Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Shame Of The Marines
Not starring John Garfield

First off, let it be known this posting is my personal opinion, and that of no one else.

On with the show.

I'm disappointed -- VERY DISAPPOINTED -- with my fellow Marines up in Camp Lejeune. We Marines have always prided ourselves with our stickler adherence (bordering on the psychotic and OCD) to the history, customs and traditions of The Corps.

Ask any Marine, you'll hear about Tun Tavern. Want to know who Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller is? Ask a Marine. 'Blood Stripe', what the hell's a Blood Stripe? Ask a Marine. 18 or 80, show a picture of the flag raising on Mount Suribachi to a Marine, the chest swells more than a wee bit. The Marine Corps Birthday Ball... "March on the Beef", first and second slice of cake to the oldest and youngest Marine present. Hell, you can be stationed in the friggin' desert, but the floor is 'the deck', a mop is 'a swab', and that 26-year old Captain is 'the Old Man'.

Yep, Marines are figuratively eat-up with our history, customs and traditions.

To a very large degree, it's our bulldog adherence to our traditions that separate and differentiate us from those in our Sister Services. The exception, it would seem, would be Catholic Marines and the Traditional Latin Mass.

Since the re-introduction of the TLM at Camp Lejeune, the numbers have winnowed from a decent number, to a mere handful. The congregation is roughly broken into equal thirds -- active duty, retired military, and local civilians. The number of active duty personnel should be through the roof. But in all fairness, during the first few Masses, there were more than a few 'lookie-loos'. To include a father and son across the aisle from me who snickered and made smart-ass comments throughout the entire Mass. Only through the divine aid of St Francis Xavier was I kept from making these two numbskulls the first martyrs for Bugnini.

And for this truly historic Mass that has recently been celebrated with regularity aboard Camp Lejeune, the highest ranking Catholic I've seen present is a retired(?) Navy Commander. In my personal opinion, that is absolutely and utterly shameful on the part of both the senior Officer and Enlisted leadership who call themselves Catholic.

Anyhow, if any of my fellow Marines up Camp Lejeune way should be reading this, I ask of you to consider the following;

1. This Mass goes back 1,500 years. You can't get much more traditional than that.

2. This is the Mass whose roots, the words of Consecration itself, goes all the way back to the exact words used by Sts. Peter and Paul when they preached in pagan Rome.

3. This is the Mass that inspired Catholic Warriors to defend Christendom at the Battle of Lepanto, the Battle of Vienna, during the Holy Crusades, etc.

4. This is the Mass that strengthened centuries upon centuries of martyrs as they were led away to be beheaded, burned or have their guts slit open and their insides ripped out... all for the high crime of being Catholic.

5. This is the Mass that was celebrated at Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, the Chosin, Hue.

6. This is the Mass of Servant of God Father Vincent Capodanno (CMoH), Father Joseph O'Callahan (CMoH) and Father Aloysius Schmitt (who the chapel was initial dedicated to).

7. This is a masculine Catholicism. Do the right thing, you'll be rewarded. Purposfully do the wrong thing, get ready for your sword to be stomped on in biblical proportions. No holding of hands, or "it's only a sin if you think it's a sin" at the TLM. h
8. This is the Mass that is set in stone, unambiguous, in your face in it's moral absolutes... just like the Marine Corps.With all that said, allow me to be so bold as to remind my fellow Marines that yes, I understand that learning Latin seems intimidating. But no one's expecting you to become a Latin scholar... just understand enough to understand the Mass.

Understanding the rubrics of the TLM takes time. But no one expects you to become a professional liturgist... just understand enough to understand the Mass.

Traditional Catholic spirituality and all that it entails can be kind of tough to wrap both mind and soul around, but hey... as Marines, we know that nothing worthwhile comes easy. If anyone understands that painfully simple maxim, one would think it would be Marines.

Yeah, it's tough, but maybe that's why they're called spiritual excersizes.


Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

First of all, Cavey, I agree with you about the TLM and the disheartening decine in the numbers of attendees. However, the Latin Mass is like Mozart, single-malt scotch (OK bourbon & branch water for you Southroners), and leg of lamb roasted on a spit. The TLM is an acquired taste that takes some getting use to if you weren't born into it as I was, but the effort to do so brings enormous spiritual rewards.

