Thursday 28 August 2014

New Appointment for Congregation for Divine Worship Expected

I'm putting £50 on that guy from Riverdance.

It would still be an improvement on Archbishop Marini.

Start praying now...

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Wedding Playlist

I'm working on the music for the wedding.

If it was in the Novus Ordo, I suppose we could have had the above in the Mass but due to the rigorous restrictions imposed upon the form and setting of liturgical music in the Extraordinary Form, I guess it will just have to be played at the reception afterwards instead.

Shame. It could have been a themed Mass and everything.

I just bought the suit. I'm surprised. I look quite employable when I make an effort.
Getting rather tetchy now.

On a much more serious note, I ask all readers to pray for our brother in Christ, 

St Cuthbert's Ice Bucket Challenge

I do wonder whether the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge reveals a desire to once again live in a Catholic England, where seriously uncomfortable penance is embraced once more.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Join the Campaign to Boycott The Windmill

I'm just scanning back in my mind. I have an appalling memory, but I don't think I have ever been formally barred from a pub. Well readers, I have been today! I feel like an ASBO recipient wearing his badge of honour!

As an aside, I did recently get very drunk and embarrassed myself, letting down myself and, more importantly, our God and His Church, but my, 'I think I'll just lay down here on this pavement and be sick a little bit for a while', escapade did not lead me to being barred from the pub which was immediately opposite my dormant corpus. I guess everyone else had gone to sleep. For this reason, I'm skipping a stag night before my wedding because, after all, I've had it already and I've been to Confession. What's the point in your friends tying you to a lamp-post in your underpants when you can quite easily make an idiot out of yourself on your own initiative, with nobody else around? I guess if you are a prospective employer, its best you look away now.

Still, despite my appalling lack of self-restraint on that occasion, I'm not barred from that particular public house. I am, however, barred from The Windmill Pub, Brighton, where I was sitting with a friend this evening after work. Our little friend, 'Jimmy', came over and I invited him to sit down next to us. My friend was eating a jacket potato with cheese and beans and I was supping a pint. 'Jimmy' asked for a cigarette so I asked if he wanted to join us. Five minutes later the landlord came out and started harassing 'Jimmy', asking him to leave. In the image above, you can see 'Jimmy' and I and the said friend were on the 'peripheries' of the pub on the outside, the bench nearest the road. There was a small group outside. The pub was by no means busy. The landlord came out to tell 'Jimmy' he was 'barred' from the establishment.

So, let's all get barred from pubs in the cause of right...
'Jimmy' doesn't do pubs. He cannot afford pubs. 'Jimmy' doesn't drink in pubs. 'Jimmy' drinks on the street. The landlord claimed 'Jimmy' had once been in the pub 'with a can', but 'Jimmy' wasn't even in the pub. He was sat down outside for a very short time. He was really about to leave since he just wanted a chat and some tobacco and was trying to get some money out of me for some chicken balls and curry sauce.

So the landlord comes over and starts harassing 'Jimmy'. Bear in mind, reader, that I've just spent twenty pounds in this pub, in addition to the hundreds of pounds (please, Lord, say its only hundreds) I've probably spent in there over the last decade. I don't even want to do the maths. I've been a regular in this pub for years. I'm on good terms with the landlady and the friendly lesbian who owns a shop down the road and daily props up the bar from 6pm onwards. The pub is home to some of Brighton's most functioning alcoholics and even advertises the fact, your honour, on its Facebook page, wherein you will find this advertisement...

CALLING ALL "OCCASIONAL" ALCOHOLICS! Your services are required URGENTLY at The Windmill tonight!

Not all alcoholics are welcome, however. As it happens, 'Jimmy's' ASBO ran out quite a while ago, the Council having relented. He's been housed for over a year now in the same place and seems to have settled down somewhat. He now has the freedom of the city of Brighton and Hove and he's due to go into rehab in September.

Okay, these are the droids you are looking for.
So, the landlord having taken 'Jimmy' to task, I piped up. I haven't said my prayers today, so I was in unusually cocky mood. That won't have helped, but I said something along the lines of...

"Hang on, my friend hasn't done anything wrong. He's just sitting down here a while. He's doing no harm". 

