22 April 2017

Still going through my mother's thinigs

Found this a while back.  I kept it and got a frame for it.  It hangs with the blessing Puff and I had from St John Paul II.  I should try and trade around, collect a few more.  Get the full set.

It was procured by my Grandfather, whose name I have removed. The last intelligible words my mother spoke in my presence (albeit several days before her death) were: "Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world."  So I think she qualified for the indulgence.      

17 April 2017

How shall debate be stifled this time?

What is the current standard response by supporters of Trump to critics of the current regime? Have they come up with one yet?

For the last eight years there was a ready response on the lips of Obama supporters. It didn't matter how you phrased your criticism, this is what happened:

A: I believe the president's policies in this matter are well intentioned but will ultimately miss the mark, and ultimately not only not produce the results predicted but achieve the exact opposite of their stated purpose. I have written a thirty page article on the matter. It is well researched, copiously annotated and has been vetted by three separate peer review boards.

B: Racist!

This, of course, was only against white people. On the occasions when the critic was black, the response was far harsher, using terms like oreo, sell out, race traiter and house n-word.

The point of saying such things is not to engage in debate: it is the opposite of debate.  it is an attempt to silence the other side by demonizing them.

There are those who believe it is only the Left who tries to silence disagreement by calling names or making accusations, but it is not so. Prior to Obama we had the eight years of Dubya. HIs reign gave rise to this gem of dialogue:

A: I am deeply concerned about the increasing powers given to the executive branches, the CIA, FBI and DHS. While I understand the threat posed by terrorism, these new powers have the potential to irretrievably damage the Bill of Rights and run counter to the spirit of individual liberty enshrined in the constitution.

B Why do you hate America?

So, not that anyone even knows how to have a diaogue or a debate anymore, but in the unlikely event that one comes along, what method shall supporters of the current administration use to crush and demonise those who hold differing opinions?

Younger came back from her trip to Vimy

I haven't mentioned it much here, but my younger daughter went on a class trip to Vimy in honour of the centenary of the battle (we call it the Battle of Vimy Ridge, though in other countries it is remembered, if it is remembered at all, as the northern portion of the battle of Arras) and spent ten days touring around France and Belgium.

The trip was good, though she did have some complaints about spending much of the trip partnered with a wet blanket/complainer who did not want to do much and complained about what they did do.  (I am certain her parents will consider their money well spent.)  So my daughter missed opportunities to see many things because of her.  For instance, they had a chance to visit the Sainte Chappelle in Paris before breakfast one day, but the visit came with a catch: you could not go alone.  You had to go with your partner.  Younger was up for the trip but her partner did not want to get out of bed just to see another church.  So they missed out on seeing this:


Here's a link to an unfortunately written article about my mother, in honour of what would have been her 93 birthday.

16 April 2017

Easter Sunday, 1940

What I missed this Easter

I saw no specials on television this year.  No rebroadcasts of old favourites, no attempts at replacing the old with new specials.  I didn't even see any documentaries purporting to unveil any new real Jesus' this year.  That has me somewhat concerned.  The fact that no one was trying to make us look ridiculous can only mean that they find us to be not worth the effort.  They did not give up attacking us because we were winning, but because they concluded we were irrelevant.

It will get worse.

A few weeks ago someone scrawled hate speech on the basilica of St Paul's in Toronto.  Today someone threw an incendiary device through the window of a church in the Weston area of Toronto, forcing the cancellation of Easter services.

He is Risen, Alleluia

Image result for the resurrection

14 April 2017

Good Friday

No automatic alt text available.

He was spurned and avoided by men,
a man of suffering, knowing pain,
Like one from whom you turn your face,
spurned, and we held him in no esteem.

Yet it was our pain that he bore,
our sufferings he endured.
We thought of him as stricken,
struck down by God and afflicted,

But he was pierced for our sins,
crushed for our iniquity.
He bore the punishment that makes us whole,
by his wounds we were healed.

11 April 2017

A little bit about singing

As I mentioned earlier, I sang last week for Palm Sunday.  It didn't go too badly, although the Vexilla Regis could have gone better.  On the upside, I won't be singing for Easter Sunday.