I don't in any way condone the inappropriate behavior you referenced, but modern people are so imbued with pablum liturgy, that the strong meat of the TLM leaves them confused. I think there will be many fits and starts re-invigorating Catholic liturgy with the TLM. And there is a lot more liturgical politics to endure.

Of course you must have been referring to the Gregorian Sacramentary when you stated that the mass was 1500 years old. Actually, the Roman Canon is older than any other Eucharistic Prayer, except perhaps for the liturgy of Addai and Mari, which the Nestorians (Assyrian Church of the East) and Chaldean Catholics (with modifications) of Iraq use in their Divine Liturgies.

It is going to take an enormous effort to re-vitalize the Mass of the Ages among the sheep-in-the-pews. We have 40 years and counting of liturgical devastation to overcome. I predict pessimistically that it will take greater than 40 years from now to turn things around in a big way. Just a private opinion.

A retired Navy Commander and nearly exclusive TLM attendee

7:53 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

Amen. And shame on the two jerks making smart-ass comments all through the TLM. How ugly is their ingratitude! I'd have to travel 300 miles to attend the TLM.

By the way...what the hell IS a blood stripe?

8:27 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

It's the red stripe on the Dress Blue trousers for the ranks of Corporal and above. It signifies the high number of casualties during the Battle for Chapultapec Palace during the Mexican-American War (The Halls of Montezuma).

This Marine Corps trivia moment was brought to you by Anita!

8:33 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

I hadn't realized that it was due to the M-A War. Another interesting historical bit for me to remember. Thanks, Cavy.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Maybe it's because they are required to check their brains at the door as they enter the Marines, or for that matter, any branch of the U.S. military.

9:08 PM  
Blogger Anita Moore said...

Now I didn't know that. Thanx, Cavey!

You should (if you don't mind my suggesting it) put together a post on Marine Corps tidbits like that, or else do a series so each one can receive longer treatment. I don't know about anybody else, but little details like that make me more appreciative of the Marine Corps!

9:32 PM  
Blogger JLS said...

Having been a Lutheran at the time, and a nominal one at that, and just a few days beyond having had to have stood on the footprints at USMCRD SD, I responded Sunday morning to the call to go to the Protestant service.

We arrived before the Mass was over, and were stood along the back inside wall, where we could see the remainder of the Mass.

The room was like a big theater with a stage. Fellow recruits were on bended knee, and an old man in robes was slowly going from one to the next, and placing something too small for me to see, on the tongue of each man.

There was a radiance that went up from all those faces ... no doubt from the stage lighting, but that only served to expose the looks in those faces of the warriors in training.

I recall the astonishing feeling of seeing those guys in a light (pun or no pun, it stays) altogether different from what I saw on the daily basis ... fierce young men competing without let up to be the best, and with faces that the day before were screwed into the shape that comes with screaming "kill" each time the drill instructor ordered it.

That was one of the spiritual landmarks which I referred to years later when I began my search for what the Bible pointed to, namely the Holy Eucharist.

Let the uninitiated laugh at the Mass; let them trash talk it; let them stay away from it ... They have not faced enough of the music of reality yet to appreciate what God has, in His grace, given us.

10:41 PM  
Blogger StarbucksMom... said...

This post made me cry.

Sadly, I can see myself in the two snickerers... myself years ago.

Let us pray for them, that the graces they received from attending the Mass take root in their souls.


2:23 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

That's not what your mom said. But then again, it's not our brains she was after.

5:22 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Excellent commentary.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Mark said...


Your response proves my point.

9:30 AM  
Blogger PreVat2 said...

First off, I need to ask Mark if he is one of those gutless cowards who are protected day and night by those of us who have/do serve...or is he just a flat-out pussy?

Once again, that mortar round hit its for effect! As a Marine who shares your history, I am at a loss for what to say. I too believe that all this may take time, as most modern Roman Catholics are in fact, Roman-Protestants, due to the Novus Ordo. Give them time!

Semper Fi my good friend. And Mark...go pound sand, you pussy!

