Friday, 28 December 2012

Catholics Must Defend Marriage

This is one of the best posts I have read in a long time. Published by a man who is both Welsh (hurrah!) and Catholic (huzzah!) it deals with much of concern to Catholics in what our government is seeking to do viz marriage.

It also celebrates the fact that two Catholic leaders have spoken out in defence of marriage. We, as lay Catholics, have a duty to support these leaders, and to ask all our Bishops to come to the defence of marriage in no uncertain terms.

Prior to Christmas I was overjoyed to hear two sermons that utterly condemned homosexuality and the idea of 'homosexual marriage' by a priest with the love of God in his heart. However, if the church is to lead the way, then every Bishop must inform every priest (and every lay member of the Church militant) that it is our duty to make a stand to defend marriage.

Not to do so would be a grave sin of omission.

Link:
A Reluctant Sinner - Support Our Bishops...

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Atheists at Christmas

If you visit Catholic Memes you can create your own.

This is one I did earlier.

I sent My Jewish Son To Israel and...

For anyone who doesn't follow Catholic Memes on Facebook, you can visit their site at:

http://www.catholicmemes.com/

They have the funniest memes (cartoons, captioned pictures etc.) that promote Catholicism. Furthermore, many of them are deliciously Biblical for any Protestant friends, pretty Traditional and funny.


Friday, 21 December 2012

Banning Guns - but Liberalising Drugs? Really?

I am finding it deliciously ironic that social liberals here are attacking the NRA for seeing the answer to gun violence in more widely available guns; and yet these same social liberals see the answer to a drugs endemic which has also destroyed lives is in more widely available (legalised) hardcore drugs.

Irony by-pass.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

60% or 25% Which Does the BBC Serve?

What are we to make of the recent census figures? According to the Daily Mail website:


  • Proportion of Christians in England and Wales down to 59.3 per cent
  • Quarter of people say they do not follow any religion following rise of aggressive atheism
  • Number of Muslims up to 2.7million, 4.8 per cent of the population
I can't wait for the number of Christians to plummet from circa 60% to 25% because then, presumably the BBC, The Guardian etc. will promote Christianity and attack atheism. Newsnight will tackle social, financial and other issues from a Christian perspective and the news will regularly expose the shortcomings and hypocrisy of atheists; and cover mass murder by atheist regimes, paedophile circles in council homes run by (pro) atheist parties - and suchlike. 

The atheists have attacked the percentage of Christians... Claiming they are over-inflated. Strangely they didn't seem worried or able to attack the number of Muslims.  Hmmm. 

Friday, 12 October 2012

Abortion Debate: Women's Bodies and Who Should Comment

No womb - no view. Sorry bucko!
Recently I saw a debate on the internet between Martin "Money Saving Expert" Lewis and an extreme feminist.

Lewis wondered why people were going for the throat of the health secretary when this was a matter of law, and so it should be debated in parliament by MPs like him.

The feminist said that no man should speak on these issues, let alone formulate public policy, because it did not concern men, it was about women's bodies, she foamed.

Of course she is right and wrong.


  • It is about women's bodies and the damage done to them. And their psychological health. Their ability to have further children. Their ability to fight various cancers. And their immortal soul.
  • It is also about bullying. Many women are bullied into abortions (not least by overpowering "fathers") so it is strange that wymmins-rights folk don't find this offensive.
  • It is also about women dying. Female babies constitute at least 50% of those murdered. Some suggest more, as some communities seek to murder unborn girls. Who speaks for the "wymmins-rights" of those girls?
  • It is also about a public debate. men take a role in procreation, so they should also be able to defend the rights of the unborn.
  • To limit the debate to women is akin to saying that only MPs aged 16 and 17 can discuss lowering the voting age. It is a nonsense.


But then, when defending the mass murder of innocents - including those murdered for the crime of being female, poor or disabled - when have the abortionists ever made sense?

Posh Public School Boy Attacks Faith Schools - Dan Snow, Twitter and the BBC's Impartiality

Today on Twitter the ex-school captain of St Paul's School London (a fee-paying, posh school) and BBC regular employee on the One Show and more (he works on the Discovery Channel and other outlets too), Dan Snow was using his own Twitter account - which (and this is the important part) is publicised on the BBC - to attack Faith schools.

He announced to the world (or the Twitteratti) that he had donated money to the British Humanists (BHA) for their campaign against Faith Schools (actually a campaign to pay one of their number £30K for one year).

Snow and the BHA spin the line that Faith schools sow division and that tax money should not go to divisive schools ("public money should not be spent on segregation").

There are some important points here of course. Certainly when it comes to higher education in the UK we have the Catholic Church to thank as a trail-blazer. But history aside, it is a blatant truism that Faith schools regularly and consistently out-perform state schools as a rule. Of course there are aberrations to this rule, but generally everyone knows this is true, especially in the inner cities. That is why faith schools generally have waiting lists, and why even atheists and the like "get on their knees and avoid the fees" by pretending to be Christians to get a good, free education that they would otherwise have to pay out for to get the equivalent in a non-religious school.

Now let me lay my cards out here. I am lucky enough to live in (semi) rural Wales where the standard of education is excellent. I didn't go to a Catholic school, and my children don't go to a Catholic school. We all go to Mass, and Catholicism is part of our daily lives. If we lived in London or one of the big cities I think our children probably would have gone to a Catholic school.

