Wednesday 31 August 2011

Post-Pilgrimage Blues

Well, the damp rats (though not as damp as New Yorkers) have returned to their daily routines. I've finally got time in which to blog about the LMS Pilgrimage to Walsingham, so I will endeavour to cram as much as I can in. I must say that I am suffering something of a post-pilgrimage 'come down' - more depressed than aching. I met so many wonderful brothers and sisters in the Faith, as we made our way praying and singing the Rosary from Ely to Walsingham and felt very much a part of something big and quite beautiful, even if at times it was painful on the old feet and legs.

Thirty of us met at a farm in Ely where we pitched up our tents. I had travelled down on a minibus driven by the untiring John Tennant of the SPUC, with Juventutem and Paul Smeaton and others, having enjoyed a day in London with Michael Voris the previous day (I'll get onto him later). When we arrived I met other pilgrims, among whom were Fr Bede Roe, Chaplain and leader of the pack, a very intelligent, sharp and side-splittingly witty Priest with boundless energy and a truly pastoral heart.

Latin Mass at St Etheledra Church, Ely
Fr Bede offered Mass the following day after we had been awoken at around 5am to take down our tents in the pouring rain. Every Latin Mass was accompanied by beautiful Gregorian Chant which was rehearsed by Dr Joseph Shaw (e-pilgrim and blogging LMS Chairman) and a crack squad of altar servers.

The pilgrims made our way from St Etheledra's to Ely Cathedral where we were able to skip the entrance fee (I jest not - they charge you to see the Church) because we were there to pray (for their conversion). We walked around the Cathedral too, of course, and all of us were pretty shocked by the damage done by Henry VIII's men to statues of Our Lady and the Saints. They seemed to really enjoy chopping their heads off, something to which St Thomas More will attest.

Our Lady of the Liturgical Dance

Most pilgrims paid a visit to the Lady Chapel, complete with more statues of headless Saints and this astonishing modern statue (right) of Our Blessed Lady. I have named her Our Lady of the Liturgical Dance, complete with skin tight blue dress, golden hair and a beguiling cleavage. She looks like she's about to impale herself on the altar that once was the place of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

One can only presume that the stained glass that once furnished the Lady Chapel was removed and replaced, because they are now transparent, each dedicated to a different local corporation. One was dedicated to National Westminster Bank and another to Lloyds TSB. Quite bizarre! I thought Our Lord, having driven the money changers from out of the temple, might be a little irritated that they advertise them on their stained glass, but then that is not as irritating as killing His servants and dishonouring His Blessed Mother and an exact replica of her Holy House.

From here, began the first stage of our walk. More plus videos will be posted later.

Wednesday 24 August 2011


"Hi, I'm in Walsingham right now but if you just leave your comment and your name, I'll try and get back to you. Have a nice day, now, and please don't rob my flat. God bless you and keep you and Our Lady of Walsingham watch over you and protect you. In the meantime, why not say this prayer along with the one from Michael Voris...

O blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Walsingham, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon us, our parish, our country, our homes, and our families, and upon all who greatly hope and trust in your prayers, (especially...) By you it was that Jesus, our Savior and hope, was given to the world; and he has given you to us that we may hope still more. Plead for us your children, whom you did receive and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren, that with us in the one true fold they may be united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of your Son. Pray for us all, dear Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we all may be made worthy to see and praise God, together with you in our heavenly home. Amen.

Our Lady of Walsingham, Pray for us.

Thanks and God bless you, readers..."

The Hunwicke Files: Is there a Loftus Connection?

Fr John Hunwicke and the sound of silence
As avid readers of the Catholic blogosphere will be aware, Fr John Hunwicke, an ex-Anglican priest who has joined the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, instituted through the Holy Father's extraordinarily generous appeal to traditional Anglicans, Anglicanorum Coetibus, has had his ordination to the Priesthood deferred for reasons which have not yet been identified.

Avid readers of the Catholic blogosphere will also be aware of a controversial Monseigneur by the name of Basil Loftus who has steadily, over time, built up a reputation for threatening to sue critics of his controversial writings for The Catholic Times and letters, which are publicly, at times, at odds with the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church.

Avid readers of the blogosphere will be aware that Mgr Basil Loftus has already succeeded in closing down one Priest's blog, that of Fr Michael Clifton, whose blog, Fr Mildew, was closed down (though it has reopened now) in a sour episode which was documented by The Telegraph's Damian Thompson on his blog. Fr John Zuhlsdorf also did a wonderful sift through some of of his writings on Vatican II and the suppression of the Traditional Latin Mass which can be viewed here.

Avid readers of the blogosphere, may or may not have been reading Valle Adurni recently and noticed a comment by someone suggesting that there could (emphasis on 'could') be a Loftus connection to Fr John Hunwicke's deferral for Ordination to the Sacred Priesthood and/or the sudden closure of his blog. It sounds extraordinary that a Monseigneur could have such sway and influence in Fr Hunwicke's Ordination and in his online ministry which has delighted many Catholics (and more than a few Anglicans) but then again we know Mgr Basil Loftus to be a far more "unjust aggressor" than any unborn baby.

I hope to God that the commenter has got it all wrong and that there is just some strange 'technical hitch' in Fr Hunwicke's transition from lay man to Catholic Priest which just needs to be ironed out after the Summer. Keep him and any enemies that he may have in your prayers. I'll certainly be lighting a candle for Fr Hunwicke at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. God bless readers. This will be the last post until I return from the National Shrine to Our Blessed Lady. Pray for Fr Hunwicke, pray for Mr L England and pray for England, Our Lady's Dowry.

" God love you. I'm Laurence England."

Someone sent me this link today, by the way, to this video of a Catholic tele-evangelist (who is bald and unabashed). Oh, it is worth watching. Men, listen up and fast. If you thought Michael Voris was hardcore, wait until you get a load of this guy! It's time you stopped wearing shorts. Yes, you heard me. If you're the kind of guy who doesn't wear a suit when he's doing his share of the washing up you should think twice. Why? This is why...

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Breakthrough As Scientists Create Voris/Zuhlsdorf Clone

On a more serious note, Michael Voris has asked all people who endeavour to spread the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ through the new media to consecrate themselves to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the apostolate of St Michael's Media, their own work and for God to raise up men and women who will proclaim the truths of Holy Mother Church through the internet. It's a rather lovely prayer. See, he's a big softie, really...

Prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary 

O Glorious Queen of Heaven, whose Immaculate Heart is forever bound in loving unity with the Sacred Heart of thy Divine Son, we beg you to look down on your sons and daughters with maternal sweetness and royal compassion. O Woman of Genesis and Revelation, who dost crush the head of our ancient enemy the serpent, and dost grind him into the dust of the earth, we desire to be consecrated totally and completely to your Immaculate Heart, to be led and guided by you to the Sacred Heart of thy Son and having been so led, brought into the life of grace of the Blessed Trinity of whom you are Mother, Daughter and Spouse. Unite us in unfailing devotion to the Supreme Godhead in this life that we may enjoy everlasting joy and solicitude in the next with you and the court of Heaven. Unite us more firmly to the Chair of Peter the Rock, so that we may live and die in and for the Holy Roman Church.

