos commercials. The attitude of the company is horrid, selling a snack food product rendered actually addictive by the addition of flavor enhancer MSG (which also happens to be a potent neurotoxin, the safety of which is not only totally dubious, but proven to be unsafe at any dosage). The ad's sex and violence "hooks" were not funny, and transparently appealing to the lowest common denominator. They sell a product which, if it contained only salt, lime and whole corn meal, as it used to, would be a delicious menu option and would likely sell well. But it'll be a cold day in hell before I buy their stuff again.

Doritos!! Pictures, Images and Photos art credit-camelg34

The latest parade of corporate America's cluelessness about how convincing their role as elite Daddy Warbucks-style "role model" for the lumpenprole (not at ALL convincing anymore) includes Wall Street malfunctioning, underperforming executives whining that $500,000 a year is unfair - Wells Fargo Bank executives trying to defend their trips to Las Vegas on the taxpayers nickel and Bank Of America cutting hundreds of jobs and weaseling out of promises made to long time employees. Hoooie Boy. We are taking this sh*t from these jackel-like helmet-hairs? (More on Bank of America here.)

Dennis Kucinich, whom I agree with on much domestic and foreign policy (and who used to be pro-life, grab your rosaries, lads 'n lasses) says we need to go from handing out golden parachutes to handing out golden handcuffs. Agreed.

Love Dance

If you have seen the great old film Zorba the Greek, you have heard the music of composer Mikis Theodorakis. I only recently discovered, to my discomfit, that aside from popular music and movie themes, he is the composer of abundant modern classical music: ballets, operas, symphonies and cantatas. If his Love Dance doesn't pull your heart strings and move your soul, you may wish to check your pulse.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Suffering From The Church

It is a truism which reflects human nature that we suffer from The Church as much as we do for Her. Recently the Vatican, apparently not being aware of SPPX Bishop Williamson's way unorthodox stance on the Holocaust (he is a Holocaust denier) included the man in a return-to-the-flock overture towards the SPPX.

Basically, here's the bottom line, and it ought to bring to a halt or at least give pause to those witch hunters with pitchforks and staves chasing Pope Benedict around the Vatican right now. He didn't know. From the NYT.

QUOTE In an interview in Thursday’s issue of Corriere della Sera, the Vatican official in charge of negotiations with the society, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, said the Vatican had not known of Bishop Williamson’s views until after the revocation order had been signed. UNQUOTE

If so inclined, you may find more on this here
SSPX not satisfied with Bishop Williamson's apology
Bishop Williamson apologizes for ‘imprudent’ Holocaust remarks
and here


A little classic hip-hop to get you moving this morning. I've got a busy in-and-out kind of day, but want to blog on the Vatican lifting the excommunications from Bishop Williamson, the SPPX holocaust denier. So come back tonight and you'll find something on that. Here's a preview: in my opinion this is the first grave misstep of Benedict XVI. Very disturbing.

But for now, pop your fingers and get ready to dance around your computer room for a while. This is some primo tuneage.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tiger Rag

George Gershwin used to sit close to the stage so he could watch Art Tatum's hands while he played. Pianist Eddie Heywood once said "The more I hear him, the more convinced I am that I'd better quit playing and drive a truck." Enjoy.

A Distributist Feast

Paleocrat over at The Distributist Review has penned an essay on the liturgical aspect of the Catholic social theory-centered economic meme of distributism.

It is said that distributists work for a return to the past; however in the Divine Liturgy there is neither past nor present, but a timeless reality which transcends time and unites the creation with the Creator. There is not chronos, there is kairos. Nonetheless, a good post. Be sure and click over and read it all.

