August 12, 2006

Pipe Organ

Nowadays a pipe organ has a bellows powered by an electrical motor.

The bellows pushes air through the pipes to sound them in much the same way as one blows into a whistle.

Before electrical motors, at least one person was required to pump manually the bellows of a pipe organ.

The more pipes an organ had, the greater its need for pressurized air; this would be supplied by adding more bellows and more persons to pump the additional bellows.

The Great Organ of Notre Dame de Paris required as many as twenty persons to pump its bellows by hand.

Here is a video of a pipe organ still pumped by hand. Click on the image below to view and hear it.

I came across this on the blog of "Indolent Server".
Click HERE for it.

August 11, 2006

What so-called “liturgical” dance needs to look like…

… if you want more men to attend Mass more often.

Click on the image to watch a video (less than two minutes long).

Here's another sample.

August 11: Saint Clare of Assisi, the "First Franciscan Nun"

The refectory (dining room) where Saint Clare ate her meals and where she hid the Blessed Sacrament when the Saracens attacked Assisi in June of 1241

Since we recall Saint Clare at the celebration of Mass today, it would be good for us to know what the "Franciscan attitude" towards the Eucharist ought to be.


[Requiring extreme reverence for the Blessed Eucharist]

Let us attend, all clerics, to the great sin and ignorance, which certain men have over the Most Holy Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Most Holy Names and His written words, which sanctify the Body.
We know that there cannot be a Body, unless first it is sanctified by the word.
For we have and see nothing corporally of the Most High Himself, in this age, except the Body and Blood, Names and words, through which we have been made and redeemed from death to life.
However let all those who minister such most holy ministries, consider within themselves— most of all those who minister indiscreetly— how vile are the chalices, corporals, and altar linens, where the Body and Blood of the Lord is sacrificed.
And by many in vile places He is abandoned, borne about in a wretched manner and received unworthily and ministered to others indiscreetly.
Even the Names and His written words are sometimes by feet trampled upon;
because the bestial man does not perceive the things that are of God.
Are we not moved in piety concerning all these things, when the pious Lord Himself offers Himself into our hands and we handle Him and receive Him each day by means of our mouth?
Or are we ignorant that we must one day come into His Hands?
Therefore let us quickly and firmly amend ourselves regarding all these things and the others;
and wherever the Most Holy Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been illicitly placed and abandoned, let Him be removed from that place and let Him be placed and sealed in a precious place.
Similarly let the Names and written words of the Lord, wherever they are found in unclean places, be gathered together and they ought to be placed together in an honorable place.
And we know, that we are bound above all to observe all these things according to the precepts of the Lord and the constitutions of Holy Mother Church.
And those who have not done this, let them know, that they shall render an account before the Lord on the Day of Judgment.
This having been written, so that it ought to be better observed, let them know themselves to be blest by the Lord God, who have had it copied.

[From the Franciscan Archive.]
Click HERE for it.

August 10, 2006

Brothers and Sisters! We can all dance. Just don't do it at Mass, and don't call it "liturgical"!

The Beginning and the Goal of Spiritual Direction

Comments and questions continue to come in on this topic.
Click HERE for it.

August 09, 2006

August 9: the Memorial of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Martyr

She was born Edith Stein at Breslau, Germany, in 1891 of Jewish parents. She studied philosophy under Husserl, the leading phenomenologist of the time. She was received into the Catholic Church in 1922, and in the following year entered the Carmelite monastery in Cologne where she received the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. At the end of 1939 she moved to the monastery at Echt because of the Nazi persecution of Jews, but in 1942, during the German occupation of Holland she was arrested, transported to Poland, and killed at Aushchwitz.

My favorite image of her.

My internet access is working again.

August 07, 2006

Is Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” anti-Semitic?

Mel Gibson wanted Jim Caviezel, the actor who portrays Jesus, to appear physically Semitic.
Pictures of Jim Caviezel

Caviezel with a beard in another movie

To make Caviezel look Semitic in "The Passion of the Christ", Gibson directed that Caviezel wear a prosthetic nose and that his blue eyes be digitally changed to brown on film. Since Gibson is Christian, he worships Christ the Semite. Gibson's decision about Caviezel's physical appearance as Christ is plainly pro-Semitic.
Pictures of Jim Caviezel as Gibson’s Semitic Jesus

The earth is the Tabernacle of Christ...

... and so are we.

Click on the following to view a short Catholic video that is well done, prayerful and inspirational.

August 06, 2006


Last week I was pleased to see a bride wear over her hair a long, Spanish mantilla. I found the image above online. It shows a bridal veil being used correctly as a veil— that is, as a covering for the head, and not just as a hair ornament on the back of the head.

The following two images show hair ornaments, not veils.

The bridal veil in Western culture originates with the classical Roman ceremony of veiling a woman at her wedding. The veil of a Roman bride was orange, not white. The development of Christian tradition eventually chose white as the color of the bridal veil, echoing the white of the garment given to souls newly purified by baptism.

The Romans poetically called the bridal veil a “cloud”— the Latin word is nubis, from which come the English words “nubile” and “nuptial”.

In the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches, part of the sacramental liturgy of marriage is the rite of crowning both the groom and the bride. I haven’t looked into the meaning those Churches give to this crowning. However, here is my thought. God, the King of the universe, “crowned” the first Husband and Wife by assigning them to be his “Royal Vicars” earth.

Genesis 1:26-28. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

By the way, here is Queen Elizabeth II of England at her coronation.

Finally, click on the following image to watch a groom getting into the “spirit” of the occasion.

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ

I have posted a homily for the feast.
Click HERE for it.