Blessed Mother and Majestic Queen, I, [full name], place at your royal feet all the instruments of our endeavor in the new media in this epochal struggle for the glory of The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in the fight for the salvation of souls. We consecrate to your Immaculate Heart, Heavenly Queen, our Apostolate.

In your Queenship of Heaven and Earth, manifest so visibly and miraculously here in Fatima, I humbly ask that you raise up champions for Yourself to fight against the powers of darkness who seek the destruction of your children, entrusted at so great a price to you by your Divine Son from the throne of His Cross. In your sweetest kindness, bestow your maternal smile upon all our benefactors, those who wish us well and those who wish us harm.

In your pure and gentle way, preserve and protect all the young people drawn to our apostolate from all the deceptions of the enemy. Obtain for them, humility, purity and charity. Place in them an ardent and burning desire for justice and truth as the sure means for their salvation and all those whom they evangelize.We entrust to you all those who have grown disheartened and discouraged in the face of scandal, failure and loss of faith within the Body of Christ. Recall and repeat the words you said to your Divine Son at the wedding feast at Cana, “They have no wine”, so that He may once again, in demonstrating His Eternal and everlasting love for you, answer your petition by showering down a torrent of graces to restore the Faith in so many broken and shattered hearts. Most sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation. Most sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation. Most sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation. Amen.

Atheist Defends the Inviolable Seal of Confession

Editor of spiked: Brendan O' Neill
Thank God for lapsed Catholics and liberals worthy of the name...

'News of the World journalists who invaded celebrities’ privacy by hacking into their idle phone chatter have got nothing on Irish politicians. The Irish state is hell bent on hacking into the most intimate conversation of all: that between a man and his God. A new law could force priests in Ireland to break the confessional seal if their penitent mentions anything to do with child sex abuse. In such circumstances, if Irish prime minister Enda Kenny gets his way, it will be a criminal offence for the priest to keep schtum about what he has heard. This would rip apart the Vatican’s Canon Law, which stipulates: “The sacramental seal is inviolable; thus it is absolutely illegitimate for the confessor to the make the penitent known, even only in part, using words or any other means, and for any reason.”

Now, as it happens, I am not the confessing type. As a severely lapsed Catholic and now immoveable atheist, I haven’t been inside a confessional since I was 17 years old. And I don’t miss telling some bloke behind a grille about the time I nicked a Kit-Kat or got matey with Onan. But there are millions upon millions of people for whom confession is a central part of their faith, and for whom absolute privacy is a central part of confession. They believe, and should have every right to believe, that the confessional facilitates communication with God, providing a tiny, darkened space, utterly cut off from the world, where they can offload their various horrors and heartbreaks in private. For the state to invade this space, to colonise it on the basis that it is a sinister place where lurid stories about paedophilia might be swapped between a pervert and his priest, is an attack on freedom of religion....'

For full article click here.

Monday 22 August 2011

Catholic Items For Sale

Over at The Bones's Catholic Store are some nice little statues for sale among other religious items such as holy water wells. Why not pop along and see if there is anything you like or you think would make a nice gift for a friend (or even enemy).

Next week I will be posting up some delightful traditional Catholic posters and holy cards. Watch this space...

1.5 Million Turn Out to Greet Holy Father in Spain...

"...Oh look, let's film that small group of protesters."

I haven't been watching TV coverage of the Holy Father's visit to Spain, as I don't have one, and neither have I been looking at BBC news, but I hear from a commenter and a special correspondent at The Catholic Herald that the BBC has been up to its old tricks again.

To register your complaint click here.

A Reluctant Sinner has a good post on the BBC's decision to almost accidentally juxtapose its short and rather dismissive coverage of the spiritual leader of 1 billion Catholics worldwide in Spain with an effusive, much longer interview with a Hare Krishna "guru". We really need Franciscans singing God's praises on the streets again. I saw a group of Hare Krishnas in Brighton this summer singing their Hare Krishna songs and banging tambourines and dishing out their flyers. Not surprisingly, in Brighton, they were warmly received. I find them really quite irritating, personally, but there we go. Always ramming their religion down people's throats!

Peter Mandelson, Tony Blair and the Almost Overwhelming Temptation to Riot

On hearing of Peter Mandelson's new luxury pad, one becomes a little angry
Janet Daley yesterday wrote an interesting piece on the riots entitled 'UK Riots: The end of the liberal's great moral delusion'.

I agree with the main thrust of her argument that the riots have blown apart the liberal consensus that human beings are 'born good' - an important doctrine of the left. All that is required for a just and happy World, therefore, is suitable conditions for that inherent goodness to flourish.

Ending her piece, she says...

'It is futile to go on asking why the riots happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the rioters was not “Why?” but “Why not?”'

Janet insists that the riots emanating from the bottom strata of society have no relation to the bad behaviour of MPs, bankers and phone hackers in the top and middle strata of society. She could well be right that there is no connection at all between the amoralism of the looters and rioters and the amoralism of the rich, but I wonder whether that is really the point. Does there have to be a 'connection' or an aping of the rich's amoralism by the poor, when what we are talking about is an entire culture of an entire country that is, in PM David Cameron's words, 'sick'.

Commentators on the right dismiss the views of the left out of hand because the left appeal to an ideological framework to support their assessment of the riots. That ideological assessment may be deeply flawed, but at the same time, I can see a grain of truth in what the left suggest as to the causes as I can see a nugget of truth when the right says of the rioters, "Selfish little s**ts.". Personally, I can see within Marx a pretty accurate assessment of the unfair working conditions of industrial Europe, I just can't agree with his Communist Manifesto solution because it forgets Original Sin and denies that true liberation is spiritual and redemption is something that comes from God alone.

Like the poor, Original Sin will be 'with us always', until the Lord returns at the End of Time. What is grossly unjust, however, is an assessment of the rioters as being amoral without addressing an amoralism which is general. Wars are evil and terrible things which have often been portrayed in Catholic terms as 'chastisement' upon countries. Does that mean that God loves wars? No. What it usually means is that sin comes back to haunt us and that fratricide becomes a consequence of sin which bites us on the behind, big time. So it is with the rioters. One can see a sudden explosion of human evil that makes parts of London look like its been bombed by WW2 German aircraft. Does God agree with their actions? No. Can we see it as a 'chastisement' upon the country? Yes, because the whole country has abandoned Christian morality and lo and behold, here is the result.

The New Labour Years: Then and Now

Minted: Beneficiaries of Britain's love-in with the super rich
Where Janet and I might agree is that the left must take some blame for the dire state of the country, as it has been in their hands for the past 15 years and these children are 'Blair's babes'.  This is because if the root cause of the riots is not 'inequality' but what Pope Benedict XVI has consistently criticised in the West - moral relativism - then there can be fewer more famous proponents of relativism than the Labour party of the Blair years. How convenient it is for Mr Blair to deny that there is any substantial moral dimension to the riots. There was rarely a moral dimension to his Premiership other than his own astonishing self-righteousness and confidence that he always did 'the right thing' no matter what the Catholic Church that he joined teaches. The former PM says of the riots:

"The big cause is the group of alienated, disaffected youth who are outside the social mainstream and who live in a culture at odds with any canons of proper behaviour."

