Showing posts from May, 2011

God Has Chosen to Live With Us

The Holy Faith is, by nature of its Divine origin and its supernatural essence is, enshrouded in mystery. We can never lose sight of this mystery. Unless we are given great grace, it is very difficult for us to penetrate the great mysteries of Faith.

I find that the greatest mystery of Faith is not belief in the Resurrection, or the Assumption of Our Lady but in what we can see and yet what we cannot see, unless we are given great faith.

The most profound, to my mind, of these mysteries is that which we encounter every time we step into a Church. Every time we walk into a Church we walk into the Presence of God. Every Catholic Church around the World houses the Lord God of Hosts in the Tabernacle. Every time we walk into a Church, God is truly present to us.

Nurturing and building up our faith and the faith of others is about recognising this one simple truth - that God is mysteriously present in the Tabernacle, in the Blessed Sacrament - really, totally, substantially, utterly God. T…

TSA at US Airports: Molestation for the Nation

Miss America complains of molestation by TSA.

Science News: God Likes Spheres Very Much...

...but no created sphere (unless someone can tell me otherwise) is perfectly round. Intriguing! There is an interesting debate about the findings going on over at The Telegrapharticle.

I hate Science. I got a C grade at GCSE for it, but I did enjoy Brian Cox's BBC Wonders of the Universe for his sheer, childlike joy and awe of the galaxies and stuff.  I do, however, like theology and have decided to do some pseudo scientific theology this evening. Here are my results that I'll be sending to the New Scientist magazine next week. Pretty groundbreaking stuff this!

So, a new discovery has been made concerning electrons by scientists who refuted the claim that electrons could live on top (or inside, does it matter?) of one another (I was told about this by a Chemistry student at College today) on the grounds that electrons are 'near perfectly round'. My conclusion: God likes spheres very much.

Apparently Origen claimed that our resurrected bodies would resemble spheres. I d…

A Personal Record

192 recommends! I know my internet-driven life is a little on the sad side, but 192 recommends is a personal record. Read Peter Oborne's very good article on the Obama visit to the UK. A good account of the President's courting of the Irish has been given by William Oddie of The Catholic Herald, and today a scathing post on the two world leaders' blithe indifference to the persecution of Christians worldwide, by Christina Odone of The Telegraph.

Aside from The Catholic Herald, which has a continuously high standard of comment, what Belloc described as the "Official Press" are not very good at looking at the figure of President Obama objectively and without excessive fawning. Every now and then, though, you find a diamond in the rough. Clearly, I'm not the only one who believes the media's reporting of the Obama visit has been absurdly sycophantic. Time for another Carly Simon song, I think. Gosh. They don't make them like this anymore! I'd like t…

In Praise of Carole King and the Traditional Latin Mass

The prophetic voice of Carly Simon. Was she singing about the fallout of the 'spirit of Vatican II' and the loss of the Latin Mass? It's 'Coming Around Again!' much to the chagrin of many and the great joy of a great number.

Vatican 'helped thousands of Nazis escape'...

The Telegraph today reports on something which I only heard two days ago, when I was teaching at the Brighton Unemployed Families Centre Project. I happened to be teaching 'an introduction to blogging' (of all things) to two students.

I met a lovely chap called Dan who already runs a blog (he wanted to learn more about blogging). In fact, if truth be told, I spent a great deal of time discussing with him the excesses of power wielded by the mass media over public opinion and Belloc's essay on the Free Press as well as other issues such as abortion and the empty rhetoric and suit of President Obama.

In Dan, I really felt that I had met a 'kindred spirit'. I'm sure some readers would say that I must therefore have met another nutjob, but that wouldn't be entirely fair. I was a little surprised to how open to the positions of the Church he was, especially concerning abortion, simply because most people today just believe the received wisdom of choice - the …

The Statistics Don't Lie, but the Liberals Do

He may not appear to have the most magnetic personality in the World, but Cardinal Raymund Burke is a tower of strength for the Catholic Church in the US, a Cardinal who preaches and indeed teaches the Gospel 'in season and out of season'. I discovered this Vortex episode, today, covering Cardinal Burke's presence at a pro-life vigil outside the largest Planned Parenthood abortuary in the United States. Thank God for this brave and courageous Cardinal willing to stand up and defend human life. It is better than that, though, because Cardinal Burke is coming to London to speak at Westminster Methodist Central Hall. He comes here, to the UK, with a statistic which is really just as horrifying as our abortion statistics.

