Here is what we’ve learned from last week’s poll:
• A plurality of you (thirty-three percent) consider crime novels to be the best literary companion to travel.
• Even more (forty-three percent) consider Shakespeare greater than Dante, Homer, and Tolstoy.
• And, with sixty-one percent of you in agreement, we can say with confidence that our readers hold Babette’s Feast in the highest esteem.
• Your answers as to the second-best Bond performance were a bit of a mixed bag, with Daniel Craig at thirty-two percent and Sean Connery (what? Second to Roger Moore, surely?) at twenty-six percent.
This week’s poll can be found here.
Next week we will be unveiling our new logo along with the cover of the first issue and the table of contents. Look for a chance to purchase it sometime early next month! Also, we are pleased to announce that the brilliant Adrian Vermeule will be writing an appreciation of St. John Henry Newman’s Lectures on the Position of Catholics in England for us.
• Australian authorities discovered more than two hundred million dollars worth of crystal meth in sriracha bottles imported from the United States.
• Since 2003, the Iraqi Christian population has declined from a million and a half to perhaps as low as one-hundred twenty thousand—a decline of more than ninety percent in just sixteen years. In Syria, the Christian population has shrunk by two-thirds since 2011.
• We thank Bᴇɴ, a reader, for drawing our attention to this story: Nabila Haniss, the star of Storage Wars, the television program, learned during a raid by federal agents that a storage unit she had purchased for slightly less than seven thousand dollars in fact contained three million dollars’ worth of high-tech military-grade spy equipment which Nigerian scammers obtained from Boeing using a fake Yahoo email address.
• Fiat Chrysler has announced a forty-eight billion-dollar merger with PSA Group; the resulting entity, which will own the Alfa Romeo, Citroën, Chrysler, Dodge, D.S., Fiat, Jeep, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Ram, and Vauxhall brands, will be the third-largest auto manufacturer in the world.
• The third powerful earthquake this month has struck the Philippines, this time killing five more people and damaging thousands of buildings.
• In Okinawa, Japan, the five-hundred-year-old Shuri Castle was almost totally destroyed in an enormous fire on Thursday morning.
• The House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution recognizing the Turkish mass murder of Armenians as genocide.
• The Alabama state abortion ban, which was written to permit the Supreme Court to revisit its decision in Roe v. Wade, was blocked by a federal judge on Tuesday.
Her strong enchantments failing,
Her towers of fear in wreck,
Her limbecks dried of poisons
And the knife at her neck,
The Queen of air and darkness
Begins to shrill and cry,
‘O young man, O my slayer,
To-morrow you shall die.’
O Queen of air and darkness,
I think ’tis truth you say,
And I shall die tomorrow;
But you will die to-day.
Fish (fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their wat’ry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!e
One may not doubt that, somehow, Goode
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! — Death eddies near —
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time,
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.
There does not seem to be a consensus answer to the question about the Te Deum posed last week by Jᴜᴅᴇ. But the responses have been most interesting. Here is Tʀᴇᴠᴏʀ:
Mary Ryan’s introduction to the the Parvum, “Our Lady’s Hours,” simply notes that Matins, like Lauds, Vespers, and Compline, finishes with a hymn of praise. (Not very helpful). The site on the history of Little Offices of the 20th Century from En Calact seems to suggest this is particular to the Roman Office. Compare the charts of Matins here: this to me is the most interesting and I’d love to see an edition of some of these particular Offices (I think a square noted Dominican Office can be found at the Internet Archive). Owners of the Baronius Parvum will recognize that name as the monastery that wrote a two-week full Psalm office in the 50s. Some Information about that office and Bea’s Amplior can be found on the site as well. Finally from Taunton’s Little Office exegesis (an indispensable treasure of Marian and Christological exegesis on the whole Little Office) come this summary of the versicles from the last Lesson at Matins: “This song of praise to God for the perfection of our Lady, and the Versicle beseeching her to exercise her office of intercession, sum up the whole of the teaching of the three Nocturns and form an appropriate conclusion. The words of the Versicle are said to be from a sermon of St. Augustine. Notice the final emphasis on the Divine Maternity as the key to all her dignities, to all her prerogatives, to all her power.” If I may speculate, the Te Deum as it is not fitting for penitential times is replaced by this responsory as a suitable praise of Our Lady when the Te Deum cannot be recited and in Roman simplicity is deemed superfluous when the Te Deum is recited. Elsewhere, Taunton acknowledges the Te Deum as the end without elaborating why. So while that doesn’t solve the mystery it does give a few more clues along the way.
Cᴀᴛʜᴇʀɪɴᴇ asks: “Does anyone know where to find free (if possible) Dominican rite chant propers/mass ordinaries? Apparently, it’s slightly different than Gregorian. I’m supposed to lead a schola for a Dominican rite mass in mid-November and have no idea what I’m doing….Any help would be appreciated!!!”
Ian writes: “Please pray for me that I may continually die to myself, to abandon my will, that I may have some glimpse of God’s will.”
We ask readers to pray also for all the recently departed, for the suffering souls in Purgatory, and for an end to the monstrous crime of abortion. We also encourage everyone to attempt to obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.
— W.B., M.W.