The Prayers of Royal Saints

Yesterday’s brief post, “Blessed Charlemagne,” attracted far more hits than expected, which, to be frank, delighted me a great deal. Last year, on the 1,200th anniversary of his repose, I found barely a mention in “blogdom,” though the good Redemptorist monks on Papa Stronsay, the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, made sure to include the anniversary in their superb wall calendar. This year’s edition proudly commemorates the 400th anniversary of “The Fifteen,” that is, the uprising to place James Francis Edward Stuart to the thrones of England, Ireland, and Scotland. Like the successor uprising of 1745, it proved a failure, but a failure worth honoring nonetheless.

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Blessed Charlemagne

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On this day, the 28th of January, in the Year of Lord 2015, we commemorate the passing of Blessed Charlemagne, Imperator Romanorum and Father of Europe.

The Collect of Blessed Charlemagne from an older edition of the Missale Romanum (H/T Fr. Benedict Anderson):

Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui a gloria tua nullam conditionem excludis: te suppliciter exoramus, ut sicut beato Carolo confessori tuo, post terreni culmen Imperii, caelestis regni solium contulisti: ita meritis ejus et precibus nobis quoque famulis tuis aeternae felicitatis praemia largiaris. Per dominum nostrum.

For more on Charlemagne’s cult and his status as “Blessed,” see Reliquarian‘s entry, “Charlemagne: Saint of the Holy Roman Empire?

Addendum 1/28/15: The Duplex office for the feast of S. Caroli Magni, including the proper readings at Matins, can be found in the Breviarium Romanum via Google Books here.

A Critical Note on Kriss and American Sniper

I know very little about Sam Kriss, except that he writes a blog entitled Idiot Joy Showland, publishes in Left-leaning outlets, and penned Pater Edmund Waldstein’s favorite reflection on the Charle Hebdo killings in France. People I am friends with in real life and via social media enjoy Kriss, and many more are enjoying his recent piece on Chris Kyle, the slain Navy SEAL whose life—or a certain framing of his life by director Clint Eastwood in the film American Sniper—is causing a tidal wave of controversy. Some of the controversy is quite silly; a good deal of it is trivial and nitpicky; and then there are the heavy-hitting critiques which purport to expose the flaws in both Kyle’s character and Eastwood’s filmmaking talents. For some, such as Kriss, the two are almost intertwined, though perhaps Eastwood shares a bulk of the blame for crafting a movie which portrays Kyle unrealistically while glorifying the Iraq War (and perhaps war in general). For all of Kyle’s faults, including fabricating several outrageous tales in his ghostwritten autobiography, a desperate desire to hide them wasn’t one of them. As Kriss recounts, Kyle bragged remorselessly about the number of people—military and civilian—he killed during his tours in Iraq and his opinion of the Iraqi population as a whole was less-than-edifying. Moreover, Kyle never questioned the Iraq War nor had any qualms about his mission—a mission he frames as protecting American military lives above all else. That facet of Kyle’s character does make its way into Eastwood’s biopic, and it is the least bothersome part of the film.

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A Comment on Haines on Francis

Being uninterested in continuing to read commentary on the “rabbits” debacle and its fallout (see here and here) doesn’t mean my eyes weren’t drawn to Andrew Haine’s (Ethika Politika) critical response to Matthew Schmitz’s (First Things) reflection on the affair. Haines believes that Schmitz, and other conservative (and I’ll assume traditional, too) Catholics, are uncomfortable with Pope Francis’s various public pronouncements because they hold a “fascination with intellectual purity [which] remains unchecked” and are infected from some ill-defined “ideology that spawned from a consistent, rote repetition of talking points.” (Can we call this the ideology of “doctrinal clarity”?) It’s hard to figure out what exactly Haines is driving against except, perhaps, a certain rigidity in teaching which recognizes neither wiggle-room on the margins nor, apparently, the faithful’s “yearning for more clarity on matters of Church teaching[.]”

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