Thursday, October 29, 2015

The New Guy in Town!

Our first boar here was a Hampshire we named Tarzan (1st pic). He was prolific. We've had a few other boars here for a short time, but none measured to Tarzan. Most recently we have been using Red (2nd pic), who is a product of the best of our own herd. However, it has come time to let his daughters enter the herd, so I needed a new boar.

I called Kewannee Farms in Georgia where Tarzan came from and yesterday arrived home with a new young boar-Thor (next 2 pictures). He is 325 pounds and just ready to come into service.

It was pouring rain yesterday and so I had to stop and rig up a roof for him. He joined his first gilt this morning.

Welcome ... Thor!

Oremus pro invicem!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Pilgrimage of Mercy

This is how I spent my day:

at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Charlotte. The Pilgrimage of Mercy-veneration of the relics of St. Maria Goretti, preceded by the Divine Liturgy in the Extraordinary Form.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Introducing our new chimney sweep...

Although we've had a frost the past two nights, I haven't quite got the wood stove ready to fire up. But we are a step closer now as our newest edition of chimney sweep has done his job.

Oremus pro invicem!
Yes! I agree with This .

Read what this Romanian lady has to say to the Synod!

We have our martyrs (although few) in North America also. Yesterday was the feast of the North American martyrs. I posted about our trip to Auriesville, NY 11 years ago here.
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

For those worried about the Synod ....

Here are two clips (snipped off Rod Dreher's blog in the past few days) which hopefully put things into perspective for us (at least for me):

In the early part of the last decade, a priest friend in New York grew weary of listening to me and another Catholic pal griping about the failures of the institutional Church. He said, in effect:
“Everything you say is true, and if you two sit around waiting for the institutional Church to get its act together, you’re sunk. But you don’t have to do that. You have the Catechism. You can go on tonight and order a library that would have made Aquinas envious, and have it at your home in a few days. You in the laity can do this on your own. What are you waiting for?”


Excerpt from a 2008 interview with the Cardinal of Bologna, about an exchange he had with Sister Lucia, the last surviving Fatima visionary:
Q. There is a prophecy by Sister Lucia dos Santos, of Fatima, which concerns “the final battle between the Lord and the kingdom of Satan”. The battlefield is the family. Life and the family. We know that you were given charge by John Paul II to plan and establish the Pontifical Institute for the Studies on Marriage and the Family.
Yes, I was. At the start of this work entrusted to me by the Servant of God John Paul II, I wrote to Sister Lucia of Fatima through her Bishop as I couldn’t do so directly. Unexplainably however, since I didn’t expect an answer, seeing that I had only asked for prayers, I received a very long letter with her signature – now in the Institute’s archives. In it we find written: the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family. Don’t be afraid, she added, because anyone who operates for the sanctity of marriage and the family will always be contended and opposed in every way, because this is the decisive issue. And then she concluded: however, Our Lady has already crushed its head.
(My emphasis in the last quote.)

Oremus pro invicem! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Nunc Dimittis

I am seeing more and more things in the light of the Eucharist. For example, Nunc dimittis, which after praying every night for some time, I see as Eucharistic. We have seen God made man in the Eucharist. He gives himself to us in the Eucharist. What more do we need. He, in the Eucharist is the light to Israel and all mankind.

Lord, now dost thou let thy servant go in peace, according to thy word; 
for my own eyes have seen that saving power of thine 
which thou hast prepared in the sight of all nations. 
This is the light which shall give revelation to the Gentiles,
this is the glory of thy people Israel.  (Luke 2:29-33)

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, October 09, 2015


-have I been posting so much more than normal this last week?

Mrs. Curley and daughter went to Florida over a week ago for a surprise birthday party for Mrs. Curley's Grandmother. Due to the road and bridge closures in SC they decided to stay a few extra days.

With a little more time on my hands, I have put a small portion of it to posting here. But it all ends (thankfully!!!!) today. They are due home this afternoon.

I do enjoy cooking (this week we had picnic shoulder-slow cooked of course, fried chicken, fried okra, garlic sausage casserole, and many others) however, I enjoy it more when I am not doing it!

 I miss our morning coffee conversations which are a regular feature and one of the highlights of every day.

So things will be back to normal very soon. I like normal!

Without weighing in on the "Benedict Option", I read this today:
Overheard today by me in one of those conversations:
“So many of the families in our church just want their kids to be happy and successful.”
Well, doesn’t every parent? Yes. But that’s not the point here. In context, the speaker meant that      this is their telos, that they want nothing more for their kids than that they be happy and successful, and that the mothers and fathers are not prepared to hear anything contrary to this gospel of worldly success.(emphasis in original)

For many that I have known over the years this "happiness" has to do with worldly happiness and financial security. This is a reason for the shortage of men and women responding to their religious vocations (imo).
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Domesticated life

I was trying to relax my class before the big test yesterday, so I told them I was in a happy frame of mind: I was a new "father". "My son called as I was walking in the building and told me our sow had piglets!" It got a great laugh (I don't know if it helped them on the test!)

