Saturday, 30 April 2011

Beatification Live

Nobody does a Royal wedding like the Church of England.

Nobody, but nobody does a Beatification like the Church of Rome!

Watch the Vigil and the Beatification of Ven. Pope John Paul II live, here.

A good Catholic monarch would be a fine thing, but watching this Vigil, it is difficult not to be impressed by the prayerful devotion, especially of the Polish, to God and the very soon to be Beatus. There is 'round the clock Rosary going on in Rome. It serves to remind us that the Lord's Kingdom, 'is not of this World'.

What we will see tomorrow in Rome is the joyous celebration and jubilation expressed by thousands lining the streets, because the Resurrection has brought someone, Pope John Paul II, to reach the Beatific Vision of God Himself, the destiny to which we are all called.

Certainly, Pope John Paul II led the great Polish nation out of the captivity of Communism and, more importantly, into the arms of Our Lady in prayer. As well as consecrating himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary ("Totus tuus" was his heartfelt daily prayer), he established devotion to the Divine Mercy through the canonisation of St Faustina and established both her Feast and the Feast of Divine Mercy (tomorrow) into the Church's calendar. His achievements on Earth are possibly too long to list. His evangelical mission continues in Heaven! Deo gratias!

I'm still relatively new to the 'liturgy wars' but even while now considering the Traditional Latin Mass to be the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven, I do also believe Pope John Paul II was an heroic and very holy Pope. More important than what I think, however, is what Heaven thinks and since the Holy Spirit guides the Church into raising men and women to the Altar of God, I can't see how any faithful Catholic worth his salt can put his arms up in the air decrying anyone's Beatification. The Church has spoken! End of! I suppose you could say I'm something of a Johannine-Pauline convert, in as much as reading his book, 'Crossing the Threshold of Hope' was perhaps the most influential contribution on the road leading to my decision to knock on the door of Westminster Cathedral and ask for instruction to become a Catholic. That will always be the single most important decision that I have ever made or ever will, even if the road ahead is unsure, long, arduous or even painful.

Tomorrow is a great Feast of God's great mercy and a celebration of a Pope who proclaimed this great mercy, 'in season and out of season.' He never tired of proclaiming the Gospel in its fullness and entirety to all the nations. While Bishops and Priests ran away from Catholic teaching on marriage, family life and the Church's teaching on sexuality and artificial contraception, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed, through his theological contributions to the Church, the beauty of human love, fidelity and sexuality expressed in the Sacrament of Marriage.

May his intercession obtain for us many graces on our earthly pilgrimmage, so that we may follow where he now is, for he is reigning with Christ! Alleluia! Whether he is having further discussions with Lefebvre or not, is another matter altogether. It should be of no interest to us. God is with His Church. Christ is with His Popes! Let us rejoice in God, our Redeemer! Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning, is to make an appearance live tonight apparently.

I know that the Royal weddings are naff, vulgar and at times quite moving, but then Royal weddings are about the dead honouring and celebrating the dead. On the other hand, people who cannot celebrate the glorious Beatification of the living, of a holy Pope who is counted as one of the living, are big time killjoys who need their heads examined. Gosh, there are so many languages and different songs from all the different cultures from around the World at the Vigil, though...so many! The Cardinals on the stage, however, keep praying the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria. Interesting! I look forward to the highlights of the Beatification tomorrow after Mass.

I believe that the death of Princess Diana overshadowed greatly the funeral of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta. It would be sad, if supremely ironic, if the media's thirst for Royal wedding post-union analysis, while running reels of that 'second kiss' and engaging in endless discussion about the the dress, overshadowed the Beatification of Bl. Teresa of Calcutta's friend, Holy Father and Leader - the 265th Successor of St Peter, Pope John Paul II.

Friday, 29 April 2011

"It's a Nice Day to...Start Agaaaaaaiiiiin!"



Was Billy Idol calling for the disestablishment of the CofE?

Tip of the cap to Fr Ray Blake, who has thrown a hand grenade into the Royal Wedding party. He will, I expect, be rewarded with another Argus headline this week! And he's called a commenter a heretic for denying the Immaculate Conception and Assumption of Our Blessed Lady! Way to go, Father!

I didn't watch the wedding myself and opted for busking on St James's Street in Kemptown with Jason and 'Mister Paul'. I think we made about a quid or two, even with a union jack flag from Sainsburys and a Sun front page exclusive picture of Kate and Wills stuck up on the disused 'Taj' shop window. Everyone looked miserable as sin. Morrissey was right.

Turns out, down where we live, nobody seemed to give two figs for the Royal Wedding - not even on the campest street in Brighton, one of the side streets of which has a cafe dedicated to the Royals! All the bunting in the World couldn't cover up the fact that nobody was arsed about it in the slightest and it wasn't because they were inside watching it. We were out in the sun between 11 am and 4.45pm, making merry and trying to be as medieval as we could. Nobody was buying it! Nobody was interested in merry-making!

Kemptown: Not interested in Royal merry-making
No street parties, no drinking, no people laughing, no merry-making, dancing, jigs, singing, guitars, lyres, lutes, tambourines, harps, fights, hurrahs, 'Jerusalems', shouts of God save the Queen - nothing - not even people blowing whistles with excitement. It must be the aftershocks of Protestantism rippling down the centuries to the present day and hitting them in the knackers. Unfortunately, one of my friends was so drunk that Jason said, "I can't work with this man! He's impossible!" I understand how he feels.

God save the Queen and all her subjects, but news from Brighton is that nobody really cares about the Royals or their weddings - not in Kemptown at any rate. God bless the happy couple, mind, and give them a long and fruitful marriage. As for Christianity and the Royals, well isn't this the grandson of the 'Christian' Queen who gave Royal Assent to the Abortion Act (1967) and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act (2008), writing into death the lives of well over 200,000 innocent babies annually? I wonder whether William is 32nd or 33rd degree Freemason, yet? Probably 33rd, but that's just me gossiping and speculating wildly.

Congratulations to the "Benefits Scroungers"



"So I broke into the palace/With a sponge and a rusty spanner/She said, "I know you and you cannot sing"/I said, "That's nothing you should hear me play piano"

It's been a long time since Morrissey has said anything witty or interesting. Usually nowadays he bemoans the fact that animals are still eaten. Yawn! Still, I thought his comment that the Royals are just "benefits scroungers" was quite incisive. There's not many on State benefits who can command such public adulation, vast media attention and get the taxpayer to pay for palaces, corgis and massive weddings. Mind you, there's not many who can command such a high rate of benefits allowances. Every now and then they do some volunteering, but then so do a lot of people on benefits. I don't think Morrissey is in line for a knighthood, somehow! Still, it is important that Catholic musicians only accept knighthoods from Catholics...

May God bless the wedding of Kate and William and grant them a long and happy future together. I wonder whether the Royal Wedding will result in more people getting married and taking marriage seriously. Most people on state benefits can't afford it, of course, but it is good that marriage should receive some good PR today.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Watch 'The Mission' on Gloria

Click here to watch the full length movie courtesy of Gloria TV!