A few years back the organist asked me to sing for Easter.  I was flabbergasted.  I split Sundays with some Cantrices, a few of whom are better than me. For such a holy day, we should go with our strengths.  Unless.... the organist thought I was the better choice?

"Are you sure?" I asked.  "I mean, this is such an important day...."

"Yeah, I'm sure," he said. "Everyone else is busy."

So, there will be no burst bubble for me this year.  I opted out of singing this Easter because my  daughter will be returning from her school trip for the hundredth anniversary of Vimy late Saturday/early Sunday.  I would most likely be too exhausted to sing.  However, the soprano is quite good, better than I am, so there's that.  The only downside?  Without me singing, the chance of the proper sequence being sung is zero.  And that's a shame.

Conversations at Home.

My wife occasionally asks me why I hardly ever speak these days. The Answer is simple: there's no point.

My conversations generally run one of two ways. The first typically goes like this:

Me, to someone who has their face glued to some sort of screen: Listen, I have this Terribly Important Thing to tell you.

Them: Yeah.

Me: Are you listening?

Them: Yeah,

Me: Alright, the Terribly Important Thing requires us to do Some Specific Thing at a Very Specific Place at a Very Specific Time.

Them: Yeah.

Me: Got it?

Them: Yeah.

Some time later.

Me: Are you ready?

Them: For what?

Me: For that Very Important Thing.

Them: What? Why didn't you tell me?

Then there's the Second. This one comes with having children.

Me, to my wife: Wife, there is something very important we must discuss. It's about

One of the girls, from the upstairs bathroom: I NEED TOILET PAPER UP HERE!

Me: I'LL GET IT IN A MINUTE! As I was saying, this is the most important thing I'll ever


Me: I SAID I'D BE UP IN A MINUTE! Where was I? Oh yeah. It is of absolutely critical importance that




Me: Grrrrr

Conversations. They're really overrated.

9 April 2017

Sang for Palm Sunday, thinking of other things.

Got back a while ago from singing at Mass. It went alright.  Vexilla Regis could have gone better.  The organist and I were out of sync, as we had never played it together before.  Perhaps I should have just gone solo.

I find I'm missing mother a little more than usual today. It was nice out, earlier. This is the sort of day I'd hope for when I had rented a car. I'd head out and get mother for some trip I had planned. I'd come through the door and say something like "Hey, Mom. Get in the car." I'd leave my brother a note that would go something like "I've got mother. If you ever want to see her again..." And then we would go somewhere or other. Old Churches. Waterfalls. Old mills. Barns- she had a thing for barns. Can't really explain it. Some historical sites such as battlefields from the War of 1812. Canada's oldest known maple tree. Point Pelee during the bird migration. Sometimes we just drove aimlessly through the countryside. That sort of thing.

She liked to go places she had never been before. At her age, this could be something of a challenge, but, fortunately, I had my dad working in my favour. The old man- bless him- took us all on one trip every year to Bobcaygeon, where we would fish. He drove the same route every time. Mom didn't complain, but at the same time she would have enjoyed some variety- even if was merely going a different way. But the old man couldn't see any sense in taking a way that was longer or took more time. It was just a delay keeping us from getting out lines into the water. I took her on the back roads, and even to some places in Dad's hometown. Mom would say to me: "You know, your father never took me here." I'd feel a mixture of guilt and amusement because, even though the man was twenty years in the ground, I still somehow managed to get him into trouble with mother.

Mom had a tremendous capacity for yakking. Our conversations on those drives were often one sided-it could be hard to get a word in edgewise. Sometimes it could drive one to distraction, but I never minded much. We almost lost mom eleven years before she died, when she decided not to yak at us about some odd symptoms she had until it was almost too late, and so every day after that was a gift. Listening to her yak merely meant she was alive, and I was happy to hear it.

Some people thought I was doing it all for her, but truth be told, I was somewhat selfish. I enjoyed those trips as much as she did. I would use her as an excuse to go somewhere I wanted to go. I'd say to her:

Me: Hey Mom, want to go to Montreal?

Her: Well, I

Me: Great! Get in the car. I'll leave my brother a note.

 I knew our time would draw to a close eventually, and I didn't want to be faced with regret that I didn't do enough with her when I had the time. I still regret that I can't do it anymore.