So I have no particular vested interest as far as my education or my children's education is concerned; but what I detest is this:


  • 1. That Dan Snow uses his BBC promoted Twitter account to attack Catholic (and other) schools.
  • 2. He uses the excuse that others in a similar situation promote "beer and crisps" - but if the BBC is meant to be impartial it should not promote any of these Twitter accounts (and politics and religion are more edgy than mere comestibles!).
  • 3. That Dan Snow and the BHA think that Catholics (and Anglicans, Muslims, Jews etc.) don't pay taxes, or that the taxes these people pay should only go to schools that Snow and the BHA approve of! It smacks of more state control. 
  • 4. That Snow and the BHA want to close the best-performing free schools, the age-old way of the atheist-left is oft repeated: lowering to the lowest common denominator for the many, whilst the uber-rich and privileged can continue to pay for their education.


Only most are - & want to protect Marriage!
Catholic schools take working class kids and give them a superb, in-depth, cultured education. It may not be as perfect or as Catholic as some may like, but as a rule it is ahead of the state equivalent.

Now ask yourself why Snow and the BHA want to shut down the best performing free schools; why they don't think Catholics pay taxes like everyone else; why the BBC is happy to promote the personal accounts of people like Dan Snow who promote campaigns that bash Catholicism and Christianity based on their twisted atheist political outlooks.

Is "segregation" really such a big problem in the UK??? Moreso than non-performing schools? Than poorly educated pupils? Than school leavers unable to read, write and do maths to a decent level? Than pupils who think Hitler was a goalkeeper or D-Day happened in 1812?

Mr Snow has regularly assaulted Christianity in his tweets, and in promoting the BHA is clearly promoting and persuing an agenda. That is his inalienable right. It's called free will.

The BBC however is meant to be neutral.

It should either stop promoting the personal Twitter accounts of its employees - especially if they are used for politicised ends or offensive campaigns like the BHA's - or it should drop the pretence of being impartial and neutral.

After all, if a BBC employee used his Twitter account to attack homosexual "gay pride" rallies as being offensive, blasphemous and indecent (all of which break at least one law each), do you think the BBC would remain impartial on the matter - or that medialand would stay subdued on the matter? The fact is that person would probably get a knock on the door from a pc pc, despite breaking no law.

Yet here we have a BBC employee attacking faith schools and pushing a highly politicised campaign with impunity.

Meanwhile the rest of us can simply expose the lies, half-truths and political agenda of posh boys like Snow (who don't forget went to a posh, private school - 'twas ever thus!) and the BHA which simply hates Christianity in any form.

Simples.



Notes:

  • According to Wikipedia, St Paul's School (where Dan Snow was school captain) "has numerous sports facilities, and sport plays a major part in the everyday lives of the boys. There is a large sports hall, gymnasium, dojo, fencing salle, 25m swimming pool, 6 fives courts, a rackets court, three squash courts, a fitness centre, a 100m sprint straight and ten tennis courts. There is also a large boathouse, and extensive playing fields which consist of 11 football or rugby pitches during the winter months, or seven cricket pitches during the summer months."
  • The BHA's Richy Thompson (who will receive the £30K) says religious schools result in "...discrimination based on both religion and socio-economic standing, and pupils being denied a high quality education in, for example, SRE [fancy acronym for Sex Ed], which would enable them to make informed, responsible decisions later in life." In other words he sees nothing wrong with rich schools giving the likes of Dan Snow the privilege of working for the BBC whilst comprehensive kids struggle to get dead-end jobs; but the truth of this is a humanist assoc keen to make Catholic schools promote abortion, contraception and homosexuality. [my emphasis] The BHA has a specific "gay" section (GALHA) - clearly segregation is not an issue for them!


Friday, 21 September 2012

The Catholic Faith: Statues and Candles or Rattles and Drums?

Please click on this image and read the article. See what you think.

====

Sometimes I wonder if certain Catholics have a self-destruct button. Not in the sense of doing themselves harm via drugs, corruption or similar (though that is bad enough) but in the way the attack or undermine Catholicism.

It may not seem it to the modern mind, but attacks that undermine our Faith (the Faith/Church left to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ, truly God and truly man) are worse than anything a person may do to him or herself.

Sins committed by Catholics are bad of course, but there is always Redemption, Forgiveness, Prayer, Sacrifice/Penance and Reparation. In the afterlife there is Purgatory. God will always give every soul all it needs to obtain Heaven. It is up to that soul (via free will) whether it accepts the Graces of God, especially those gained via the Sacrifice of Christ crucified and the Graces that flow through the Sacrifice of the Mass.

But when a Catholic attacks dogma, Catholicism, the Mass etc. it can have dire effects on others: it can make others lose their Faith, and lead to generations of families, communities and even nations losing the Faith, losing the Sacraments.

That is why leaders of society and religion (and families!) have such a heavy burden on their shoulders, because how they pass on the Faith and show a good example will have many more ramifications than how a lone individual might give in to sin and do damage to his own soul.

Perhaps this is why it always surprises or even shocks me when religious (priests, bishops, nuns etc.) undermine the Faith in others. The changes since Vatican 2 (the vast majority of which were not mandated by V2) are prime examples. Since the altar rails were ripped out, tabernacles placed in alcoves off to one side, statues removed, exquisite workmanship replaced with breeze blocks, and ancient beautiful chants replaced by sickly Kum By Ya style "hymns" - it is no accident that the pews have emptied.

Of course the world has changed since the 1960s, but why have some religious decided to chase after that world, moulding churches and liturgy to fit the world, rather than making the Church, the Mass and all therein an oasis of sanity, reflection, sanctity and prayer that everyone in the world could escape to?