'The Mission is based on true events surrounding the Treaty of Madrid in 1750, in which Spain ceded part of Jesuit Paraguay (a mission territory) to Portugal. 
The film's narrator, "Altamirano", speaking in hindsight in 1758, corresponds to the actual Andalusian Jesuit Father Luis Altamirano, who was sent by Jesuit Superior General Ignacio Visconti to Paraguay in 1752 to transfer territory from Spain to Portugal. He oversaw the transfer of seven missions south and east of the Río Uruguay, that had been settled by indigenous Guaranis and Jesuits in the 17th century. As compensation, Spain promised each mission 4,000 pesos, or fewer than 1 peso for each of the circa 30,000 Guaranis of the seven missions, while the cultivated lands, livestock, and buildings all built created by the natives in conjunction with the Jesuits were estimated to be worth 7-16 million pesos. The film's climax is the Guarani War of 1754-1756, during which historical Guaranis defended their homes against Spanish-Portuguese forces implementing the Treaty of Madrid. For the film, a re-creation was made of one of the seven missions, the large São Miguel das Missões.
Father Gabriel's character is loosely based on the life of Paraguayan Saint and Jesuit father, St Roque González de Santa Cruz. The waterfall setting of the film suggests the combination of these events with the story of older missions, founded between 1610-1630 on the Paranapanema River above the Guaíra Falls, from which Paulista slave raids forced Guaranis and Jesuits to flee in 1631. The battle at the end of the film evokes the eight-day Battle of Mbororé in 1641, a battle fought on land as well as in boats on rivers, in which the Jesuit-organized, firearm-equipped Guarani forces stopped the Paulista raiders.'
1986 British drama film. Directed by Roland Joffé. Starring Robert De Niro, Jeremy Irons, Ray McAnally. 18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. 

Catholic Radio Roadshow Coming to Brighton



"Starry, starry night...", or not in this case...

I was terribly excited when I was was told a Catholic Radio Roadshow coming to Brighton. When I learned more about it, I realised that Don Mclean was performing...but alas not in Brighton. It looks like Don's involvement with the roadshow will end in Coventry or somewhere. [Update: It is not THE Don Mclean, it is a comedian who goes by the same name - not the musical legend, Don Mclean!]

Inspired by the Papal Visit the 'Heart Gives Unto Heart' Catholic Road Show is coming to Brighton on Thursday 26th May at the Meeting House, Sussex University, Station Approach, Falmer BN1 9RH.

The Programme runs as follows:

1.30 pm - 9.00 pm Free Catholic Art / Photo / Icon Exhibition - all day
  • Free Vatican Stamp Exhibition - all day

1.30 pm - 5.00 pm Catholic Charities will be have stalls in the Main Hall
  • Catholic Books, CDs and other Religious items will be on-sale
  • Refreshments available throughout the day in the Main Hall
  • A free souvenir newspaper will be available

1.30 – 3.30 pm Free Workshops “Helping Your Priest and Parishioners”
  • Debt Counselling
  • How To Run A Soup Kitchen
  • How to make the most of your Repository and Parish Events

5.00 pm Mass

6.00 pm - 7.00 pm Pre-concert Reception

7.15 - 9.45 pm Gala Concert - Artists include: Fr Stan Fortuna / Edwin Fawcett / Jo Walkden / Charley Pinfold (Rise Theatre) / Gerry Coates / Bobby Jo (Mime and Dance) / Martin Brown / Paul Dempsey / Teresa Brown (Violin)
Tickets on sale Friday April 8th - Concert only - £8; Concessions - £5; Concert + Pre Concert Reception (inc. Wine and Cheese) £12.
Postal tickets: Send cheques/postal order (made payable to “Heart Gives Unto Heart Radio”) to Southwark Catholic Youth Services, St Vincent Centre, Castle Road, Whitstable, Kent CT5 2ED
In Person: Tickets on sale after weekend Masses from selected parishes

Online tickets: see websites from Friday April 8th – Booking Fee – Credit Cards accepted

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Rosary Wall Posters

Found this image on the interweb.

This is what every Catholic teenager's room looks like.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Rosary Leaflets...


I've been working with the old desk top publishing package and have come up with some nice looking Holy Rosary leaflets, because I have ran out of the ones published by other groups and don't know how you order such things in bulk. Anyway, I love the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help on the front of my new leaflet.

I'm going to invest some money by getting them printed on some nice paper/card, so if any missionaries out there would like to order some leaflets, let me know. I don't know what printing is like in terms of cost, but I expect it will end up being something like 20p per leaflet, as they'll be in colour and on nice paper. On the inside the pictures are nice and fairly big (no Luminous Mysteries, I'm afraid!).

Hope the feasting is going well for everyone? Has anyone been sick yet? If you want to share your strict Easter feasting plan for the next 50 odd days, I'd be interested in how you will glorify God and keep the commandment of the Church to indulge in all manner of exotic foodstuffs. How many courses do you have for breakfast? Are you having champagne with every meal or sticking to Lambrini? Share your Easter resolutions here. It still needs some work, a few typos here and there and I'm working on the finished draft. Let me know if you'd like to order some...Yes, I could do them in Latin as well! I suppose if I were really kind I could just put the jpegs up and people could print them out themselves. Still, even though I've just realised the CTS have got this area well and truly covered, let me know if you'd like some.

This is what guilt looks like...



hi Lawrence its Megan we were in Brighton on Tuesday P.S U SAID U WERE SENDING A PACKAGE. XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOD BLESS U!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was from my Goddaughter. I haven't seen her in years...It's her First Holy Communion this year. I am the absent Godfather. I hang my head in shame.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Programme on the Vatican on IPlayer

BBC Four has a programme on the Vatican. Might be rubbish, might be good, not sure yet.

Click here to watch.

Is this the most blasphemous song ever recorded?



I think it is about the euphoric effect of certain drugs. The link between Christ's risen and glorious state and euphoric highs is clever, but just because it is clever does not stop this from being perhaps one of the most blasphemous songs ever recorded. Or am I being over the top? Just on the surface level, the search for bliss, blessedness, paradise, Heaven, union with God, immortality are surely elements of drug use. St Augustine described the man looking for love in all the wrong places, as is our habit, as a man searching for God, that somehow, even notorious sins are an expression of that search for the Lord, for eternal union with the Blessed Trinity. Still, with all that said, there is something outrageously sacrilegious about a man singing "I am the Resurrection and the Life", even more so when what he really means is that he is just high on various chemical drugs.

Happy Easter

He has risen as He said. Allelulia! A very nice painting, indeed. Alleluia! Not like modern garbage. Alleluia! It is by Castagno, Andrea del Castagno. Alleluia! Circa. 1421/23-1457. Alleluia!

Saturday, 23 April 2011

St George



This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

St George's Day has fallen on a rather awkward day, liturgically. Still, let us honour this great Saint and Martyr recognised by the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church. Please pray for England, St George! I'm off to the Mater of all Masses. Have a Happy Easter! Christus Resurrexit! Deo gratias!

The Eighth Day



Here, The Beatles take up the profound theological discussion concerning the Eighth day, made by the Lord, which we celebrate tonight, introducing a new dimension to the discourse, of human, spousal, marital, romantic love, reflecting Creation, Re-Creation and Christ's love for His Bride, the Church.

"You're Dead, Mate!"

The early Christians described themselves as 'the living'.
This is possibly what the early Christians said to the unbelievers, so it is possible that we can say that to Richard Dawkins.

Now that we know, thanks to the excellent work, 'Jesus of Nazareth Part II' by Pope Benedict XVI, that the early Christians went by the name of 'the living' (which, incidently, isn't a bad band name), does that shed new light on the phrase from the Creed, that Christ will return to judge 'the living and the dead'?