"Canons of proper behaviour"? Isn't that just typical liberalism for you. Nothing is right or wrong in Blair's world except when the "behaviour" of the "alientated, disaffected youth who are outside the social mainstream" impinges upon others. It's like saying, "You can have as many abortions as you want, just don't leave the dead corpses on my driveway because it doesn't look nice."

What is "proper" about dropping a load of bombs on Iraqi civilians? What is "proper" about voting for abortion consistently? What is "proper" about the promotion of homosexual culture and homosexual 'marriage'? This is just typical, liberal, moral relativism and here we are today with Tony Blair still defending his confusing credo. Whether the issue was war, sexual morality, abortion, homosexuality, or any subject of morality, the New Labour years saw a near total assault upon Christian morality.  Under Prime Minister Blair, Janet's words could be equally applied to those years, and also to so many of our elected leaders today.

'It is futile to go on asking why the Iraq war happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the Cabinet was not “Why?” but “Why not?”'
 'It is futile to go on asking why the Civil Partnerships Act happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the MPs was not “Why?” but “Why not?”'
'It is futile to go on asking why the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act happened, when the question that was on the minds of most of the politicians was not “Why?” but “Why not?”'

It has to be said, though, that it really was Blair's war. Quite how 'collective' a decision it was we are unsure. All we know is that Robin Cook and Dr David Kelly were publicly negative about it but then they both died suddenly. Further, it wasn't just on traditional morality that Labour embraced moral relativism. Unusually, as Robert Peston says in his book, 'Who Runs Britain?' the Labour Party became so deferential towards the rich, the City and the 'super rich' in particular, that no constraints at all were placed upon investment bankers and the exceedingly wealthy. Under Labour, moral relativism and one of its fruits, astonishing avarice, were embraced as a religion. That is part of the great hypocrisy of the new left and the fact that Peter Mandelson is buying a house for $8million thanks to a new role as "senior adviser" at the global investment bank, Lazard, in the wake of years of cosying up to the Rothschilds is no longer surprising in the slightest. He was the man who, after all, said that the Labour Party was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich”.

Is it actually possible to be "intensely relaxed"?

Further, it wasn't just grotesque avarice about which the Labour Party became "intensely relaxed". The Labour Party became "intensely relaxed" about sin, selfishness, greed and all the tenets of moral relativism. The Labour years were like one gigantic orgy of a party. It is only now that the country has woken up and realised that under Labour, the country was economically, spiritually and morally raped and suffers the resultant STIs. Still, though, Mandelson can feel "intensely relaxed" about buying an $8 million house, while London's charred buildings are still smoking and while even Conservative MPs suggest that it is odd that a man can become so wealthy since leaving office only a year. Even Conservative MPs think that the wealth of Blair and Mandelson is sickening and vulgar. That really does tell you something. Peter Mandelson provides us all with the temptation to riot. Politicians like Blair and Mandelson inhabit a totally different World to both the poor and, in fact, the rest of us. The Labour years saw an extreme contrast of two Worlds, one vastly rich and one impoverished by the City's 'super rich' and their beneficiaries, some of whom just so happened to be Labour politicians.

The Labour Party was meant to be all about 'equality' - a construct of the left. Ideologically, the left hates 'inequality' because this is the scourge of society and cause of so much harm, rather than sin, heresy or its effects. Yet, under Labour it was not only true to say that the rich became richer (vastly so) and the poor became poorer (likely) and that the gap between the rich and the poor widened. No. Under Labour, the City was allowed to boom. London became the place where private equity ruled and international finance rode roughshod over the economy and individual livelihoods. Under Gordon Brown 'the City' was embraced so much that Peston says...

'In the UK, there are three relevant trends. First, there is our competitive advantage in financial services, the astonishing international success of the City of London. This is a winner-takes-all-industry in which fabulous rewards accrue to the most talented individuals.  Then there is the belief - which has become more ingrained under New Labour - that individuals are more important than teams in the success of an organisation [very Tony Blair!], that those with rare and productive skills can sell themselves for a fortune anywhere in the World [very Tony Blair!] and that therefore it is in the interest of the UK to be seen as a haven for the super-rich or aspiring super rich. The widening in the gap between the rich and poor has taken on a new slant under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The maximum spoils have gone to those at the very apex of the income and wealth league tables: a new plutocracy has been born...' 

Even if one were to accept that 'inequality' was the main reason behind the riots, the left do not have a moral leg to stand on, because the gap between the rich and the poor widened so dramatically on their own watch and so many of those who outwardly declared their 'equality' credentials enriched themselves so disproportionately in relation to the rest of the country and allowed the enrichment of the already vastly wealthy at the expense of what turned out to be the rest of society.

Mandelson and Blair are living, breathing, almost comedic caricature examples that it doesn't matter how much money individuals accrue, how many holidays in Tuscany, houses, luxury flats, mansions, cars or plasma TV screens we obtain - none of those things improve our morality or our souls. Only Jesus Christ can change our hearts and minds and He brings with Him the Truths of His Doctrines given by Him to His Holy Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ simply doesn't do moral relativism no matter how many politicians promote it and then benefit financially from it after they have left office.

Original Sin, sadly, will be with us always, afflicting us as individuals and as a society. Original Sin, social inequality, rotten politicians and the recently rioting poor will be with us, like the Lord will be always with His Holy Church yes, even until the End of Time, but hearing of Mandelson and Blair's financial gains while whole communities burn, and then for Tony Blair to pontificate both on the cause for the riots and the necessary solution does rather make me want to vomit and then riot. Quite what qualifies Blair to be a spokesman on Middle East peace is a great mystery. Quite what qualifies Blair to be a spokesman for people living on benefits in sink estates with no plugs is an even greater one.

"He was the people's tyrant..."
Blair didn't do morality as a Prime Minister and we know his tenure didn't "do God". No. When it came to morality, he simply kept 'hedging' his bets and got rich out of it. It was a case of "Goodbye Number 10 Downing Street. Hello J P Morgan!" Today, it looks rather like one of his friends is in trouble...

Priceless. Maybe Tony can use his influence in the Middle East to get his old friend a last minute reprieve. Nah..."So long and thanks for all the oil." That was, after all, what Gaddafi most likely said to Tony Blair after this meeting...

Sunday 21 August 2011

Long Live Pope Benedict XVI

How do you say that in Spanish?

Come back to the Holy Faith, Spaniards! I think it all started going wrong for Spain when it became acceptable for their ladies to wear no tops on the beach...

The Bad Samaritans

The Samaritans are not meant to advise callers at all - nevermind advise suicide!
Quite recently, I met a man who confided in me a crime or series of crimes (he was so drunk that he cannot remember whether he was guilty or not) that he committed over 30 years ago - a crime for which he served 10 years in prison.

The crime for which he served time was unspeakably terrible and because of this his guilt and despair was huge and to a point still is. I've done some 'unspeakable' things in my time also. The man in question has been 20 years off alcohol and he lives now, in his own words, to try and atone for what he did.  However, his crime is not the subject of this blog post, horrendous as it was. No, the truly horrifying thing that he told me is that when he called The Samaritans relatively recently and he told them his 'story', he told whoever was on the receiver at The Samaritans that he felt suicidal and that he was contemplating taking his own life. His story is tragic and shocking, but perhaps more shocking is that on telling the volunteer at the Samaritans that he felt like taking his life, he alleges the volunteer told him to "go ahead and do it", presumably because his offense repulsed him or her.

