Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lent by the Numbers

Perhaps this quickie would better be called Lent by Genesis. It seems the only significance of numbers in Christian studies nowadays relate to pseudo-Apocalyptic nonsense about the last pope, the end times, the great apostasy, the rapture and the like. What of what has already come to pass?

Last Friday I attended one of the final pre-Sanctified Divine Liturgies of the year. The first reading was the last two chapters of Genesis, wherein Jacob is buried by his son Joseph (of technicolor dream coat fame). The Egyptians mourn him for seventy days during a forty day embalming process. In the Byzantine tradition Lent is now over and Great Week has begun. Similarly, the Roman tradition now kicks into "high gear" (as there is no longer a Top Gear). While the 'Gesima weeks and the Meat and Cheesefare weeks are seen by some as practical steps towards Lent, I wonder myself if they might not have originated in part in imitation or in miscibility with the Jacobite mourning period and his slow embalming. The fasting period calls to mind Christ's precepts for us, His teachings before His Passion, and His all for us to pick up our crosses in that same process. At the same time, there is a gradual build up towards death and burial, towards God-made-Man's death and burial. An intensification necessarily follows when the forty days of embalming—and later, fasting—begins and culminates in the burial of the prophet, later Christ.

Great or Holy Week lasts for seven days, beginning with the triumphant entry of a king into the holy city and ending with the king dead, buried in a borrowed grave. Much like the story of Creation, it begins brightly and ends quite poorly. Whenever God compels a prophet to do something under the old Law, He proscribes forty days of misery which end with some measure of alleviation: the Flood, Jacob's burial, the penance of Nineveh and more. Seven never ends happily and it does not during Holy Week either. For this reason, the Lord gave us the eighth day of the week, the octave day, the day of renewal and new life. On the eighth day, Christ rose from the dead. On the eighth day, death died by death. On the eighth day, the disobedience of Adam was rectified by the obedience of Christ. On the eighth day, Christ ended the mourning of the forty days with the joy of the eighth day. And Pascha is of course its own octave, ending on Low Sunday. The Sunday of the Resurrection is the octave day of the most miserable week of the year and the beginning of the most joyful.

Tomorrow night, off to Tenebrae!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday (repost)

Today is one of the great days in the Church's year, Palm Sunday. Today we re-live and commemorate both the Lord's entrance into Jerusalem and His Passion and death. It is also a day which highlights our personal ignorance of God, in spite of what seems obvious in retrospect. Two millennia later, we safely judge this concatenation of events. At the time their meaning was not so obvious, and would not be until Pentecost. Are we ignorant of the truth of God's actions?

Jouvenet's Raising of Lazarus
Just a few days before, on his way to Jerusalem, our Lord Jesus stopped in Bethany at the news that Lazarus, one of his beloved followers, had fallen ill. By the time Christ arrived in Bethany, Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. Yet Christ took pity upon him and his sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus here reveals Himself to be more than a prophet, more than a healer, more than a local mystic or anti-establishment rabbi. he has dominion over death.

Christ asks Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live: And every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Believest thou this?" (John 11:25-26). She responds that she does believe. Christ turns to the tomb where Lazarus has resided in decay and rot for days and yells "Lazarus, come out!" And the man who was not near death, but dead, was now alive.

Not quite understanding the gravity of what transpired, but still chocked and interested (John ch. 12), the people came to see and greet our Lord when he finally arrived in Jerusalem. Jerusalem was not a city with a temple, but a temple with a city. It was the center of the Jewish religion and the only place on earth where a meaningful sacrifice could be offered to God. Jews scattered throughout the Roman Empire often sent money to have an offering made at the Temple for their intentions if they were unable to be in Jerusalem. And this is where Christ went, not to make a legal sacrifice on stone foundations, as St. Ambrose reminds us today in Mattins, but to make a sacrifice that would established foundations of faith.

As Benedict XVI pointed out in his second Jesus of Nazareth book, Jesus sent two Apostles ahead to acquire a donkey and a horse, meaning He already had a following in Jerusalem. Other places in the Gospel indicate that outside the Apostles, Christ had a significant entourage, several hundred people or more. These were those who greeted  Him with palms and enthusiasm. The rest of the crowd sought a thrill or novelty. Actually, did not the Apostles and other disciples? They knew more than the people of Jerusalem, but they comprehended practically nothing. In my moments of cynicism I cannot help but interpret certain words of Jesus' like "How much longer must I endure this generation?" as "These people are ridiculous." The Church has understood this frustration over the years. St. Leo the Great remarks in a sermon "Let man's weakness, then, fall down before the glory of God, and acknowledge herself ever too feeble to unfold all the works of His mercy."
Reading from Exodus at the dry Mass at the Institute of Christ the King
seminary in Gricigliano, 2003
What was the purpose of the palms? I've always wondered. At some level there is a practical and honorific element to the placing of palms in the path of the Lord, almost saying that the ground on which Christ's donkey walks is unworthy to support the Lord. Yet we ought to recall some typology from Exodus. During the Mass today there is actually a "dry Mass" (Missa sicca) to bless the palms, a ceremony with an introit, reading, gradual, Gospel, preface, Sanctus, and blessing prayers, much like a Mass. the reading from the "dry Mass" is from the book of Exodus, at the moment when Moses and the Israelites arrive at an oasis of twelve fountains and seventy palm trees. The Israelites had left their bondage but would not have made their way out of Egypt without rest, a place of shade, and some water. In short, the palms provided that. As those palms and water provided the Israelites the means of leaving the bondage of slavery, so Christ provides His people with the means of leaving the bondage of death. The third of the five collect prayers to bless the palms contains not a few didactic lines:
The branches of palms, therefore, represent His triumphs over the prince of death; and the branches of olive proclaim, in a manner, the coming of a spiritual unction. For that pious multitude understood that these things were then prefigured; that our Redeemer, compassionating human miseries, was about to fight with the prince of death for the life of the whole world, and, by dying, to triumph. For which cause they dutifully ministered such things as signified in Him the triumphs of victory and the richness of mercy.
The procession from the aforementioned celebration of Palm
Sunday by the Institute of Christ the King in 2003
Recall also that in Rome palms are not always used. Often the Roman Church substitutes olive branches given their greater availability in Italy. The olive branch is no less significant. After the Great Flood a dove brought an olive branch to Moses. To he who survived the Flood the olive branch was not a peace-offering, but rather a sign that death had ended and life had begun anew.