I said this in a perfectly polite fashion, somewhat scandalised that I had just spent about twenty quid, plus the 'cash back' at the bar, that the landlord replied something like...

"You just stay out of this, this is none of your business. He's barred from this establishment for drinking a can here once in the pub".

Somewhat riled, I said something along the lines of...

"He isn't doing anything wrong. You're criticising him for drinking. I thought this was a pub!"

And on, and on, but whenever I spoke, he high-handedly turned to me with rather steely eyes and told me, quite plainly...

"You just keep quiet, will you, this is none of your business".

Whatever I said, that's what he said. I couldn't help feel that no matter what my friend might have done, or not done, once, in terms of 'once walking into the pub with a can in his hand' ("Oh, the horror! It's a homeless person!") that this was all rather disproportionate and that the landlord just looked at him and considered him to be unworthy citizen for the privilege of sitting outside and smoking a fag while I had a pint and my friend ate his jacket potato at the very periphery of the pub garden near the main road. He really had literally been there about five minutes and never stays anywhere long especially when he wants his chicken balls and curry sauce.

Still selling whiskey, champagne and vodka though, aren't they?
Due to 'Jimmy's's behaviour in general and sometimes disruptive manner, I would never take him into the pub and say, 'Right Jimmy, its my round, what'll you be having?' He just came and sat down with us for about five or six minutes. Was this such a grave threat to the particular establishment? And doesn't someone who could have easily put a landlord's child through university over the years deserve at least a little bit more respect than "You just keep quiet, this is none of your business."

Somewhat angered I called the landlord a "typical Brightonian". That might not make any sense to you or to him, but I do get more narked off year by year at the artifice of this city that prides itself on 'diversity' and a 'non-discriminatory' approach to its 'rich' cultural life, while treating the poor and homeless with utter contempt.

In general the city is getting harder and more punitive against the poor, as seen with the inner city's attempts to cleanse Brighton of its street drinking community by putting these stickers on each and every newsagent's shop window just to tell the street homeless where to go.

These newsagents are 'sensible on strength' stickers are everywhere because if you drink Skol Super, you're not sensible, but if you're like me, are middle class, can mix your drinks but then find you can't take it and wake up in a gutter somewhere you remain 'sensible' because you're privileged, valued, monied and thereby contribute to society, but if you are poor, or homeless, or 'unsightly' or in any way make those around you feel uncomfortable, you are not welcome. Not in Sainbury's, not in the Co-op, not in The Windmill and not anywhere, really, because even though you are not a thief, or a threat, because you are a street drinker, you are not really as human as the rest of us and are unentitled to respect. Not only you, but whoever feels like sticking up for you.

Anyway, that's the story of how I got barred from my first pub. Join me in my national campaign to boycott The Windmill, one pub that Pope Francis will most certainly be avoiding!

Logical Inconsistencies

An atheist friend of mine has responded to my post on Dawkins for the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma on the difficulties for atheists to reply.

I think you might find some inconsistencies in his repsonse. If you find any, drop them in his combox, why not? Interestingly, he says that 'on balance' he agrees with Dawkins. That's atheism for you!

Monday 25 August 2014

A Woman of Few Words

I have been thinking just recently about Our Blessed Lady and the interaction that takes place between her and the Lord as documented in the Holy Gospels. For a woman whose place and honour in the Church simply could not be any more lofty, or prominent, it could be expected that more would be written of her. On reflection, however, it is possible that the Gospel writers, when dealing with the topic of Our Lady, have deliberately, or have been inspired deliberately, to write very little indeed on Our Lady. The little that is written of her then becomes increasingly more important.

In this sense, less is more, because it encourages us to look at what is written, that we may draw out of little, the sea of information that is there, the star of which is Our Lady. With this in mind, then, I have decided to examine in a series of posts for The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, that which is there, starting with the Annunciation. Today I have written on the first half of the Magnificat.

If anyone wants to scout it for any heresy, let me know if you find some. I cannot help but feel that in the months ahead, infallible dogmas on Our Lady are going to be challenged because in Rome, it appears, everything is up for grabs. It is only a small step from challenging the Church's morals to challenging the Church's Faith.

Jesus Christ is Not 'One of the Prophets'

I found it interesting in today's Gospel that, among those standing around the Lord Jesus Christ when He asked 'Who do people say that I am?' 'they said', among other things, 'one of the prophets'.