The man in question is a Catholic, but is currently involved what sounds to be a Pentecostal church which teaches him about a "one to one" relationship with God which has led him to have powerful religious "experiences". I told him that experiences can be deceiving and, given his long period of absence from Holy Mother Church, spent a concerted amount of time impressing upon him the Grace of the Sacrament of Penance and the truths of the One True Church, as well as the role of St Peter and his Successors.

I don't have any Holy Rosaries at the moment, so if someone wants they could purchase or send one to me so that I can give it to him. He says he would like one. Say a prayer for him because he is still, due to his current family situation and his past, overwhelmed by despair and thoughts of suicide. The Lord Jesus did not come into the World to condemn the World but by His Death and Resurrection, to save it and reconcile us to His Eternal Father. Again and again, Our Blessed Lord talked of His coming to find the lost sheep, of His ardent desire to bring sinners to find refuge in His Sacred Heart, overflowing with mercy and tender love. Sadly, The Samaritans, on this occasion at least, were found wanting in both their professional conduct and their ability to offer compassion to the suicidal and despairing. Shame on that volunteer, whoever he or she was!

Michael Voris

Well, I have been able to obtain some cover for the soup run on Wednesday and will be able to go and cover the Voris talk. The co-ordinator is covering me that day and she also gave me a gigantic marrow from her allotment which will hopefully keep me for food for a week.

I'll be taking my video camera, of course, but I expect that St Michael's Media will be pretty hot on people videoing it.

I hope to be able to meet the man himself, but I must say, I will be a little frightened to talk with him because he is so hardcore I might find myself out of my depth. He's like a steel-reinforced 10ft deep concrete wall with the word 'CATHOLIC' written on the outside, and inside too!

Five minutes with Michael Voris I expect will be worth a week's worth of life coaching...

Maybe I can interview him. It might stop him asking any questions about what I'm doing with my wayward, hamster on a wheel existence. Any questions? Please, nothing about hair. More on the huge marrow to come...

Huge Wall Rosary for Sale...

Well, Saturday was really quite an interesting day. A little market has started in Sillwood Street just off the city centre high street on Saturdays where a couple of local residents are selling their wares - mostly second hand stuff. St Mary Magdalen's still has stuff in the garage and I have some stuff to sell as well so when the van is up and running then it might be wise to sell there.

The bad news is a mechanic friend took a look at the underside of my vehicle and it needs a replacement exhaust - so I'm searching on Ebay and the like to see whether there are cheap parts that he can use to fix it for me. Gosh - the man who sold me this van really saw me coming! However, the mechanic thinks that one idea for the van could be to cut out the panels, turn it into a camper van and eventually sell it because people are really into camper vans. Then, he said, keep buying vans, turning them into camper vans and sell them because people can't afford the real thing.

The good news is that aside from the Sillwood Street market find, I now have a business associate called Gary who is trying to sell absolutely loads of religious devotional gear at the antique fleamarket in Lewes. He trawls all over Europe and finds a lot of Catholic devotional items to bring back to this country and sell. Take this, for instance, which he was selling at the Brunswick Square Festival. A huge Rosary!

 Beautiful wall Rosary...Anyone?
He was selling this for £20 if anyone wants it. He also gave me a small box of plaster crucifixes for free for me to sell on the online shop. I've recently had a very kind bag of posters, statues and devotional items to sell from a reader. Gary, at Brunswick Festival, was interested in my proposal to him to be a channel for his stock - he could advertise his stuff on my site and then I take a percentage of the sale. He thought it was a good idea to get Catholic items into the hands of Catholics. Apparently, some of the stuff he has comes from Churches because they are closing down all over Europe. He said that was really sad.

It has to be said that the Brunswick Festival was an opportunity missed, as there were loads of stalls selling second hand items. There were a couple of 'alternative' stalls selling new age stuff. There was even a Scientology stall! I'll have to put the date in the diary so that next year there is a stronger Catholic presence. I enjoyed the Festival - there was music, food stalls, cupcake stalls, and an 'alternative remedy' tent with people having Reiki and Kineisiology and stuff. All very Brighton and I can't stand 'new age' therapies, but at least the whole event was more manageable and enjoyable than the Notting Hill Carnival. It looks like the Council relaxed their bylaw on street drinking as well, as nearly everyone (including me) was drinking a can, but that level of Council hypocrisy is pretty much par for the course in this town. I'll be posting up some pictures on my Catholic store blog of my new stock this week.

Saturday 20 August 2011

Michael Voris in London

I don't watch Michael Voris on my computer anymore because unfortunately my sound no longer works. I suppose, having just shelled out £690 on a van and a truly extortionate figure for insurance, the extra money to fix my computer seems like small fry, but having spent that much, I think I can live without sound a while longer.

What is more, I'll be unable to go myself to the talk he is giving on Wednesday as sadly I have another commitment. I am hoping very much that Mr Voris will be making the pilgrimage to Walsingham, but I am unsure what his itinerary is when he is on UK soil.

I know that the presenter of The Vortex is not everybody's cup of tea, but I rather enjoy his videos which are available on Real Catholic TV and usually appear like clockwork on Gloria TV as well.  As others have commented on other blogs, Voris, like the lay Catholic wing of the blogosphere, emerges at a time when the truths of the Catholic faith are not proclaimed boldly, in season and out of season. Sometimes, sadly, for many, it is a perpetual winter. And so Voris becomes necessary - his talks are urgent, hard-hitting, pull no punches and go straight to the point and he manages to drive the point home in about 5 minutes - which is quite a talent. He really is using his talent very well.

He used to work in the wilderness of the secular media and came back to the Faith and doesn't appear to have looked back. He is a man on a mission and that mission is the salvation of souls and the proclamation of the Gospel. He's very charismatic, as you will see from his videos, but he is charismatic in the right way - his gift, his charism, is teaching the faith. He also loves the Traditional Latin Mass and is horrified, as many of us are, that Summorum Pontificum has not been more widely embraced by the Church in the West.  If you can go, do, because I am sure you will be thoroughly entertained and learn more about the Most Holy Faith. Details below, but you can join the Facebook page here.

Michael Voris will be speaking live on "Living the Catholic Faith Radically!" at Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London W1C 2DJ.
There will be an opportunity to ask questions after Michael's talk.
All tickets are £5 and will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. You can purchase them via paypal by visiting:
Any remaining tickets will be sold on the door on the night.
Doors open 7pm
Regent Hall is owned by The Salvation Army amd I'm grateful to them for giving us the use of the hall for the talk.
Please note that this will be a new talk for us in London, so even Michael's biggest internet fan won't have seen or heard it before.
This is a public event so do feel free to invite your friends via this events page. Please remember that by clicking 'Attending' you have not confirmed your place. You need to pay online to do that.

