A decent shower again during Lauds...

Although the space heater running in my little room blocks that joyous and peaceful accompaniment to the Hours (hence it is turned off, at least when I remember to do this). It is the feast of Saint Blaise, Bishop and Martyr (CE, Introibo, Wiki), from whom we invoke blessings for health in general and specifically for throat ailments: Per intercessionem S. Blasii liberet te Deus a malo gutteris et a quovis alio malo, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus, by the intercession of Saint Blaise may God free thee from illnesses of the throat and from every other evil in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. The priest recites this holding two candles, crossed, at each person's throat. The legenda has it that the Saint cured a child who had a bone stuck in his throat. There is, in the Rituale Romanum, also a blessing of bread, wine, water, and fruits proper to Saint Blaise's Day. Why would aquae be blessed, I wonder. Perhaps for the same reason that I never drink this house's water unboiled. Perhaps some variety of aqua viva was meant....

I had forgotten until I skimmed the Wiki page before linking it but in some places traditionally the candles are lit during the blessing; I've never experienced this in any churches (all in the US; Cincinnati, Rapid City, DC, Helena, and Portland) where I've received it. The burning candles would certainly add an additional element of anticipation ('edginess') to the ritual.

Holy Mass is streamed at 1000 from Saint-Eugène.

The complete works of Dr Johnson are published at Yale; there is a final volume in the series that is an almost 800 page selection from amongst the most accessible. (I cannot imagine the kids in high school reading Lives of the Poets in these latter days.)

Thanks to Robert DeMaria Jr.'s [et alii] inspired editing, here are selections from Johnson’s Rambler and Idler essays; his great rendering of Juvenal’s satire, “The Vanity of Human Wishes;” his moving sermon on the death of his wife Tetty; his life of Savage, his philosophical Oriental tale, Rasselas; his Preface to the Dictionary; his Shakespeare criticism; choice extracts from A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland, a number of complete lives from his critical masterpiece, Lives of the Poets, including those of Milton, Cowley, Pope and Gray; and much else. 

Next month I will lay out twenty bucks for the Kindle version. 

The Mass is Sacerdotes Dei, and it's a missa cantata, almost always a fine thing. Am still occasionally having to think, the Te Deum and Gloria are suppressed in Septuagesima in Masses de tempore, not on the feasts of the Saints.

Time for Sext soon. Two media articles I'm going to try to read today, both having more or less to do with the Catholic religion in relation to US law et cetera. The first one I saw today was published in the Chronicle of Higher Education on Monday and seems to be an attempt to explain the 'odd couple' that is Professor Adrian Vermeule and Professor Cass Sunstein; as it turns out I saw references online to the other one yesterday but didn't realize what people were chattering about-- Peter Schwartz in the New Republic about (I guess) 'originalism' and the Catholic use of the natural law. However, I must finish the Lancel Carthage by Friday or Saturday, ahem.