"Since the Council, the Body of Christ in England and Wales has been haemorrhaging away at the rate of approximately 30,000 souls a year." 
Wow! A Cardinal who believes that we have immortal souls!  Even better than that, a Cardinal who cares for so…

God Save the President

Hilarious, but just the kind of awful faux pas I'd probably commit if I were in his shoes. Thank God I never will be! Poor man must have felt the Earth opening up...

The media in the UK haven't paid too much attention to this incident. I'm just looking at the Google news coverage of this embarrassing gaff and very, very few of the mainstream press are interested. Now cast you mind back a few years to George W Bush.

I had no time for the man, myself, but it is pretty plain that Obama gets pretty different treatment from the media in the UK, Europe and the US. Just because he's a liberal media crowd's wet dream doesn't mean you can't lament in print the narcissism and embarrassing gaffs of the President of the United States, surely?

Just listen to this from Telegraph blogger, Benedict Brogan...

'A misfired toast to the Queen has not got in the way of fairly rapturous reactions to the power of the Obama effect. '
Do you see what he did there? He gloss…

Breaking News: New Preece Baby

James Preece's wife, Ella, has today given birth to a little baby boy! I don't know how much it weighs. Why do people ask and tell how much a baby weighs anyway? It's not like buying vegetables is it?!

The picture is from the internet. It is not their baby.

Marvellous news!

Happy Secular Feast Day

I've never been madly into Bob Dylan but I understand that some of his songs are treated like secular hymns, mostly by people above the age of 50. He's the singer who sang to a generation but I never felt he spoke to me, unlike someone like Morrissey who actually emotes and communicates in a way that lets you know he's feeling like you feel or have felt.

Today, at the age of 70 Dylan is being revered, even in The Telegraph, as a kind of secular Saint. This is made all the more bizarre by his conversion to Protestant Christianity in his senior years.

Is it possible that Robert Zimmerman (that's his real name by the way) actually believes in the "rapture"? How is he managing to keep the cred with Guardian readers?!

I actually quite like some of his later stuff more. There's a good one called 'Trying to Get to Heaven Before They Close the Door' that is nice. He's a gifted troubadour and poet, of that there is no doubt but Dylan really is held up …

The Day I Met a Priest of the Old Catholic Church

How strange! I was on my bike on my way back from seeing a friend today when I rode past a man dressed in black and white religious garments. He looked like a Dominican, so I rode back up hill and stopped him and asked if he was of the said religious Order. He replied that he wasn't and that he was a priest of the Oratory of St Jean Vianney. The webpage suggests that the Sacred Ministers can be actually laymen. I'm confused.

Anyway, I'd never heard of this Order so I asked if it was Catholic. He said he was an 'Old Catholic'. He looked relatively young to me, but suffice to say images of Mel Gibson and his father crossed my mind, even though I don't know what Mel Gibson's father actually looks like.

A little taken aback, I responded, "Oh, the schismatic sect?!" He chuckled and replied that it depends on how you look at things. Being the kind of chap who tries to look at things the way the Holy Father looks at things, I entered into a dialogue with…

Mother Riccarda Bus!

The author of the St Mary Magdalen Choir Blog has alerted us to the fact that Brighton and Hove Buses have dedicated a bus to Mother Riccarda, the heroic nun who hid both Jews and runaway Nazis in Rome, who was baptised in St Mary Magdalen Church, Brighton and whose cause at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the stage of 'Servant of God'.

A cause for canonisation is one thing...but your name on a Brighton bus?! It doesn't get much better than that!

According to the Brighton and Hove Bus webpage...

'Connections with Brighton and Hove: A Brighton nun who saved the lives of more than 60 people from Nazi death camps during the Second World War may be made a saint. Mother Riccarda Beauchamp Hamborough hid Jews, Communists and Poles in her Rome convent. By her courageous action, she prevented them from being taken to the gas chambers at Auschwitz in 1943. She was helped by her superior, Blessed Mary Elizabeth Hasselblad. Pope Benedict XVI made her a "servant o…

Interesting Blog Alert...

