Advised by kind readers - and the memsahib still being away - I have been drinking deep in the evenings (how do those papist priests manage this celibacy business?) while contemplating via Sanctamissae some North American High Masses. Absolutely splendid.
Watching those videos which come from the Eternal Word Shrine in Clintonland, I have particularly relished the occasional shots of a hunched, determined, Religious figure behind the grille. I take it that this is the great Mother Angelica herself. Eis polla ete Despoina. She has the same no-prisoners-taken appearance as Reverend Mothers often have in the Patrimony. I recall from my days as a seminarian that whenever there was a crisis in the House, off went the Rector to Fairacres on the floodplain of South Oxford to get his orders. He returned and, to this day, I remember the tremors within us as he began "Mother has said ...", and we waited in trepidation to hear the latest Decrees from the heights of Carmel.
Just one anxiety. Those splendid American churches seem to have on display what I am sure a vexillologist would confirm as being the flag of the united and associated commonwealths and states of North America. Now you don't have to tell me that we Europeans are far from perfect. But at least those of us who come from what Gruppenfuehrer Rumsfeldt disdainfully called Old Europe do not usually have, exposed for veneration in our churches, the flags of our transient, flawed, ephemeral, and reprehensible little nation states. I don't recall seeing the Revolutionary tricoleur in S Nicolas de Chardonnet, or the ensigns of the Piedmontese Usurper in the basilicas of Rome.
But perhaps, some readers will advise me, I should keep my eyes more open.