Three Great Signs of a Healthy Parish: Sign 1 Crossed Arms at Communion

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.

John 4:10

There are many blessings that come from attending Mass and the pleasures are amplified when there are so many signs of a parish that is strong and healthy in plain view. In between other subjects I’ll be touching on some of these things this week.

The first sign is something that might not be obvious even to a catholic but leaped out at me yesterday.

Due to COVID restrictions have the pews in the church are unused (closed off with police tape) so when DaWife and I arrived we ended up sitting in the very front pew of the church (something she absolutely hates). A pew that is a tad unusual and different than most, it’s used as a handicapped friendly area. A pew which had been in front of it was removed to fit self propelled and standard wheelchairs so the kneeler is a full yard in front of where you sit.

This had significance today because due to a commitment yesterday I was not in town for confession so when it was time for communion I went up with crossed arms and instead received from the priest, host held in his hand, the following blessing:

May the blessing of almighty God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit descend upon you and remain with you all day long.

One can choose to remain in a pew of course but doing this not only gives the benefit of a blessing but also demonstrates respect for the Holy Eucharist for as St. Paul tells us:

For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus, on the night he was handed over, took bread, and, after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes. Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord. A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

1 Cor 11:23-29

Because I did not receive myself instead of kneeling I sat and watched those who went up to receive. In the front row I had a very good view of everyone particularly because of the COVID restrictions that allow only a single file.

Quite a few people bowed or keeled before receiving (not to give homage to the priest but to Christ who they acknowledged as present in the Eucharist) but there were quite a few, in fact rather a lot who like me came forward with crossed arms getting the same blessing as me.

Many of course where children who had not received their 1st communion but almost as many were adults young and old, who for whatever reason either missing confession or breaking the one hour fast before receiving or whatever other reason understood they were not properly disposed for the Eucharist.

I was impressed, that act, particularly by the young because it would be SO easy to remain in the pew, instead each made a public act acknowledging

  1. The reality and significance of the Eucharist
  2. The necessity of being in a proper state to receive Christ in the Eucharist
  3. Their current state of being unworthy, for whatever reason to receive it

These things reflect

  1. The acknowledgement of Christ in the Eucharist
  2. The holiness of God and the respect he deserves
  3. The conscious of sin and the need to repent of it
  4. The value of the blessing of the Lord

A parish full of people who see these things is a parish well catechized and a well catechized parish is a healthy one.

(Oh and the Priest found time to give me confession after mass but more on that later this week.)

The Election Novena for America

A good idea from the USCCB site:

Bearing in mind our nation’s challenges and the need for wise, moral, civic leadership, the USCCB is offering an electronic Election Novena to help Catholics form their consciences as they prepare for the upcoming election.

For nine consecutive days, Monday, October 26 through Tuesday, November 3, participants will be encouraged to pray one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the day’s intention. A closing prayer for elected leaders will be offered on day 10, Wednesday, November 4. On this page, you can find the daily intentions, signup to receive the novena intentions daily by email, and download graphics for each day’s intention for use on social media. 

I love when Catholic Bishops act like Catholics:

Here is the Day 1 Monday Prayer intention:

As we prepare for the national & local elections, in the midst of a global pandemic, may our political engagement be guided by our Catholic Faith.

An Unexpected Vatican “Yoo Hoo, Bible” (and Catechism) Update

You might remember a few years ago (July 14th 2017 to be exact) I was rather shocked to find that the Bible had been pulled from the Vatican Site.

Here is the text if you can’t read the screen shot:

“The Holy Bible is available in almost every language on earth: the Episcopal Conferences take care of the continuous updating of the translations. In order to have access to the latest Bible version, kindly consult the website of your Episcopal Conference. ”

Seriously you’re the vatican and you TOOK THE &(#$(@(% BIBLE OFF YOUR WEB SITE! You actually think it’s more important to carry a 13-year-old document by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace available for visitors than the Bible?

What on earth is going on in Rome?

And about a week later I noted that the Vatican had restored the Bible to their web site but did not make it visible to people looking for the Scripture:

So the question on the floor is this:  What on earth is going on?  If you are still referring people to the local sites and not providing a link to the Bible, why put sacred scripture back up if you’re going to make it tough to find?

Two logical answers come to mind

A charitable suggestion would be that people realized that even though they wanted people to go to local sites for scripture, every single document on the Vatican site since it went up that had existing links to the former online scripture became dead once it was pulled.  Fixing all those links would be an expensive, time consuming and frankly herculean task. So given the choice between fixing those links or putting scripture back up without a direct link to it they choose the latter.  If I had been their tech advisor that’s certainly the advice I’d have given to fix the problem.

much less charitable explanation would be that the Vatican didn’t like the blowback from pulling the Bible but didn’t want to link to it, so they put it back up without a direct link to allow a spokesman to say “Of COURSE sacred scripture is available at our site, we just prefer you to use our local sites translation.” or in other words: “Beware of the Leopard!”