I'm thinking of decking the back of my van out in Catholic paintings and then starting my own Catholic media centre...or at least, that is one of my ideas in what for me is an habitual state of faffing around. Michael doesn't faff around, that is why he is a great gift to the Church. He knows what he is about and he knows what he should do - and he does it. I find it terribly sad that he is unpopular with many in the Church because of his views - his views are, after all, Catholic and in sync with the desires of the Holy Father. Here he is discussing that thorny issue - Communion in the hand.

Thursday 18 August 2011

This Time Next Year Wodney

A friend of mine and I are going into business. Today I invested in this van for £690.

The insurance has an 'ouch' factor, but I hope that in the long run it will be a sound investment. The idea is Car Boot Sales and the like. If anyone would like to help financially to this business start up or invest in it (if you have more money than sense) than give me an email.

Having a van provides some employment options for me that I don't have at the moment. Hopefully something good will come from it.

Exciting, eh? Anyone need a gardener, cleaner, removal man or man with a van? If so, let me know. Oh, and if you're wondering how I paid for it - its the overdraft. I really hope and pray this idea works!

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Devotion to Our Lady Brings Joy

Mass religious fervour: The English football hooligan
Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith writes an excellent piece today for The Catholic Herald on how this country has been deprived of the joyful devotion to Our Blessed Lady that once rose sweetly up to Heaven.

We have become a quite joyless race of people and Fr Alexander is right to point to the continent where not only is the climate more sunny and cheerful, but the people are more sunny and cheerful as well.

The effects of protestantism on us have been many and varied, but above all, we are a very stressed out, quite violent and pent up people who are as unable to accept ourselves as we are others. The only processions the English are interested in are to do with football and, as we know, the occasional riot. Catholicism may be waning severely in Spain, but liberalism has not yet diminished the Spaniards public devotion to Our Lady and the Saints, and regardless of a decline in the belief in the Real Presence, their processions in honour of the Sacred Heart and especially the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady are something to behold. Our Lady brings us joy.

Is it Finally Worth Getting Sky TV?

Highly recommended, but it is a little on the rude side (and violent side) and it isn't for the easily shocked or faint of heart. Has anyone else been watching it?

No doubt that this series is a bit of Catholic Church bashing courtesy of the page-3-stunner-Papal-Knight himself, Rupert Murdoch, but we shouldn't allow ourselves to be accused of double standards when we do so enjoy the many TV dramas that have done the dirty on King Henry VIII.

There is so much lust, sex, power, intrigue and murder in this series that one wonders whether watchers might leap from their sofas and demand to become Catholic as soon as is humanly possible and, though I'm no film critic, Jeremy Irons (the housewives's new favourite screen Pontiff ) is outstanding in the role of Pope Alexander VI.

Should a drama about the vices of a Pope be made? Probably not, but they've done it anyway. Sadly, the series doesn't seem to be embellishing the dark side of the 'Borgias Family Papacy'. The first two episodes sees the previous Successor of St Peter on his death bed appealing for a rooting out of corruption from the Vatican. Just to show how sincere are his College of Cardinals, mourning at his bedside, the man who was to become Pope Alexander VI buys the Holy Office for himself and, seemingly, his immediate family.

Personally, I was struck by the relatively sympathetic light in which Alexander VI is cast. The viewer gets the sense that he is struck upon his Election and Installation by the "terrible silence of God" and the programme implicitly attributes this experience to his plunging himself into a love affair with a beautiful lady who he keeps in a room under the Vatican down the end of a long tunnel.  It also conveys the overwhelming and terrible isolation and loneliness of the Papacy and the sheer awesome weight of the World upon the Pope's shoulders. The film tells the story that the affair is with a woman who he has just absolved of the sin of abortion and that he seduces her while she is doing her penance in the shelter he has provided her. I hoped that wasn't true, but it reminded me of St Augustine's quote of how "terrible it is to fall into the hands of the Living God". It is quite in our nature to 'see the light' and hide ourselves in the dark very quickly indeed.

But we didn't think the Papacy would get this dark. His son, Cezares Borgias, on discovering an attempt by a Cardinal who hired an assassin to kill Alexander VI following charges made by the Cardinal of simony upon his Election, convinces the assassin to give the poison to the disloyal Cardinal, who drinks the vino and then then dies vomiting. At that point, I found myself on Cezares's side because nobody should commit Petricide and whether the Cardinals like the Pope or think he is a corrupt, megalomaniac sex monster, they should be totally loyal and obedient to the Pope and if you try to kill him then you should take what's coming your way.  It invokes a sense of loyalty in the viewer because this Papacy is being run like something out of Carlitto's Way and everyone who watches that movie loves Carlitto and while the Papacy was corrupt, Pope Alexander VI was not Scarface. No...that was his son.

The film manages, in a strange way, to 'humanise' the Pope, who we only ever see as holy, and his personality flaws, while reminding us every now and then that this really was the Successor of St Peter. The fact that he is deeply enmeshed in a web of earthly pleasures and really quite sinister stuff, such as the son's hiring of assassins to murder his enemies, is tempered by the fact that his Office is the holiest Office on Earth, and when he blessed crowds and acted in his Papal role, he was doing so as the Successor of St Peter, the Vicar of Christ. The Catholic people of the time presumably loved him when he blessed them in the way we love Pope Benedict XVI when he blesses us. The authority and the power (and the glory) is that which comes from on High - it is supernatural - not dependent on his own heroic virtue or absence of it of the Pope and our love for our Popes is hopefully supernatural also, helping us to overlook of their personal faults and failings, especially when we are sinners and we leave a trail of our sins behind us, whether mortal or venial, for which we hope for forgiveness, especially when we draw our last breath: "Okay, so he killed a few people - nobody's perfect!"

I hadn't realised until very recently that there really was a time when Cardinals would literally kill Cardinals in order to accede to the Papal Throne, for totally worldly and seemingly quite pathetic reasons - because the great temporal power that went with being the Vicar of Christ was as attractive to men as being Vicar of Christ, if not more so.  It seems to us the total opposite of the Gospel passage of Our Lord who warns the Apostles while they are arguing among themselves as to who is the most important that whosoever wishes to be 'master must be the servant of all'. Yet, upon receiving the Papal Tiara, that weighty, majestic Crown, Alexander VI appears as a man who has received a poisoned chalice even before his enemies seek his death. It is after this that he feels the "terrible silence of God". The Papacy of Alexander VI is well dodgy, surely among the dodgiest, but it has to be put into its historical context - Popes really were looking over their shoulder all the time because they didn't know when an assassin would come after them with a dagger at the behest of a Cardinal who had only weeks before pledged total obedience to them.

In those days, Catholics didn't expect Priests, Bishops, Religious, Cardinals and even Popes to be Saints. They weren't naive like us and expected them to fall or to have mistresses or be into simony and the rest. That is why the peoples rejoiced exceedingly upon the canonization of one of their countrymen. The men they venerated and trusted were all in Heaven, safe and sound and holy. Saints were and still are those especially graced by God at His choice, not theirs. However, regardless of the motivation for the drama series, it manages to get across that love affairs or no love affairs, power, money, intrigue and the rest subside because it is simply no fun at all being Pope. It is the biggest weight in the World and that is why we rejoice so much when we are fortunate to have a particularly holy, Holy Father. In my opinion, the best Popes are the ones who didn't want the 'job' and would rather have been Vatican librarians. That way, there's less likely to be blood all over the Vatican floors.