That's why I was so gobsmacked on reading the above bulletin. The Catholic nun seems to celebrate creating an empty, Protestant--style "church" that was acceptable to Protestants, yet which some Catholics turned away from, not even believing that it was a Catholic Church (let us assume that the nun was dressed in Marks & Spencer's slacks rather than a recognisable habit) or at least that a Catholic Mass was celebrated there.

Look at the text again. No statues, no candles, no Stations of the Cross... can we assume a table rather than an altar? It seems Thomas Cromwell himself would have pinched himself with glee to imagine that a Catholic Church could appear as such, with the added joy of Zimbabweans "swaying to the rhythm of their traditional music."

One wonders if they ever pass around a collection plate for fear that a Catholic might vomit into it having to endure such an empty, faithless, vacuous place devoid of everything our Catholic forebears struggled in defence of, paid taxes and faced ruination to celebrate, or even faced the rack and the rope to witness for.

This nun thinks the Gypsy (whoops! Roma) ladies had no experience of the universal church... Oh boy. I am trying so very hard not to swear! The truth is that Catholic churches the world over were full of statues, Stations of the Cross, altars, Latin (but that's another story*) and people!

Watch the film The Mission (based in the South American jungles) now they were Catholic Churches. Go to the Italian Chapel created by Italian PoWs in WW2 on windswept Orkney. Even in Nissan huts and using basic materials those PoWs created a building of beauty, prayer, Sacrifice and Faith (in a protestant country).

What is this celebration of a Protestantised place? I don't want "different ways of worshipping" and if I do I will go out and discover thoroughly Catholic ways full of beauty and prayer (perhaps an Eastern Uniate Church, an ancient Monastic liturgy etc.).

I have been in Catholic Churches in many countries and there are always a wide range of Catholics, from the four corners of the world and of many social stratas. None seem to worry that their Catholic church is Catholic! Yet here we have a nun seemingly chuffed that she is able to point out the wrong attitude of these Catholic ladies!

As always, I must say that I am no expert in cannon law, or a liturgist and my knowledge of Catholicism isn't anywhere near as good as it ought to be. However, all I want -- and I suspect all that most Catholics have wanted, especially when the (spiritual) bulldozers were called into churches in the 70s and 80s -- is for us to have Catholic leaders who promote, protect, espouse and defend Catholicism!

I don't think that's too much to ask!

Many people ask "is the Pope Catholic?" (I won't mention what the bears do...) and we know the answer. Luckily they don't ask us so often about those a little further down the Church hierarchy, those who (as just one example) allow "homosexual Masses" which, in the official church hall afterwards, promote groups which endorse homosexual activity, promiscuity and general celebration of the Sodomitic worldview.

Please! Just let us have Catholic priests, Catholic bishops and Catholic religious and laity who are prepared to defend and espouse the Catholic Faith! So many of us Catholics are weak, frail and lukewarm (and I include myself) and this is why we need strong Catholic leaders to remind us what our duties are.

We don't need empty, Protestant rooms with drums and rattles (albeit hidden under a table).

The writer should be gently reminded that even at the Mass Rocks in Ireland, under the terror of the Elizabthan Protestant yoke, the Catholics gathered would know they were celebrating the Catholic Mass (methinks her idea of a Mass Rock would include guitars and drums). And there wouldn't have been a rattle in sight!



The Mass Rock - An Irish Poem

*I am reminded of Hilaire Belloc's book The Path to Rome. He details the pilgrimage taken through France to Rome. When he stopped to hear Mass he would recognise and be able to join in the Latin chants etc. When a friend followed Belloc's footsteps he found Churches in which he could not follow the Mass as it was in French or Italian... luckily no Tagalog, Esperanto or indeed Klingon! ;)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Prayer Card: St Therese

I love this card not only because of the iconic image of St Therese, surely instantly recognisable to all Catholics, but because of its background.

Let me explain.

On the rear of the card are initials that look like DJL (from a group of cards I got from a charity shop, belonging to a Daphne Lewington) and the date 31st October 1942.

When one considers the fateful events happening in 1942 (surely the turning point of WW2) that, like the Russian revolution, Our Lady forewarned of at Fatima in 1917, it reminds me of how important our Faith is in times of distress, sacrifice and loss.

Just the other day I was moving some books and came across an old favourite, Abbe Trochu's large tome on the Cure D'Ars (published by TAN books). We sometimes think that Saints are so unlike us, free of our weaknesses, doubts, cares, worries, stress etc. but the truth is quite, quite different.

On seeing the Cure D'Ars book I immediately thought of that great saint (patron of parish priests) who was forced into the Napoleonic French Army, went AWOL (and so was a "criminal") and struggled to be accepted into the seminary (struggled being an understatement).

A prayer card of a beloved saint can bring such comfort, induce some beautiful, prayerful moments. I can only imagine this was the case of this lovely card just prior to the Battle of Stalingrad at the height of WW2.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

New BBC History of the World: More Atheist Bunkum?

Would most Beeb journalists be pro-Life? or pro-Abortion?
So Andrew Marr, BBC pundit and one time editor of The Independent is doing 'The History of the World' in 8 episodes for the BBC.

Another atheist, liberal viewpoint put out as fact. I recently read that The Guardian (a notoriously liberal pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-drug usage [etc.] newspaper), which has one of the lowest circulations of the dailies, has the biggest circulation amongst papers read at the BBC. For the record, The Independent is possibly even more anti-family, anti-life and anti-Catholic than The Guardian!

Seems the 'culture wars' are not ongoing at the BBC, rather the militant atheists consider the battle won, and are not afraid to push their slant on the world as the only way to see things.

One of my sons told me the other day that most people in the UK still believe in Creation, yet (he asked) 'why do they promote evolution as if it were fact in science classes?'