I found this striking because of the time in which we are living. Plainly put, Islam, and presumably its fanatical adherents now making mincemeat out of Christians in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere, professes that Jesus is 'one of the prophets'. Looking back, the Lord Jesus was wise to wait for another answer but for that one because it appears that holding onto the view that Our Lord was 'one of the prophets' should come with a health and safety warning for those around the one who espouses it. It is a lie from the father of lies.

Those who said at the time stood before Our Lord and suggested that He was 'one of the prophets' were quite plainly and simply wrong. Our Lord waits for the right answer and receives it for he who was to become His Vicar on Earth who speaks for the whole Church. Islam, on the other hand, maintains the heresy that Our Lord is 'one of the prophets'. Yes, that is a heresy, because Islam is a religion invented after the first coming of Our Lord and Saviour.

The Muslims are wrong. We should not have to hide this truth nor apologise for saying it. St Peter, in answering infallibly for the whole Church, was and is right. Jesus is truly 'the Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah, the Saviour of the World'. The last of the prophets is St John the Baptist, the forerunner and herald of the Lord made flesh. That's the 'end of the line' for biblical prophets. Therefore, the messenger made known by the religion of peace is not only redundant but entirely unnecessary. The entire message of Islam can be very easily dismissed and ignored, if only its current emissaries would leave Christians alone and in peace. Christ has spoken and 'It is accomplished' and He warned His followers of false prophets who would come with a different message to that which He preached.

Today, inside of Islam and outside of it too, we are seeing very vividly the fruits of those who believe that Jesus Christ is 'one of the prophets - in other words, an ordinary man, even an ordinary, but holy man inspired by God. It is this idea, this falsehood, that is leading so many into error and death, this error, this heresy for which those who believe in Christ's Lordship, but not they alone, are paying the ultimate price.

Saturday 23 August 2014

He's Back! The Co-Prophet of the End Times!

I don't think I go along with all that the Third Eagle and Co-Prophet of the End Times is telling us. 

But isn't he wonderful!?

What I can say is that the 'poor Church for the poor' seems to think that ordering in a truckload of absolutely naff vestments and truckloads more naff liturgical caps for those participating in the Beatification ceremony of the Korean martyrs sounds to me a bit strange, perhaps a little inconsistent.

For a 'poor church for the poor' we do seem to like squandering a load of cash in order to make liturgy look ugly, don't we?

I'm not sure what to make of the symbology. I'm not a symbologist, but for future reference, the Vatican can buy some lovely cheap beautiful vestments at Ornaty

They could save a bob or two and then give the savings to the poor.

I don't know why the Co-prophet of the End Times is saying all this now. Haven't terrible vestments that detract from the holiness of the Sacrifice of the Mass been a feature of the Church for about 40 years now?

Who's the other prophet of the end times?

Leave your name in the comments box, I'd love to see your YouTube videos.

Pope's PR Guru to Advise Richard Dawkins

In the wake of devastating news reports and even liberal media shock at Richard Dawkins's 'controversial' views on the unborn children with Downs Syndrome, Greg Burke has been called in by Richard Dawkins to foster a more positive image of the high priest of atheism.

In a new PR strategy designed to undo much of the damage caused by the apparent advocate of eugenic solutions to diseases and genetic conditions, Burke proposed to Dawkins a range of different photo-opportunities and selfies to be taken and then publicised around the world's press. It is hoped by Dawkins that the image consultant will be able to recover the reputation of the fundamentalist atheist in the world's media and win back some of the support he has gained over years among humanists.

So far, much of the public relations imagery publicised by Richard Dawkins's PR team has been lacklustre. It is thought by Burke that Dawkins's image "suffers because his role as a prophet of godlessness for the new age does not lend itself easily to humanitarian causes or to photo-opportunities that convey goodness, a spirit of caring, virtue or a message of love, peace and goodwill."

It is unfortunate for the renowned atheist scholar, Greg Burke noted, that "atheism does not naturally lead to a message that inspires others towards a counter-cultural way of life, but instead continually points to self." It can however, Burke maintained, be something that is "cultivated over time." Less imagery of the author in front of a clear blue sky with wispy clouds are said to be recommended by Burke and a more positive image of Dawkins attending a school for children with Downs Syndrome, a centre for children with learning disabilities or a soup run for the homeless, are perhaps in the pipeline for the celebrated atheist.