So long live Pope Benedict XVI, now gloriously reigning and may the souls of all our beloved Popes, great or grim, through the great mercy of God, rest in Peace.

Monday 15 August 2011

The Riots and Emergency Temporary Accommodation

17/19 Grand Parade, Brighton
Readers of this blog will be aware of posts I have written on the appalling nature of the emergency temporary accommodation in Brighton for homeless, mentally ill people, people with addictions, or just people who have been placed by the Council into terrible accommodation for the simple reason that there is, in their view, 'nowhere else' to place them. In fact, it is not fair to say that everyone in 17/19 Grand Parade is even 'vulnerable'. One guy I met there was just trying to get along and get work in Brighton.

What I have seen of 'emergency temporary accommodation' is pretty shocking. More shocking to me was the extortionate amounts of money the Council hands over to limited companies such as Baron Homes Corporation Ltd, or Helgor Trading Ltd, or some other private firm, for their services to the Council. On average, per person, £200 a week was paid by the Council to these companies in order to keep a 'client' housed. This is, as we know, more than double what it costs to rent a normal studio, or even 1-bed flat in Brighton.

One thing I've noticed about the riots in London is that the tragic fires that raged through the City have turned up some gems of information in their wake and the site is now worth a good old archaeological dig. Why? Well, one riot victim, a lady called Vina, told Sky News about her ordeal at the hands of rioters in Tottenham, against the backdrop of her flat, in which only a charred bookcase was still left standing. She was asked by the interviewer whether the Government had promised her help in order to resettle and the lady answered something like this, though this is by no means verbatim:

"David Cameron has promised help to the homeless victims of these riots, but when I went to the Council and asked for help, all they could offer me was a room in temporary accommodation for £200 a week. There was no way my boyfriend and I will pay £200 a week for a room in temporary accommodation, so we'll be staying with friends or relatives. We can't afford to pay that and why should we for one room!? It would be alright if he and I were on the dole, it would all be paid for by the Council in housing benefits, but I work and so does he. I'm disgusted by the Council's response."

Now, as anyone who reads this blog will guess, what she said sent alarm bells ringing in my ears. In this time of crisis, the Council has no proper accommodation to rent out for the homeless who have been swelled in their ranks by this lady and her boyfriend. What the Council does have is an arrangement with a landlord who, most likely, runs an operation rather similar to 17/19 Grand Parade, Brighton. The newscaster was flabberghasted by the lady's assertion that the owner of the temporary accommodation in Tottenham was charging £200 a week to stay in one room - but then - he would be - because this nationwide scandal and flagrant waste of taxpayer's money has not yet been exposed or made public. It needs a thorough investigation by documentary makers at our beloved BBC in order to expose it.

The arrangement is thus: Private companies own much of the temporary accommodation in the United Kingdom. To them, it is just real estate and capitalism in action. They cram their accommodation with poor and homeless people because the Councils have nowhere else to put them (because acting as their guarantors for nice accommodation wouldn't be on because they are not "worthy"). Because of the scarce resources Council's have in order to house people, the unscrupulous landlords, owners and companies who run these operations charge something in the region of between £28-£50 (I kid you not for this is how much Diane and George are paying each in Worthing) a night for the privilege of staying in a room where you would not keep a dog and in which you will find it often tricky to swing a cat.

These private registered trading companies have Councils over a barrel - they are used by the Council in order to respond to homelessness. Quite rightly, the lady whose house was sorrowfully burnt down in Tottenham by thugs refused the Council's offer because it is a truly astonishing waste of her money. However, what she may or may not have considered is that the Council is wasting a truly astonishing amount of her money anyway, because as she pays Council Tax, she is in fact paying the Council so that the Council can shell out £200-a-week for someone to stay in the local temporary dive of accommodation owned by an unscrupulous, exploitative landlord, owner or indeed registered trading limited company. It is, of course, a stitch up, I just cannot believe I was so naive to think that this farce was limited to Brighton and was not general all over the South East and most likely the United Kingdom.

Councils are literally pissing public money down the drain by paying £200 a week to rogue landlords just to place vulnerable and homeless adults into squalour. It is true for Brighton and Hove City Council and I will bet it is also true for the Councils of London and beyond. So, there is a diamond which has emerged from an unhappy fire. I pray for the lady and her boyfriend and hope they find somewhere nice soon.

Hostels and Hotels

Anyway, back to those riots. Alarm bells rang in my ears once more this weekend when I read an article by a lady who is friends or mentors gang members in the areas of London which experienced the riots. The lady is called Harriet Sergent, I'd like to meet her if I can, and it is is by far and away the best article on the riots I have read, but unfortunately it was in the Times Review, so it is unreadable to all who refuse to pay more into Murdoch's empire. She explained quite unequivocably that the riots have been caused by lamentable education, illiteracy, absent fathers and male role models, lack of employment opportunities and the fact that all of them are better off on benefits. But here is why alarm bells rang for me:

"Men like Sweets are rare. The majority, black or white, live lives similar to Mash, Bulldog or Lips either in Council flats with their single mothers or on their own in a hostel. In his small and dingy room, Lips keeps his clothes in a black rubbish bag, Apart from his mobile phones he has no other possessions other than a towel and a framed photograph, both of which I had given him."

Hostels are no fun at all but at least they are staffed usually quite well. The question is are men that Harriet met in hostels or are they, indeed, in temporary emergency accommodation? I would expect that these men are in the same kind of accommodation that the working, more monied lady who had her flat burned down was offered as refuge by the Council for £200 a week. If these boys are indeed in that kind of accommodation then whether they worked or not, they would still never cover their rent in order to get out of these places and 'get on in life' - if, if they had the means to do so. In other words, Council policy of spending loads of taxpayers money to place single men and women into squalid temporary accommodation run by rogue landlords and companies actually has the effect of trapping those men and those women into that accommodation merry-go-round. They are condemned to live there because there is no escape from it, even if you found work - because you would actually be kicked out onto the street if you did find work because you wouldn't be able to cover your rent plus your "top up fee" for the privilege of staying in squalour.

£50 per night each at the public's expense to stay here...
George and Diane are in the process of moving back to Brighton, but things have been no different, really, in Worthing.

The Wolsey Hotel, left, acts as temporary emergency accommodation for Councils in Sussex, including Brighton and Hove. The owner, a lady called Evelyn (or 'Evil Inns Ltd', as George calls her) runs 3 or 4 similar hotels on the seafront of Worthing.

Outside the 'Hotel' is a sign that makes it appear it is trading for business, with a telephone number and the rest. Of course, if you were a holiday maker looking for somewhere to stay you'd never get in to this B&B because it ceased being a traditional B&B a long time ago. It is, as I say, 'emergency accommodation' and the lady owns 72 rooms along the Worthing seafront in three or four different 'Hotels'. She's been clever about it as well, making many rooms smaller by partitioning them to make the business more profitable, just like Baron Homes did with some of their rooms at 17/19 Grand Parade.

