Friday, June 02, 2006

The Day the Website Died

Apparently my web site domain has expired.

Some kind of advance warning would have been nice.

As I do not, at the moment, have the extra money to renew the site domain, it may be several weeks before it is back up and running.

If you'd like to make a donation to help speed up this process, please click here:

Help Get LumenGentleman Back Online!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Episcopal Consecrations, et al

It's been a busy weekend! After engaging in the rather cathartic, yet also deeply disgusting job of cleaning out our mini-pond in the back yard (the previous owners let it sit stagnant all winter - it had collected thousands of leaves and about 2 inches of green much on the bottom), there was much reading and writing that took place.

The first and most controversial essay deals with the new Rite of Episcopal Consecration, contra Fr. Anthony Cekada's tract on the same subject. Read Nothing Lacking for Validity: A Response to Rev. Anthony Cekada

The second is part two of Jonathan Field's mult-part series on Mary as Mediatrix, viewed from a Trinitarian perspective. Read Mary as Mediatrix of Grace: A Trinitarian Approach (Part 2)

And finally, the third essay is on the underlying or "double" meaning behind the death of Judas. Some fun surprises in this one! Read Double-Meaning in the Death of Judas

Here's to clean ponds!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Get the Dames off the Altar, and Get my RSS Feed

What's wrong with this picture? Would you be able to give a reasonable response, other than, "This sort of thing has never been done in the Church before!"

My latest essay, Women at the Altar: An Answer from Scripture and Tradition, attempts to deal with subject from what we learn in Scripture about women, gardens, and temple sanctuaries.

Scratching your head yet?

Read the essay.

Also, the web site now has an RSS feed, thanks to the inspiration given by GFvonB's inquiry in the comment boxes below. I don't know why I didn't do that sooner.

Get the RSS Feed here

A Truly Feminist Feast Day

Today is the Feast of St. Monica. Unless you are an exceptionally well-read individual, you will probably not know this saint except by her relationship to one of the great saints of the early Church: St. Augustine. And that fact says everything.

Imagine the conversation! To the question, "who was St. Monica," you probably will not hear the response, "She was holy wife of Patritius the pagan, who made her suffer greatly for her faith."

Likewise, to the question, "who was St. Monica," you will probably not hear the answer, "She was the holy woman of Tagaste, whose example of patience with her husband and mother-in-law was a great inspiration to the other women of the city."

I would imagine that, to this question, "who was St. Monica," very few would even give the answer, "She was the holy mother who prayed unceasingly and shed many tears for her son's conversion."

No, in fact, to the question "who was St. Monica," the overwhelmingly common answer will simply be, "she was the mother of St. Augustine."

And so she was. But she was more.

As the wife of Patritius the pagan, she had to maintain constancy and fidelity in her Faith against his mocking opposition, terrible temper, and infidelity. Worse, she had to put up with his pagan mother, who likewise found her Faith to be ridiculous. She suffered greatly when her husband refused to allow their children to be baptized.

Thanks be to God, her patient and pious example, her silent acceptance of her suffering, eventually merited the conversion of her husband, shortly before his death. Thus St. Monica stands as a shining example of what can be accomplished by a wife who is dedicated to holiness. Precisely in her role as wife, she won an eternal salvation for her husband.

As the mother of St. Augustine, she suffered still worse. Her son was a rebel and a great sinner. When he went off to Carthage to study, he indulged himself in very grave sins, sired a child, and embraced the heresy of the Manicheans. All of this broke his mother's heart.

He went to Italy to continue his wayward lifestyle, and it would be some 15 years before she would see him again. Nonetheless, she prayed, she sacrificed, and she hoped.

It was in Milan that Augustine met the great bishop and future saint, Ambrose. Anyone who knows the story of St. Augustine knows that it was St. Ambrose who taught him the faith, and eventually administered baptism to him. Imagine the delight of the suffering mother, to finally receive word from her son after 15 years, inviting her to Italy to witness his baptism at the age of 33 on Easter Sunday.

So it was that St. Monica, this time as mother, obtained another conversion for the Kingdom of God. She spent a blissful few months with her son in the unity of the Holy Faith, and then she passed on from this earth. In 1586, her relics were moved to the church of St. Augustine, where they were laid beside the relics of her son, for whom she had prayed so patiently.

And this is true feminism: St. Monica accomplished the greatest work that can be accomplished on this earth, by securing salvation for her husband and her son. Thus, she now enjoys one of the greatest honors the Church can bestow: she is "sainted," and her memory is honored on this 4th of May every year.

How did she do it? Not by pursuing worldly power or money; not by disparaging men and complaining about "male dominance"; not by claiming a false liberty, or by asserting her independence. She did it by being a wife and a mother. She used these two offices, these two responsibilities - faithfully carried out - precisely as the tools of conversion. Her son went on to become a spiritual and intellectual giant, whose name and writings have become respected, even by those outside the Church. This is what a mother can accomplish.

How entirely appropriate, then, that her feast is celebrated in May, in such close proximity to Mother's Day.

And so, while it is a shame on us for not knowing her life story better, she is no doubt quite content (and even proud) to hear us say today: "Who was St. Monica? She was St. Augustine's mother."