QUOTE This philosophy, unlike the myriad of others, embraces the mysteries of life, the awe of the liturgical nature of days and seasons, as well as the wonder that accompanies the realization that he has placed man here for the purpose of dominion and reconciling all things in King Christ. Distributism embraces nature and its limitations as both inevitable and good. It wishes to preserve the beauty of the arts and crafts, imploring men and women to utilize their gifts and talents for the common good of both those present and those yet to come. The senses are relished amongst distributists, emphasizing on traditional architecture, dance, and song. Distributism places society in an organic context, finding that golden mean between atomism and collectivism. Each person has a gift and talent, and they were strategically placed by God in various communities to better both themselves and their neighbor. UNQUOTE

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Thank you Gabriel, for filling in so handily while I was preoccupied with an unexpected death in the family. Much appreciated. I think I speak for many others who would delight to see you posting such excellent and educational posts here often.

Y'all come back soon, now.

Thank You Pictures, Images and Photos

February 1: Saint Brighid of Kildare

Also known as Bridget, Brighid, Brede, Breada and Brigitte in varous cultures, in the Yost household one of our very favorite family saints is the glorious Brighid of Kildare. Patroness of metalsmiths, poets, midwives, healers, dairymen, brewers and shepherds, her unique Celtic earthiness brings solace to aching hearts and life to frozen lambs. Our youngest daughter, Antonia Bridget is named after St. Anthony the Great, St. Anthony of Kiev and St. Bridget of Kildare.

Lasting Goodness That Was Not Hidden
by Lady Gregory

Lasting goodness that was not hidden;

minding sheep and rising early;

hospitality toward good men.
It is she keeps everyone that is in straits and in dangers;

it is she puts down sickness;

it is she quiets the voices of the waves and the anger of the great sea.
She is the queen of the south; she is the mother of flocks;

she is the Mary of the Gael.


From the pen of Saint Bridget

I should like a great lake of beer for the God of Hosts.

I should like the angels of Heaven to be drinking it through time eternal.

I should like the flails of penance at my house.

I should like the men and women of Heaven at my house.

I should like barrels of peace at their disposal.

I should like vessels of charity for distribution.

I should like for them cellars of mercy.

I should like cheerfulness to be in their drinking.

I should like Jesus to be there among them.

I should like the three Marys of illustrious renown to be with us.

I should like the people of Heaven, with the poor,

to be gathered around us from all parts.


Saint Bridget Pictures, Images and Photos
an excerpt from OUR ISLAND SAINTS: Stories for Children, author Amy Steadman, published 1912, T.C. & E.C. Jack, London and Edinburgh

QUOTE The mist of long years enfolds the story of Bridget, the dearly loved saint of Ireland. Though we strive to see her clearly, the mist closes round and only lifts to show us, here and there, a flash of light upon her life, and while we gaze in wonder the light is gone.

But all the time, behind the mist, we feel there is a gracious presence, a white-robed maiden with a pure strong soul, who dwelt in the green isle of Erin; a gentle saint who dwells there still in the hearts of her people to bless and comfort them as of old. The mist of years cannot dim the eyes of those who love S. Bridget's memory, nor can it bewilder their faithful hearts. Wise men may dispute the facts of her life, but to the poor, who love her, she is just their friend, the dear S. Bridget whose touch made sick folk well, whose blessing increased the store of the poor, who helped sad weary mothers, and bent in loving tenderness over many a tiny cradle in those long ago days.

So now it comforts the mother's heart, when there are many little hungry mouths to fill, to remember how S. Bridget's faith ever found a way to feed the poor and needy. When the cradle is made ready for the little one whom God will send, it is for S. Bridget's blessing that the mother prays, counting it the greatest gift that God can give. She is such a homelike saint this Bridget of the fair green island, and she dwells so close to the heart of the people, that it is their common everyday life which holds the most loving memory of her helpful kindness.

In the first days of early spring her little flame-spiked flowers speak to them from the roadside, and bring her message of joy and hope, telling of the return of life, the swelling of green buds, the magic of spring. We call her flower the common dandelion, but to S. Bridget's friends it is 'the little flame of God' or 'the flower of S. Bride.' She herself has many names. Bride or Bridget, 'Christ's Foster-Mother,' S. Bridget of the Mantle, the Pearl of Ireland.

