Archive for January, 2006

Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour continues. Apparently, it is universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a pack and a good fortune requires a huntsman. Or at least, that’s what’s believed by the snobby huntsman whom Mr Puffington’s about to meet.

Ch. 33: A Swell Huntsman.



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Continuing to take Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour, we meet Mr Sponge’s new host-to-be as he is now — Mr. Puffington, a man of wealth, leisure, avoirdupois, and absolutely no interest in foxhunting. So why is he the Master of the Hanby Hounds?

Chapter 32: The Man of P-r-o-r-perty.


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Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour continues.

Chapter 31, “Mr Puffington; or, The Young Man about Town”, contains a flashback to the days of the Regency. (Even funnier if you read a lot of Regency romances and are familiar with the Corinthians, dandies, and Bond Street beaus.)


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“How I Lost My Gravity” is today’s cute little story from Fitz-James O’Brien. I know he’s not noted for cute little stories, but there you go.


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The end of this week’s section of The Imitation of Christ.

Part 22 deals with what to do in times of trouble and temptation.


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More of The Imitation of Christ.

Part 21 deals with the basis of Christ’s peace.


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The Imitation of Christ continues some more.

Part 20 includes an invaluable list of four simple things that will bring peace to us. Unfortunately, it’s “a minute to learn, a lifetime to master”.


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The Imitation of Christ continues. (I actually had this up on archive.org yesterday, but I was too tired to put it up on the podcast. Sorry.)

Track 19 talks about putting God first.


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Blog Announcement

I’ve decided I don’t like numbering posts A, B, etc. So I’ll just number them separately. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Since there was recently some kerfuffle over Vatican copyright policy, I should probably talk about how this works. Basically, all papal documents (and stuff written by popes before they became pope) published during the last 50 years are under the copyright of Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the official Vatican publishers. You can always reprint official papal documents for free, as long as you don't change anything in them and as long as you acknowledge that copyright belongs to Libreria Editrice Vaticana. (Non-official stuff is apparently not free. Which is fair.)

UPDATE: However, further kerfuffle on this side of the Atlantic has just emerged. The USCCB has asserted its powers as US agents of Libreria Editrice Vaticana, and the podcast has been removed from archive.org. (Similar things happened earlier to the Verbum Domini podcast, on other USCCB stuff.)

I still think I'm perfectly within copyright law here. But I am not a lawyer; and I am bound to obedience to my bishop. So arguing with the American bishops' trade organization seems a bit counterproductive to the spirit of Catholic charity.

So this podcast has been removed. Sorry you missed it!

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Part 1 continues.

“Lecture 1” is on proper preparation for Baptism, particularly giving up sin and praying more.


Read it here.

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I’ve decided to read Cyril of Jerusalem’s Catechetical Lectures, because they are by far the coolest RCIA lectures ever. But because back then they were given three a week for the six weeks before Easter, and that’s a bit of a heavy schedule unless you really are a candidate, I’ll mostly just be doing two a week or so. Here’s Part 1.

The Catechetical Lectures are transcripts (somebody must have been a court reporter or an awesome notetaker) of classes given to candidates for initiation to the Church sometime during the early 4th century. They were given by St. Cyril of Jerusalem, archbishop/patriarch of Jerusalem. (The bishop was and is chief teaching authority in a diocese.) The classes, and indeed the lecture transcripts, were presented under the veil of secrecy called the “Disciplina Arcani”. The class members were forbidden even to fill in people who missed class, much less catechumens not ready for Baptism or non-Christians. The candidates have no idea what is going to be taught next. They’ve got no clue as to the true mystery of the Mass, because they’ve never been allowed to attend past the Gospel readings. Everything is new.

And back then, you got exorcised every time you went to class, which certainly would have its uses.

In the “Procatechesis”, or prologue lecture, the groundrules for class (including the secrecy ones) are presented, and the class is told just how special this opportunity to join the Church as an initiate really is. The archbishop also warns those who’ve come for frivolous reasons that they should either stop now, or get serious. Long, but full of historical atmosphere and thoughts to chew on.


(BTW, I read the footnotes just in case somebody’s dying to know something about the early Church. But if you’re not interested, feel free to regard the word “Footnotes” as equivalent to “End of Lecture.” Especially since I’m obviously mispronouncing the Greek stuff, and you could always just look this stuff up on the Net.)

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Part 6 continues.

In “Chapter 30: Bolting the Badger”, Mr. Sponge accedes to the dictates of Necessity, but not without a little struggle.


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Part 6 continues.

In “Ch. 29: The Cross-Roads at Dallington Burn”, Lord Scamperdale attempts to go hunting far enough away on a bad enough day that Mr. Sponge won’t attend. Ooooops.


Mr Sponge completely scatters His Lordship

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Part 6 of Mr Sponge is up, which includes…

“Chapter 28: The Faithful Groom.” Mr. Sponge commits a slight error in his labor relations with Mr. Leather.


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