Evelyn charges each council £50 per night for a customer to stay at the hotel. This is double what she could charge daily for a normal customer apart, perhaps, from at weekends. She is onto a good deal, wouldn't you say? With 72 rooms she must be making approximately £1,314,000 a year. At the hotel you can't smoke, or drink, or behave as if one were 'on holiday' because it is not a B&B for tourists, no matter how much it appears as if it is - it is 'emergency accommodation' for the homeless. In fairness to her, she does at least give them bed and a cooked breakfast.

However, regardless of whether she is an evil old witch exploiting the poor or a concerned and loving neighbour who takes in the vulnerable, one thing is clear. Each Council with whom she does business is spending on average £350 a week on each person to live in a small room on the seafront. There is accommodation for that staggering amount in Brighton and Worthing, but it is at the upper end of the market and for that money you would be able to rent a 3-4 bed house with a garden for £1400 PCM

Where Ruthless Capitalism Does Business with the Welfare State

Now, if you are scandalised by that astonishing waste of public money, how scandalised do you think those who inhabit these temporary accommodations feel when they find out how much the Council is giving to these opportunistic landlords and private registered companies? Really rather scandalised indeed! Everytime George thinks about it he nearly blows a gasket! This is sheer and total Council-led incompetence that borders on corruption. There is no reason that the Councils could not act as guarantors on these individuals to find them more suitable accommodation - they would save millions of pounds a year in doing so - it is just that they do not think that poor people are "worthy".

It is plausible that I am exaggerating the case here, but it would not surprise me if a proportion of those who rioted were indeed staying in temporary emergency accommodation and were and are trapped there, surrounded by drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally ill people and people like themselves who had fallen through the system and into the arms of a company like Baron Homes Corporation Ltd, who are milking the Council dry in order to place human beings in dogs homes. If that is true, then I am not surprised that those people rioted. Rioting is never the answer to the problem, of course, but it would mean that there is a legitimate grievance to the frustration of many men and women, black and white, in London.

The Duty of the Fourth Estate 

Nobody should be covering the Council's arses or those of companies ripping off the taxpayer and the poor into the bargain. The public has the right to know the true nature of the temporary emergency accommodation in both London and the provinces of England, so that the grave and terrible injustice of the rich's exploitation of the poor for profit is known generally and universally across the land. Their despicable deeds must be exposed for the sake of Justice, for Heaven's sake as well as for the sake of the poor people who must inhabit these disgusting tenements. The Council offered this accommodation to the lady whose flat was burned down and out of hand she rejected it. Good for you, girl! The poor, however, have no such choice - they accept what they are given - but it must be made known to the people of this country and the Fourth Estate needs to investigate the great British housing benefit rip off being conducted by rogue landlords, companies and owners of temporary emergency accommodation in which Councils are complicit in both this crime and the flagrant waste of British taxpayer's money. I hope and pray that that day comes soon and here is the man, Robert Peston, who I hope will help me to expose it because this is not just a moral scandal, but an economic one.

Sunday 14 August 2011

Did Our Blessed Lady Die?

Yes, Our Lady with unspeakable humility and inimitable love accepted and chose bodily death, in order to follow the model of her Divine Son, according to The Mystical City of God, written by Venerable Mary of Agreda...

'The sweetest Mother proceeded in her leave-taking, speaking to each of the Apostles in particular and to some of the disciples; and then to all the assembly together; for there were a great number. She rose to her feet and addressed them all, saying: "Dearest children and my masters, always have I kept you in my soul and written in my heart. I have loved you with that tender love and charity, which was given to me by my divine Son, whom I have seen in you, his chosen friends. In obedience to his holy and eternal will, I now go to the eternal mansions, where I promise you as a Mother I will look upon you by the clearest light of the Divinity, the vision of which my soul hopes and desires in security. I commend unto you my mother, the Church, the exaltation of the name of the Most High, the spread of the evangelical law, the honor and veneration for the words of my divine Son, the memory of his Passion and Death, the practice of his doctrine. My children, love the Church, and love one another with that bond of charity which your Master has always inculcated upon you (John 13, 34). To thee, Peter, holy Pontiff, I commend my son John and all the rest."

The words of the most blessed Mary, like arrows of a divine fire, penetrated the hearts of all the Apostles and hearers, and as She ceased speaking, all of them were dissolved in streams of tears and, seized with irreparable sorrow, cast themselves upon the ground with sighs and groans sufficient to move to compassion the very earth. All of them wept, and with them wept also the sweetest Mary, who could not resist this bitter and well-founded sorrow of her children. After some time She spoke to them again, and asked them to pray with Her and for Her in silence, which they did. During this quietness the incarnate Word descended from heaven on a throne of ineffable glory, accompanied by all the saints and innumerable angels, and the house of the Cenacle was filled with glory. 

The most blessed Mary adored the Lord and kissed his feet. Prostrate before Him She made the last and most profound act faith and humility in her mortal life. On this occasion the most pure Creature, the Queen of the heavens, shrank within Herself and lowered Herself to the earth more profoundly than all men together ever have or ever will humiliate themselves for all their sins. Her divine Son gave Her His blessing and in the presence of the courtiers of heaven spoke to Her these words: 

"My dearest Mother, whom I have chosen for my dwelling-place, the hour is come in which thou art to pass from the life of this death and of the world into the glory of my Father and Mine, where thou shalt possess the throne prepared for thee at my right hand and enjoy it through all eternity. And since, by my power and as my Mother have caused thee to enter the world free and exempt from sin, therefore also death shall have no right or permission to touch thee at thy exit from this world. If thou wishest not to pass through it come with Me now to partake of my glory, which thou hast merited."

The most prudent Mother prostrated Herself at the feet of her Son and with a joyous countenance answered:

"My Son and my Lord, I beseech Thee let thy mother and thy servant enter into eternal life by the common portal of natural death, like the other children of Adam. Thou, who art my true God, hast suffered death without being obliged to do so; it is proper that as I have followed Thee in life, so I follow Thee also in death.''

Christ the Savior approved of the decision and the sacrifice of his most blessed Mother, and consented to its fulfillment. Then all the angels began to sing in celestial harmony some of the verses of the Canticles of Solomon and other new ones. Although only saint John and some of the Apostles were enlightened as to the presence of Christ the Savior, yet the others felt in their interior its divine and powerful effects; but the music was heard as well by the Apostles and disciples, as by many others of the faithful there present. A divine fragrance also spread about, which penetrated to the street. The house of the Cenacle was filled with a wonderful effulgence, visible to all, and the Lord ordained that multitudes of the people of Jerusalem gathered in the streets as witnesses to this new miracle.

When the angels began their music, the most blessed Mary reclined back upon her couch or bed. Her tunic was folded about her sacred body, her hands joined and her eyes fixed upon her divine Son, and She was entirely inflamed with the fire of divine love. And as the angels intoned those verses of the second of the Canticles: "Surge, propera, amica mea," that is to say: "Arise, haste, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one, and come, the winter has passed," etc., She pronounced those words of her Son on the Cross: "Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit." Then She closed her virginal eyes and expired. The sickness which took away her life was love, without any other weakness or accidental intervention of whatever kind. She died at the moment when the divine power suspended the assistance, which until then had counteracted the sensible ardors of her burning love of God. As soon as this miraculous assistance was withdrawn, the fire of her love consumed the life-humors of her heart and thus caused the cessation of her earthly existence.