Many stories and legends have grown up around the memory of S. Bridget, but all agree in telling us that she was a little maiden of noble birth, and that her father, Dubtach, was of royal descent. We know too that she was born in the little village of Fochard in the north of Ireland, about the time when good S. Patrick was beginning to teach the Irish people how to serve the Lord Christ.

Bridget was a strange thoughtful child, fond of learning, but clever with her hands as well as her head. In those days even noble maidens had plenty of hard work to do, and Bridget was never idle. In the early morning there were the cows to drive out to pasture, when the dew hung dainty jewels upon each blade of grass and turned the spiders' webs into a miracle of flimsy lace. The great mild-eyed cows had to be carefully hearded as the wandered up the green hillside, for, should any stray too far afield, there was ever the chance of a lurking robber ready to seize his chance. Then, when the cows were driven safely home again, there was the milking to be done and the butter to be churned.

But in spite of all this work, Bridget found time for other things as well. There was always time to notice the hungry look in a beggar's face as she passed him on the road, time to stop and give him her share of milk and home-made bread, time to help any one in pain who chanced to come her way. The very touch of the child's kind, strong little hands seemed to give relief, and many a poor sufferer blessed her as she passed, and talked of white-robed angels they had seen walking by her side, guiding and teaching her. And sure it was that in all that land there was no child with so kind a heart as little Bridget's, and no one with as fair a face.

Now the older Bridget grew the more and more beautiful she became, and her loveliness was good to look upon. She was as straight and fair as a young larch tree; her hair was yellow as the golden corn, and her eyes as deep and blue as the mountain lakes. Many noble lords sought to marry her, but Bridget loved none of them. There was but one Lord of her life, and she had made up her mind to serve Him.

'We will have no more of this,' said her father angrily; 'choose a prince of noble blood, and wed him as I bid thee.'

'I have chosen the noblest Prince of all,' said Bridget steadfastly, 'and He is the Lord Christ.'

'Thou shalt do as thou art bidden and marry the first man who asks thee,' said her brothers, growing more and more angry.

But Bridget knew that God would help her, and prayed earnestly to Him. The in His goodness God took away her beauty from her for a while, and men, seeing she was no longer fair to look upon, left her in peace.

At this time Bridget was but a young maiden of sixteen years, but old enough, she thought, to give up her life to the service of God. The good Bishop Maccail, to whom she went, was perplexed as he looked at the young maid and her companions. Did she know what God's service meant, he wondered? Was she ready to endure hardness instead of enjoying a soft life of pleasure and ease?

But even as he doubted, the legend says, he saw a strange and wonderful light begin to shine around the maiden's head, rising upwards in a column of flame, and growing brighter and brighter until it was lost in the glory of the shining sky.

'Truly this is a miracle,' said the Bishop, shading his eyes, which were blinded by the dazzling light. 'He who, each morning, sendeth His bright beams aslant the earth to wake our sleeping eyes, hath in like manner sent this wondrous light to clear my inward vision and show my doubting heart that the maiden is one whom God hath chosen to do His work.'

Even then the careful Bishop sought to know more of Bridget's life ere he trusted the truth of the miracle. But there was nought to tell that was not good and beautiful. Out on the green hills, at work in the home, all her duties had been well and carefully performed. Happy, willing service had she given to all who needed her help, and there was but one fault to be found with her.

'She gives away everything that comes to her hand,' said her parents. 'No matter how little milk the cows are giving, the first beggar who asks for a drink has his cup filled. If there is but one loaf of bread in the house, it is given away. The poor have but to ask, and Bridget will give all that she can find.'

'That is true,' said Bridget gently, 'but ye would not have me send them hungry away? Is it not Christ Himself we help when we help His poor?'

'Well, well, perhaps thou art right,' answered her parents; 'and this we must say, that in spite of all that is given away, we have never wanted aught ourselves, but rather our store has been increased.'