The 'culture war' is closed as far as the people running our schools are concerned. Just as they teach (most, if not all) children that condoms stop disease and abortions - when the truth is that condoms promote promiscuity and lead to an increase in disease and abortions.

Prof Richard Dawkins today asked who would vote for someone with the whacko beliefs of Mitt Romney. We might also ask who would vote for someone with the whacko beliefs of Richard Dawkins (or indeed Andrew Marr); yet the majority of these people with their extreme, "leap of faith" beliefs (from drug usage to God, from evolution to man-made climate change) are not voted in, they feel they have won the culture wars and now control the BBC, Hollywood, newspapers and the schools.

And so now we get another Beeb series promoting the pet theories of Messers Marr & Co; promoted (lest we forget) through the State TV service that we all pay for.

We have yet to have a major BBC series (I mean 9pm weekday on BBC1) which promotes our Christian heritage, the proof of Creation, and a Christian-centric history series that does not belittle our heritage, our history and our Faith.


Thursday, 6 September 2012

Following Jesus? Then eat His Flesh as He Commanded!

I was pottering away the other day at work and on the radio there was a piece about the Mormons, in light of the USA presidential election. I think it was Radio 2, but it may have been Radio 5 (I tend to switch over to follow the news/phone-in progs).

There was a lady on from the Mormons in the UK, and various callers followed, including other UK-based Mormons. The one thing they all seemed to push (obviously taught to do so to non-Mormons) was that they are a Christian Church, that they follow the teachings of Christ etc.

Hmmm.

It seems to me that like all heretics (etc.) these people are missing the point. Christ established the Catholic Church as His Bride, with St Peter as the first Pope.

So how can you claim to follow Christ and yet spurn His legacy? He established His Church with the Pope at its head. Yet these people seem to wish to follow the writings of later men who teach against Christ's Church, as if they know better than Jesus Christ.

Not forgetting of course that Christ also established the Mass at the Last Supper, and said that you can't have life in you unless you eat his flesh and drink his blood (in Holy Communion). He didn't say this to be a "populist" or garner support -- it is not an 'easy sell.' He said this because it is The Truth. he left us His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Tabernacles of the world as spiritual sustenance in our long journey towards Heaven.

Yet these people who say they follow Christ spurn His Church and spurn His Flesh and Blood, against His Commandment.

The Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ with St peter as the first Pope, and the Holy Eucharist as its Unbloody Sacrifice (remember the early Church practised all this - it is well documented).

So when protestants/heretics tell you otherwise or promote the idea that they "follow Christ" they are talking through their hats.

Christ established One Church, One Sacrifice, One Pope - and we still have them to this day, just as He promised we would have them.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

All Roads lead to Rome - via G.K. Chesterton

I read this in an old email received from the American Chesterton Society (ACS), who are organising a pilgrimage to Rome:

November 12-20, 2012, I have the privilege of leading a group in Chesterton's footsteps through Rome. We will visit all the important holy sites such as the Catacombs, St. John Lateran, and St. Peter's, and we will attend a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Raymond Burke in the Vatican. We will also visit the beautiful coastal town of San Benedetto where there is a Chesterton school! We will attend a general audience with Pope Benedict XVI, and to top it off, a two-day international Chesterton Conference with speakers from all over the world.
 
This will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip that will also be Chestertonian in every sense: spiritual, educational, and gastronomical. We will be walking in the footsteps of the martyrs and the saints. "Moments filled with eternity" in the Eternal City. 

Wow. 

If you are an American, unlucky. You're not Welsh. Well we can't have everything.

Nonetheless, you can donate $100 to the ACS, which will then be doubled by a kind benefactor. What's more for every $100 you donate, you get a chance in the draw to win two tickets to the Rome ACS Pilgrimage.

You lucky people. Almost makes me wish I was an American.

I said almost... ;-)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

The Last Supper: The First Eucharist

I loved this woodcut when I came across it -- in an Anglican book no less, published in 1905 as part of the 'Church and Home' annual.

It seemed to be a collation of church newsletters.

The image of Christ instituting the Eucharist is very moving and reminds us that, if we are to attain our eternal reward, we should look to frequent Communion.

The words of Christ Himself are crystal clear on this, and reinforce (naturally!) the belief of all Catholics that the Consecrated Host is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. 

John 6:54

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Prayer Card: St Beatrice and the Cross

This prayer card is beautiful in its simplicity.

It shows the wonderful St Beatrice praying to Our Lord (with His Cross).

In the background we see a Church.

The prayer on the reverse reminds us of what made St Beatrice a great saint and how we can follow in her footsteps. The central theme of the card is embracing the Cross.

I think this card must be pre-WW2 German as the imprint of Breslau (formerly in Silesia, Eastern Germany) is now in Poland and known as Wroclaw. I suppose this should remind us that through war and peace, as empires rise and fall, the Catholic Church and its Communion of Saints stands eternal.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Prayer Card: Our Lady at Pentecost

I love this mass card, not only because it is printed in Germany (and I for one often think of Germany as a cold, protestant country when I should remember that about half of it is Catholic), but also because of the central role of Our Lady at Pentecost.

Of course at Pentecost we remember the Holy Ghost, and His Gifts, and we remember the foundation of the Church with St Peter as the first Pope (yes, these people were Papists!), but we should also remember the central role of the Mother of God, Mary most chaste, now of course the Queen of Heaven.