Olives branches are especially prevalent throughout the Mediterranean world. It is not unthinkable that the Cross was made from from the wood of an olive tree, making olive branches and palms both types and anti-types of Christ's redemptive work.

In the first millennium there would be two Masses in Rome. The first would be celebrated in the presence of the Pope at St. Mary Major, where palms would be blessed and distributed. The focus of this Mass would be Palm Sunday. There would then be a procession to St. John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome, where the Pope would celebrate a Mass of the Passion of the Lord. The current arrangement of a "dry Mass" followed by a procession and a Mass of the Passion is a remnant of that, unless one uses the reduced newer rite.

A procession of clergy and laity, holding their palms and preceded by a veiled cross—as the mystery of the Cross is hidden!—leaves the church and takes a path eventually leading back to the front door, which is sealed, a representation of the resistance of the people of Jerusalem to our Lord. A small choir still within the Church sing the hymn Gloria, Laus, et Honor Tibi Sit in alternation with those outside. The entrance of Christ, the unease of the Jewish people, the laud of Christ's followers, and the Lord's lament for Jerusalem are not simply re-enacted, but re-visited! At the end the subdeacon knocks on the door of the Church with the cross, opening it. From here the Mass of the Passion begins.
Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna's song.
Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna's song.
Hail, King of Israel! David's Son of royal fame! Who comest in the Name of the Lord, O Blessed King.
Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna's song.
The Angel host laud Thee on high, On earth mankind, with all created things.
Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna's song.
With palms the Jews went forth to meet Thee. We greet Thee now with prayers and hymns.
Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna's song.
On Thy way to die, they crowned Thee with praise; We raise our song to Thee, now King on high.
Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna's song.
Their poor homage pleased Thee, O gracious King! O clement King, accept too ours, the best that we can bring.
Glory, praise and honor to Thee, O King Christ, the Redeemer: to whom children poured their glad and sweet hosanna's song.
A short clip of the door knocking ceremony

Subdeacon opens the door with the processional cross
at the FSSP church in Rome, 2012
 The Mass is one of the most beautiful of the year, and especially notable for its music, including the singing of psalm 21 as the tract, the full Passion according to St. Matthew, and the Gospel in the "haunting" tone.

The prayers at the foot of the altar are the reduced form used in Passiontide, the last two weeks of Lent. This form omits the Iudica me psalm and the Gloria Patri.... doxology, which is also omitted in other parts of the Mass as at a requiem Mass. As Fr. Andrew Southwell, OSB once said, Mother Church "is in mourning."

The Epistle is from St. Paul's letter to the Philippians, in which the Apostle writes that at the "name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth." Christ's sacrifice on the Cross for man gives Him primacy over all things in God's creation.

The gradual today, as in very ancient days, is a full psalm and not just an excerpt. It is psalm 21, which Christ quoted from the Cross: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The Father did not desert the Son, but today the psalm functions as an allusion, as the psalm describes the pains of a man suffering for the sins of the world.

Deacons reading the Passion according to St. Matthew
Then three deacons enter the sanctuary and begin to sing St. Matthew's account of the Passion of our Lord, beginning with the events leading up to the Last Supper and ending just after Christ's death on the Cross, for which there is silence and all present kneel.

The three deacons then leave and the deacon of the Mass asks for the blessing, incenses the Gospel book, and sings in a special chant-tone the burial of Christ. The separation from the Passion reading may not be intuitive, but it is instructive: this is the Gospel reading of the Mass, not the Passion—which is an interpolation into Mass. Christ's death and burial are the point of this Mass, which should clear up confusion for us, as opposed to those who watched these events two thousand years ago with little or no break, and who were left in bewilderment as to what to make of the drear they had just witnessed.

In the video to the right, Fr. Tim Finigan sings the Gospel of Holy Tuesday in the same tone used for the Gospel of today. It is sublime.

The Mass continues as normal, with no extra "frills."

At Vespers the hymn Vexilla Regis is sung, which beings with the words:
Abroad the regal banners fly,
Now shines the cross’s mystery;
Upon it Life did death endure, 
And yet by death did life procure.
The hymn makes a conclusive elucidation of the mystery of Palm Sunday, that the Cross is slowly unveiled before our eyes. We do not merely read about it in the Scripture or hear some analysis in the sermon, but we enter these mystical events which are so monumental that they do not know the limits of time. Perhaps one of the great tragedies in the Roman rite in the last century or so is that with the endless stream of reforms begun by St. Pius X, furthered by Pius XII, and concluded by Paul VI, we have lost the notion that the liturgy reveals mystery to us, that it is a method of worshiping God, but also a tool God gives us to understand Him.  The raising of Lazarus, the veiling of the Cross, the Old Testament significance of the palms, the restless and lamenting entrance into Jerusalem, and the Cross itself make "sense" to us here. Through the lessons, the Mass, the hymns, and procession today God lifts the veil of ignorance the people of Jerusalem had when they went to see the One who raised a man from the dead and, in their own understanding, turned Him over for death, not realizing His dominion over it.

A blessed Palm Sunday to all.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Josephology Part 3: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas

Not to be confused with the better-known Gospel of Thomas, which is a more explicitly Gnostic text from the first or second century composed mainly of supposed aphorisms of Christ, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas (probably composed around the same time as the Proto-Gospel of James, in the second century) is a purported narrative of Christ’s childhood years. The original Greek text is structured around a set of miracles and attempts at educating the Christ Child. Claiming to be written by “Thomas the Israelite Philosopher,” the Infancy Gospel gives us a five year-old boy “Jesus” who is fickle, vain, and flagrantly powerful. I’m going to call this bizarro-Christ “Hermus,” due to his similarities to the stories of the infant pagan deity Hermes, and the book’s apparent ties to the Hermetic-Gnostic tradition.