11:00 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

That's the same thing your mom said.

11:06 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

PV Deuce,
Me thinks your 2d guess hits the nail on the head. I guess we're all suppose to be impressed by his sophistication.

Oh, wait... this is the same idiot stick that initiates the comments with a schoolyatd taunt.

Possibly it would be best for this dolt just to keep his narrow ass in the shallow end of the pool. After all, hell hath no fury like a non-combatant.

11:15 AM  
Blogger VSO said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

Kinda half off topic, I rather like that "Martyrs for Bugnini" idea.

I know a number of people who are candidates for that.....some are locals.

2:50 PM  
Blogger Mark said...


Point proved, again.

By the way, you never have protected me.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Simplex Vir said...


You should be aware of one thing. There is nothing more dangerous, more calculating, more intellegent, and more couragous that a young Marine facing insurmountable odds. The Chosen proved that.

You on the other hand like the rest of the cowards that like to pretend they are "above it all" will be the first ones running over old ladies and children to protect your own ass when the shit hits the fan.

Hey that kind of action does show you have survival instinct, but it still makes you a first class puss who would probably sell out his friends to get on an enemy's good side!

5:37 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Markie, m'girl,
Don't try to pop-off like you're somehow above us knuckle dragging grunts. Your punk ass oozed in here with your smart ass comments, and you got it shoved down your throat. But for some odd reason, I get the funny feeling you're use to that.

BTW dip shit, if you don't speak Russian or Arabic, we have protected your sorry ass. And the really sad thing is, you're just to friggin' spoiled/stupid to realize it.

Like I said, keep your narrow ass in the shallow end of the pool. I certainly hope you enjoyed your last post, because it was. All further comments from you will be unopen and automatically deleted.

Have a happy Marine Corps day, sugar britches.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Damn, brother! I thought PV2 and SV were tough on this maggot! I appriciate the sentiment, but I'm going to have to hold off on posting your comment.

But know that I agree with everything you said!!

5:42 PM  
Blogger Confiteor said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Hoog said...

"...By the way, you never have protected me."

Since you're not writing this in German, Japanese, or Russian while being forced to bow to Mecca five times a day(yet) belies your point.

Though I don't think you'd get it.

More's the pity.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

Maybe it's because they are required to check their brains at the door as they enter the Marines, or for that matter, any branch of the U.S. military.

Another first class jerk like Patrick Kennedy.

BTW, folks, this post has all the marks of an internet troll. Don't waste your time trying to educate him.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Mary Rose said...

VSC, I can certainly sympathize with you. Coming from the Marines, with such an appreciation for that which is noble and brave, it would seem that the TLM would be a natural fit. Yes, it does take effort to follow but (as I know you know) - oh, how it is so worth it. I'm wondering if any have viewed some videos like these?

The TLM is filled with silence, and oftentimes, people feel uncomfortable with that because they're so used to be busy. I can only imagine it being harder for a Marine because he is so used to be busy both in mind and body. There is a constant vigilance that a military man has bred into him and I could see how it would be difficult to lay that down.

Now, if I may, I'd like a word with Mark, if the coward is still reading.

Mark, it seems you feel quite comfortable criticizing our military. This reveals something. Basically, a huge sense of inadequacy. I'm not sure if your mother stopped breast-feeding you before you were ready, but let me be clear: the military has kept this country safe. Perhaps you tried to enter the military but didn't have what it took to be a Marine. Who knows.

Your responses made me think of this: The wussified men at Virginia Tech who wouldn't know what a "bum rush" was if it sat on their face. You are the product of an overly feminized culture with no backbone because its been throttled out of you. There's no need to slam men who still have one.

Since you are obviously a beta man, I invite you to visit my blog some time and bring it. Because as much as I'm aiming toward heaven, I don't suffer fools gladly and when needed, wield the wisdom stick. And instead of hiding behind a blank Blogger name, it would be nice to see if you had a blog, too, so we could visit and leave all sorts of nice little comments.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Non Sum Dignus said...