When I was younger I often wondered why some protestants were so extreme in their hatred of Mary. Surely the human being chosen above all others to be the New Ark of the Covenant, to bring the Son of God into the world is due, deserves our honour and recognition; if only because in so doing we honour the glory of God the Father whose plan of Redemption this was, and Jesus Christ the Son of God whose Redemptive Life came into being through the Blessed Virgin.

It is said that one of the reasons Satan rebelled was that the idea that a mortal woman would be made the Queen of Heaven was anathema to him, his pride in his angelic form rather than submission to the Will of God made him rebel against God Himself.

The hatred, rebellion and iconoclasm of the protestants against the Virgin Mary is surely a human shadow of the hatred and pride of Satan. And we should do well to remember that it is Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, who will 'crush the head of the serpent' and who has been chosen as the Messenger of Heaven to warn mankind to return to God (at Fatima).

So for us Catholics and for anyone with an ounce of sense, the central role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Christian history is absolute.

Her reaction to the Archangel in being told she was to be the Mother of God -- something we recall every time we say the Hail Mary ("Hail, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee") -- is a lesson for us all:


My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.
For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden,
For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with His arm:
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree.
He has filled the hungry with good things;
and the rich He has sent empty away.
He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy;
As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen



And in Latin:

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ.

Ecce enim ex hoc beátam
me dicent omnes generatiónes,
quia fecit mihi magna,
qui potens est,
et sanctum nomen eius,
et misericórdia eius in progénies
et progénies timéntibus eum.
Fecit poténtiam in bráchio suo,
dispérsit supérbos mente cordis sui;
depósuit poténtes de sede
et exaltávit húmiles.
Esuriéntes implévit bonis
et dívites dimísit inánes.
Suscépit Ísrael púerum suum,
recordátus misericórdiæ,
sicut locútus est ad patres nostros,
Ábraham et sémini eius in sæcula.

Glória Patri et Fílio
et Spirítui Sancto.
Sicut erat in princípio,
et nunc et semper,
et in sæcula sæculórum.

Amen.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Prayer Card: Holy Family (with toddler Jesus)

I love this prayer card (printed in Switzerland) as it shows a toddler Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and Saint Joseph.

It reminds us of the daily life of the Holy Family.

Yet it also shows us an angel - perhaps Our Lord's Guardian Angel? or an Archangel? - watching over the Child Jesus, reminding us of His Salvific, Redemptive being, thus bringing to mind not only the joy of the Nativity but also the sadness of The Passion, and also the joy of the Resurrection.

All this in a prayer card that could just as easily be adored and appreciated by a small child for its simplicity.

I find the pose of St Joseph particularly endearing. As well as being responsible for Our Lord, he is clearly also reverential. What a role for mortal man!

Our Lady, of course, takes Our Lord by the hand and is His protection and - in a word! - mother; as doting and loving as any mother could be.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Prayer Card: Little Nellie of Holy God

I came across the charming little card by chance.

I believe it dates from the 1950s - or earlier.

When I saw it my heart leaped as Eleanor (a derivation of Ellen) is a traditional name in our family (through the in-laws) and some years back at a family wedding I met a very old lady that everyone referred to as "Nellie" from my wife's maternal family (who I know have their roots in Redcar and are Catholic).

With a quote from St Pius X on the back promoting 'Little Nellie' as a means to advocate frequent Communion, what could be a better commendation? St Pius X was the greatest Pope of the 20th century and through his Syllabus confronted the kind of burrowing, secretive and insidious errors that would later flourish especially in the 1970s.

And with her connections to Cork, the homeland of my own grandfather, there seems to be so many reasons for me to start a devotion to this bravest and most devout of souls in preparation and thanksgiving for Mass.

When the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist is under attack from so many quarters, it would do us all well to recall the simple devotion of the suffering child Little Nellie of Holy God.


Link:
Little Nellie of Holy God

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Private Eye, Ann Gloag and Charity: Specks and Logs?

There's a small piece in the latest Private Eye which smacks of jealousy and spite.

Their columnist on public transport, Dr. B. Ching, had a dig because the founder of Stagecoach, Ann Gloag, gave £50,000 to a church (Protestant I assume) she "attends when at her castle near Inverness."

Dr. Ching (most of these people are well known professionals writing about their speciality) suggests it was mean of her to give 50K and not the full 300K needed given her "windfall payout from Stagecoach last year had been more than £37m..."

Am I the only one to think this smacks of bitterness, dare I say sour grapes? Whatever next? Berating people wearing clothes that total over £200 for putting £1 in a charity collection tin?

Ann Gloag put her neck on the line back in the day (1999/2000?) when she put her name and money to a huge public campaign in Scotland against the repeal of Section 28 which would see homosexuality promoted to school children.

The campaign was very powerful and showed most Scots were in favour of the law being retained. The usually "left wing" leaning Catholics of the Central Belt with their powerful local Labour links joined Protestants and Evangelicals to defend family values and a real, popular, grass roots campaign took off.

It would have been easy for Ann Gloag to keep her head down, keep her money to herself and live a comfortable life. But (unlike many rich people) she put her money where her mouth was, and moreover fought publicly for the Common Good.

If she chooses to give £50K to a church she attends (on hols or regularly) then I say good on her. Let's celebrate generosity rather than 'suck on a lemon' and act all prissy about it, like Dr. B. Ching.

If his real problem is the profits of Stagecoach or the Protestantism (or the family values) of Ann Gloag - then say so! Don't pussyfoot around and cast aspersions in her direction suggesting she is mean for giving a church (albeit not Catholic!) £50K.

Credit where credit is due. We all know about the Widow's Mite versus the rich man's gift, but we should also be careful not to be sucked into envy and petty politics when one person just does a good deed, perchance as a genuine act of Charity (albeit mistakingly to a heretical group). I wonder if Dr. B. Ching has a log he needs to look around?