Here is the screen shot from that date of the page in question

Well there has been a development.

Yesterday I was reading my daily scripture from the Vatican site I ended up clicking not on the back button to get to the reference page of the bible but on the keys of Peter which took me to the front page of the Vatican Web site which I haven’t visited in the three years since those posts.

I thought I’d poke around as I was curious if there had been any change to operation “hide the bible”. You will note that on the front page there is no link to the Bible so most people who might visit looking for it might use the search function

And of course if you did a search for the bible using the Vatican search engine it would to my complete and utter lack of shock, avail you naught.

However I remembered that the Bible had been kept under Archive under Francis rather than linked on the home page as it once was. So on the front page of the Vatican Site I clicked on Archive.

On the Archive page there was a link at the top that said “bible” which was a good sign but there were to other things that jumped out at me.

w of course I remembered that the Bible was on the Archive site if you were going to the Vatican site and didn’t know it was there you might have to do a search for it.

Before we click on the bible link I want to note the addition to the Catechism of the Catholic church link which based on wayback machine searches was added between July 17th and Aug 11th of 2018 meaning that from that date people going to the Vatican site wanting to find that official church positions on various subjects by checking the actual Catechism of the church were dissuaded from doing so at least if you are a person who speaks English because if you read Italian.

or Spanish

Or French, Portuguese , German or even Latin the Vatican Catechism has no such disclaimer. Why it’s almost as if there is a direct effort to keep English speaking folk in general and American in particular unsure of the actual teachings of the church if they wanted to find it online.

Not that they would have found the Catechism anyways as you can see from this result from the Vatican Search engine anyways, but we digress..

Well once we are on the page we can now click on the Bible link and lo and behold we have a different page than before!

While we still have the disclaimer that we had before asking you to look elsewhere we also have a direct link to the Bible online were a person can actually click on it and read it at the Vatican site.

Yeah you still won’t find it in the search engine and yeah you have to know to click on the “archive” link to get there but this still a vast improvement on the whole “Yoo Hoo Bible” game that the Vatican was playing before.

But I still miss the days when we these words from Christ…

Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.

Matthew 5:37

…were unambiguously at least the public policy of the Holy See.

I’m old enough to remember when Democrats would be worried about Having Devil Worshipers Throwing Satanic Curses at an Ill POTUS Openly on their side

Via CS Lewis Doodle on Youtube

We are really faced with a cruel dilemma. When the humans disbelieve in our existence we lose all he pleasing results of direct terrorism and we make no magicians. On the other hand, when they believe in us, we cannot make them materialists and sceptics. At least, not yet. I have great hopes that we shall learn in due time how to emotionalise and mythologise their science to such an extent that what is, in effect, belief in us, (though not under that name) will creep in while the human mind remains closed to belief in the Enemy. The “Life Force”, the worship of sex, and some aspects of Psychoanalysis, may here prove useful. If once we can produce our perfect work-the Materialist Magician, the man, not using, but veritably worshipping, what he vaguely calls “Forces” while denying the existence of “spirits”-then the end of the war will be in sight. 

CS Lewis The Screwtape Letters #7

You know it would be a lot easier to talk all those people who absolutely insist that you can’t be a Christian in general or a Catholic in particular and be for Trump if you didn’t have a bunch of devil worshipers openly trying to hex him.

Some users, however, took things well beyond the sarcastic remark or celebration of the diagnosis, directing foreign language curses and images of Satan toward the president in his sickness.

and frankly that’s the mild stuff.

Others broke the template, forwarding similar comments and curses in a variety of other languages publicly asking for the “Lord Satan” to empower them to “vanquish the enemies of our freedom and well-being!”

“This curse carries the power of a thousand witches you will never find peace or happiness you will be cursed for centuries,” one user wrote, attaching images that appeared to be of a voodoo puppet doll burning. “The ancestors of each witch will follow you until the end of time old man.”

Now remember this is being done openly on a public platform for all the world to see.

Frankly anyone who is surprised by this hasn’t been paying attention. I submit and suggest this has been the left for a very long time.

Closing thoughts. These best counter to this stuff is of course prayer. There will be a public Rosary at my parish that I’ll be a part of next Saturday at noon and on the 24th we will be having a special mass Saturday at noon to pray for the country ending with a Eucharistic Procession I would suggest the same for your local parish.

But more importantly all of these people need to be prayed for. It’s very likely that many of them have nobody to pray for them and we must not forget that the love of God for them still exists and Christ died for their sins as much as anyone else. Thanks to these events we know who these people are and can give their guardian angels a welcome boost through prayer.

The best way to beat the devil is to deprive him of souls. Pray for these people and help deprive him of theirs.