Looking for a new background picture for my own blog, I've stumbled across this very good site, entitled 'The New Theological Movement', which is an interesting name, in the light of the blog of a similar name, The New Liturgical Movement.

The contributers to the New Theological Movement, as far as I can tell, are all priests or deacons. Here is a portion of a post from November last year on the Resurrection of the Body, which the writer calls, 'the most commonly denied dogma'...

“On no point does the Christian faith encounter more opposition than on the resurrection of the body...” So writes St. Augustine (cf. En. In Ps. 88,5), and the point is re-affirmed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 996) – “It is very commonly accepted that the life of the human person continues in a spiritual fashion after death. But how can we believe that this body, so clearly mortal, could rise to everlasting life?”

First, we must consider whether the body which is raised is i…

Pilgrimage Excitement...

Well, I'm putting my name down for two pilgrimages this year. What with the release of the new Martin Sheen movie, The Way, out in cinemas soon, I hear, following a bereaved father making a pilgrimage along the Santiago de Compostela, pilgrimages could even attract atheists this year. Hopefully, lots of Catholics too.

I do so love a good pilgrimage. The first one I'm hoping to attend is this coming Saturday 28th May at Our Lady of Consolation, West Grinstead. Not much walking involved there but I've been before. I look forward to receiving a much needed plenary indulgence! If you can, do come. I think it is being organised by the LMS, so there could or really should be an abundance of pilgrim Catholics with picnic hampers for a High Mass at 12 noon though it seems we should get there for 11.30am. The picnic is after the Mass obviously. Check out Fr Ray's blog for more information.

Ely to Walsingham

The other pilgrimage that I hope to attend is the LMS pilgrimage from El…

Pope Benedict XVI Receives Rapturous Reception from Astronauts

Well, they certainly seemed to get along well at any rate. It must be weird up there.

Sorry, though. No rapture today, folks, so we can all sleep easy...unless, that is, the Lord was just a-testin' and He's a-gonna be a-comin' back tonight to a-whisk believers up into the Heavens 'n leave the unbelievers down here on Earth until He comes again for the rather more sobering, er, Last Judgment of the Living and the Dead.

We're real Bible-believing Christians, Catholics. We believe Our Lord when He says nobody, not even the Angels, knows when the End of Time shall be. We also believe Our Lord when He says, "This is My Body...This is My Blood."

I don't know what this born again Christian obsession is with the rapture, because every time we go to Mass and receive the Precious Body and Blood of Our Lord, He unites His very Self, Body, Soul, Humanity and Divinity to us, making us one, totally absorbed with His very being. Stop me if I'm uttering a heresy…

Doomsday Saturday

Note to self: 'Don't bother washing or cleaning teeth on Saturday as World ends, go to Confession and set aside a little more time for prayer.'

Our Lord warned us about false prophets such as Martin Luther, for instance, who really contributed to this shambles, this awful advertisement for Christianity (and no, I'm not talking about this blog).

If the group claiming that the World will end on May 21st are right it will go down as the biggest fluke in World history.

I assume, of course, that he's praying the Rosary daily, as recommended by Saints, Popes and Doctors of the Church for graces that will aid our salvation. I expect he must be a real man of prayer. I mean, what with being privy to the Mind of the Almighty and Ever Living God, he's going to need all the humility he can get on the Day of Wrath.

Aren't they going to be awfully disappointed if the Lord holds back? Are they still asking for donations even though the World's going to end on Saturday…


I am currently awaiting feedback from the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma over whether we can change the name of the Guild blog, as many in the group are unsure of it. I don't mind the title too much as it is but I think it is a bit too formal for what really amounts to an online magazine into which various bloggers can contribute.

Thinking about what we could call it, well, last week, I read a fascinating account in a magazine about the ladybird. Now, Fr Tim Finniganhas posted something about it on his blog because the Transalpine Redemptorists have a discovered new friend in the ladybird.

The ladybird is remarkable because of its name, which is attributed to Our Blessed Lady.