O God, the consoler of them that mourn and the health of them that hope in Thee, Who didst show Thine acceptance of blessed Monica's pious tears in the conversion of her son Augustine, grant us, by the intercession of them both, to deplore our sins and find the mercy of Thy grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. Amen. (Collect, Roman Missal)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I'm resting now. Trying to recover from the weekend blitz over the Bishop's interview and its subsequent fallout.

Got some books at home, a few articles in the hopper, and a serious need to refresh myself with some good reading and general quiet.

A new essay will be published tonight/tomorrow at Stephen Heiner's site, on the subject of Our Lady's titles in the Litany of Loreto.

Look for another controversial essay coming near the weekend - I'll be breaking the silence and finally addressing the subject of the New Rite of Episcopal Consecration.

Meanwhile ... check out a great new site for Traditional Catholic Entertainment Reviews - includes reviews of books and movies (although, things seem to be a bit heavily slanted towards movies at the moment, alas).

Also, take a moment to check out what's going on at Gonzaga University with regard to Sodomy ...

Monday, May 01, 2006

My 200th Post: How I Spent My Weekend

It's been a whirlwind of a weekend. Stephen Heiner's interview with Bishop Tissier de Mallerais (SSPX) went live on the web, as did all of the various commentaries on this interview (including my own contribution).

All of this took place while my own Internet connection at home remained defunct, so I was forced to spend pockets of time at various Internet cafes and the like. C'est la vie.

I will almost certainly have future reflections on the "fallout" from this interview, reactions to the reactions, and so on.

Meanwhile, life goes on, and there are two new articles posted to the web site:

1) Jon Field offers some reflections on the meaning of the number 153 as it is found in St. John's Gospel, and as it relates to Our Lady of Fatima - be sure to read In this Number "153" the Woman will Conquer: Fatima's Ecumenical Peace Plan

2) I went digging this weekend in search of a possible Scriptural/Apostolic source for the words Mysterium Fidei in the Consecration of the Chalice. The Tridentine Council said the Canon was composed by Our Lord and by Apostolic Tradition; Innocent III said these words come from the Apostles themselves. I think I can show chapter and verse that proves the Scriptural case, but as always, the discipline of the secret makes it a challenge to illuminate what is purposefully obscured. Read A Note on the Origins of the Phrase Mysterium Fidei

Friday, April 28, 2006

Summer Projects

It's that time of year again, when I start farming out my web design and programming talents for short summer projects.

If you or someone you know has a web site that needs updates, or wants a brand new web site, I'm looking for some work on the side. I, of course, built my own web site, as well as Kevin Tierney's web site, if some kind of portfolio is required. Unfortunately, the real "pizzazz" of those web sites is what goes on behind the scenes - both sites are extremely dynamic and well-automated. For example, I built an administrative module at my site that allows me to simply post a new article, and the main page automatically gets updated to add the new article to the menu.

Anyway - if you need some web work done and have a few hundred dollars to invest, drop me an email.

My Head Hurts

I'm exhausted, and that's all there is to it.

The last three days have been spent in preparation for a rather in-depth article I will be posting this weekend. That preparation included having to plow my way through 350+ pages of a book written by Benedict XVI when he was then Father Ratzinger. I can't exactly describe how or why, but that kind of writing (that is, Modern theology) hurts my head.

I was reading 80-100 pages of this per night for the last few nights. When I finished it, and reached for an older manuscript on Catholic Theology to supplement my research, I literally felt my mind clear up as I read the older text.

It was a strange phenomenon.

On the other hand, by the end of the book I felt like I was finally starting to "click" with Ratzinger, and become more familiar with his thought process. It actually made me want to move on to one of his other texts, as long as I'm in the "mode" of reading Modern theology - perhaps I'll take up his book on the liturgy next.

At any rate - the long nights of reading and writing are finally at an end (for now), and I can now return to whatever it was I wanted to pursue. Keep an eye on the web site for the new article on Ratzinger.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Customer What?

SBC/Yahoo can take a flying leap. They told us last week, as we were hauling boxes and furniture out of the old house, that they would have our phone lines and internet connection transferred by the 25th.

As of 6:00 PM on the 25th, still no internet.

So we called them. Somebody forgot to put our order through, and now it's going to take until May 3 to get the internet connection up and running again.

And do you think they offered any kind of compensation or reparation for the inconvenience? Of course not. They'll be kind enough to not charge us for the past two weeks. Of course, that's a lie - they will charge us for it, and then I'll have to be back on the phone with them in two weeks, arguing to have the charges removed.

Meanwhile, I'm tearing through Joseph Ratzinger's 1968 offering, Introduction to Christianity. The man is impossible to follow sometimes. He is a consummate modernist, at least in terms of his language of choice.

Much, much more on that at a later date.

Here are the five latest essays at the web site:

Mary as Mediatrix of Grace: A Trinitarian Approach (Part 1)

Known in the Breaking of the Bread: Emmaus and the Eucharist

Seven Deadly Sins of Spiritual Piety: The Necessity of the Dark Night of the Soul

The Deficient Prayers of the New Mass: Easter Sunday

The Deficient Prayers of the New Mass: Low Sunday