I was involved in a discussion today about it. The upshot seemed to be no, in a literal sense, concerning Christ's return, but yes, in another sense, in that those who are cut off from Christ are spiritually speaking,  dead, since Christ is Life itself, the Resurrection and the Life, the Author of Life, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, the Living One, Who gives living water welling up unto Eternal Life. When Christ returns, according to St Paul, some will be alive, some will be dead, yet taking up on what the Holy Father said, there is a sense in which even among those alive when the Lord comes, some shall be considered as the living and some, the dead. In the Gospels, a man comes to Jesus asking if he can first bury his father before following Him, only for the Lord to say, "Let the dead, bury their dead." Following Christ is urgent because He is Life itself. Interesting that the Lord, in the parable of the prodigal son, describes the returning son in terms of death and life, "Because this my son was dead, but has come to life again." In the Eucharistic discourse in the Gospel of St John, the Lord Jesus speaks of Himself as being the 'Bread of Life' and that if we do not eat His flesh and drink His blood, we have 'no life in' us.

Apart from Christ is only death, temporal, spiritual and eternal. Only in Christ do we or can we find 'life in all its fullness'. Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us life. He alone can give life, through His Holy Catholic Church, through the Sacraments which reconcile us to God, giving us life through Baptism, Confession and through Holy Communion. Therefore when the Lord, said, "I put before you today death and life, choose life," for us now it means choose Jesus Christ, the Living One, to Whom belong 'all time and ages, forever and ever'.  The Pope's startling reference to the early Christians' self-description as, 'the living', enhances even those 'life' issues so hotly contested by the World, such as artificial contraception, abortion, homosexual culture and marriage, IVF, divorce, euthanasia. In all of these things, it is perhaps only union with Jesus Christ through His Sacraments in the Church that creates and defines the dividing line between the culture of life and the culture of death, between the 'living and the dead'.

Holy Saturday

Thanks to Whispers in the Loggia for posting this beautiful and ancient text. I think I'll post it too...

'Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve.
The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.
For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you. Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven.
I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.'

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday

There was a time when art communicated the inexplicable, when art allowed people to delve into the unfathomable Mystery of God, a time when art would help people to contemplate and meditate upon God.

That time may have passed, as modern artists no longer think of God, rather of offending those who revere Him, but we still have those timeless pieces of art that are able to say, 'There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World'...'Behold, thy Mother'...'They shall look upon Him whom they have pierced'...'God is Love'.

Nowadays, artists just place a Crucifix in blood and urine and photograph it. A bold statement of humility is such an action. It is a statement that says, "It is true, I have no artistic talent. I can only make money out of offending those who revere Jesus Christ. I have nothing, absolutely nothing to say to the World. All that could and should be said, has been said and I have come to despise it."

In modern art, God is mocked or blasphemed. In this Pieta, God is allowed to speak. Modern art says nothing. This painting says a thousand words and thousands more. God has died. God has died for the love of us. Well done to French Catholics. Now that it has been smashed, the 'art work' actually says something. It has been mildly improved. We could do with more Catholic vandals who target the art world. That said, well done to Bishop Arthur Roche.

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, in case you were mistaken over the meaning of this day in the calendar, not Good Friday, as we had hitherto believed.

Clearly, Google, not having a great appreciation of the death of the Saviour of the World, chose instead the neo-pagan ideology of the 'green' movement.

The green movement really is another religion altogether, isn't it? Remember to leave the lights on when you go to Mass.

Ants

While gardening yesterday, I disturbed an ants' nest under a paving slab. Suddenly ants were everywhere, on the ground. Under the slab, in the mud were ridges that made it look like they had built a whole city, which I guess they had. What I found astonishing was the way in which loads and loads of ants were only thinking of one thing. "Save the babies!"

Every ant was running around looking for pupae to carry down a hole leading to either that city or another one that they would soon be forced to build thanks to my barbaric trashing of their home. Every ant was intent only on rescuing the babies and taking them down a hole to protect them.

The whole thing reminded me rather of the excellent work of the Pro-Life movement, the Good Counsel Network in particular. How much greater is the ant's dedication to rescuing the unborn than the human race's! Be like the ant: Say no to abortion! Defend and protect every human life!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

New Film about St Hildegard Von Bingen



This might be worth watching...

Courtesy of Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent

'The life of Hildegard as child, religious, and superioress was an extraordinary one. Left much to herself on account of her ill health, she led an interior life, trying to make use of everything for her own sanctification. From her earliest years she was favoured with visions. She says of herself:
"Up to my fifteenth year I saw much, and related some of the things seen to others, who would inquire with astonishment, whence such things might come. I also wondered and during my sickness I asked one of my nurses whether she also saw similar things. When she answered no, a great fear befell me. Frequently, in my conversation, I would relate future things, which I saw as if present, but, noting the amazement of my listeners, I became more reticent."
This condition continued to the end of her life. Jutta had noticed her gifts and made them known to a monk of the neighbouring abbey, but, it seems, nothing was done at the time. When about forty years of age Hildegard received a command to publish to the world what she saw and heard. She hesitated, dreading what people might think or say, though she herself was fully convinced of the Divine character of the revelations. But, continually urged, rebuked, and threatened by the inner voice, she manifested all to her spiritual director, and through him to the abbot under whose jurisdiction her community was placed. Then a monk was ordered to put in writing whatever she related; some of her nuns also frequently assisted her.
The writings were submitted to the bishop (Henry, 1145-53) and clergy of Mainz, who pronounced them as coming from God. The matter was also brought to the notice of Eugene III (1145-53) who was at Trier in 1147. Albero of Cluny, Bishop of Verdun, was commissioned to investigate and made a favourable report. Hildegard continued her writings. Crowds of people flocked to her from the neighbourhood and from all parts of Germany and Gaul, to hear words of wisdom from her lips, and to receive advice and help in corporal and spiritual ailments. These were not only from the common people, but men and women of note in Church and State were drawn by the report of her wisdom and sanctity.

Thus we read that Archbishop Heinrich of Mainz, Archbishop Eberhard of Salzburg and Abbot Ludwig of St. Eucharius at Trier, paid her visits. St. Elizabeth of Schönau was an intimate friend and frequent visitor. Trithemius in his "Chronicle" speaks of a visit of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, but this probably was not correct. Not only at home did she give counsel, but also abroad. Many persons of all stations of life wrote to her and received answers, so that her correspondence is quite extensive. Her great love for the Church and its interests caused her to make many journeys; she visited at intervals the houses of Disenberg and Eibingen; on invitation she came to Ingelheim to see Emperor Frederick; she travelled to Würzburg, Bamberg, and the vicinity of Ulm, Cologne, Werden, Trier, and Metz. It is not true, however, that she saw Paris or the grave of St. Martin at Tours.'

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Who is Like Unto God?

I don't know who wrote this, but it is sublime. Perhaps someone could tell me who wrote it. I found it on the website entitled Who Is Like Unto God...