Hearing all this, the Bishop hesitated no longer, but laid his hands in blessing upon Bridget's head, and consecrated both her and her companions to the service of God. And it is said that as she knelt before the altar, while the Bishop placed a white veil upon her head, she leaned her hand upon the altar step, and at her tough the dry wood became green and living once more, so pure and holy was the hand that touched it.

At first there were but few maidens who joined themselves with Bridget in her work, but as time went on the little company grew larger and larger. Then Bridget determined to build their home beneath the shelter of an old oak tree which grew near her village. It was from this oak tree that the convent was known in after years as 'the cell of the oak' or Kil-dare. Here the poor and those in distress found their way from all parts, and never was any poor soul turned away without help from the good sisters and the tender-hearted Bridget. Here the sick were healed, the sorrowful comforted, and the hungry fed. Here the people learned to know the love of Christ through the tender compassion of His servant.

Far and near the fame of Bridget spread, not only in Ireland but over many lands, and the love of her became so deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, that even to-day her memory is like a green tree bearing living leaves of faith and affection.

There are so many wonderful stories clustering round the name of S. Bridget that they almost make her seem a dim and shadowy person, but there is one thing that shines through even the wildest legend. The tender heart and the helping hand of good S. Bridget are the keynote of all the wonders that have been woven around her name. We see her swift on all errands of mercy, eager to help the helpless, ready to aid all who were oppressed, and protecting all who were too weak to help themselves.

One story tells us of a poor wood-cutter who by mistake had slain a tame wolf, the King's favourite pet, and who for this was condemned to die. As soon as the news was brought to S. Bridget, she lost not a moment, but set out in the old convent cart to plead with the King for his life. Perhaps her pleading might have been in vain had it not been that as she drove through the wood a wolf sprang out of the undergrowth and leapt into the car. Loving all animals, tame or wild, S. Bridget nodded a welcome to her visitor and patted his head, and he, quite contentedly, crouched down at her feet, as tame as any dog.

Arrived at the palace, S. Bridget demanded to see the King, and with the wolf meekly following, was lead into his presence.

'I have brought thee another tame wolf,' said S. Bridget, 'and bid thee pardon that poor soul, who did thee a mischief unknowingly.'

So the matter was settled to every one's satisfaction. The King was delighted with his new pet, the poor man was pardoned, and S. Bridget went home rejoicing.

Those sisters who dwelt in the Cell of the Oak seemed to be specially protected from all harm, and it is said that many robber knew to his cost how useless it was to try and rob S. Bridget.

Once there came a band of thieves who, with great cunning, managed to drive off all the cows belonging to the convent, and in the twilight to escape unnoticed. So far all went well, and the robbers laughed to think how clever they had been. But when they reached the river which they were obliged to cross, the found the waters had risen so high that it was almost impossible to dive the cows across. Thinking to keep their clothes dry, they took them off and bound them in bundles to the horns of the cows, and then prepared to cross the ford. But S. Bridget's wise cows knew a better way than that, and immediately there was a stampede, and they set off home at a gallop, and never stopped until they reached the convent stable. The thieves raced after them with all their might, but could not overtake them, and so, crestfallen and ashamed, they had at least to beg for pardon and pray that their clothes might be returned to them.

In those days there were many lepers in Ireland, and when there was no one else to help and pity them, the poor outcasts were always sure of a kindly welcome from the gracious lady of Kildare. One of the stories tells of a wretched leper who came to S. Bridget, so poor and dirty and diseased that no one would come near him. But like our blessed Lord, S. Bridget felt only compassion for him, and with her own hands washed his feet and bathed his poor aching head. Then, seeing that his clothes must be washed, she bade one of the sisters standing by to wrap her white mantle round the man until his own clothes should be ready. But the sister shuddered and turned away; she could not bear to think of her cloak being wrapped around the miserable leper. Quick to mark disobedience and unkindness, a stern look came into S. Bridget's blue eyes as she put her own cloak over the shivering form.