Well, here they are:

While I am at it, here are the turkeys we are raising. They are "Rio Grande" turkeys - although they come from a line which has been domesticated for over 20 years.

Finally, does this man ever write anything not worth reading? Anthony Esolen again.

Oremus pro invicem!

Federalist or Anti-Federalist

I had occasion again to review the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers when I drove Matthew to Texas this summer. We listened to a selection during the drive via It had been some years since my last acquaintance with these authors.

I admit to having a fondness for the Anti-Federalists, not so much because I think the Federalists' plan as written was so bad, but because the predictions of where the Constitution would lead have proved so true. We don't live under the Constitution which was ratified, and haven't for many years.

Without getting further into my observations, I submit to you Anthony Esolen's observations.

If in a republic the government fears the people, in a tyranny the people fear the government. And in America we do indeed fear the government, not simply because, as Jefferson said, the power to tax is the power to destroy. We have reversed the relationship that Cleveland – giving up an opportunity to be a political hero – urged us to maintain. We have allowed the government to support us, and have paid dearly for that support, in money and in real political power. We complain that our representatives do not do as we bid them, but we should recognize the difficulty. Our representatives are almost powerless. They do not pass laws that are succinct and clear and easy to obey. They have legislated into existence a vast system of bureaucracies, leaving all of the messy details of governance to many thousands of unelected and therefore unrepresentative and unappealable officials.

Read the whole thing.

Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Amy Welborn talks in the link about why it  seems (not to put words in her mouth-read it yourself) that people are thinking that it is new and inspiring to hear Pope Francis emphasize social justice so much, when for years (pre-Vatican II even) there was a great emphasis on the Corporeal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
I have this to say (some of it may have been said better by her-and note, I make generalizations and don't exclude myself from being part of the problem):
     1. In the past 40 years or so, "love" has been emphasized in formation classes and from the pulpit in the absence of a definition of love.
     2. Works of Mercy have been emphasized in formation classes and from the pulpit without a true or strong connection to God, justice, mercy, but more of a "do-good", "love everyone", "be a good" person" context. (Fortunately this is changing in many places.)
     3. And of course doctrine had become non-existent in most formation classes and from the pulpit (although this is changing as many good priests are starting to inhabit our parishes and pulpits.)
     4. There has been a disconnect and a backlash because of 1, 2, and 3. For some, the "doctrinalists" seem to have no sense of social justice. For others, the "do-gooders" have no sense of God.
     5. However, from the Holy Father (since at least 1978 when I was becoming aware of what the Holy Father said and wrote) there has been no disconnect. Our holy popes proclaimed the Gospel in its entirety. (Afterall who was that "Doctrinally-centered" pope who gave us the Encyclical God is Love (Deus Caritas Est)?)
     6. But there is a disconnect in the media, because they report on what they WANT you to understand about any public figure. They hated Benedict, so they say how different he was from Pope Francis. They even talk about the differences when they did exactly the same thing. (I believe Amy Welborn mentioned some of these things in the first days.) The media likes Francis because they think he is going to "modernize" (i.e. drop certain sexual norms) the Church.
     7. Sure there are differences, part of that is the special charism every Pope has and how he sees his particular mission. I have written here before how I believe St. John Paul II decided to travel the world to proclaim the Gospel because maybe he wasn't sure it was being proclaimed by the bishops in all these countries (?).
     8. I also believe that as Catholics have become middle and upper class that there is a real disconnect from the Gospel. We pick how we want to be Catholic. How many Catholics (of the conservative tilt) really give a good long listen and pray to what our last 3 popes have said about consumerism and capitalism. Have they changed anything in their lives based on it. I hear all about popes not having competency in the field of economics, but no Pope has told us which laws to pass, just moral principles to follow when making economic decisions. These folks lean on their doctrinal faithfulness in other areas to proclaim their catholicity. Others hold out their do-gooding social justice work and ignore the underpinnings of such work-which all of the last 3 popes have also proclaimed.
      9. I am not saying I am the greatest fan of Pope Francis. I am not going to rehash all that here. However, the lesson I believe is that we need to make sure we are reading the real documents, read the Bible, and understand the entirety of Church teach and not get our views and understanding from NPR, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, TIME magazine, or the New York Post.
     10. As Americans we tend to think it is "all about us", but there are many Catholics out there who live in countries in vastly different situations than us.
      11. And we need to pray about these things-and we need to follow Christ! - mea culpa!