The Mystical City of God

Chapter 1

The Conception
p. 84 – 92

“God said: Let there be light, and light was made.” He speaks here not only of material light, but also of the intellectual or angelic lights. He does not make express mention of them, but merely includes them in this word, on account of the proclivity of the Hebrews to attribute Divinity to new things, even of much greater inferiority than the angels. But the metaphor of light was very appropriate to signify the angelic nature and mystically, the light of their science and grace, with which they were endowed at their creation. God created the earth conjointly with the heavens, in order to call into existence hell in its centre; for, at the instant of its creation, there were left in the interior of that globe spacious and wide cavities, suitable for hell, purgatory and limbo. And in hell was created at the same time material fire and other requisites, which now serve for the punishment of the damned. The Lord was presently to divide the light from the darkness and to call the light day and the darkness night. And this did happen not only in regard to the natural night and day, but in regard to the good and bad angels; for to the good, He gave the eternal light of his vision and called it day, the eternal day; and to the bad, the night of sin, casting them into the eternal darkness of hell. Thus we were to be taught the intimate relation between the merciful liberality of the Creator and Vivifier and the justice of the most just Judge in punishment.
The angels were created in the empyrean heavens and in the state of grace by which they might be first to merit the reward of glory. For although they were in the midst of glory, the Divinity itself was not to be made manifest to them face to face and unveiled, until the should have merited such a favor by obeying the divine will. The holy angels, as well as the bad ones, remained only a very short time in the state of probation; for their creation and probation with its result were three distinct instances or moments, separated by short intermissions. In the first instant they were all created and endowed with graces and gifts, coming into existence as most beautiful and perfect creatures.
Then followed a short pause, during which the will of the Creator was propounded and intimated, and the law and command was given them, to acknowledge Him as their Maker and supreme Lord, and to fulfill the end for which they had been created. During this pause, instant or interval, Saint Michael and his angels fought the great battle with the dragon and his followers, which is described by the apostle Saint John in the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse. The good angels, persevering in grace, merited eternal happiness and the disobedient ones, rebelling against God, merited the punishment, which they now suffer.
Although all this of the second instant could have happened in a very brief time on account of the subtle nature of the angels and the power of God, nevertheless I understood, that the kind consideration of the Most High permitted a certain delay. With the interposition of some intervals of time, He proposed to them the good and the bad, truth and falsehood, justice and injustice, divine grace and friendship as opposed to sin and enmity of God. They were enabled to see eternal reward and eternal punishment, the perdition of Lucifer and of those that would follow him. His Majesty showed them hell and its pains. They saw it all; for, by virtue of their superior and excellent nature, they understood the essence of other more qualified and limited creatures; so that, before falling from grace, they were clearly aware of the place of their chastisement. Although they did not know in the same manner the reward of glory, they had of it other knowledge and besides they had the manifest and express promise of the Lord. The Most High had therefore justified his cause and proceeded with the greatest equity and justice.
But as all this goodness and equity did not suffice to restrain Lucifer and his followers, they were chastised in their stubbornness and hurled into the depths of the hellish caverns, while the good angles where confirmed in eternal grace and glory. All this was consummated in the third instant, and thus it became truly manifest that no being outside of God himself is impeccable by nature, since the angel, who held such an exalted position and was adorned with so many great gifts of knowledge and grace, nevertheless sinned and was lost. What will become of human frailty, if the divine power does not defend it and if it forces God to forsake it?
It remains to investigate the motive, which urged Lucifer and his confederates to sin and what was the occasion of their disobedience and fall, for this is the point to which I wanted to come. In regard to this, it was made known to me that they could commit many sins as far as the guilt of sin (secundum reatum) is concerned, although they did not consummate them in acts. However, on account of those which they did actually commit and approving in others those sins, which they could not commit themselves. Following the bad inclinations which from that time on filled Lucifer, he fell into a most disorderly selflove, which arose from the consciousness of being endowed with greater gifts and greater beauty of nature and grace, than the other inferior angels. He tarried with inordinate pleasure in this consciousness; and thus self-satisfied he became lax and remiss in the gratitude, which was due to God as the sole cause of all that he had received, but also induced him to harbor envy and covetousness for other gifts and for excellences not his own. Then, because he could not attain them, he conceived a mortal hatred and indignation against God, who created him out of nothing, and against all his creatures.
Hence arose his disobedience, presumption, injustice, infidelity, blasphemy, and perhaps also a certain kind of idolatry, for he coveted for himself the adoration and reverence due to God. He blasphemed the divine magnificence and holiness, he failed in the trust and loyalty due to Him; he plotted to destroy all the creatures, and presumed to be able to do all this and much more by his own power. Thus his pride ascends continually (Ps. 73, 23) and perseveres, though his arrogance is greater than his strength, for in this he cannot increase (Is. 16, 6) and in sin, one abyss calls the other (Ps. 14, 8). The first angel who sinned was Lucifer, as is described in the fourteenth chapter of Isaias. He induced others to follow him and therefore he is called the prince of the demons; not on account of his natural gifts, for these would not secure to him that title, but on account of his guilt. Those that sinned were not all of one order or hierarchy, but among all hierarchies that were many who sinned.
It is proper, that I also explain what was made known to me concerning the kind of honor and excellence, which Lucifer aspired to and envied. As in the works of God there is measure, number and weight (Wis. 11, 21), his Providence decided to show to the angels, immediately after their creation and before they could incline to diverse ends, the purpose for which He had created them with such an exalted and perfect nature. Of all this I obtained the following information: At first they received a more explicit intelligence of the being of God, one in substance, trine in person, and that they were commanded to adore and reverence Him as their Creator and highest Lord, infinite in his essence and attributes. All subjected themselves to this command and obeyed it; but with a certain difference; they good angels obeyed through love and on account of the justice of it, offering their love and good will, freely admitting and believing what was above their intelligence, and obeying with joy. Lucifer, on the other hand, submitted himself, because the opposite seemed to him impossible.He did not do it with perfect charity, for he, as it were, was divided in his will between himself and the infallible truth of the Lord. 
In consequence it happened that the precept appeared to him in a measure difficult and violent, and his fulfilling of it was wanting in love and in the desire to do justice. Thus he exposed himself beforehand to the danger of not persevering. Although grace did not leave him on account of this remissness and slowness in the accomplishment of these first acts, nevertheless his bad disposition began with them; for there remained with him a certain weakness and laxity of virtue and spirit, and the perfection of his nature did not shine forth as it should. It appears to me that the effect of this remissness in Lucifer, is similar to that which is caused in the soul by a deliberate venial sin. I do not say that he sinned mortally, nor even venially at that time, since he fulfilled the precept of God; but this fulfillment was remiss and imperfect, springing more from a sense of overwhelming compulsion, than from a loving willingness to obey. Thus he put himself in danger of falling.
In the second place, the angels were informed that God was to create a human nature and reasoning creatures lower than themselves, in order that they too should love, fear and reverence God, as their Author and eternal Good. They were informed that these were to stand in high favor, and that the second Person of the blessed Trinity was to become incarnate and assume their nature, raising it to the hypostatic union and to divine Personality ; that therefore they were to acknowledge Him as their Head, not only as God, but as God and man, adoring Him and reverencing Him as God-man. Moreover, these same angels were to be his inferiors in dignity and grace and were to be his servants. God gave them an intelligence of the propriety and equity, of the justice and reasonableness of such a position. For the acceptation of the merits foreseen of this Mangod was exhibited to them as the source of the grace which they now possessed and of the glory which they were to obtain. They understood also that they themselves had been, and all the rest of the creatures should be created for his glory, and that He was to be their Head. All those that were capable of knowing and enjoying God, were to be the people of the Son of God, to know and reverence Him as their Chief. These commands were at once given to the angels.
To this command all the obedient and holy angel*, submitted themselves and they gave their full assent and acknowledgment with an humble and loving subjection of the will. But Lucifer, full of envy and pride, resisted and induced his followers to resist likewise, as they in reality did, preferring to follow him and disobey the divine command. This wicked prince persuaded them, that he would be their chief and that he would set up a government independent and separate from Christ. So great was the blindness which envy and pride could cause in an angel, and so pernicious was the infection that the contagion of sin spread among innumerable other angels.
Then happened that great battle in heaven, which St. John describes (Apoc. 12). For the obedient and holy angels, filled with an ardent desire of hastening the glory of the Most High and the honor of the incarnate Word, asked permission and, as it were, the consent of God, to resist and contradict the dragon, and the permission was granted.
But also another mystery was concealed in all this: When it was revealed to the angels that they would have to obey the incarnate Word, another, a third precept was given them, namely, that they were to admit as a superior conjointly with Him, a Woman, in whose womb the Onlybegotten of the Father was to assume flesh and that this Woman was to be the Queen and Mistress of all the creatures. The good angels by obeying this command of the Lord, with still increasing and more alert humility, freely subjected themselves, praising the power and the mysteries of the Most High. Lucifer, however, and his confederates, rose to a higher pitch of pride and boastful insolence. In disorderly fury he aspired to be himself the head of all the human race and of the angelic orders, and if there was to be a hypostatic union, he demanded that it be consummated in him.
The decree constituting him inferior to the Mother of the Incarnate Word, our Mistress, he opposed with horrible blasphemies. Turning against the Author of these great wonders in unbridled indignation and calling upon the other angels, he exhorted them saying: “Unjust are these commands and injury is done to my greatness; this human nature which Thou, Lord, lookest upon with so much love and which thou favorest so highly, I will persecute and destroy. To this end I will direct all my power and all my aspirations. And this Woman, Mother of the Word, I will hurl from the position in which Thou hast proposed to place Her, and at my hands, the plan, which Thou settest up, shall come to naught.”
This proud boast so aroused the indignation of the Lord that in order to humble it, He spoke to Lucifer: “This Woman, whom thou refusest to honor, shall crush thy head and by Her shalt thou be vanquished and annihilated (Gen. 3, 15). And if, through thy pride, death enters into the world (Wis. 2, 24), life and and salvation of mortals shall enter through the humility of this Woman. Those that are of the nature and likeness of that Man and Woman, shall enjoy the gifts and the crowns, which thou and thy followers have lost.” To all this the dragon, filled with indignation against whatever he understood of the divine will and decrees, answered only with pride and by threatening destruction to the whole human race. The good angels saw the just indignation of the Most High against Lucifer and his apostates and they combated them with the arms of the understanding, reason and truth.