Most people have heard the apocryphal stories of the young Christ frivolously creating birds out of clay, and killing other young boys who offended him. These stories apparently originate in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, and they are even more blasphemous than you might imagine. Hermus is sort of a divine snot. He bores easily, performs miracles mostly to pass the time, and gets offended when someone undoes his work, often killing them. Occasionally Hermus will use his supernatural powers to cure an illness or injury, or even to raise the dead, but this seems to be a product of whimsy rather than concern.

The Gnostic elements come into play when Hermus is sent off to tutors to learn his letters. In a perverse inversion of St. Luke’s account of Jesus speaking with the learned men in the Temple, Hermus lectures his own teachers obnoxiously about the letter A, humiliating them and ruining their reputations. His first teacher Zacchæus declares, “That child does not belong to this earth. Assuredly he was born before the creation of the world” (7). When Zacchæus’ friends attempt to reassure him of his learning, Hermus mocks them openly: “Now let your learning bring forth fruit, and let the blind in heart see. I am here from above, that I may curse them, and call them to the things that are above” (8).

Joseph is a constant figure in this Infancy Gospel. He is frequently put out by Hermus’ behavior, chastising the boy for his flippant disregard for human life and social mores. When Joseph pulls the boy’s ear for cursing another boy to death (5), Hermus is angry at receiving the punishment, but never retaliates against his stepfather. In fact, Hermus’ piety towards Joseph is a bizarre paradox when contrasted with the poor way he disposes of his teachers.

The most important episode with Joseph is also probably the first depiction of Christ in Joseph’s carpentry shop, and is worth quoting in its entirety:
And His father was a carpenter, and at that time made ploughs and yokes. And a certain rich man ordered him to make him a couch. And one of what is called the cross pieces being too short, they did not know what to do. The child Jesus said to His father Joseph: Put down the two pieces of wood, and make them even in the middle. And Joseph did as the child said to him. And Jesus stood at the other end, and took hold of the shorter piece of wood, and stretched it, and made it equal to the other. And His father Joseph saw it, and wondered, and embraced the child, and blessed Him, saying: Blessed am I, because God has given me this child. (13)
It might not be too much of a stretch to find hidden beneath the literal narrative an implication of the Gnostic doctrine that Christ came to overcome a corrupted creation. The piece of wood Joseph wishes to use is of the wrong length, and rather than let his stepfather seek out another piece (the natural method), Hermus simply remakes the piece into the way they need it to be (a cheating of the natural process).

Joseph’s insistence that Hermus be well-tutored is probably also tied to Gnostic doctrines. He is simply ignorant of the fact that Hermus came to earth to teach rather than to be taught. The later Latin version of the Infancy Gospel shows Joseph giving thanks to God after leaving Egypt, “because He had given him understanding” (L.3). The Gnostic doctrine of salvation through knowledge appears to be on display in these passages.

St. James the Just appears for one miraculous episode, as well:
And Joseph sent his son James to tie up wood and bring it home, and the child Jesus also followed him. And when James was gathering the fagots, a viper bit James’ hand. And when he was racked with pain, and at the point of death, Jesus came near and blew upon the bite; and the pain ceased directly, and the beast burst, and instantly James remained safe and sound. (16)
All in all, we learn little about the real St. Joseph in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, but there is corroborating evidence here that the early Christians believed him to have had other children. There seems to be no mention of his age, unless there is a subtlety of the Greek text that was lost in translation. Any suggestions of Joseph’s poor moral quality should be taken with the caveat that even the Christ Child is depicted amorally. (Apocryphal ravings, indeed!)

For those curious, Mary is a minor background figure in this book, for the most part, doing little but keeping Hermus in check while Joseph is away.

Next time, I will continue to look at the odd ways in which these two traditions, one orthodox and one heterodox, were clumsily merged into longer narratives of the “lost years” of Our Lord and St. Joseph.

St. Joseph the carpenter who knew how to cut lumber, pray for us!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Why the Old Rite?

Vesperal Holy Saturday liturgy at the rite time
source: sgg.org

Why bother with the old Roman rite?

A friend's parish has incrementally restored—or lapsed in recidivism—the traditional Palm Sunday and the Pre-Sanctified Mass on Good Friday. If the pastor can free himself of the "do everything after the Gospel" mentality Pacelli introduced, fixing Mandy Thursday would be quite simple. The real trick is the Holy Saturday liturgy. Doing it during the day is probably out of the question, but getting the rite right is at least feasible. The problem is that since Pius and Paul VI put their respective "forms of the same rite" at night, people are accustomed to a two and a half hour liturgy that ends some time around midnight. The real thing takes about four hours with the readings, psalms, and orations as well as the processions and doubled Litany of the Saints. 

The man in question needs some ideas from you readers, food for thought to feed his pastor heading into next year in hopes of a complete Roman Triduum. At first I was tempted to suggest a mix-'n'-match like Fr Ronald Silk used to do in Cambridge, the old ceremonies with the reduced readings. One would still have the blessing of the fire with the three prayers, the triple Candle representing the Trinity, the blessing of the font and Holy Water, the leading of the neophytes to the front of the church supported by the prayers of the heavenly host during the Litany of Saints, and the conclusion of Vespers. And yet are not the readings—the entirety of salvation history prior to Christ—not integral to that worship?

One might be tempted to abjured that mentality for its spiritual sloth, but this would get our friend no where and it is not without precedent. Unless I am wrong, the Roman rite had twelve prophecies, but all the local usages had merely four. The Greek rite had fifteen, but the Arabs and Slav have reduced it to four or a few more depending on one's locale.

So, why bother? Why make the effort for the old rite? Suggestions needed!

