The Official Catholic Beer Blessing | The Catholic Gentleman (slightly modified…)

Source: The Official Catholic Beer Blessing | The Catholic Gentleman

Now, who – Roman Catholic or otherwise – can help liking this…?

One of the great things about being Catholic is that the Church has quite literally thought of everything at some point or another. Some inventive cleric even thought to include a beer blessing in the Rituale Romanum… Creation is good. Beer is good. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

And one of the great things about being Anglican is that one can reasonably “borrow” things from both “sides” – Roman Catholic and Reformed (not to mention Eastern Orthodox, just ask the Scots Non-Jurors who ordained Samuel Seabury and provided the American Church with the model for our classic Prayer of Consecration) – so long as they do not conflict with the Book of Common Prayer and the XXXIX Articles!

Here is a version of the beer blessing slightly modified to suit Anglican sensibilities, and to turn it into a prayer that can be said by lay-persons:

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who madest both heaven and earth.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

O Lord our God, who dost cause grain to spring up from the earth for our sustenance: do thou bless, we pray thee, this thy creature beer, which thou hast deigned to produce from that thy good gift of grain, fruit of the earth and product of human labour, that it may be a salutary remedy to the human race; and grant, for thy mercy’s sake, that whomsoever shall drink of it may gain both health in body and peace in soul: Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us and remain with us, now and always. Amen.

For the original forms, in both English and Latin, click through to the linked blog post!

Gardening as Medicine for Millennials, and the Rest of Us | The Catholic Gentleman

We need to turn to the earth from which we were formed, and which we were commanded to tend. There we can seek reintegration and reconnection; we can seek healing.

Source: Gardening as Medicine for Millennials, and the Rest of Us | The Catholic Gentleman

At risk of oversimplifying, I think there are three things that make this medicine so fit for all of us suffering, in varying ways, from the challenges of contemporary culture. Gardening calls us to work, to wait, and to worship.

Oh, this is good! This is very good. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!

What Is Southern Agrarianism? – The Southern Agrarian

“The Southern Agrarian movement, born in the 1920’s, is rooted deep in Southern soil. It also goes back to the English Cavalier culture with its system of aristocracy and social hierarchy. The need to return to this simpler, more orderly, and self-reliant way of life has never been greater than it is today. Southern Agrarianism is a cultural movement, and that is our primary focus.”

Source: What Is Southern Agrarianism? – The Southern Agrarian

As someone who was born, bred, and is currently living in the northern marches of what has traditionally been known as the “Old South” (antebellum South – Maryland being by history and heritage a Southern state, part of the Tidewater region, and of what was in the 18th century known as the “Tobacco Coast”), I find deep resonances and affinities in the Southern Agrarian movement. This blog, The Southern Agrarian, by Stephen Clay McGehee, is superb. As he writes,

In short, this is about leading the way to a life set free from the bonds of an increasingly complex society and the vulnerabilities that go with it. It is about tradition and social order. It is about growing plants and raising animals and understanding the meaning of husbandry and stewardship. It is about understanding our place in the world – those who came before us and those who will follow after us.

Southern Agrarianism is a Blood and Soil movement. It takes in two of the most basic concepts in all of history: Our People, and the soil that provides the food that feeds our people. It means that, while we wish all the best toward others, our immediate family comes first, followed by ever larger circles of extended family, and then on out from there. There is Our People, and there is Other People.

This being Southern Agrarianism, our people are the Southern people; those who originated in Europe and built the South. Historically, the culture of the South was heavily influenced by the Cavaliers who fled the violence of the English civil war and settled in the South. They brought with them the English high culture which translated into the Southern Plantation culture: a hierarchy-based culture that was deeply rooted in the soil. [I would only add that there was significant influence on Southern culture from the Scots, Irish, and Scotch-Irish who moved into the mountain hinterland, as well, but the Southern Plantation culture of which he speaks was largely English – and Anglican.] There was a sense of kinship that was shared by both the smallest share cropping farmer and the largest plantation owner; they shared the common bond of those who live close to the soil. They were Southern Agrarians.

The Southern Agrarian

As you can see from the above, there is a direct historical and cultural connection between the Southern Agrarian tradition and the “Anglophilic Anglicanism” of this my own blog! I commend The Southern Agrarian, and the Southern Agrarian tradition and movement, to your sympathetic attention.


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Texas School Triples Recess Time, Solves Attention Deficit Disorder

Public education is more stressful than ever for our children, as standardized testing requirements increase and programs like art, music and physical education are being phased out. The result of this type of environment is predictable, and the medical establishment and big pharma are making a killing by drugging active children with ADHD medications …

Source: Texas School Triples Recess Time, Solves Attention Deficit Disorder

Is it just me, or is this one of those “duh!” moments…? Children are actually allowed to do what children are biologically and evolutionarily intended to do, which is have a decent amount of time to play outside, and their attention span when they return to their lessons increases? Wow, y’don’t say! *shakes head* So, what does this have to do with traditionalism?