In the light of The Passion of Our Lord, the writings of 'the wise' can all too often come across as foolish (and luckily for me, vice versa!)

From 1 Corinthians Chapter 1:

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written:

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;     the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[a]

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Prayer Card #1: Going to Mass

First off apologies for not posting regularly. Nothing exciting - just the whole family life, work commitments etc. left me with little spare time.

Now this post if part of what I hope will be an ongoing series.

I have collected many prayer cards over the years (better than football stickers!) including old ones I have found in books I've bought, or bundles of them in charity shops - and so on.

Of course I have my favourites that I use (when I don't forget them) at Mass, but just the other day I took out the leather folder I keep the prayer cards in. It's good to have a switch around every now and then.

Some of them are so beautiful and moving, I thought "why not put some online, perhaps as they are, maybe with a bit of blurb, but all so that my fellow "men of goodwill" can see these little reminders of Saintliness and Godliness as well as me.

So here we go. Here's the first one.

It really speaks for itself, and whereas many prayer cards tend to be a big pic with a little writing, or a prayer on the back, this one-sided gem is not so much a prayer but a reminder of what Mass is, how it helps us, and why we should attend in the correct manner and mindset.

In this age of chattering pews and people-centred gatherings, it does all of us well to remember the Sacrificial essence of the Mass, of exactly Whose Presence we are in, and exatcly What is being enacted on the Altar of God before us.

So please read this little card. By all means take copies and put them on your blog, web site, or other online page. Let's make good Catholics into excellent Catholics, bad Catholics into good Catholics, weak Catholics into strengthened Catholics, evil Catholics into repentant Catholics, and lapsed Catholics into Mass-going Catholics.

I will try and post more prayer cards when I can.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Songs of Praise on Pugin, Newman and Chesterton

An almost Catholic edition of Songs of Praise tonight, centring on the great 19th Century Gothic architect Pugin, and also featuring Bl Cardinal Newman and G.K. Chesterton. Probably because it was free of "official" Catholic hierarchy and so many of our roller-disco churches, it lifted one's soul to what might have been had not "the Spirit of Vatican 2" let the smoke of Satan into the church.

Medievalism in architecture, like Medievalism in liturgy, can strengthen Catholicism as it reflects the buildings, the altars, the Mass, the Sacraments that so many Saints fought and died for; from the wonderful Welsh and English recusants (known and unknown) who suffered so much, to the European heroes of the Counter-Reformation.

Right: Pugin, like Cobbett, Chesterton and others compared the post-Reformation Capitalist treatment of the poor (as cogs in wheels to be used and discarded) with the pre-Reformation Catholic treatment of the poor (as made in the image of God, to receive Catholic Charity).

Compare the churches of Pugin, with their beautiful carvings, statues, altars, windows -- all things that make one think of heaven, and make you focus on Heaven -- to the 1960s breeze-block, soulless, kum-by-ya 'churches' with office block windows, a plain table, and the feel of a new-town council waiting room.

I'm sorry but there is no comparison. One is of Heaven; one is of the world. One is beautiful; one is ugly. One raises one's mind and spirit to God; one lowers one spirit and morale. One is a place of prayer, sacrifice and edification; one is a meeting place to chat, gossip, clap and hug.

What I most want to ask is: "why."

Why was a church which attracted and kept great men like Pugin, Newman and Chesterton changed beyond measure? Why were hundreds and hundreds of years of fine-tuning liturgy, architecture and faith jettisoned for an experiment which, within just a few years saw tabernacles, altars, altar rails, pews, statues and more ripped out of churches?

Now the Pope seems to want to reverse the decline, yet all one seems to read is that there are forces opposing him - opposing even his slight changes to the English-language liturgy (as in the case of a few hundred Irish priests) to get it a bit closer to the original Latin text, especially in the words of Our Lord when the Blessed Sacrament is Consecrated. And one dreads to think of the battles the Pope is fighting within Rome...

Oh well, I suppose all we can do is pray and take comfort from the beauty of Catholic (and ex-Catholic) buildings, hymns, statues and liturgy. I think I'll put some Gregorian Plainchant on tonight. It is wonderfully calming and a joy to drift off to sleep listening to it.

Better than a kum-by-ya tambourine shaking cacophony anyway.


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Britain's Lost Routes: Griff Rhys Jones on Medieval Welsh Catholic Pilgrimage

If you get the chance - watch Episode 4 of Griff Rhys Jones's Britain's Lost Routes.

It follows the Pilgrim Rout from Holywell in North Wales to St David's in West Wales, and has more than a flavour of Welsh Catholicism!

Griff himself says the Welsh were amongst the most devout of Catholics - and along the way we see what the pilgrims of Medieval Wales would have seen, to eat what they would have eaten, to sing what they would have sung, etc.

This link takes you to the BBC iplayer and episode 3 (very interesting - goes to Glenfinnan, which is where - if memory serves me right - Bonnie Prince Charlie landed and the Clansmen first gathered to swear their allegiance).

Episode 4, on the pilgrimage to St David's, should be amongst the links at the bottom anytime soon.

BBC iplayer

Friday, 15 June 2012

Don't Take THE TABLET - It's Promoting Schism and Heresy

Quote:
Since it has carried Hans Küng's statement of liberal sedevacantism, The Tablet ought no longer to be distributed on church premises.