St. Joseph Musical Interlude

Start at 6:10 (have earplugs on hand!)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hail O Virgin and Bride Ever Pure

"The Almighty and merciful God, Whose nature is goodness, Whose will is power, and Whose work is mercy, did, at the very beginning of the world, as soon as the devil's hatred had mortally poisoned us with the venom of his envy, foretell those remedies which His mercy had foreordained for our healing. He bade the serpent know that there was to be a Seed of the woman Who should yet bruise the swelling of his pestilential head; this Seed was none other than the Christ to come in the flesh, that God and Man in one Person, Who, being born of a Virgin, should, by His undefiled birth, damn the seducer of man." Pope St. Leo the Great, 2nd Christmas Sermon

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Josephology Part 2: The Protevangelium Jacobi

“These words prove the falseness of the apocryphal ravings.”
–St. Thomas Aquinas, paraphrasing St. Jerome

The Proto-Gospel or Infancy Gospel of James is a highly relevant testimony to early Christian belief about St. Joseph. The authorship of this short narrative is contested, but most scholars seem to agree that it was composed in the second century A.D. under a pseudonym. The Proto-Gospel ends with this claim of authorship: “And I, James, that wrote this history in Jerusalem, a commotion having arisen when Herod died, withdrew myself to the wilderness until the commotion in Jerusalem ceased” (24). Still, there is something to consider about the belief that this was written by St. James (presumably James the Just, not the early-martyred James the Greater). If this popular text had indeed been written by the hand of James, it would have doubtless been canonized into the New Testament with his epistle, but there is nothing to disprove its basis at least partially in an oral tradition from the apostle.

The apparent intent of the Proto-Gospel is to tell a more fleshed-out version of the Nativity story from the Gospels, filling in a few gaps here and there, and making explicit narrative connections that could be only guessed at from the canonical accounts. Here, St. Joseph is a prominent character with much to do, as are Sts. Joachim and Zacharias. We learn about the birth not only of Christ, but of Mary, and we follow her childhood at some length. The names of her parents Joachim and Anna come to us through this document, and from no other known source. The belief that the Virgin’s parents miraculously conceived after many barren years—a belief attested to by numerous later mystics—also springs from these so-called apocryphal ravings.

The Narrative

Joseph & Joachim
As difficult as it is to skip over the stories of Joachim and Anna’s trials and of Zacharias’ martyrdom, Joseph is so important to the Jacobian narrative that his presence easily overpowers the others. When the priests assemble all the widowers of the land to present themselves as potential caretakers for the Virgin Mary (who has hitherto been living in the Temple up to her twelfth year), Joseph is so ready to obey that he “throw[s] away his axe” (9) immediately upon hearing the herald. When drawing lots between the widowers, Joseph’s staff is drawn last and miraculously produces a dove, which alights on his head. He immediately contests the call, for “I have children, and I am an old man, and she is a young girl. I am afraid lest I become a laughing-stock to the sons of Israel.” The priests threaten him with divine retribution if he continues to refuse an obvious call from Heaven, recalling the example of Korah’s rebellion against Moses. Joseph concedes the point, brings the betrothed girl to his house, and apparently leaves her there for almost four years while he leaves to build some houses, merely saying that while he is away, “The Lord will protect you.”

While Joseph is away on his construction projects, Mary has been chosen (again by lot) to spin the cloth for a new Temple veil. Noting that “at that time Zacharias was dumb” (10, cf. Luke 1:20), it falls to the priest Samuel to give instructions to the Virgin. While walking outside, Mary hears a voice saying the Ave. Confused at seeing no speaker, she returns home to her purple cloth and is in the more iconographically correct pose of being seated when St. Gabriel appears to finish his message. When he leaves, she finishes her sewing quickly and absconds to Elizabeth’s house until her sixth month.

Then Joseph comes home. Mary is sixteen years old by now (12) and he is shocked to find her pregnant. He chastises himself first for his negligence: “I received her a virgin out of the temple of the Lord, and I have not watched over her” (13); immediately followed by a condemnation of her supposed unchastity: “Has not the history of Adam been repeated in me? The serpent came, and found Eve alone, and completely deceived her.” She insists on her own innocence, but seems unable to explain her fecundity, saying simply that “I do not know whence it is to me.”

What follows shows a subtle understanding of psychology that is lacking in many later commentators. Joseph’s troubling dilemma is expressed with a nuanced detail skipped over in St. Matthew’s Gospel:
And Joseph said: If I conceal her sin, I find myself fighting against the law of the Lord; and if I expose her to the sons of Israel, I am afraid lest that which is in her be from an angel, and I shall be found giving up innocent blood to the doom of death. What then shall I do with her? I will put her away from me secretly. (14)
Joseph does not simply assume that Mary is lying about her innocence, but nor is he certain she is not guilty. He has to cover both possibilities, and, recognizing the dangerous consequences of assuming either one, finds the safest middle ground in divorcing her quietly.

That night, the angel visits his dreams and corrects his errors. The next morning, a scribe friend arrives to say hello to the newly returned carpenter, but is horribly scandalized to find that Mary is pregnant before their marriage. The two are dragged to the priest and are made to endure an extensive ritual to prove their innocence, which they do just in time to receive the summons of the Roman census.

After some indecision about whether to enroll Mary as his wife or daughter, he enlists the help of two of his unnamed sons for the journey to Bethlehem. Once there, he leaves Mary with his sons and goes off to find a midwife, leading to this strange incident:
And I, Joseph, was walking, and was not walking; and I looked up into the sky, and saw the sky astonished; and I looked up to the pole of the heavens, and saw it standing, and the birds of the air keeping still. And those that were eating did not eat, and those that were rising did not carry it up, and those that were conveying anything to their mouths did not convey it; but the faces of all were looking upwards. (18)
Time stands still for St. Joseph. It seems plausible that part of the narrative is missing here, since the very next thing that happens is the appearance of the midwife walking over a hill. He explains himself and his strange marital situation to the woman as they walk back to the cave in which Christ is about to be born.

At this point Joseph nearly disappears from the narrative, and has little to do except act embarrassed at the midwife’s questions and meet the Magi when they arrive. There is not even a mention of the Flight to Egypt, and the Christ Child is hidden in an ox-stall when Herod sends out his army of late-term abortionists.

The Importance of the Proto-Gospel

The Jacobian portrait of St. Joseph is more subtle than one might expect. He is not the crotchety old man of the mediæval mystery plays, nor the balding and sexless youth of later plaster statuary. The Joseph of the Proto-Gospel is stubborn but ultimately obedient, quick to anger but clever in prudence, practically minded but open to mystical experiences. In later retellings he would lose much of his nuance and become a more two-dimensional character. Some details would change over time as well, one notable example being the dove-sprouting staff which would become the more icon-friendly flowering staff.

