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No More Posts Till Easter Monday

As is fairly usual with me, I started off pretty well with Lent and gradually got slacker and lazier. I'm going to make an effort during Holy Week to attend more to the occasion. It seems especially important this year since I can't actually go to Mass. So I won't be posting anymore till Monday April 13. I'll still participate in conversations, if there are any, but there won't be any new posts. 

Today for the first time since public Masses were cancelled I watched one on television. As I said in a comment here a couple of weeks or so ago, a televised Mass just seems all wrong to me in some fundamental way that I haven't made the effort to articulate. I don't mean religiously wrong, just off. Unreal. Weird. But I have already noticed a tendency on my part to start drifting without the anchor of weekly Mass (and also in my case a weekly holy hour--which I still do at home but of course it's not the same). I keep thinking of what Janet said about the Japanese Christians who held on to the faith for...what was it?...250 years without priests, and I'm ashamed.


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I dont want to watch mass on tv. I read the typica and the lessons for the Sunday.

I have never felt any wish to be a priest or consecrate the whole host or anything like that. But. Im surrounded by priests and seminarians and there are moments of annoyance. Last week I was having a zoom class with the seminarians and also the lay students. One very young guy was talking about how hed been quarantined for two weeks away from the seminary. He said with open candour and cheer that he was out of quarantine and back celebrating the liturgy. I thought I could hear the sound of gritting of teeth from half the class.

On saturday I zoomed with a much older priest who was heading out when we finished class to a convent of Poor Clares where is aunt is a nun. He is spending whole week at the convent because for some reason they’ve lost their priest and they haven’t had the sacraments for two weeks. No liturgy envy there!

We will never forget this strange Holy Week

That’s for sure. Strange it most surely is.

Well, when you think about the Poor Clares, what else do they have?

I am sure that some of you pray the novena to the Divine Mercy every year. We usually do, but some years I just forget, and I have never really paid much attention to the feast itself. I am beginning to see this as a real ingratitude. Anyway, I just want to encourage everyone to pray the novena this year and observe the feast day in some way.


Good counsel. Thank you.


That’s beautiful. Thank you.

Off-topic and not apropos, check out some of the author names in this Penguin ad, the mostly ancient ones who are known to us only by one name, like Homer:

(Courtesy of the Dappled Things blog:

That's hysterical. If the names were actually on the books, I would buy them just to have them.


I wonder how they got there. Somebody having fun? Some automated process?

It could be somebody having fun, but I am wondering if the database won't tolerate a blank field and grabs something from the previous record.

If I am an expert at anything, it's abberent databases.


"I am wondering if the database won't tolerate a blank field and grabs something..."

That was my guess too. In any case, it's pretty funny -- very Python-esque.

Yeah--assuming it's not a prank, which I would sort of like to think is the case, but is probably quite unlikely, it's almost certainly a really basic programming oversight, what you might call a rookie mistake. Whoever wrote the code didn't fully cover the case where an author's first name is blank, so something like this:

There's a data structure where the information for displaying a particular book is being assembled, and one component of that is the first name. When a book where the author's first name is blank comes along, it doesn't put that piece into the structure. But the preceding author's name is still there. It should be cleared before or after each book.

Isn't that exactly what I said?


[desperately trying to suppress pickiness]

Pretty much.


I just said it more succinctly.


I think its added the names of the translators as the authors' first names. In my memory, Jonathan something is an expert on Aristotle.

Yes! That must be it. Desmond Lee translated Plato's Republic.


Or some other participant. Jonathan Barnes wrote the intro for the Aristotle book. Others are more mixed up. I'm pretty sure "Of Monmouth" didn't translate or write a preface for Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain.

It all sounds very HAL 9000 in 2001 to me. :)

HAL is the best AI ever in sci-fi, because they didn't have him magically become conscious. I always hate that. But everything HAL does is explainable in software terms. I don't think you find that out until one of the sequels, though.

They do look funny to me but not totally surreal because I get listed on amazon as a co-author of books I translated.

I know Lent technically end when the Triduum starts but Ive never ended before the vigil. This year I ended at 6.30 last night and so far Ive listened to five podcasts. Not eating meat until Sunday. Im sure I will return to the vigil as end point next year. Its just having no liturgy schedule

I’m having a big problem with it, too. Among the lesser things is that my wife and I like to go to the Easter vigil at the cathedral and eat a big breakfast at Waffle House at 2am. Any kind of celebration is going to seem kind of lame in isolation.

I didn’t know you did translations. I’m somewhat in awe of that level of fluency in another language.

That's sounds so great--the breakfast. It occurs to me that I should have planned something celebratory, but I haven't.

We are going to get all the family together on Zoom, so that should be nice, if confusing.


I think we're going to FaceTime with one of the offspring. After sleeping late.

An interesting Holy Saturday reading:

Χριστός Ανέστη!


He is risen indeed..I think is the right response....



I watched a Nigerian priest-colleague zoom the vigil, together with 45 Nigerian zoomers around the world.

I had an illicit Easter lunch wwith my lidger and three former grad students. The leg of lamb was much enjoyed by all except one. No more meat except leftovers, until Sunday, since the lodger has a week to go until orthodox Easter.

Im down to end of season three on line of duty.

I would say it was an ordinary Sunday for me except that it didn’t include Mass. Watching tv now.

And when I say "watching tv", I don't mean liturgy.

Did you have bad weather?


No. It was kind of windy but I don't think it rained at all. How about you?

We're having a drought, actually. Driest spring I've ever seen.

I just looked at news for the first time today. 19 dead from tornadoes?! Wow. I had no idea.

Well, we sat in the safest corner of the house with our keys and phones and LED lights in case we had to leave, but it passed us by without any damage.


I’m glad to hear it.

I want to say that we have never done that before. We usually just go to bed, and find out if we're dead in the morning.


Tornadoes are not to be messed with. But they're so sudden and unpredictable that it's hard to know when you should be watchful and when you should be really afraid.

We really don't have any inside spaces. So, there's no good place to go.


We have one small bathroom that has no outside walls. But then tornadoes are relatively rare here, unlike where you live.

Once a month posts, I guess.


I want to say that in the KJV one of those passages says something like “no flesh would live.” Much more dire sounding.

I think I’m getting a cold so of course I’m wondering if it’s the plague.

Anyway, good post, and I join you in your prayer. I have managed not to miss a day of the novena so far.

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