Good stuff, eh?

Apocalypto

Not sure this is Lenten viewing, but Apocalypto is on BBC IPlayer. I never saw it the first time round. Apparently it is the 'prophecies' of these people who ate other people that are meant to have us conclude that the end of the World will take place in December 2012.

Still...It has to be said, at least things in the Catholic online community aren't quite this bad.

Troubling but Insightful Commentary on Vaughan School

The Noise of the Crusade has a thoughtful analysis of the Vaughan debacle which has been taken up by Offerimus Tibi Domine. For those of us, like me, who have been somewhat slow on the uptake of the plight of Vaughan parents, both are well worth reading.

Particularly troubling is this passage from Fr Simon Henry...

'There is a discernible trend to impute "clericalism" to those of the John Paul and Pope Benedict generation, to priests who have been convinced that orthodoxy is the only way for the Church to live up to the mission given it by Christ. There is a particularly nasty strain of this whereby priests who are considered "too" orthodox are accused of clericalism and a (completely spurious) link is made to the child abuse scandals and cover-ups.'

How on Earth can 'clericalism' be a charge levelled at the feet of those who hold fast to the Church's Magisterium and whose orientation is set steadfastly to the East? Was it traditional Catholic Priests and Bishops who held the reigns over the past 40 odd years, when the abuse was being covered up and committed? Is it they who impose, in a heavy handed manner, liturgical nightmares upon their congregations? Are they a great cause for scandal in the Church? Are they the ones who are most distant and who pretend to be deaf to the strikingly Christological theology of the Successor of St Peter, Pope Benedict XVI?

Catholic Voice: Austen Ivereigh
There indeed appears to be something of a battle over semantics going on within the Church, evidenced in recent times more blatantly by liberal Catholic journalists such as Austen Ivereigh and John Allen, in their often furious objection to and derision of the Catholic blogosphere. So it is then that Catholics who write in defence of the Pope and the Church's teaching are 'Taliban Catholics', but the comfortable, easy chair cafeteria Catholicism that ferociously rejects orthodoxy is somehow presented as a 'real' Catholicism espoused by good, nice Catholics of upstanding reputation and whose only desire is to serve the Church faithfully. Yet how very imperiously they often behave to those who are their brothers and sisters in Christ. I expect that to Austen Ivereigh, for example, the people who stood outside their school defending it from over-arching, bullying, finger prodding, 'clericalism' were just mad Catholic freaks who need to chill out and shut up. People like the Director of the SPUC, for instance, who are critical of what can only be described as compromises with evil taking place in areas of the Church are derided as loons. Last week, Ivereigh, writing in America magazine, lampooned Catholic bloggers as 'Jansenist' while talking of the need for a 'covenant of civility' in the Catholic online world...

'A better term, closer to Catholic home, would be "Jansenist", meaning the eighteenth-century French movement which provoked a major theological crisis in the late seventeenth century. One bishop referred to the Jansenists as "pure as angels and proud as devils" -- an apt description of certain defenders of Catholic orthodoxy who believe it's their job to "determine who's in and who's out", as Allen puts it.'

I don't know, in particular, at which bloggers Ivereigh is aiming, but that is a gross over-simplification of the activity of Catholic bloggers, both lay and clerical. Catholic bloggers tend to criticise dissent from the Magisterium when it rears its head. Is that such a crime? Nobody is claiming that they embody the Magisterium, that they are mirrors of perfection. At heart, Catholic bloggers defend Catholic Truth - the truth that saves, rescues and heals. How strange it is that these media figures are the ones well-established within the Church's media team, who benefit well from their status, who have access to the Catholic Hierarchy and who are loved by the liberal Catholic Establishment. The stage is theirs, and in a sense, they have it all 'sewn up' and yet one can definitely sense a growing unease within the liberal Establishment, a growing degree of discomfort at the vox fidei coming up from those on the ground, the voices of those who are not what the Holy Father has called 'professional Catholics' but Catholics who simply love the Faith and wish to defend it for seemingly no pecuniary reward.

I've been reading a splendid book about the 'Life and Times of St Dominic'. I was, until now, unaware that the first name accredited to the Dominicans was 'The Militia of Jesus Christ'. Such a strident and bold name, that connotes fighting for the Lord with the weapons of prayer, preaching and orthodoxy of belief would doubtless offend modern liberals, but not quite so much those who hold fast to the Church's Magisterium.