St. Jerome took the slightest deviation from the scriptural text as a sign of doctrinal corruption. It is the rather benign addition of the midwife to the Nativity story which prompts him to condemn the “ravings of the apocryphal accounts” (Against Helvidius, 10). With all due respect to this master theologian, his exclusionary scriptural minimalism leaves much to be desired. He and St. Augustine argued frequently about the proper interpretation of the Holy Writ, and Jerome famously desired to delete the so-called deuterocanonicals from the canon for rather pedantic reasons. The invective against “apocryphal ravings” has a rhetorical force that can be easily misused against the wrong targets.

If the claim that Joseph brought two of his sons to Bethlehem for the census (and perhaps for babysitting duties) is true, that would provide a reasonable substantiation that St. James was at least one source for this Proto-Gospel. It is not beyond the realm of plausibility that James told his disciples in Jerusalem about incidents surrounding the Nativity which were not to be found in the already-written Synoptic Gospels. A few decades and a few embellishments later this account would finally be written down, and from there quickly copied and very widely distributed, if the large body of manuscript evidence is to be believed.

In the East, selections from the Proto-Gospel are read at Mary’s feasts. In the West, it is so reviled that some even doubt the names of the Virgin’s parents given therein. See, for instance, the modernist nonsense posited in the 1914 Catholic Encyclopedia about St. Anne. We ought to consider raising this text to a place of reverence again, even if not to the canon. The Jacobian narrative at least has the weight of liturgical and artistic tradition behind it, unlike the recent Josephite novelties.

Next Time:

A short survey of other early patristic-era texts, including the Gnostic gospels.

St. James the Babysitter, pray for us!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Chapel of St. Priscilla

Interested by "the Editor", I decided to look up the Catacomb of Priscilla and its chapel which boasts many second and third century sacred images including the Shepherd of Hermas and the three children from Daniel. There are also a few Marian depictions, one of which might be the oldest image of the now artistically familiar Mother and Child scene.

Criticize my logic if you will, but is there any way the beardless figures in any of the above images could be St. Joseph? I object to the idea that St. Joseph could be depicted as beardless in principle. Given that he was a non-Roman and especially given that he was a Jew, he would have kept his beard after having grown it. Depicting someone without a beard meant that the individual shown had not yet reached puberty or some semblance of adulthood. Was the flight to Egypt led by a thirteen year old boy?

In all seriousness, the newly young and virginal St. Joseph of the Counter-Reformation is problematic not in the ideas he espouses, but in that he is not the St. Joseph of the Church's historical tradition.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Josephology Part 1: A Tale of Two Josephs

Don’t forget to attend the vocational retreat!
Good morning, gentle readers. Welcome to a limited series of posts on the bizarre development of Josephite devotion. Once believed to be a crotchety old man certain of having been made a cuckold, he has been popularly transformed into a peer of the Blessed Virgin: sinless, virginal, and assumed bodily to the Throne of God. Many of the causes of this metamorphosis are lost in the fog of history, but it is worthwhile to poke at the evidence left to us, to compare and contrast these two very different Josephs.

His Traddiness has rightly pointed out that Josephite devotion today exists rarely except in the various pre-1969 liturgical communities. That hasn’t stopped Pope Francis from inserting the name of Our Lord’s stepfather into each of the Novus Ordo Eucharistic Prayers with the 2013 decree Paternas vices, but Joseph rarely has a presence in the average Roman Rite parish except as a statue on the side of the church opposite Mary, carpentry tools in hand.

Old Joseph was old. Some legendary works of the early Church place his deathbed age at a Tolkienesque eleventy-one. Certainly not a virgin, he was also a widower and the father of the “brethren of the Lord” who appear at inopportune times in the Gospels. He had decided to quietly divorce Mary out of his belief that she had been engaged in some shady business. He was a sinner like all other men, confessing his faults to Christ and Mary as he passed out of this life.

New Joseph was young. Maria Agreda puts his age at thirty-three when he was betrothed to Mary. This Joseph swore a vow of celibacy, relegating the “brethren of the Lord” to the status of cousins. When he decided to put Mary away quietly, it was because he felt unworthy of being the stepfather of the Messiah. Partaker of the “order of the Hypostatic Union,” he was sanctified in his mother’s womb and made even greater than St. John the Baptist.

The primary text for the few remaining apologists of the New Joseph is the aforementioned The Life and Glories of St. Joseph, written in 1888 by the Anglican-priest-turned-Catholic Edward Healy Thompson, M.A. He apparently spent his Catholic years writing apologetical tracts, hagiographies, and popular devotional works. This poorly researched but long-winded text has been perpetuating the strange ideas of Renaissance-era theologian Francisco Suárez throughout the Anglo-Catholic world for over a century. The book is intended to be a popular text, but has some of the pretensions of academia. It is lightly footnoted, often referencing obscure texts the reader is unlikely to check.

A good example of Thompson’s flawed thinking is his early chapter on the sanctification of Joseph in the womb (Chapter VII). In an attempt to drum up a strong witness of doctrinal authority, he begins by making oblique references to St. Thomas Aquinas’ observation that God gives grace proportional to the office required of a person, then to St. Bernadine’s observation that God elected Joseph to be the guardian of Jesus and Mary. From these rather obvious points, Thompson moves on to obscure theologians who actually say what he wants to hear about Joseph’s prenatal holiness: Bernardine de Bustis, described as a “seraphic” and “most devout doctor... of the 15th century”; Giacomo Lobbezio, a 16th-century Jesuit; Jean Gerson, a scholar for whom the Council of Constance was both his greatest triumph and ultimate downfall; and Isidoro Isolano, a 16th-century Dominican Father who once wrote a devotional book on St. Joseph. From this rather odd theological pedigree, Mgr. Thompson offers the following conclusion:
St. Joseph, then, we see, is always, in the opinion of the Doctors of the Church, held to be, next to the Blessed Virgin, the purest and the most holy among creatures, and worthy, for the sake of the Divine Son and His Mother, to be liberated and purged from original sin immediately after his conception. And this doctrine, professed by great doctors, and tacitly approved by the Church—a doctrine become familiar to preachers in their pulpits, to theologians in their academies, and to sacred writers in their works—may be considered as generally held and believed by devout Christians. (p. 47)
It is hard to think of a conclusion less likely to be drawn from the paltry evidence Thompson delivers, but this is the way he argues throughout the book.