In 1991, Dr A. W. Exell published his book History of the Ladybird, in which he cites 329 common names for the ladybird over 80 of which refer to the Virgin Mary and 50 of which are dedicated to God. The red colour of the wings is said to represent the clock of the Virgin and the seven black spots stand fo…

Objective Moral Disorder?

I've been rather disappointed by Austen (nice make of car!) Ivereigh recently. I'm new to this Twitter thing, but James Preece put something on his blog from Austen Ivereigh's Twitter status accusing James of saying something he really did not say about homosexuals. I guess Austen is quite good at spinning articles and stories round on their head. You could call it a journalistic three point turn, which is a useful manoeuvre in misrepresenting others. Essential on the information highway, eh Austen?

All James did, as far as I can read, was bring Catholic Voices up to speed on what the Catholic Church teaches on homosexuality being an 'objective moral disorder' rather than being just, well, y'know, fine and dandy and normal and stuff. I know that a particular Catholic Voice was put on the spot by an interviewer who clearly wanted to push him into a corner with a sign saying, "The Catholic Church hates gays", but it is still right for Catholics to be co…

Why Do Muslims Believe Allah is Merciful?

Fr Ray Blake recounts tea with some Muslim friends who are kind to the poor because of their religion. It's an interesting post. I think that, in a way, Islam suffers at the hands of a minority. While the religion itself is tolerated perhaps more confidently in society than is the expression of Christianity, the fact that the United States spent 10 years (if the story is true) hunting down just one particular Islamic extremist, with plenty more happy to fill his shoes does not help the image of Islam, much as a minority of Catholic priests who abused children do not help the image of Catholicism.

There are, actually, plenty of peace-loving Muslims - the vast majority, I would say are. One thing I was wondering, however, is why it is that Muslims believe that Allah is merciful?

For us, we hear some stories of God's mercy in the Old Testament. In His mercy, God spared Abraham's son and instead the Angel of the Lord appears and suggests a ram instead. God spares, in His mercy…

Sustainable Development...

Why don't they just call it eugenics?

I've done my exam invigilating for the day. I couldn't help noticing that the 'World Development Studies' exam is, in the year 2011, citing Thomas Malthus as a respectable academic on population studies, even though he was totally discredited after his population theories concerning population and food never came true.

Anyone would think we're just priming A-Level students to go on to become 'Sustainable Development' academics or workers in the field, who think Malthus was right, contraception and abortion is great because there are 'too many people' in the World and putting them into the Marxist factory that constitutes the modern day University.

Secondly, the history exam. No mention of St Thomas More whatsoever on the Henry VIII section. These exams all take place at the same time on the same day, so I'm not giving away any secrets.

State schools are just propaganda machines...and they say Catholic Fa…

Fighting the Good Fight

Michael Voris described the battle over the Contraceptive Bill as the 'thrilla in the Manilla', named after the famous Muhammed Ali boxing match. I think he was fighting George Forman, who went on to advertise his own line in barbecues. Or was it George Fornby?

 Anyway, now Manny Pacquiao, who packs a certain punch, has weighed into the fight opposing the bill.

Good quote from Manny...
“God said go forth and multiply,” he said, after a meeting with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. “He did not say go and have just one or two children.”Fight the good fight, Manny!


St Francis: "You know what I've noticed about you? You guys have a habit of always seeing things in black and white."

St Dominic: "Funny, I always think you guys have a peculiar habit of seeing everything in shades of grey."

The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma...

Image go!

Click here to see it. I've posted something up, so now its your turn Guild bloggers!

To join the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma contact A Reluctant Sinnerat

Happy blogging, Guild and happy reading, readers!

By the way, while I am blogging about it, and while it is getting a little late, please can I request that near the bottom of the page, the profile name is changed from The Guild of Blessed Titus Bramble to the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma. Below is a picture of Titus Bramble and I'd appreciate that one of the guild would correct my own mistake.

He is a footballer who plays for Sunderland, unlike Blessed Titus Brandsma, who was a Priest martyred for the Faith in Nazi Germany.  Anyway, that's the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma. Our own blogs are in order that we may be largely reactionary. The Guild blog is so that we may be more, er proactionary, in communicating the Faith. Also, if someone else fancies putting a site meter on so…


Edvard Munch's The Scream. Art says different things to different people, don't you think?To me, however, this piece to the left is hauntingly evocative of Bobby Mickens's reaction to the news of Universae Ecclesiae.