I think that one of the things that upsets liberals is that many Catholic bloggers can look back to the Middle Ages and see, amid the drama, gore, war, blood and battles against heresy, the zeal and love for Jesus Christ held by so many of our recognised, canonized Saints. These were the ones who fought with their words, speech, actions and prayer against the false dogmas of those who denied essential truths pertaining to the Faith. They stood up in defense of what is precious - the Gospel, the holy doctrines of the Church, fidelity to the Pope, love for Jesus Christ and hatred of sin. They fought and preached for the salvation of Souls. They were heroic. They were, in the case of Sts Dominic and Francis, prepared even to be voluntarily poor in order to do it. They were loved, but also feared and hated for speaking truth in charity. They, however, are the ones who are remembered by the Church today.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Twitter

I've succumbed.

My profile name is LaurenceEngland.

Requiescat in Pace

A local Brighton man named Jon Ellison has been murdered. Say a prayer for his soul's rest. Brighton has never lost its dark side. There have been some seemingly motiveless murders in this town recently and this appears to be yet another.

You know you're getting old when...

...you're telling teenage skateboarders not to skate where you are working because they're ruining the concrete border around the flowerbed of the hotel where you are gardening.

I told them. I said that the hotel manager would be out pretty soon to tell them to clear off, but did they listen? Did they? Did they heck.

Little blighters. In my day...

High Court to Rule on Release of Department of Health Abortion Figures

Just going off to do some gardening. Obviously, I would take out an A-board with an image of the Crucified Christ on it while I'm working, but not only is it Lent, but in modern Britain today, I'd probably be sacked like that electrician.

Anyway, here is a story. The NHS and presumably even the Government Minister responsible for it are very, very keen indeed that real figures on the number of babies aborted for being 'imperfect' foetuses are not released into the public domain. What, I wonder, has the Department of Health got to hide?

According to The Telegraph...

 'The Department of Health is making a High Court challenge today to stop figures being published on the number of late abortions on "less than perfect" foetuses with physical abnormalities, including cleft palate and club foot.'

NHS, eh? National Hitler Service more like! Good work by the Pro-Life Alliance to push this. I wonder how the High Court will rule. I'd say this was a matter relevant to the public interest, wouldn't you? But then with a Government continuing to oversee the routine destruction of unborn children up to birth for purely eugenic reasons, with the full support of the Prime Minister, David Cameron, there is always a chance that support for such lawless corruption extends to the judiciary as well. Let's pray that this is not the case today.

Read the story here. Suffice to say, the only perfect foetuses in human history have been Our Blessed Lord and His Blessed Mother, the former being the only begotten Son of God, the latter being the chosen Mother of God, spared of the stain of Original Sin, who was 'full of Grace', conceived immaculately and who was therefore, without sin. Neither before nor after, has there ever been a 'perfect' foetus. Ah, I see...they think that perfection is an exterior thing. They think that beauty is skin deep. Ah, what a glorious age in which we live...I could go on, I haven't had a good rant in ages, but I've got to go gardening.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Extraordinary Form of the Mass with Commentary



This is rather good.

Quotes of the Day

"It is all very well to deliver speeches about the need for greater voluntary activity, but there needs to be some practical solutions."
 "At the moment the Big Society is lacking a cutting edge. It has no teeth."
"It is not sufficient for the Government, in its localism programme, simply to step back from social need and say this is a local issue."
"We're now at a very critical point, with the philosophy of the Big Society getting clearer, but on the other hand the effects of the cuts are becoming real and there's real pressure about what will happen on the ground."
"As we said in our discussion document, a government cannot simply cut expenditure, wash its hands of expenditure and expect that the slack will be taken up by greater voluntary activity."
"As we said in our discussion document, a government cannot simply cut expenditure, wash its hands of expenditure and expect that the slack will be taken up by greater voluntary activity."
"The poorest are taking the biggest hit while at the same time you see huge bank bonuses and profits and this is not right."

To find out who said this, click here. If only they could grab the headlines in the United Kingdom for saying something that actually reflected the Catholic Faith on Palm Sunday. Don't get me wrong, I agree with the majority of the above, but doesn't it all just sound like something Ed Miliband would say? What about the scourge of abortion? What about the overt and deliberate sexualisation of the young? What about the defense of Catholic education? What about a condemnation of the brutal Equality Act? What about the whole spiritual direction of the United Kingdom? What about speaking to Souls as well as to government bodies? The fact that this remains the top story on The Telegraph website goes to show just how powerful the Catholic Church could be in pushing the Gospel to the forefront of the public consciousness.

The statements above are not bad as such. They are good, but they are also popularist.  What about the Gospel? What about Our Lord Jesus Christ? The Church is not an arm of Social Services nor is it an extension of the Labour Party or a trade union. It is the Instrument of Salvation. If this message, the message of the Gospel, the message of our sin and our need for the Salvation of God were already coming from senior figures in the Hierarchy, then I would applaud them when they spoke on matters of social justice as well. Palm Sunday is an ideal opportunity to speak to Souls and it is so sad that key figures in the Hierarchy have failed to do so.

For Pope Benedict XVI's homily for Palm Sunday, click here.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

More LGBT Insanity

LGBT ludicrousness: Marxism with a more colourful flag
Today's Telegraph appears dominated by yet more LGBT insanity. Could it get more barking? Yes, it could and will!

California is to pass a law requiring 'gay rights and history' to be taught in schools. In another story, a gay couple have gone to the press to complain about their 'outrage' having been asked to leave the John Snow pub in London after a bar room snog. In another, children as young as 12 are to be given 'puberty blockers' if they feel like they are a different gender and may require a sex change.

As it happens, I met a straight couple last year who were evicted from a gay bar for having a snog on the dancefloor. They didn't go to the press about it, even though they felt personally injured that their love wasn't celebrated, tolerated or accepted in Brighton's Revenge bar. Perhaps someone could make the suggestion that the affronted gay couple take their public displays of affection to a bar where their love is promoted, like, er, a gay bar, instead of putting more traditionally minded land ladies in an awkward situation. It's a nice pub, the John Snow, if I recall.

Regarding the other two stories. Aside from the surreal directions that the West is taking, isn't it a little sinister that the LGBT lobby is so interested in targeting, indoctrinating and grooming the young? Let's face it, the gay 'community' has to make new 'recruits' because, being a proportionally small percentage of the populations of the World, as well as not being able to actually breed, the 'community' relies on converts.

The NHS research project to interfere with the biological clock of youngsters is horrifying. It is worth noting that...

'To take part, they will have to meet strict eligibility criteria including having full support from their parents, the existence of long-standing gender identity issues, an ability by the child to give formal consent and an absence of other mental health problems.'

Gosh. Isn't that just so generous of the NHS to actually obtain the full support, consent and knowledge of parents before such a bizarre 'Brave New World' of medical procedures are enacted upon teenies with growing pains? Of course, that is the case...at the start. How long before getting a 'window' through puberty blockers to be followed by routine genital mutiliation is as easy for a teenager in 5 years time as it is for a teenager now to obtain abortiofacients and surgical abortions without any consent from their parents, as part of a comprehensive 'confidential service' provided by the State with the help of the Brook Advisory Service?

Wikipedia has an LBGT history timeline which you can read here. Gosh. Fascinating stuff. Well, that's gay history well and truly covered. No doubt the same education policy will eventually be promoted here. Perhaps LGBT studies will eventually be like RE, where children just become less and less interested in it over time because it is being taught in school and school is boring. RE is, incidently, on its way out of schools, so there will be a time slot rather conveniently created for 'LGBT studies' in the curriculum when David Cameron and Nick Clegg give Stonewall yet more gratification.