Once, he supposedly quotes St. Athanasius’ De Incarnatione to prove the virginity of both Mary and Joseph (p. 89), but the quote is something this writer at least has never been able to find in the actual text. Frequently he invokes the supposedly “common opinion” of the Doctors of the Church without proving any such commonality. The tone is emotional and inspirational, eschewing the detachment of a true scholarly work (“Joseph was the morning star announcing the aurora which precedes the day,” he says concerning the saint’s birth). Meant to be read by moderately-educated laymen, it’s hard to believe that anyone but the most dedicated reader could make it through all 488 pages.

Mgr. Thompson’s tome might not be worth a more detailed examination, but the older writings and traditions concerning St. Joseph have much to offer. Next time, I will begin a survey of early Christian writing on this saint, especially the supposedly apocryphal works that concern the Nativity and the Holy Family.

Old St. Joseph, pray for us!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Introduction: Series on St. Joseph

Mosaic of St. Joseph from the chapel of John VII in
the original St. Peter's Basilica
Were this not Lent, we could speak of today as a "vigil" of the traditional feast of St. Joseph, foster-parent of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For this marvelous place he occupied in the Divine plan for salvation, Joseph is remembered in the liturgy of the Roman Church on March 19th. St. Joseph for the longest time stood in the background of salvation history and the Church's theology. Why, then, did the Church see an unmitigated upsurge in devotion to St. Joseph?

We cannot deny devotion to St. Joseph multiplied many fold in the 19th and 20th centuries, often at the behest of Rome and Spanish bishops devoted to the Holy Family. Not all examples of devotion to Joseph are created equal. In the Roman rite, St. Joseph was added to the Suffrages of Lauds and Vespers. Pius IX declared him "Patron of the Universal Church" and gave him a feast day under this title affixed to the third Sunday after Pascha. Although a new feast, it was an excellent feast based on the typology of the Old Testament patriarch Joseph of Egypt. The Mattins readings are from Genesis and the antiphons recall the exile into Egypt of Joseph, his belated calling to the Lord, his longing to the Pharaoh, and, in the case of the New Testament Joseph, his return from Egypt. This rich feast had to die so Joe the Communist could live (and unionize!).

New churches often sported side altars and shrines based on the Holy Family devotion rather than ancient or local saints. The main altar and tabernacle graced the center of the church flanked to the left by an altar or shrine to the Virgin and a twin to the right for St. Joseph. Art began to depict Joseph, contrary to tradition, as a virile young man with a receding hairline. Books like The Life and Glories of St. Joseph by Fr. Edward Healy Thompson sprang up positing that St. Joseph was immaculately conceived and a greater saint than John the Baptist(!). As with most devotions and traditions, recent or ancient, interest in St. Joseph ended in the 1960s, aside from a few traditionalist communities where he remains a figure.

To tell us more the fascinating arc of St. Joseph and his place in the Church's history is our first additional contributor under the new format. His pseudonym "J" tells us precious little about him, but worry not, for his Traddiness has vetted J. He is a Catholic in Texas, a parishioner at the FSSP church in the area, a literatus with a strong passion for good literature, a healthy cynic, and a pipe-smoker. He intends to post his first article tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Richard Williamson: Go Forth and Multiply

He's finally going to do it. Bishop Richard Williamson is going to consecrate two men to the episcopacy and I see no reason why. His All Traddiness does see why Williamson is doing this from a "Resistance" perspective: to perpetuate holy orders outside of the supposedly defective FSSPX and the canonical traditionalist groups. What his Traddiness does not understand is why Williamson has decided to lay hands on Frs. Innocent Marie and Jean-Michel Faure.

When Msgr. Lefebvre consecrated his four priests in 1988 he selected four men relatively young in age, in part because of the workload they would have to undertake and in part because of the prelate's plan. Bishops in their thirties could expect four decades or more of active ministry, during which time Rome could sort out its own messes. What is more, by ordaining young men Lefebvre ensured that the institution of the Fraternity of St. Pius X would remain relevant in Rome's eyes for years to come, and they did until the current pontificate. After Cardinal Ratzinger gave Brother Roger Holy Communion at John Paul II's funeral, a reporter asked him, "What was going through your mind?", no doubt eagerly awaiting an ecumenical breakthrough. Ratzinger replied, "What is bishop Fellay going to say?"

The always obstreperous Williamson is going to consecrate two men that are his age or older. At their advanced stages they cannot possibly hope to hold the "Resistance" together as a cohesive enterprise that will give either the FSSPX or Rome reason to think twice about anything. This sounds more than anything like a payoff for loyalty.

The only possible outcome of this is that these bishops, like some of the sedevacantist bishops scattered throughout America and the world at large, will diffuse and multiply their holy orders whenever they disagree with each other, yielding smaller and smaller sects. This might be the most fecund enterprise bishop Williamson has ever undertaken.

A friend of mine was right: Williamson missed his calling as an English teacher.

In other news, keep your eyes pealed for the beginning of a new series about St. Joseph on March 18th.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

"Novus Ordo"

Unbeknownst to me, Rome is celebrating a 50th anniversary jubilee for the closing of the Second Vatican Council this year. The festivities will provide the Pope with ample opportunities to speak at [great] length on "renewal" and "parrhesia." The ancient liturgists with revisit their novel ideas and regale each other with stories about the good ol' days before Benedict "undid Vatican II" with Summorum and other predictable badinage. One of the on-going lessons of this blog is that the "renewal" began from on top decades before the Council and that the Council did not mandate the new liturgy, but rather the movement for a new Roman rite married with the same movement that favored a broader reform in the early 20th century. To the older generation, everything was new and improved. To their internal opponents, everything was renewed and possibly unmoved. 