Bobby Mickens, writer, correspondent, canon lawyer, liturgist and part-time, freelance advisor to the Successor of St Peter is absolutely livid about the new document that supports and clarifies, with even bolder language, Summorum Pontificum.

The guy obviously needs some 'time out'. A holiday, perhaps, or some 're-birthing' therapy with Cherie and her delightful husband. Readers. It's important to remember The Tablet team at this difficult time for them. Be generous and have pity. Let's all save up and get them a weekend break at a health spa somewhere on the outskirts of London. Chill out, guys! It's just a little reform! Anyone would have thought the Holy Father had just called for the culling of all ginger cats or something!


Science and Religion

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” ~ Professor Stephen Hawkings

"Does God exist? Sorry, computer says no..."

Is it me or is the average modern quote really quite dull and ignorant? Professor Stephen Hawkings has been giving his considered opinion to the media concerning God and Religion.

It is worth recalling that, at the end of the day, Hawkings offers us only his private opinion, an opinion which it goes without saying, is fallible, unlike that of the Church, but that, in the media's eyes at least, we are meant to believe that his private opinion carries weight because...wait for it...he's a genius scientist!

Would someone tell me...why is the opinion of a genius scientist more credible than that of a genius poet or a genius mathematician, or, even better, a genius theologian like our man on the left?

EWTN Takes Over National Catholic Register

This has got to be good news. EWTN, the media organisation founded by Mother Angelica, committed to spreading the Gospel has taken over National Catholic Register. At some point, I would expect that a great film about Mother Angelica is going to be EWTN!
'Eighty-three years after its debut in Denver, and 15 years after its purchase by the Legionaries of Christ, the National Catholic Register is being acquired by the world’s largest religious media network, the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). The acquisition, finalized at the end of January, marks the third time in the newspaper’s history that a new owner has stepped forward to preserve and expand the newspaper’s service to the Church.

Under the terms of the transaction, no cash will be exchanged between the parties. EWTN will take over the ongoing operational expenses of the Register and will assume the paper’s future subscription liabilities.

“I am very pleased and excited that the Register will now be a part of…

BBC 'Sunday Worship' at Leeds Cathedral

The beauty of good liturgy is that it can sometimes be heard on the radio. Today, BBC Radio 4 presented 'Sunday Worship' from Leeds Cathedral and I have to say the latin polyphony mass setting sounded rather beautiful. Very encouraging.

According to the BBC...

Mass for Vocations Sunday live from Leeds Cathedral. Celebrant: The Rev Mgr Philip Moger (Dean); Homily: The Rev Paul Grogan (Diocesan Vocations Director); Director of Music: Benjamin Saunders; Organist and Assistant Director of Music: Christopher McElroy. Producer: Mark O'Brien. The outstanding choir of Leeds Cathedral sings This Joyful Eastertide, The King of Love my Shepherd is, Be Thou my Vision, and a Mass setting by Monteverdi.

Listen here.


Brightonian Turns Council Flat into Vatican Museum

Welcome to Brighton!

For ITN Report, click here.

Universae Ecclesiae

Kool and the Gang say it so much better than I ever could...

Pope Benedict XVI & God's Revolution

In the light of the release of Universae Ecclesiae, for which many of us are are supremely grateful to our beloved Holy Father, I thought I'd post up this (rather long) article which I read out at the Newman Society in Oxford. Already, Archbishop Vincent Nichols has, unfortunately, made it obvious that he is not thrilled at the clarification of Summorum Pontificum. It is not totally surprising that he is less than enthusiastic. He does not, along with many other Bishops, 'get' Benedictine thought and theology. Pope Benedict XVI may be in his 80s, but unlike many Bishops, he is no 'dinosaur'. His finger is on the pulse. He can feel the Church's spiritual heartbeat.

'Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate has been, since its beginning, markedly different to that of Blessed Pope John Paul II, who was recently beatified by Benedict XVI himself. While Benedict XVI has travelled surprisingly extensively, given his age, he has made what will be a lasting, dramatic impac…