While charity shops quickly hide copies of the autobiographies of national treasures under media trial on accusations of pederasty, it is said that Dawkins too fears a 'public backlash' after his latest Twitter fiasco. The stalwart defender of rationalism and empiricism, it is said, looks on in envy at the unassailable position of Pope Francis as the humblest and most wonderful religious and secular figure in the history of the world TM.

It is rumoured that Burke, having achieved what the Catholic Church's senior image consultants said was 'impossible' in transforming the papacy from an institution marked by a recent occupant labelled as 'a leering old villain in a frock' to one inhabited by 'the People's Pope', has been offered a lucrative deal with Richard Dawkins and could part with the Catholic Church in a transfer fee rumoured to be in the region of £30 million.

A range of disfigured people, aged and infirm people, survivors of the Holocaust and "a veritable army of babies" are said to be soon making their way to Oxford so that they can be greeted, kissed and venerated by the "good doctor Dawkins" in a radical overhaul of his previous image as a self-seeking publicity addict. Dawkins himself was unavailable for comment, but a close friend intimated that the scholar has recently been feeling a 'bit down in the dumps' over his reputation in the liberal press and that now is the time for some clear 'blue-sky thinking' on the matter of at least giving the impression that atheism need not necessarily lead its adherents into a philosophical line of reasoning that dispenses with the innate value of human life, regardless of health or genetic 'quality'.

"Good without God" is a great slogan, said a close friend, "but it is clear that 'good' does have objective connotations. Most people do not automatically associate the targeting of children with Downs Syndrome in the womb for extermination as necessarily being 'good'. You know, because if anyone loves these people, it would be God, even if nobody else but a minority does. You can tell its only a minority because only 10% of these children are not aborted."

The Vatican is yet to confirm the rumour.

Friday 22 August 2014

That Dawkins 'Gaffe'

A 'cure' or a 'final solution', Mr Dawkins?
We know that Catholics can respond pretty emphatically to the latest Dawkins 'gaffe'.

The problem is: how should the atheists respond? 

The question is, can they?

Thursday 21 August 2014

The Gloria Patri and the Consideration of the Martyrs

Courtesy of the Little Office of Our Lady

'A praiseworthy practice is to incline the head when pronouncing these words [the Gloria Patri]...One day when St Magdalen of Pazzi bent herself thus, with more than ordinary earnestness, one of her Sisters inquired the reason of this observance. "It is," she replied, "a practice I have, through my confessor, to offer my life to the Holy Trinity in bowing my head at the Gloria Patri as if I were presenting it to the executioner to suffer martyrdom."'

How relevant to our times this little quote seems now, for so many Christians in the World. What for St Magdalen was a pious devotion is for these the reality that they now face.

Prepare for Death with St John Vianney

From a sermon by Saint John Vianney...

'Alas! That there are so many of these blind people who do not open their eyes until the moment when there are no further remedies for their ills! Yes, my dear brethren, yes, a life of sin and a death of rejection! You are in sin and you do not wish to give it up? No, you say. Very well, my children, you will perish in sin. You will see that in the death of Voltaire, the notorious blasphemer.

Listen carefully and you will see that if we despise God always and if God waits for us during our lives, often, by a just judgment, He will abandon us at the hour of our death, when we would like to return to Him. The idea that one can live in sin and give it all up one day is one of the Devil's traps which will cause you to lose your soul as it has caused so many others to lose theirs. Voltaire, realising that he was ill, began to reflect upon the state of the sinner who dies with his conscience loaded with sins. He wished to examine his conscience and to see whether God would be willing to pardon him all the sins of his life, which were very great in number. He counted upon the mercy of God, which is infinite, and with this comforting thought in mind, he had brought to him one of those priests whom he had so greatly outraged and calumniated in his writings. He threw himself upon his knees and made a declaration to him of his sins and put into his hands the recantation of all his impieties and his scandals. He began to flatter himself on having achieved the great work of his reconciliation. But he was gravely mistaken. God had abandoned him; you will see how. Death anticipated all spiritual help. Alas! This unfortunate blasphemer felt all his terrors reborn in him. He cried out: “Alas, am I then abandoned by God and men?”
Yes, unhappy man, you are. Already your lot and your hope are in Hell. Listen to this godless man; he cries out with that mouth sullied with so many profanities and so much blasphemy against God, His religion, and His ministers.