One final note (for any who are still reading): I wrote the following on this blog in 2004 and find it true today in adding both Benedict and Francis to the list:

The economic system which has given us unprecedented leisure money has also broken our families. Unfortunately most are not willing to give up societal wealth in exchange for intact families. And most Conservative (and Catholic) Republicans don't understand that the economic system they champion has been instrumental in accelerating the breakup of the family. (Although admittedly, some good things have come out of this system.)

And I think this has been the concern of our Popes from Leo XIII to John Paul II with regard to capitalism, (as well as other economic systems).
(How conceited is that-to quote oneself!)
Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Mercy and Killing and Justice

In preparation for the coming Holy Year of Mercy (as I need it!) I am reading Pope Francis' Bull of Indiction. The Holy Father quotes the psalms several times at the beginning (I am quoting a different translation, D-R, but the sense is the same):

...the God who keeps faith for ever, who redresses wrong, and gives food to the hungry. The Lord, who brings release to the prisoner,  the Lord, who gives sight to the blind, the Lord, who comforts the burdened, the Lord, who befriends the innocent!  The Lord, who protects the stranger, who defends orphan and widow, who overturns the counsel of the wicked!  (Ps 146:7-9) (in the Bull, the last portion reads: the ways of the wicked he brings to ruin.)


he it is that heals the broken heart, and binds up its wounds.  .... The Lord is the defender of the oppressed, and lays the wicked low in the dust.  (Ps 147:3,6)

Note my emphasis: the Lord's mercy is always accompanied by justice for the oppressor. It is interesting that the Pope Francis included these last lines.

I am wondering what the substantial difference is between our bombing a hospital in Afghanistan for over an hour and killing 22 innocents and the massacres we are seeing committed by crazy individuals across our country.
It seems to me that neither are justified. All the perpetrators give justifications, but I don't buy any of it. (Note, I am not strictly a pacifist.)
With our never-ending military interventions and injections of weapons in the Middle East which create refugees and take many innocent lives, we continually set the stage (create twisted justification) for more and more extreme terrorist groups.
How many decades is it going to take us to learn our lesson?
The President seems at a loss to define any coherent strategy (other than we need to get rid of all the bad guys), and I get the feeling most of the Republican candidates for president just want to escalate-which has brought us to this point to begin with.
Last summer (2014) I reported here about my trip down the very, very low Lynches River, detailing our many portages. That is not the case today. It is flooding over its banks and people are being evacuated.
It is nice to have sunshine here-the first in a couple weeks. But many in other areas are still suffering from floods, lack of water, isolation, and destruction-even in the sunshine.
Oremus pro invicem!

Picked what will probably our last green peppers today. We've never had much luck with them, but this year we had quite a few.

Monday, October 05, 2015

I didn't realize how bad the flooding situation was in Columbia until out of state family started calling to see if we were all right. And then I got a call to look at the news. Wow. Can't believe it.

I have been in touch with some friends in Columbia and they are okay.

Bethune has gotten off very lightly. Our county has cancelled schools and county offices, but I think the road closures due to flooding are in Camden and Lugoff and near the Bishopville line, all of which are 30 minutes or so away.

I had warned Thomas and Bernadette yesterday that if we encountered a flooded road on the way to the Divine Liturgy that we would turn back, but we saw nothing more than a few puddles.

It has been raining several days-making a mess of the livestock pens, but otherwise, nothing exciting to report here.
Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Back from Texas

Was in Texas this weekend visiting my seminarian. We liberated him from UD campus and seminary and camped out a couple hours away. We hiked some unmarked trails in a Texas State park for about 4 hours. We talked and played cribbage and sat around the campfire. (See pic with Matthew and Thomas.)
It was great to see Matthew and great to talk with him about so many things.
Thomas and I listened to The Valley of Fear (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) on the road. It has always been my favorite Sherlock Holmes.
We also caught Pope Francis' speech to Congress and unfortunately listened to Rush Limbaugh's take on it. I haven't listened to RL for many, many years. Have I changed that much or has he? He is really is pretty ignorant and obnoxious. It seems to me that he has a problem listening to and comprehending what the Pope said. The difference between what IS and what SHOULD BE is significant, but RL doesn't seem to understand. I would expound be am not sure it is worth my time.
Glad to be home. We bought a car on July 17th (2015) and have already added more than 12,000 miles on it. Changed the oil in the truck this morning. My bi-weekly trips to York Tech have been putting a lot miles on it also.
We have a calf due any day now. We have piglets due tomorrow (I think she will be late-which is good because we haven't moved her to the farrowing pen yet!).
Oremus pro invicem!