'I leave thy punishment in God's hands,' she said quietly; and even as she spoke, the sister was stricken with the terrible disease, and as the cloak touched the beggar, he was healed of his leprosy.

Tears of repentance streamed down the poor sister's face, and her punishment was more than tender-hearted S. Bridget could bear to see. Together they prayed to God for pardon, and at S. Bridget's touch the leprosy was healed.

So S. Bridget lived her life of mercy and loving-kindness, and because the people loved and honoured her above all saints, they placed her in their hearts next to the Madonna herself, and, by some curious instinct of tender love and worship, there came to be woven about her a legend which has earned for her the titles of 'Christ's Foster-Mother' and 'S. Bridget of the Mantle.'

It was on that night, so the legend runs, when the Blessed Virgin came to Bethlehem, weary and travel-worn, and could find no room in the village inn, that S. Bridget was sent by God to help and comfort her. In the quiet hours of the starry night, when on the distant hills the wondering shepherds heard the angels' song, S. Bridget passed the stable door and paused, marveling at the light that shone with such dazzling brilliance from within. Sure no stable lantern could shed such a glow as that which shone around the manager there. Softly S. Bridget entered and found the fair young Mother bending over the tiny newborn Child, wrapping His tender little limbs about with swaddling bands.

There was no need to ask who He was. Bridget knew it was the King, and kneeling there, she worshipped too. Then very tenderly she led the young Mother to a soft bed of sweet hay and prayed her that she would rest awhile.

'Sweet Mary,' she implored, 'rest, and I meanwhile will watch and tend the Child.' And Mary, looking into Bridget's kind blue eyes, and feeling the touch of her tender strong hands, trusted her with her Treasure, and bade her take the Child and watch Him until the morning should break.

So Bridget took off her soft mantle and wrapped the Baby in it, and, sitting there, rocked Him to sleep, crooning to Him all the sweetest baby songs she knew.

Perhaps it was S. Bridget's tender love for little children, and her gentle care for all poor mothers, that helped to weave this curious legend, but there is a beautiful truth hidden deep in the heart of the strange story too. For did not Christ Himself say of all kind deeds done to the poor, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me'; and again, 'Whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is My brother and sister and mother.'

So it is that S. Bridget bears the name of Christ's foster-mother and is linked in this loving way with the Mother of our Lord. Year by year her memory lives on, and when February, the month of S. Bride, comes round, when the bleating of the first lambs is heard on the hills, and the little flower of S. Bridget lights up the wayside with its tiny yellow flame, the thought of good S. Bridget, Christ's foster-mother, fills many a poor mother's heart with comfort. Did she not care for all young things and helpless weary souls? Did she not show how, by helping others, she helped the dear Lord Himself? Does she not still point out the way by which they too may find Him and live in the light of His love?

St. Brigit B·adach
by Dßnta Ban Poems of Irish Women Early and Modern - A Collection

Brigit B·adach, B·aid na fine, Siur R g nime, Nßr in duine,

Eslind luige, Lethan breo. Ro-siacht no :bnem Mumme

Go del, Riar na n-o ged, O bel ecnai, Ingen Dubthaig,

Duine ·allach, Brigit b·adach, Brigit b·adach,

Victorious Brigit, Glory of kindred, Heaven-King's sister,

Noble person, Perilous oath,Far-flung flame.

She has reached holy Heaven, She has reached holy Heaven,

She has reached holy Heaven, Spark of wisdom,

Daughter of Dubthach, High-minded lady,

Victorious Brigit, The living one of life.


Ni bu Sanct Brigid suanach

Ni bu huarach im sheirc Dé,

Sech ni chiuir ni cossena

Ind nóeb dibad bethath che.

Saint Brigid was not given to sleep,

Nor was she intermittent about God's love;

Not merely that she did not buy,

she did not seek for

The wealth of this world below, the holy one.

- by Saint Broccan Cloen:

Saint Bridget Pictures, Images and Photos
Angels carrying St. Brighid thru time and space to Bethlehem to assist Mary and Joseph in the Birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.