“Ah,” he cried, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, who died for all sinners without distinction, have pity on me!”
But, alas! Almost a century of blasphemy and impiety had exhausted the patience of God, Who had already rejected him. He was no more than a victim which the wrath of God fattens for the eternal flames. The priests whom he had so derided but whom, in this moment he so desired, were not there. See him as he falls into convulsions and the horrors of despair, his eyes wild, his face ghastly, his body trembling with terror! He twists and turns and torments himself and seems as if he wants to atone for all those previous blasphemies with which his mouth had been so often sullied. His companions in irreligion, fearing, lest someone might bring him the last Sacraments, something which would have seemed to them to dishonour their cause, brought him to a house in the country, and there, abandoned to his despair...'

In other words, do not consider that your entrance to the Father's House is a realistic prospect unless you are repentant. Prepare now, as His Holiness has done, for death, so that you, like he, can say, 'Two or three years and I'll be off to the Father's House'. Don't be like me and Voltaire and wait for the last minute, daring to presume that God will spare your soul, forget your impiety and overlook your sins! Let us not presume God's mercy. It's just not cricket. Let us seek it everyday.

Social Media: So, Er, What Happened to the Rules?

Club rules: Why has Twitter not removed the feed of IS?
Am I the only person online wondering just how it is that a group of people who parade themselves as international Islamic terrorists called ISIS or IS are able to upload their disgusting snuff movies onto YouTube.

I am sure I am not the only person online wondering just how it is IScan promote them on Twitter without either YouTube or Twitter removing their social media usernames and passwords and revoking their licence to use said social media, since their behaviour contravenes not just the rules of social media, but basic national and international laws?

The CEO of Twitter has said the company is now deliberately removing accounts showing or 'tweeting' beheadings yet the slick 'un'official IS feed still stands. I don't know whether IS's Twitter feed, be it 'official' or 'unofficial' has been 'suspended' but does 'IS' having a Twitter feed, which has still not been removed, and presumably a variety of YouTube propaganda channels recruiting Muslims around the world to their cause, benefit anyone but the terrorist group now marauding and rampaging through Iraq and who are trying desperately to do the same in Syria, against a regime who oppose them, but which does not enjoy the favour of the West?

These people keep their Twitter accounts because allowing them to post on Twitter does what exactly? Helps us to locate them? Enables us to gather intelligence? Exactly where is the trade off here between allowing these criminals to recruit more disaffected Muslims to their army in order to spread their terror and the gathering of intelligence we might achieve as we behold yet another man dressed up to the eyeballs in black beheading yet another innocent? Isn't Western intelligence a bit more sophisticated than, "Okay guys, let's see what's going on on their Twitter feed today?"

One could almost be forgiven for thinking this mayhem - this diabolical mayhem - is being staged, but, of course, that would make you a conspiracy theorist. I mean, it makes for macabre and powerful 'theatre', if you're a sicko and you want to 'keep up-to-date' with IS's latest beheading media stunt, but, for Heaven's sake, I would have thought that by now these insane bandits might have lost their rights to the use of Twitter and the use of it to instill terror into the hearts of all, as well as YouTube, onto which they boldly parade the heads of their victims. It only took one word from that UKIP lady to speak out against the power of the Rothschilds and bang, she was gone. Just. Like. That.

If 'IS' are permitted a Twitter feed despite breaking 'all the rules', why is it then that our Western intelligence agencies, which doubtless teams up with telecommunications companies in 'our hour of need' are unable to track by satellite from where these uploads and mobile phone Twitter updates are coming? Are we to seriously believe these kind of activities are completely untraceable? The technology is simply 'not there'? There are 7,000 butchers massacring Christians in Iraq but the head honcho, among his team of all blacks are impossible to locate and kill? And President Obama can send drones, loaded and armed drones at that, to Pakistan in order to kill insurgents but, eerily, no such technology is available to be sent to Iraq to combat a relatively small gang of psychos? There are said to be around 7,000 fighters in IS? That's too big an army for us is it?