In Inter oecumenici Msgr. Bugnini anticipated the completion of the project with transitional rituals. Paul VI completed the task on April 3rd, 1969 (fittingly Good Friday this year). Pope Paul himself coined the term "Novus Ordo," a term which carries a perpetual stigma. Papa Montini meant for the term to carry on the enthusiasm for reform, surely, yet the term is now bitter as rancid vinegar to favorites of the reform. This blog favors the more precise terms "Mass of Paul VI", "1962," and "Roman rite" because they are three very separate things. The liturgies from Pius XII's era clearly paved the way to the new rite without actually being either the new rite or the traditional Roman rite. Tradistanis have taken to using the term "Novus Ordo" as a broad description of the whole array of reformed things including liturgy, devotions, theology, clerical formation, pastoral care, diocesan structures, and people. Go into a St. Pius X chapel and ask "Who used to be 'in the Novus Ordo'?" and you will get a dozen very different answers. So why do conservative, non-traditional types take such offence at a broad term used by old fuddy-duddies?

Last night I attended an Irish drinking and singing party early vigil for the feast of St. Patrick. I approached two friends of mine who attend the local Tradistani parish who were carrying on a conversation with an unknown third party. I asked the third person what he did. He responded that he was a former seminarian. Adopting the language of my setting, I departed from my standard vocabulary and asked him, "What kind of seminary? Was it a Novus Ordo seminary?"—perhaps an unfortunate choice of words. Taken aback at my lascivious query, he rebuffed me, "I would like to think I went to a Catholic seminary and went to a Catholic Mass during my time there, since it was approved by the Church." Rather than pursue the matter, I dropped it. On the bright side, I discovered Irish single malt is far smoother than Scottish single malt whiskey.

St. Patrick, pray for us!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Buffalo Wings: Modernism as Food

Initially I hoped to write something about why traddie communities attract unusual demographics (the very young, more males than usual, eccentrics and the like), but instead find myself obligated by a friend to write about—of all things—the Buffalo Wing.

I have been to the supposed invention point of a great many American staples. The burger came from a sandwich shop in New Haven called Louis' Lunch, where they will defenestrate you should you ask for ketchup. The "Buffalo wing" was born at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York—an industrial town without any sort of industry left. The food was not exceptional, but it was the only place where I have tasted that most manly of foods—the chicken wing—without wrongly, or rightly, thinking I must have consumed the stale remains of a Cornish hen covered in processed sugar. The meat clearly came from a fully grown chicken and the sauce was meant as a compliment. Why did the "wing" descend to the depths of poultry of the masses so quickly? It is culinary Novus Ordoism!

Yes, we have all moaned about the "Novus Ordo" at some point and "what they do in the Novus Ordo" blah blah blah.... as if it were a place. It is a state of mind that not only blends new fangled ideas of dubious orthodoxy and orthopraxis, but it retains the folkish elements of religion from its day. I think if I went to the nearest neo-con parish and presented the idea of moving adoration half an hour later and concatenating Vespers into it, they would toss me out faster than they would if I were a Society cleric.

So is the same with the Buffalo chicken wing: it retains its hearty origins as American comfort food like New York pizza and the burger, but became bastardized by the frozen food department and the likes of Buffalo Wild "Wings" until it became as the pizza under Domino's and the burger under McDonald's. The difference is that I can still find a good burger and a good pizza. I cannot find a good wing anywhere. Quomodo sedet sola civitas.

Monday, March 9, 2015

"I Hope They're in Hell"

"I hope they're in hell," sneered a good friend concerning two persons perceived to have done him great ill. The two individuals he eagerly hopes to be damned are Richard Nixon and Maggie Thatcher. Why? Their great sin: caving to China in foreign policy. Nixon's greatest mistake was not Watergate—an overblown, minor scandal—but recognizing the communist state and giving it trade preference over Formosa, now Taiwan. With no American political power behind lingering British interests, Margaret Thatcher had to let Hong Kong go. The "lease" the British held on Hong Kong was an elaborate, well considered way to save face by a formidable politician in the Iron Lady. 

Why do they deserve the eternal flames? My friend thinks these two sold out whatever remaining familial legacy he had in China. He is heir to a million dollar fortune which would have been a billion dollar fortune if not for the Communists. Yes, it was blood money made from cooperating with the Victorian Empire in the mining business, but it should be his blood money you see. This fellow, on the whole a moral and upright person, has suffered the indelible effects of a family destroyed: many died during the Maoist purges, others escaped with scares and no care for others, a lost legacy and fortune, and faded hopes of recovering it; then those survivors gave birth to my friend. Nixon and Thatcher may have injured my acquaintance in the most minute and indirect way possible, but would even open effrontery be worthy of damnation?

Modern society has lost any sense of justice and replaced it with emotions: my neighbor deserves to go to hell because he throws trash over the fence, but letting a mother vacuum her baby's crushed skull out of her womb is compassion. Punishment must accompany every crime and it must be condign to the crime. In the middle ages or Roman times public drunkenness was not punished with decapitation no matter how stupid the inebriated party was. The Church understood the death penalty as morally permissible until John Paul II, who somehow found it both orthodox and inapplicable. The reason follows the same logic as penance for sins: the guilty, even if sorry and contrite, must make a reasonable reparation for his crime. In the cases of murder and treason death was the most society could demand, hence Innocent III's teaching that such executions must be carried out with deliberation and not anger. Society gives, or gave, similarly reasonable punishments for lesser offences. It was given to Mankind the power to execute what the Scholastics called "Natural Law" and what I would call common sense. Mankind can also do this because Man cannot be infinitely offended. Only God can be. Consigning others to the pyrotechnic pit is not only "judgmental" in the pietistic interpretation of the words of Christ, but it also usurps God's authority to judge His people, as His laws are the ones transgressed and He is the one offended, not us.

Mankind cannot be infinitely offended, save the politically correct (God help you if you make a race joke in America or a class joke in England). Man can interpret God's law. The old Roman rite of episcopal consecration listed that as one of the bishop's duties. Similarly, the bishop had the power to declare a person excommunicated yet did not have the power to "excommunicate" in the Western understanding of the word. Strictly speaking, excommunication is the placing of someone outside the Sacraments. The Latin Church's understanding of the State of Grace presumes that one who cannot communicate is necessarily in mortal sin and hence on the hot path. An act of excommunication is made by the sinner then, not something imposed by the bishop. The Greek churches excommunicate(d) people as a punishment and as a medicine. The Latin Church did not excommunicate people per se, it merely nodded to an excommunication already in effect. The old Bell, Book, and Candle ceremony popularized by the movie Becket contained the phrase "we declare [Name] excommunicate and anathema" not "we excommunicate and anathematize [Name]." Similar language was attempted against Msgr. Lefebvre in 1988. 