Link:
Don't Take The Tablet

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

On Twitter: How Equalitarians Pour Forth Bile and Hatred

See how idiots spout forth (edited some nasty words out)
I was on Twitter in work today -- panic ye not, 'twas work-related -- and was amused to see the musings and rantings of the Twitterati on the Church of England's statement on "gay marriage" (an oxymoron surely?).

Why so?

Well, most seemed to take umbrage with the fact that the CofE was in fact established to undermine marriage, in allowing Henry VIII to get a divorce from his legal wife Catherine of Aragon. Quite so.

But I wondered if the number of liberals making this point (even some who said "I would take the CofE seriously if it wasn't for the fact...") really did feel that way, for if true they would surely support the position of the Catholic Church, which has always defended marriage (just as its founder did at Cana).

There was also a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of foul language. of every shade and variety. It would have made a navvy blush! The CofE was even invited to commit sexual acts by some very angry homosexuals. It struck me how deeply illiberal 'liberals' can be when people challenge their own worldview! Indeed, one might almost suggest the Tweets were brimming with hatred - were it not for the fact the foul abuse, threats and filth weren't intermixed with words like "tolerance," "inclusivity" and "equality."

Shades of Orwell's Animal Farm perhaps. I wonder if they had "Equality and Inclusivity" over the gulag gates back in the day? Certainly sounds similar to the slogan of the French Revolution which ushered in the Terror which saw faithful Catholics murdered en masse. 

Before I bore you too much concerning the meanderings and splutterings of the semi-literate, one last thing. A number of the Tweets mentioned how the CofE was "medieval" or still in the "Dark Ages" not to mention that they should get to realise this was the "21st century." never amiss for a cliché, the fact that the Dark Ages were when Roman Catholicism was lost to many, and certainly when England fell to pagan invaders, hardly seemed to matter in this world of empty sloganeering amidst the swear words.

Today the good lady wife and I watched a programme we had taped about the history of Deptford High Street in London. It dealt with the criminal acts of town planners in the 60s. The pulled down lovely homes, scattered families, destroyed communities - all in the name of progress of course. Those re-housed spoke of the depression they faced: often turning to prescription drugs to help them cope.

Why is this relevant? because when stacking the facts, misreporting the state of homes, and prejudicially deciding to pull down perfectly good homes in traditional English communities, was accompanied by the mantra of moving with the times and of being in "the 20th Century."

You see - cultural barbarians, architectural iconoclasts and "progressive" vandals always use the terminology of 'Progression' - exactly what so many brain dead and numbskulls on Twitter are repeating even today.

But then, what would I know. In defending marriage I am merely siding with the majority, defending what was the norm up until now, yet am painted as being a "Medievalist!"

C'est la guerre.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Danes to Force Churches to Perform Gay Marriage [sic]

This is exactly why we must oppose "gay marriage" now.

Remember, in 1967 we were told that abortion would only countenanced if the mother's life was in danger; now it seems to be either if a skiing holiday or second car are in danger - or as a means of birth control for the poor.

That the Bones you Have Crushed May Thrill blog report.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

The Queen's Protestant Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's - and the New Mass

At the moment I am watching the Queen's Jubilee service at St Paul's. A few things strike me.

Primarily:The songs, readings and manner of the service is just like the New Mass, in English. People centred, in the vernacular, outward glorification of God, yet no Real Presence, so people can be sincere, devout and full of praise if they wish, or just go through the motions, sing a nice song and go back to their night clubs, drugs and making vast sums of money by spreading poverty or entrenching the poverty that exists.

Table, tapestry: protestant? or Catholic?
In fact with the sumptuous vestments and surroundings, one might even (without wishing to stray into the realms of the schismatic) suggest that this looks more Catholic than all too many of the new Masses, held in roller-disco settings, with "We Love Jesus" 70s child-like 'tapestries' and Rainbow Dove posters and priests in 'vestments' devoid of any colour or meaning pottering about, back to the tabernacle (if it isn't in a side-room or shoved off in a hidey-hole somewhere) pottering about and ad-libbing to please the few. Not to mention some of the ridiculous "bidding prayers" that see the light of day (climate change being just one example out of many).

Perhaps this was the plan of the architect of the New Mass, the subsequently disgraced Archbishop Bugnini, to take the (sometimes ambiguous) words of Vatican 2 and mould them to fit his own agenda. For as the great Welsh Catholic writer and defender of the Faith Michael Davies made perfectly clear: V2 gave no green light to the destruction of the sanctuaries that took place through the 70s and 80s: the ripping out of altar rails, the replacement of altars with tables, the pulling down of statues, the removal/replacement of tabernacles etc.

So, in seeing that the protestant Anglican service in St Paul's is like the New Mass, am I not really seeing that the New Mass (unlike its predecessor which was codified [not created] by saints and vouchsafed for eternity by Mother Church in her wisdom) has been sculpted, changed and metamorphosed into being close to the protestant service?

Is it not so much that I am seeing the small remnant of Catholicism (mostly in the vestments and surroundings) in the protestant Anglican service, but that the Catholic Church has allowed the New Mass to be an imitation of the man-centred 'common meal' of the protestants?

If that is so it leads me to ask why the Church so easily forgets the glories and sacrifices of St John Lloyd, St Phillip Evans, St Richard Gwyn, St Thomas More, St John Fisher, St Margaret Clitheroe and the many others who gave of their lives to defend the Sacraments, the Mass and the authority of the Pope over the Princes of Europe (including the Kings and Queens of England) who would otherwise descend into relativist chaos: as they so clearly have today ("Defender of Faiths," women priests, homosexuality, abortion etc.)

Heavenly Food for thought.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Should Catholics be Monarchists or Republicans?