Well, in the words of Maria Montessori, founder of Montessori education, “Play is the work of the child.” Through nearly all of human evolution, play was how children developed their minds and bodies, and how (along with helping their parents and older siblings, and listening to the adults tell stories around the campfire) they learned what they needed to learn to survive, and help their tribe or folk survive. Play is a manifestly and supremely traditional art form! We forget that at our peril — and that of our children, and therefore, our future.

From the linked article:

“Students don’t have to be drugged to do well. Meditation in schools is highly effective at reducing school violence and increasing concentration for learning. Higher quality nutritious and organic foods, rather than processed snack foods and fast foods, when served in school cafeterias are another part of creating an environment more conducive to the needs of children.

“The most common sense, natural solution to inattentive behavior in school children, however, may be the basic idea of giving children more time to free play and to engage their bodies in physical activity. It’s such a simple notion in such unusual times that it actually sounds revolutionary, and several schools in Texas are being hailed for trying a new program which solves behavioral problems by doing nothing more than allowing children to play outside more often during the school day.”

See also Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv, for more on the many benefits to children of unstructured outdoor play and interaction with the natural world. It may not be the cure-all in each and every case, but (especially if combined with the aforementioned high-quality, nutrient-dense, natural / organic foods), can only help the situation.

While I appreciate the benefits of modern, allopathic medicine — I might not be alive without it — I am also more than a little suspicious of both the motivations and the outcomes of “big pharma” and our pharmaceutical culture. If we actively promote the idea that there is a pill for every problem, and medication is our go-to for all behavior problems from childhood on, can we really be surprised that so many people select various forms of “self-medication” to deal with stressful issues in their lives?

Hippocrates famously said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” He wasn’t talking about pills or injections, synthesized in the laboratory! Let’s be grateful for allopathic medicine, and make careful and considered use of it, where necessary and appropriate. But the more we can do with healthful foods, meditation, obtaining sufficient high-quality sleep, and spending time outdoors in natural surroundings, the better, in my opinion. And even more so when it comes to children!

DEFRA | Discover Britain’s Protected Foods

lakeland-herdwick-v333

Source: DEFRA | Discover Britain’s Protected Foods

Foodways and local foods are a fascination of mine, and so I found this most interesting! As I am not in Britain, of course, it is mostly an academic interest; but if or when I have the chance to visit next, I will surely take account of these unique regional delicacies! One interesting tidbit I gleaned from just a short scan:

“In the 1920s Beatrix Potter (Mrs Heelis) invested money earned from her Peter Rabbit stories in buying up Lake District farms under threat from development or afforestation. On these farms she encouraged the revival of the Herdwick breed. On her death in 1943 she left all her farms to the National Trust, specifying that the sheep on these farms should be kept as pure Herdwicks. Lakeland Herdwick lamb was served at the Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation dinner in 1953.”

Nashotah Renews Its Roots – The Living Church

The seminary with a farming heritage sells land to an earth-friendly foundation.

Nashotah Land Deal

Source: Nashotah Renews Its Roots – The Living Church

Given my love of environmental stewardship (which I have long argued is a moral and spiritual responsibility for Christians), sustainable agriculture, and local food and farming, I think this is awesome news! Nashotah House is not only the Episcopal Church’s traditional Anglo-Catholic seminary, having been founded in the 19th century by Jackson Kemper and his companions, godly men influenced by the Oxford Movement, but in more recent years has also opened its doors to educate and form priests for other Anglican bodies, as well, including Continuing Anglican jurisdictions and the ACNA.

As this article points out, “The center of gravity in the religious environmental movement has been on the liberal wing.” For one of the more conservative, theologically orthodox Anglican seminaries in the U.S. to become involved in land conservation and sustainable agriculture — although these are part of Nashotah House’s roots — is a significant and, to me, encouraging development. It is more than time that the theologically orthodox stopped conceding the moral high ground on these issues to the religious left! One cannot rightly and believably claim to love God the Creator while willfully damaging and degrading His good Creation (see comments).

To again quote this article, “As an Anglo-Catholic seminary, Nashotah House is more theologically conservative than most of its Episcopal counterparts, yet it stands to become the standard bearer for sustainable agriculture… ‘Why do we care about the environment? Because God made it, and God cared enough about it to take human flesh to redeem it,’ [the Very Rev. Steven Peay, Nashotah House’s dean and president] said. ‘If that’s the case, then what we have to do is be good stewards of it.’” To which I can only say, amen, and amen!