In fairness to the gay couple, it would perhaps have been more charitable if the offended landlady had simply asked if they could please not do that in her pub, but sympathy ebbs away when you discover that a gay "kiss-in" is now taking place in 'outraged' protest at the landlady's actions, deliberately doing exactly the very thing she didn't like, in her pub. How terribly vulgar, rude and childish.  The gay community are kind of evangelical, aren't they?

Friday, 15 April 2011

High Court Rules Against Cardinal Vaughan Parents



It is saddening to hear this from The Catholic Herald...

'The High Court has ruled that the Diocese of Westminster acted lawfully over the appointment of trustees to a prominent west London Catholic school.
The Court of Appeal handed down a majority judgment (full text) about the governing body of the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School today, ruling that the Diocese of Westminster acted within the law when it refused to re-appoint two parents as foundation governors. The judges also ruled that the appointment of Paul Barber, the diocesan education director, to the schools’ governing body was legal.
The Vaughan Parents’ Action Group described the judgment as disappointing.'

The whole affair leaves a rather bitter taste in the mouth, doesn't it? Can it really be that there are 'victors' in the Diocesan camp rejoicing over the outcome of this Court dispute? Is Oona Stannard wearing an even wider grin today than she was in that photograph with archetypal political villain, Ed Balls, and the Archbishop of Westminster? How can anyone be glad about it when the rights of Catholic parents to be the primary educators of their children are, in their view, being trampled upon, not by a Soviet State but a frighteningly Orwellian...Diocese?

I don't know. The reason I've not blogged much about this before is because there are many bloggers, Damian Thompson being one of them, as well as James Preece, who are much more informed and aware of the situation at Vaughan than me. The unwieldly throwing around of temporal power exemplified in the bizarre prodding incident documented by many and a 'might equals right' attitude seems to have become the default setting of Diocesan practice in the modern Church. This was, ironically, what also emerged from the horrors of the Murphy Report and this seems to be what is emerging today. The voices of Catholics who are concerned, above all, about the welfare, spiritual and temporal, of their children appear to be dismissed at a Diocesan level.

I don't know, as yet we don't know, where Archbishop Vincent Nichols stands on all this. The task of making a public statement on the outcome of today's High Court dispute has fallen to Auxillary Bishop George Stack. As it happens, I had a nice letter back from His Grace in response to my letter, signed by myself and Sean Wright of Juventutem London, urging His Grace to appeal on behalf of the Church and Her poor in Westminster Piazza that their rights and the rights of believers to offer them food and drink be respected. I know it is important to respect confidences so I shall not reproduce His Grace's letter, but suffice to say it was very nice, assuring me that 'dialogue' with Westminster City Council is the way forward on the issue, rather than 'leglislation'.

I must say that I was thrilled to even get a letter from the Archbishop of Westminster and I'll keep it as long as I live. My letter was written on 28th February and the reply came on the 7th April. I assume that His Grace was as equally responsive to those Vaughan parents who must have written to His Grace over this traumatic period asking for his personal intervention and for his support in the dispute at a school with a distinctively Catholic identity (even giving special priority to children whose parents attend Mass regularly), that remains resolutely against the State's more relativistic and secular agenda for education. His Grace is, we can safely say, an Archbishop who wishes to fulfill his Apostolic mission by working in dialogue and negotiation with all concerned in order to advance the Holy Faith and foster reconciliation wherever dispute arises.

Yes. Whether it be in the field of Catholic education, under attack from a corrupt State that wishes children to be sexualised from the tender age of 5 or the defense of the homeless, under attack from a nefarious City Council, dialogue and negotiation are His Grace's way. Yet, there has, only recently, been one vitally important campaign that has won the Archbishops favour and which has inspired His Grace to take a stand and make a public show of support in a dispute of great concern to Catholics in the Diocese of Westminster. Click here to find out which campaign has Archbishop Vincent Nichols's public seal of approval.

Say a prayer for the Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School. Vigils and prayers are efficacious, but I guess if you don't have the right 'Connexions', in modern education, things are always going to be more difficult.

An English Voris? Yes, Please!



This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

Another compelling video by Michael Voris of Vortex fame, this time answering the criticism some have made that his speeches are 'insensitve to other religions.' Voris has a cutting edge that is attractive. He speaks truth openly and that makes him unpopular with many. It is no wonder that he is considered 'too hot to handle' for Church property. Can you imagine an English Michael Voris saying things that shake members of the English Hierarchy out of their complacency? I can think of a few who would throw a fit should an English Voris emerge!

Prayers at a Pro Life Vigil with Bishop and Franciscans

I was reminded today that there will be a Pro-Life Vigil at the BPAS abortuary in East Twickenham led by Bishop Alan Hopes and the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (including police protection).  The Vigil will take place outside the BPAS at 15 Rosslyn Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TE1 2AR, tomorrow on Saturday 16th April, 2011.

Click here for more details, at Maria Stops Abortion, concerning the Vigil and if you can't make it, pray for all at risk of abortion and for those bearing witness to the truth in charity.

Well done Bishop Alan Hopes! Deo gratias!

Authorities Fear Christ

Brent Council has apparently refused the go-ahead of the Way of the Cross Walk, this year, organised by several Churches in Willesden, London. It has been noted by not just one but two bloggers that the Council appear somewhat more relaxed about Hindu or Muslims publicly expressing their faith. It is a strange decision. It's not like the walk will involve perfectly liturgically and penitentially apt purple hoods that will scare the children of Willesden.

You'll be surprised, then, to learn that this year, Brighton and Hove City Council have given the go-ahead for a whole Passion Play to take place around Brighton and finally 'it is finished' on The Level, a green near the London Road.

I was surprised that the Council in Brighton leant their name and support to it. I'm more surprised that Pope Benedict XVI's warning to the United Kingdom not to push religious expression out of the public square has not been heeded by Brent, where the community is so diverse in terms of religious affiliation.



On a more general level, however, it has to be said that secular authorities will fear Christ greatly, since He is the one, the only One, Who can liberate men and women's hearts from the tyranny of sin as we enter into relationship with Him. That is why the Catholic Priest at St Mary Magdalen's,Willesden, is right to ask whether a Pride march would have received such a strict review.  Still more than that, however, what losses there would be for so many authorities in the United Kingdom, were countless men and women to live for Christ. Abortion clinics would record record losses, unprecedented since the 1960s. Authorities would fear religious sentiment and stop acting as the campaigning arm of Stonewall.  Whole agendas which are embedded in public life would have to be reassessed in the reawakening of public consciousness of Christ as 'the Way, the Truth and the Life'.

In that sense, and in that sense only, can we speak of Our Lord as a 'revolutionary'. The revolution is God's. It is God's revolution, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, that takes place in men and women's hearts. 'My Kingdom is not of this World,' said Our Blessed Lord. Still, we pray, 'Thy kingdom come'. There is a very real sense that to 'powers, principalities and dominions', Catholicism, and to an extent other mainstream Christian churches, is still a great threat to authorities, because at the heart of the Christian Faith is an upturning of the values of the World. It is counter-cultural, the Cross stands as a Sign of Contradition to the World. The public witness of believers too, stands in opposition to the values of the World.