Then this most pure Soul passed from her virginal body to be placed in boundless glory, on the throne at the right hand of her divine Son. Immediately the music of the angels seemed to withdraw to the upper air; for that whole procession of angels and saints accompanied the King and Queen to the empyrean heavens. The sacred body of the most blessed Mary, which been the temple and sanctuary of God in life, continued to shine with an effulgent light and breathed forth such a wonderful and unheard of fragrance, that all the bystanders were filled with interior and exterior sweetness. The thousand angels of her guard remained to watch over the inestimable treasure of her virginal body. The Apostles and disciples, amid the tears and the joy of the wonders they had seen, were absorbed in admiration for some time, and then sang many hymns and psalms in honor of the most blessed Mary now departed. 

This glorious Transition of the great Queen took place in the hour in which her divine Son had died, at three o'clock on a Friday, the thirteenth day of August, she being seventy years of age, less the twenty-six days intervening between the thirteenth day of August, on which She died, and the eighth of September, the day of her birth. The heavenly Mother had survived the death of Christ the Savior twenty-one years, four months and nineteen days; and his virginal birth, fifty-five years. This reckoning can be easily made in the following manner: when Christ our Savior was born, his virginal Mother was fifteen years, three months and seventeen days of age. The Lord lived thirty-three years and three months; so that at the time of his sacred Passion the most blessed Lady was forty-eight years, six months and seventeen days old; adding to these another twenty-one years, four months and nineteen days, we ascertain her age as seventy years, less twenty-five or twenty-six days. *(Age at death, 69 years, 11 months, 5 or 6 days.)

Great wonders and prodigies happened at the precious death of the Queen; for the sun was eclipsed (as I have mentioned above) and its light was hidden in sorrow for some hours. Many birds of different kinds gathered around the Cenacle, and by their sorrowful clamors and groans for a while caused the bystanders themselves to weep. All Jerusalem was in commotion, and many of the inhabitants collected in astonished crowds, confessing loudly the power of God and the greatness of his works. Others were astounded and as if beside themselves. The Apostles and disciples with others of the faithful broke forth in tears and sighs. Many sick persons came who all were cured. The souls in purgatory were released. But the greatest miracle was that three persons, a man in Jerusalem and two women living in the immediate neighborhood of the Cenacle, died in sin and impenitent in that same hour, subject to eternal damnation; but when their cause came before the tribunal of Christ, His sweetest Mother interceded for them and they were restored to life. They so mended their conduct, that afterwards they died in grace and were saved. This privilege was not extended to others that died on that day in the world, but was restricted to those three who happened to die in that hour in Jerusalem. What festivities were celebrated on that occasion in heaven I will describe in another chapter, lest heavenly things be mixed up with the sacred things of earth...'

Saturday 13 August 2011

Blair's Toxic Legacy

Interesting article on the Blair legacy from Peter Oborne. Good quote...

'What New Labour was doing was encouraging a remarkable social experiment. Traditional marriage has been at the heart of British society since time immemorial, providing stability, security, a bulwark against an overmighty state, and the ideal framework for rearing children. The riots of last week show the devastating consequence of that leap into the dark.'

That leap into the dark is in Brighton today and it is dark no matter how much it is sold as flamboyant and exotic, or indeed supported by the local council and local businesses. All day street drinking today, and a one or two day sudden bout of police amnesia of the local bye-laws enforced for the rest of the year against the homeless drinkers. Why, I wonder, do the police never go into the tents in Preston Park and confiscate the drugs of hedonists there? Why is nobody arrested this weekend for drugs, when for the rest of the year, local homeless addicts are arrested daily for possession of drugs?

Pride, by its nature, is repulsed by the poor
I had my haircut by a young man at a local barbers who said he was excited about Gay Pride. "But," he said, "I'm glad it is all ticket this year at the park, because that means it will keep the 'Chavs' away." Nice, eh? Obviously, the 'gay' identity isn't as all-embracing and all-welcoming as one is led to believe by the propaganda of people like Peter Tatchell. After all, what if those 'Chavs' were gay and just wanted to join in the party and express their 'identity'? 

This was, I hasten to add, before the riots broke out in London and beyond. These kids in hooded tops and the rest, I understand public sentiment against them, but their situation is terribly sad. It has to be said they are very much unwanted. Their dads, by and large, don't want them. Society doesn't want them. Employers don't want them. Their schools probably don't want them and even the gay community, that most persecuted community of people, doesn't want them. The 'equality' movement really is a leap into the dark - it is about unmitigated hedonism and freedom unchecked by any morality. It is no wonder, with these parades, that kids are just doing 'what they want to do'. Not many people in society are saying that there is more to life than merely doing 'what you want to do'.

Adult World

O, O haven’t you heard?
They’re streaming in their hoardes upon the
London Road
And hear O hear how the whistles are blown!
With the women and the men and other men in tow!
They say, “O, haven’t you heard?” (“Haven’t you heard?”)
The bells are even ringing in St Peter’s Church!
They say, “O, haven’t you heard? (“Haven’t you heard?”)
If this is liberation then I’ll be left in the lurch.

“So tell me child, O well what did you learn?”
“I learned that this is an adult world.”
“Oh tell me child, well what did you learn?”
“I learned this is an adult world.”
“Oh tell me child, well what did you learn?”
“I learned this is an adult world.
“O I don’t think I understand
O how are the babies born?
I don’t think I understand
But I’m sure I will in time
For this is an adult world.”

As for me, well I’ve never been the innocent kind,
But I’d rather be up in court and pay a heavy fine
Or maybe a light custodial sentence
A priest would come to listen to my confession
But now O, O, O, those days are gone
Because now apparently nothing is right or wrong
And I don’t think Wilde would be on their side
He knew humility was in avoiding Pride.

“Tell me child, O well what did you learn?”
“O, this is an adult world.”
“Oh tell me child, well what did you learn?”
“I learned this is an adult world.”
“Oh tell me child, well what did you learn?”
“I learned this is an adult world.
I don’t think I understand
O how are the babies born?
I don’t think I understand
But I’m sure I will in time
For this is an adult world.”

O, it’s such a Grand Parade
It’s such a Grand Parade
So full of colour and life
I don’t think I could take a wife
Because this is an adult world

O, it’s such a Grand Parade
It’s such a Grand Parade
So full of colour and life
I don’t think I could take a wife
Because this is an adult world

Gay Pride

Three hourly weather forecast
°F | °C
Saturday 13 Aug
TimeForecastTempFeels likeWindHumidityPrecipitation chance
10:00RainRain17°17°17 mph SW98%95%
13:00Light ShowersLight Showers19°19°16 mph SW92%85%
16:00Mostly CloudyMostly Cloudy19°19°17 mph SW74%5%
19:00Light ShowersLight Showers17°17°13 mph WSW84%50%
22:00RainRain15°15°11 mph WSW95%95%

What a shame about 4 o'clock..keep praying.

The Pope Who Won't Be Buried

It has been a long time since I have put finger to keyboard to write about our holy Catholic Faith, something I regret, but which I put larg...