Yet with all the military, surveillance and weapons technology available to the West, this is a battle that is going to be 'very difficult'? Are we really saying surveillance companies and/or Government surveillance agencies cannot 'zoom in' a little closer than this? I guess not. Oh wait...

I'm no military expert, but I'd posit that with the satellite surveillance and firepower at the disposal of the military (and its commercial affiliates in the US, the UK and Europe), 7,000 psychopathic, murderous bandits on cellphones, with GPS trackable chips, should not be too difficult at all to overcome, should the political will be there to end the theatre and the carnage of Christians and erase these Islamic militants from the continuing tragic narrative of Iraq and Syria. As Christianity in the region edges ever closer to being wiped out by the forces of darkness, as IS go from town to town and village to village bringing death and destruction to whatever unfortunate region greets them, one would think that this convoy would not be too difficult to spot. The flags, one would have thought, would be a huge giveaway, but apparently not!

Unlike  OsamaBin Laden, these guys are not exactly 'in hiding'...
I guess this is one 'Operation' beyond MI6, the CIA and Mossad. We can carpet bomb Baghdad in 2003, but we cannot kill Baghdadi and his gang in 2014 because they're 'so hard to trace'?

Tuesday 19 August 2014

Is the Pope a Saved Pusson?

"I see it as the generosity of the people of God. I try to think of my sins, my mistakes, not to become proud. Because I know it will last only a short time. Two or three years and then I'll be off to the Father's House."*

Yep, without doubt the humblest Pope ever.

All the baptised are guaranteed that a place has been created for them in Heaven. All the baptised have not been guaranteed they will go to their place in Heaven, because we can, you know, lose it. Presumption is, last time I checked, a sin against the Holy Spirit. The missing phrase is "hope" or "hoping".

We should pray for His Holiness at this time and for his deceased loved ones. May their souls and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Monday 18 August 2014

Police Take More Abuse Calls from Members of the Public

Domestic violence against electrical items doubles when the 
celebrity is on television.
Police have issued a statement maintaining that they have taken several more calls concerning abuse from a perma-tanned, high-profile celebrity pop singer in his 70s.

Metropolitan police are keeping the name of the singer under wraps while investigations are carried out in order to protect those who have been exposed to serial abuse. A spokesman for the police has said, "We have received numerous calls from members of the public complaining of serious abuse from a high profile pop singer."

The spokesperson continued, "We are very concerned. Members of the public, having seen the singer on stage, especially at Christmas time, have complained of having been left feeling 'violated' and 'confused' when the man appears on stage. Both his appearance and his voice have rendered several members of the public feeling 'incredibly irritated', others 'so beside myself with annoyance that I smashed my TV in. Usually I would just change channels but there's something about him that's so irritating, I cannot put my finger on it.'

"Aural and televisual abuse is something that we take very seriously, especially when it comes from high profile, inexplicably successful pop stars. After the summer holiday, we hope to have gathered enough information from members of the general public to press charges against the individual. We are very concerned that we afford protection to all members of the public from this kind of abuse, especially the young ones. Records have been seized from several charity shops around the country as we gather evidence that the man's music may have done significant harm to persons. We think he may have committed several crimes against music - and - by extension, humanity itself."

"While we have received around a hundred calls so far from members of the public, we are concerned that this case of serial abuse could have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people in the United Kingdom. We would like to offer our congratulations to our officers, and to the BBC, who are dealing with this investigation with utter discretion and sensitivity both to the individual concerned and those vulnerable members of the public who remain at risk. By October we hope to have done significant damage to career and his reputation because, whether innocent or guilty, no smoke without fire and all that, so we know that if it comes to it, he'll have a fair trial with unbiased media coverage. That might seem wrong, but we're banking on the hope that the vast majority of people just can't stand him, his music and his general demeanour. Let's face it, anyone who hangs around with Tony Blair has to be dodgy. Oops, I wasn't meant to breach any confidentiality rules, but, oh well, nevermind."

The spokesman denied that the investigation constituted a witch hunt since beliefs in such a phenomenom as a devil woman were outmoded. The confidential investigation continues...