In order to be considered a real 'heretic' in modern Britain, one really has to be a faithful Catholic who rejects the dogmas of modern society. Perhaps, even within the 21st century Church Herself, a similar level of scorn is afforded to those who are loyal to the Pope and to the Magisterium. The tables have, in that way, been turned from the times when the Church was strong. Isn't it ironic that society now apes the very 'close-mindedness' or 'dogmatic' stances of which the Church was accused not too many centuries ago? Yes, there are many authorities, powers and dominions who wish the message of Good Friday to be suppressed. Many would have much to lose from the conversion of England, for which we steadfastly pray. Those who follow Christ, who take up their Cross and follow Him along Calvary are considered 'rad, trad and dangerous to know'. Perhaps, in a modern Britain so dissatisfied with those things that so often bring us pain, anxiety and despair, that is why membership of the Bride of Christ could yet become more and more appealing.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

An Absolute Must See Voris Video (Especially for US Catholics)

Guild of Catholic Bloggers

William Oddie has today posted on his Herald blog, on the idea, proposed by another blogger, A Reluctant Sinner, to form a 'Guild of Catholic Bloggers'.

It is a great idea, but I must admit I have this wickedly fantastical notion in my mind that the first meeting would be like that scene in 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back', when Lando Calrissian takes the rebel alliance in on that moon base only to hand them over to Darth Vader who is waiting for them offering them scones and cream tea.

That's what I thought about the Rome blognic, where loads of Catholic bloggers are invited, only to be confronted by a stern faced Cardinal Sodano of greasing the wheels for Marcel Maciel infamy and an even less amused Cardinal Schonborn, still reeling from the worldwide viewed footage of that clown youth Mass in Vienna. "Turn back everyone! It's a trap!" the bloggers cry, but it is too late! All the bloggers are rounded up and then turned into 'carbonite' by Cardinal Sodano who is now dressed as Bobba Fett, the bounty hunter.

I am, of course, joking. It is a great idea. The meeting is in the Hinsley Room next to Westminster Cathedral on the 7th of May from 2 - 4pm. Wait! It's a trap set by Mgr Curry! We're going to get prodded to death!

Stop that 6 Year Old American Girl...



...because she could be the kiddie bomber, right? This 'borders' on molestation.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Yellowstone: Mysterious, Beautiful and Potentially Cataclysmic

Fr Z, with exemplary apostolic zeal for souls, urges his readers to prioritise the things that keep them awake at night, suggesting people still concerned about 'global warming' downgrade climate change and upgrade Yellowstone National Park in the alarmism stakes.

I remember watching Supervolcano, a BBC programme that dramatised events unfolding after a future eruption of Yellowstone, the huge magma chamber slumbering beneath one of the World's most outstanding areas of natural beauty. It was very frightening, much like that one about a 'megatsunami' that could be caused by a chunk of La Palma falling into the ocean and wiping out the East coast of the US. None of us knows the day or the hour when we are called to give an account of our lives, when the state of our souls will be made plain before God. If there is anything to learn from the horror of Japan, let it be that. If there is anything to be gained from watching any dramatisations of potential future horrors, let it be that.

On the other hand, if you just want a glimpse of the sheer beauty of Yellowstone and its animal inhabitants, watch the excellent hour long BBC documentary entitled, quite simply, Yellowstone. The series captures the seasons of Yellowstone National Park and the first episode covers the park's gruelling winter.

Muslims of the World...Uniting

I know this is going to sound awfully Islamophobic but over the last couple of weeks I've seen this advertisement on You Tube and other mainstream websites.

Somewhere out there exists a Muslim dating agency now advertising on a global scale and in a way in which one presumes 'Ave Maria' Singles simply cannot afford to.

On Catholic sites one would maybe expect a Catholic singles advert to appear, but it must cost rather a lot of money to be able to advertise on YouTube, now owned by Google. Perhaps one might see a Jewish dating site on a Jewish site. On ordinary, mainstream sites, I'm yet to see a Catholic dating agency or a Jewish dating agency. I don't know what to make of it really. I suppose first time I saw it I was just a bit shocked and thought, 'Gosh, well I didn't expect to see that here.' Of course, I could say something like, "Phwoar...look at the burka on that!", but I'm not that immature or culturally insensitive.

Let's face it, Muslims are better at doing religion than us. They do the basics better than us. They pray regularly, they breed and they pass on their Faith to their children. Perhaps it is no wonder they've got a dating agency able to advertise on YouTube and we haven't.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Voris on Controversy with Diocese of Scranton



This program is from RealCatholicTV.com

Apparently Michael Voris was turned away from the Diocese of Scranton in the US, having arranged a talk. Here the Real Catholic TV man gives his response to the decision. He makes a couple of good points.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Bob Marley Drinks

I can confirm that the new Bob Marley drinks do actually make you sing Bob Marley songs. Citrus makes you sing 'Three Little Birds'. I'll let you know what the other ones make you sing when I have tried them.

Archbishop Calls for Arrest of Koran Burning Pastor

Extreme measures recommended in extreme circumstances by Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan.

'Speaking from Lahore in an interview with Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, Archbishop Saldanha said: “The US government should detain the pastor for some time.
“In view of the effects his actions have had all over the world, he should be controlled and understand the harm that has been done.”
Archbishop Saldanha, who is president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Lahore, went on: “The US government talks about religious freedom – but we call upon the US government to prevent such actions by extremists and other fundamentalist Christians.”

The Catholic Herald reports on the the dire consequences of the nutjob US pastor...

'Since the Koran burning took place at the Dove World Outreach Centre in Florida on March 20, protests have been held in many parts of the Muslim world. In Afghanistan, an attack on a UN base on Friday in the city of Mazar-e-Sharif killed 14 people, seven of them US staff. The next day at least 10 people were killed in the southern city of Kandahar. Meanwhile, protests have taken place across Pakistan and the Koran-burning has been linked to attacks on three churches across the country, which is home to 2.5 million Christians.'

As if Christians weren't finding it hard enough in Islamic countries already! What a mentalist! Koran kissing Popes may not be everyone's cup of tea, but at least such actions show a little religious respect and help to sow peace, rather than hatred and emnity. Read the full Catholic Herald article here.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Ad Deum Qui Laetificat Juventutem Meam

Juventutem London, of whom I am sure readers are aware, are assembling their own schola so that they can have regular sung Masses, sung by members.

Juventutem are establishing groups around the country, the latest, I think having been formed in Bristol. I would definitely try and assist Juventutem in setting something up in Brighton, as I am still two years short of the 35-year-old threshold.

The cost of forming a choir, however, is not cheap, as they need funds for the choirmaster and materials. They estimate that it will cost £150-200 per Mass to fund this. This is going to be well worth it, and will allow us to have high quality liturgical music, ad majorem Dei gloriam. Please give generously to them.  The paypal 'donate' button is on the right of the Juventutem blog. Juventutem London will shortly be arranging a sponsored event for this cause as well.

Juventutem constitute something of a youth arm of the new liturgical movement that has been given such inspiration by the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI. Images like the one above are surely the kind that will have Bobby Mickens and Catherine Pepinster more than a little concerned. O the times they are a-changin'!

The Pontificate of Abuse

I have in the past had some experience of abusive relationships. They are profoundly painful even when you love the person involved. It ...