Hey Mark, why don't you list who you are on your blogger profile? I wasn't in the Marines but I was one of those "brainless" who served in this man's Army during Vietnam. It's sad to think that a lot of my buds lost their lives and limbs in that war--and other wars, including the one were're fighting now with scum that'd just as soon saw your brainless head off as look at you--so that you can denigrate our brave and honorable American military. But hey, that's why they, and all the vets on this post, did it. Enjoy your freedom, you bed-wetting asshole. Not that you deserve it.

2:42 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Mary Rose said: The TLM is filled with silence, and oftentimes, people feel uncomfortable with that because they're so used to be busy. I can only imagine it being harder for a Marine because he is so used to be busy both in mind and body. There is a constant vigilance that a military man has bred into him and I could see how it would be difficult to lay that down.

Oh, Mary Rose, my friend, there may be a verbal silence, but what's happening in mind and soul is a whirlwind!

Maybe it's because I'm a retired Marine who has looked into the TLM objectivly, I see the beauty and majesty of the difficult.

As Christ said: "embrace your sufferings". And like I said in the posting - "nothing worthwhile comes easy".

In the meantime, your comments are ALWAYS welcome here, Mary Rose. YOU DA MAN!!

5:33 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Lemmme see here --

~One retired Marine.
~Three former Marines.
~One retired Sailor.
~Two former Soldiers.
~One father of both a Marine and a Sailor (undoubtedly, a Vet himself).
~A number of ladies who individually, have more testosterone than Markie could ever hope.

Me thinks Markie bit off more than she could chew.

5:41 AM  
Blogger Bill Hoog said...


Just to set the record straight, I'm the father of TWO Marines and TWO Sailors. (Just wait to see the fireworks when the 4 all get together!)

Anyway, Everyone have a blessed Thanksgiving. (I'm off to fry a turkey!)

9:02 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

I stand corrected, Bill!

9:16 AM  
Blogger PreVat2 said...

Bill Hoog,
I am giving thanks to God today that this great nation still produces fathers who produce the type of sons you have! Two Marines and two sailors? Unbelieveable!

May the Lord keep a special place in heaven for you and yours.

Now to Mary Rose:
If I were not already married to the best, most beautiful and most Catholic woman in the world....I'd ask you to marry me today! And this Marine means it!

Semper Fi

11:30 AM  
Blogger Adeodatus49 said...

Three former Marines.

With deepest respect and appreciation, Cavey, there are no former Marines. Once one qualifies to wear the globe and anchor, he/she is a Marine. The present tense lasts forever.

Same with submariners. I wear the submarine Dolphins. It has been 33 years since I served in the boats, but I am just as much a submariner today as a recently qualified bubblehead.

Happy Thanksgiving to the Marines and bubbleheads serving overseas or on patrol today. Same with all members of the U.S. Armed Forces, at home or abroad.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

"Only through the divine aid of St Francis Xavier was I kept from making these two numbskulls the first martyrs for Bugnini."

Very and sustained LOL! (If one isn't up on RECENT Church history, he or she won't get the joke. But hat is all part of knowing tradition.)

Living in a Navy town, I am pleased to say our local TLM has a regular number of Marines each Sunday (one can always pick them out by the perfect posture and the high & tight haircuts). I might add the married ones seem to be quite unselfish (I guess being in the Marines explains that already) and definitely pro-life because it does this cradle Catholic's heart good to see their large families. When I don't see them anymore, I assume they've been transferred or shipped out and will get an extra prayer from me.

Mark you gutless eunuch, when it comes to accusing Marines of being brainless, you better build a stone wall around that glass shed you live in.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

In case you aren't smart enough to realize it, both of your posts have been deleted. You see, that's MY RIGHT to choose who can post on my blog (emphasis on the word "my").

So pout all you will, point to the non-existant black helicopters circling you mud hut, or rock, or whatever it is the hell you live under, and thank God you live in a nation where you can believe those nutty conspiracy theories all you like.

Oh, and by the way, you can thank us "has-beens" for the freedoms you enjoy, and obviously give damn little thought as to why you still have them.

Anyhow, Pablita, yeah.. I'm long since retired from my beloved Corps, and in your book, that makes me a "has-been".

Beats the hell outta being a never-was.


8:01 AM  

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