Saturday 16 August 2014

Coming Out Narratives

I really do doubt if there is a person on the face of the earth who can claim, 'God loves me just as I am'

In the drama of the current 'coming out narratives' that we hear from celebrities there does seem to be a particularly Protestant theological strand that runs counter to our traditional belief of what we are and who God is. This phrase, 'God loves me just as I am' needs a little dissecting. It is rarely given any qualification nowadays, even rarer does it receive any criticism, even in the Catholic Church. The phrase, 'God loves me' can be aptly used by any sinner, but only a certain kind of sinner can follow it up by saying 'just as I am'.

St Jerome: Someone forgot to tell him God loved
him as just he was
The only people who can really assert that God loves me, 'just as I am', are those who would follow a 'once saved, always saved' creed that denies the idea that we inherit a fragile, fallen human nature and that we can turn away from God and fall into mortal sin. It also denies that the sinner can, in Christ, be restored, healed, forgiven, purified, forgiven indeed, cleansed indeed time and time again. If God loves us, 'just as I am', then why the need for Purgatory? Why indeed, the need for the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ our Lord?

The phrase, 'just as I am' limits the possibility for divine grace to work in the soul. Last night, a local man who I know who sleeps in a loading bay was pelted with eggs by youths while he hid under his sleeping bag. Does God love those youngsters who threw eggs at him 'just as we are'? Or does God wish to see their repentance? Does God love the paedophile, 'just as I am'? Does God love the armed robber 'just as I am'?

There are things we can say about Christ and His Mother which we cannot say of the rest of the human race. One of them is this. Mary, being without stain of sin of any kind, is loved by God, just as she is, because she is 'full of grace' and is perfect in her obedience to the will of God. God loves her as she is because she is perfect, spotless and holy. She is Immaculate. Christ is fully God and fully man, the Son of the Father, able to say that the love that the Father has for Him is perfect, because He Himself is perfect and obedient to the Father. Christ can say, God the Father loves me 'just as I am'.

For Christ is the Just One, the perfect image of the Father, the true Son. He can say, 'I am just'. He - and He alone - can say, 'I am' for before Abraham was, 'I Am'. He is the Eternal Word. For any Christian to say that God loves me 'just as I am' implies a total lack of understanding of repentance, indicates a spirit of pride, as if we are blameless or in some way lacking in any guilt.

God loves you just as you are? You won't be needing us then!

This phrase, which is rolled out by so many claiming the Christian identity, but who then discover their sexual preference is for people of the same sex, or some other passing sinful pleasure, is a complete abandonment of the very basic Christian principle that we are sinners who have been bought by the Precious Blood of Christ - that in Him we receive a spirit of adoption in which we are truly children of the Father.

Now, in all this I would not say that those who 'come out' in public, especially if they are Christians, are doing something terrible. What I object to is this defiant gesture in 'coming out' that rejects the most fundamental principles of the Christian teaching on sin and salvation. If someone wants to say, 'I am gay and/or I have had sexual relationships with others of the same sex, but God loves me' I cannot object. The phrase 'God loves me' can easily imply, 'even though I have sinned so many times against Him'.

"Hand over the money and, while we are at it, remember that God loves me just as I am..."

However, if someone says the same and adds to the end of that assertion this is 'because God loves me just as I am' that person, whoever they are, has, it can be argued, rejected the Christian Faith, because the same phrase can be used by the pornographer, the adulterer, the terrorist, the miser and the thief. If God loves us 'just as we are' we can, by implication, wallow in our mortal sins until we die or Christ returns, with no compunction whatsoever.

God loves me. I don't know why, but God loves me. It is certainly no doing on my part that God loves me. I give God a million reasons not to love me, but God loves me. I may not be fit for Heaven by the end of my life, that is unlikely, but God loves me and if by His grace I die in a state of grace, strengthened by the Sacraments of Holy Church, He will show me His Salvation, the glory stored up for me and all who long for the reward that He alone can give, but if with my many faults, I believe that God loves me 'just as I am', then I, along with a host of Christian celebs, am utterly deluded, for, as St John says, 'if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.'

*I charge a 10% service charge and, remember, God loves me just as I am
In my experience - and I have some - there is no 'magical solution' for the homosexual or the person with 'same-sex attraction'. There is no miraculous 'cure' for the condition of homosexuality.