Remember the Tea Party Non Riots, The last Straw in SF? History repeating itself, Eucharistic Processions on Oct 17th Please, and How Bad is the Trump Economy? VERY quick thoughts under the fedora

Overslept today after putting in some extra time at work and I have to go in early today as well so no time to post so here are some very quick thoughts.


A Quick reminder, remember when the media was united in declaring the Tea Party and the various Tea Party protest a bunch dangerous violent agitators?

You can count the number of Tea Party events over the year that became riots d on the fingers of one hand, in fact you can likely do so on the thumb of one hand or no hands


I think the Nancy Pelosi Salon story combined with the news concerning city gyms in SF offer the best single chance for her GOP challenger in decades.

People don’t like be played for fools and even leftists know that if they punish her on election day they’ll get the seat back fairly quick.


When I was younger I was always amazed at the rise of the Nazi’s in Germany and the Communists in Russia (although less so the latter given serfdom and the Czars). After watching the left over the last several months and the reaction of the public I am much less amazed.

The smartest thing our enemies ever did was to go after our colleges. People are so much easier to buy.


If I was the Pope I would order a coordinated set of Eucharistic Processions led by the local Bishops or Cardinals of sees in October in Reparation for sins. I’d Choose Saturday October 17 the feast day of St. Ignatius.

Either we believe in the Power of Christ in the Eucharist or we don’t, if we do let’s not be shy about it.


Finally a reminder that tomorrow’s Podcast will be at 11 AM rather than at 3 PM.

This is because the Trump Economy is so bad that I have to work on my day off along with going in early yesterday and today to keep up with all the work we don’t have because the Trump economy is so bad

100 Word Catholic Fan Fiction: Eyes But Do Not See

“You mean he walked though the wall?” asked Beth.

“Not the wall, the Door!” answered Yolanda.

“The door nobody else can see?” quipped Rick dryly.

“Guys”, said Courtney, ” I know it sounds weird but we’ve seen lots of weird, right Pat.”

Pat grinned, as did the others, “That’s true Court, but what matters is…”,

Before another word was spoken Sir Justin strode into the room a wide smile on his face, “Ah friends!”

Rick stared dumbfounded. “He walked though the wall.”

“The door, You still don’t see it? asked Yolanda, ” Any of you?”

“Ah lass” answered Justin “BELIEVING is seeing!”

100 Word Catholic Fan Fiction: Reunited twice

“Justin, the cot’s yours” said Pat, “Stay as long as you want.”

“Many thanks friend Stripsey” For I’ve been sorely troubled.”

Pat & the others left. Yolanda trailing the rest caught the The Shining Knight eye as he sat sword in hand. “Tis good to be among friends…” he began then abruptly stopped “The door!” he cried pointing at the wall.

Wildcat gasped. “You see the door?” she exclaimed!

“See it, I’d know it anywhere” said Justin. He rose & boldly strode though.

As it closed behind him she heard a familiar voice “Welcome Sir Knight, you’ve come to confess?”

100 Word Catholic Fan Fiction: Mercy on Request

“I’ve never saw that anyone like that with the JSA” said Pat.

“When I left the room I was suddenly in bed, could I have dreamed it?” asked Yolanda

“The main thing is you’re OK” said Courtney, “We’ll watch for him.”

“Thanks Court…”, she began then pointed at the wall in disbelief. “The Door!”

“What door?” answered Pat seeing but a wall.

“You don’t see it?”

“There’s nothing there” answered Courtney.

Wildcat nodded but understood. She had not imagined The Stranger or Fr. Anastasius & knew that he was right about God’s mercy & where she could find him again.

100 Word Catholic Fan Fiction: A Confusing Price

“For your penance Wildcat you shall pray a Divine Mercy Chaplet…”, said Father Anastasius.

Yolanda was taken aback, one chaplet for killing a man?

“…and offer the merits of your next three Eucharists for Brainwave.”

“But father”, she asked confused. “I killed him, he’s dead. How can that do him any good?”

Anastasius smiled a smile of faith hope & love: “Perhaps, but daughter, can it really be that after the Lord in his love provided you the Stranger to bring you here & me the extra decades needed to hear your confession, you still doubt God’s capacity for mercy?”


Previously An Unexpected Guest, Next mercy on request.

100 Word Catholic Fan Fiction: An Unexpected Guest

The monastic cell door creaked as the white gloved hand opened it. Yolanda saw a hooded figure kneeling in prayer before an image of the Divine Mercy, As they entered a voice ancient & weak seeped from his cowl.

“Has the angel of death finally remembered me? I am ready”

“I bring not death friend Anastasius” replied the stranger, “but a penitent seeking absolution.”

The priest turned smiling melting away years, his eyes alight: “It has been many decades since I’ve confessed a hero.” Yolanda watched awestruck as new life seemed to gush into the holy venerable face. “Come child.”


Previously, the answer. Next, a confusing price.