God will judge the excommunicate and every other kind of sinner. We cannot damn anyone or even presume that a person is damned, although I think we can be forgiven for being pessimistic about some. To presume, or hope for, or declare the loss of a soul is to be infinitely offended and to jump into the seat of God Who gave the law to Moses and Who brought "grace and truth through Jesus Christ" (John 1:17). People bother us in our lives. A simple Lenten challenge is to teach ourselves to be ourselves and to let God continue to be God. He is much more qualified for the job anyway.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Forty & Twenty-One Martyrs

The twenty-one Coptic martyrs have been making the news all over the world, including in the United States, where our president refers to them as "Egyptian citizens" rather than as Christians. Not many have been quick to connect their deaths with tomorrow's feast, the feast of the Forty Martyrs. There is a strong connection, one that exceeds Apologetics or bad sermons.

One of the Coptic martyrs was not a Coptic Christian at all. Matthew Ayariga converted on the spot and joined the twenty Coptic Orthodox in dying with the words "Lord Jesus Christ" on their lips. Tomorrow we remember forty soldiers of the Roman army who were found to be Christians while on duty in Sebaste, Armenia. The Romans compelled their own soldiers to stand on a frozen lake until hypothermia set in and they died. One could not endure and rejected martyrdom in favor of a hot bath. Moved by the remaining thirty-nine, the watchman declared himself now a Christian, stripped his clothes, and joined the others in the lake to freeze. 

Love of Christ will gain more conversions, either by human friendship or great martyrdoms, than all the "apologetics" we can muster.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Future of the Blog: A Middle Ground

As I iterated earlier, I enjoy the discussions (mostly) and interactions on this blog. I no longer enjoy the obligation to post something thoughtful several times a week and would not be content with less material, which is the reality of this blog now. Perhaps there is a compromise to be made here.

At university, both in the USA and UK, I enjoyed the seminar more than the lecture hall. Similarly, I find conversations in dining rooms supplemented by red wine far more educative than "talks" given by experts. What if this blog were to be run in such a manner? Imagine if a few regular commentators were to be registered with this blog and we exchanged articles over the course of a week or a month on a given topic set and moderated by His Traddiness? Topics would retain the "hermeneutic of continuity" with the blog's current subject matter: liturgy, liturgical restoration, parish life, the Fathers, good literature, and applying it all to the everyday believer's experience. Articles could be as long and sophisticated or as practically concise as the posters wish. Of course, I would contribute myself.

Of course there would be some caveats. Not all the readers on this blog are Catholic. This blog is and will remain a Catholic blog. If you wish to participate you may, aware that this is my dining room, my seminar. 

What say ye?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Old Trads & the Future

I have decided to cancel my blog series on the early members of the traditionalist cause owing to the enormity of the subject, the disparate nature of the people involved—although they did interact, and the dearth of research out there. I will have to do my own research with an eye towards putting it into a volume some day (I can't think who would publish it though). 

After some consideration, I have decided to close down this blog in the near, but not immediate future. I started it at the recommendation of my ex-girlfriend to occupy my spare time. With my job, my own research interests, and many of the unpleasant comments I've gotten in recent months I no longer find pleasure or solace in writing here. Posting seems like a chore and the quality of exposition has declined like Byzantium under the Palaiologos family. I wanted to influence and connect with Catholics of a traditional mindset who may not share the standard Tradistani agenda or outlook. This much have I done. I think many of us are the better for it and can take the potency of our reflections into our parishes, where the real work of liturgical and spiritual restoration is to be done.

One last series remains. The Pope's arrant attempt to change the Church's practice with regard to sexuality and marriage in a manner reminiscent of Henry VIII and Leo VI along with the accompanying disconnect of many party-line towers compels me to share my own lugubrious experience in this matter. Given the personal and complicated nature of the events, I might post it as a series of short stories with pseudonyms for the characters.

Until then, keep reading!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Office Office SOS/CQD

Our liturgical ship is sinking. Google changed its Google Docs service in such a way that the link to the Officium Defunctorum we published in December is gone. Does anyone know how to publish a pdf, either through Google Docs or otherwise, into Blogger? We are able to get it into the page, but in a uselessly miniscule window, impossible to read or download the content. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Restocked in the Boutique: Sarum

The Liturgical Boutique finally has some Sarum back in stock. Above you will find Fr. Anthony Chadwick's instructional video on how to celebrate the Sarum usage of the Roman liturgy, the only video of its kind I know. The greatest differences are visible at high Mass, like the filling of the chalice during the gradual and the grandeur of the processions. Still, this will do for most customers!

On a serious note, I am not behind Fr. Chadwick's ecclesastical ideas, but videos like this are still important in keeping the Latin Church's liturgical patrimony visible to, at least, a minority of people. There is a full celebration of a low Mass by Fr. Chadwick available. I hope he considers filming another one with a clearer camera angle on the altar (perhaps from the epistle side) and a better microphone.

Since he has invited commentary on his interpretation of the rubrics I would add that I was under the impression that in Sarum the priest kept his hands joined when turning to the congregation and singing Dominus vobiscum as at 8:15 in the clip below. Do readers have an answer?

There is also a video of his charming chapel and sacristy. I was about to call it humble, but it is richly equipped: enough Missals, breviaries, antiphonaries, and graduals to fill the liturgical section of several university libraries as well as crucifixes and candles galore. Also, he retains the image of St. Philip Neri, my favorite post-Apostolic saint.

In other Boutique news we are pleased to tell Fr. Anthony Blanche that his order for three lace albs with no solid material on them whatsoever has been filled, as has his request for lace cottas. They will be Roman, but pre-owned. The current sacristan of St. Peter's basilica has been instructed to dispense with all vesture that at any point in history could have costed more than $50 and to replace those pieces with more humble and befitting ones. In short, we are flooded with new stock. Meanwhile, my colleagues in the plastic rain poncho business have been charged with creating a thousand new polyester chasubles for the Petrine basilica.

Wishing all a blessed Lent,
The Shopkeeper