What Jesus does offer to us is healing, a very different thing, and a continuous process of healing it is that will, if not completed in this life, be completed in the life to come. Is it really that controversial to hold onto that view? How do these celebrity lesbians and homosexuals know God loves them 'just as I am'? Where is that in Scripture? For all they know, God might have a plan for them to marry someone of the opposite sex for their eternal happiness and for His Glory, or some other path.

I guess that if I had maintained consistently, since my conversion to the Catholic Faith, that God loves me 'just as I am', I wouldn't be getting married to a person of the opposite sex in a Catholic Church this year, but then, hey, there is no accounting for those freaky Catholics who actually believe the Church's teaching. Best to go with the flow and see where it goes. Eh? No? Let's face it, there is only one 'coming out narrative' that the World wants and that just so happens to be the one that refuses to honour Christ and His Church and that spreads the 'LGBTQI' agenda around the globe. I guess that's just a co-incidence we'll all just have to live with.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

One of Today's Psalms

Why, God, have you rejected us so finally?
Why this rage against the sheep of your flock?
Remember those you have gathered,
those who were yours from the beginning.
The stock you redeemed to be your own possession;
the mountain of Zion, where you chose to dwell.
Turn your steps towards the final devastation:
the enemy has laid waste the sanctuary.
Those who hate you have roared
in the midst of of your flock.

They have set up their emblems,
taking the place of your own.
They have raised their axes high,
hewing the wood.
With hatchets and axes
they have hewn down the doors.
They set fire to the sanctuary,
profaned and trampled your tabernacle.
They said to themselves, ‘Let us crush them
once and for all.’

They burned to the ground
every shrine of God in the land.
Our emblems have vanished,
our prophets are gone,
and none of us knows any more.
How long, O God, will the enemy deride?
Will he insult your name forever?
Why do you keep your hand away?
Why do you fold your arms?
God is our king since the beginning,
he has given us help throughout the earth.

Remember your people, Lord, whom you chose long ago.

Saturday 9 August 2014

Remembering Regensburg

'I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on - perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara - by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.[1] It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor.[2] The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur'an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between - as they were called - three "Laws" or "rules of life": the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur'an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point - itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole - which, in the context of the issue of "faith and reason", I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.
In the seventh conversation (διάλεξις - controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: "There is no compulsion in religion". According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur'an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the "Book" and the "infidels", he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”[3] The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. "God", he says, "is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats... To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death...".[4]'

Apparently, the then Cardinal Bergoglio was outraged by his now predecessor's address, suggesting that what Benedict XVI had said would 'undo' the hard work done by St John Paul II on building relations with Islam. While Islamic militants devour Christians in Iraq and Syria, behead them, sell Christian women into slavery, conduct rape of Christian women and murder their children, is His Holiness still worried that any criticism he might make of the atrocities there will 'undo' the hard work done by St John Paul II in building relationships with Islam? Is it possible, perhaps, that despite what Benedict XVI said in his speech lamenting those particular faiths that dispense entirely with reason, and support violence in the name of religion being unpopular that he was completely 100% correct? Does his Successor have issues with truth or even reality? Or do we have a Pope who considers the papacy to be a purely political office, his role political, his vocation that of a politician?

Tuesday 5 August 2014

How to Respond to a Disastrous Synod on the Family...

1.  Don't be angry when the proverbial hits the fan. Best not to complain. Know what I mean?

2. Instead of getting angry, spend some time with the poor. It's a great distraction from the collapse of the Faith.

3. Stay calm and proceed calmly. Don't worry or fret. The Holy Spirit has spoken. Trust me on this, I know what I'm talking about.

4. Instead of being resentful and angry, consider a walk in the park instead. After all, its a lovely day, the birds are singing etc.

5. Look after your family. Don't worry, we're looking after the Church.

6. Think about it, you could be doing something useful instead, like employing young people to wash your car.

7. And remember to do the recycling.

8. Above all, don't be negative.

9. Respect the views of Cardinals Maradiaga and Walter Kasper. They've as much right to spout their heresies as you have Catholic doctrine.

10. Come on, people! Chill out and make peace! Cheer up, it might never happen!

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...