As a Catholic I know many Catholics who are both Monarchists and Republicans. To be honest most English Catholics tend to be Monarchists or pro-Monarchy and most Irish, Welsh and Scottish Catholics tend to be Republican or pro-Republican in their sympathies.

Of course when one travels to France or Spain, many Catholics (but not all) tend to have Monarchist sympathies.

I have mixed emotions, but none of them very strong. As a Welshman I tend to feel our Monarchy was robbed from us back in 1282, with a brief interlude by Owain Glyndwr. On the UK level my sympathies are (were!) very Jacobite, and I am aware that the British monarchy 'wuz robbed' from Catholics by the tricks and twists of the protestants via the Dutch and the Germans with dubious links to what was a Catholic English legitimate Royalty.

Add to this that the British Monarchy has been used as a substitute religion (worship of the UK state) to replace the Catholicism ripped from our people 500 years ago which had a monarch that was always subject to the moral guidance of Holy Mother Church.

The monarchy today is still a closed shop to Catholics, that and many of the hangers-on get huge handouts whilst setting a poor example to the public at large.

Still, given that the dearth of a monarch may lead to President Blair or President Cameron, sometimes I feel it's a case of better the devil you know...

So, in short I would say that I believe in having a monarch, albeit that the monarch should be able to be a Catholic, and that the extended amount of freeloaders should be curtailed. Whether that monarch should be the head of Wales as well as England and Scotland... well, I have mixed feelings.

I also feel the monarch has let us all down by green-lighting all sorts of dubious laws to do with Faith and Morals (esp on abortion and homosexuality).

But I'd be fascinated to hear what other Catholics feel. If you have the time also please vote in the poll placed in the right-hand column.

Thank you.


P.S. Before anyone says it, yes I do know that Heaven is an absolute monarchy; but surely that is because we know God is always benevolent, all-loving and does no wrong. Here on earth, on the other hand, our society falls far short of these standards given man's fallen nature and the murky world of politics.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

A Big Thanks to a Kind American

A big thanks to the American Catholic writer and fellow Chestertonian who has sent me details on publishing online! He's been really helpful and I shall be following his leads in the coming weeks.

It just goes to show that we, as Catholics, can help each other in the sphere of culture and (dare I say) entertainment, fields given over to the enemies of the Faith for far too long.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Rev James, Pagan Gifts and a Pub Curry*

Myself and the Mrs were taking the Summer air yesterday evening and so we decided to stop at a local hostelry, enjoy the sunshine and God's creation via the partaking of a quick curry (with half and half**).

Inspired by the rantings er, I mean reasoned arguments of my fellow Catholic blogger Richard at Linen on the Hedgerow, I opted for a pint of Rev James for the first time and I was not disappointed. I thought it a lovely smooth, flowery pint.

And what a lucky day it was for no sooner had the grub arrived (ably escorted by two poppadoms of which I heartily approved - even letting the good Mrs have one) and we were reliving the halcyon days of our courtship as all the children were dog-sitting at home: an ominous event occurred!

A van whizzed past with the slogan "Pagan Gifts" on the side. The company name was Wyrd something or other***

A shiver went down my spine and I clutched the good Rev James for comfort, fortitude and to wash down a chunk of chips, rice, chicken and dribbly curry. I held aloft my pint, with Rev James emblazoned on the glass, stood up and shouted "you'll never take us alive - pagans!" Or I would have, if they hadn't simply driven past, or for fear of getting (another) clip around the ear from the Mrs for publicly embarrassing her (yet again).

What could be in the back of the van? Goats tethered for sacrifice? Cauldrons for the sisterhood? Jars of claw of bat and wing of toad (did I get that right?) or maybe just copies of The Guardian and CofE Bishops in mufti?

Perhaps I'll never know - perhaps I never should!

But thanks Richard for recommending the godly Rev James (I'm sure he'd be in the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham were he alive today), not just for being a great pint, not just for washing down my curry in style, but for being there when the pagans attacked (well, drove past).



*The Good, the Bad and the Ugly?
**Overseas reader may have no idea what I'm on about - and not for the first or last time.
***Not literally - I only caught the first word.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Getting a (Catholic) Book Published - Your Help and Tips

I have a lazy question (or two) to as if you'll indulge me.

I am just past the thinking stage of writing a book. I don't want to go into too many details, but fictional history with a Catholic flavour/theme (but open to all) starts to cover it.

My questions are, does anyone have:
  • Any advice on approaching publishers?
  • Any advice on self-publishing?
  • Anyone with links to Catholic publishers?
  • Any other general "heads up" advice, warnings, tips etc.?

Perhaps if you know someone who can give advice/help you'll send them a link to this article?

Thanks.

A Budding Catholic Writer

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Back to the Future: More Tradition for a New Generation

Yes: DO Eat the Fish
There was a notice in our local parish newsletter, telling parishioners that the Church had revived the tradition of not eating meat on Fridays, in reparation - and boy do we as individuals, as communities and as a society need all the help we can get!

This is one of the good things Pope Benedict has done.


Why oh why was this ever stopped, sidelined or hushed up?

While we're at it let's look at some other totally Catholic traditions that we should have back PDQ:

  • Mass on Sundays. The idea of Saturday evenings is a no-no. Dispensation can be given to hospital staff and emergency workers. But for 99% of us there is no excuse for not attending Mass on the Lord's Day. Of course we can go on Saturdays and any other days of the week we wish to as well.
  • Altar rails. Please! This will help all of us realise that the Sanctuary is a sacred place, not somewhere we can amble up to, shuffle around in and plonk back in our seats as if we just changed channel on the telly. It may also lead to my next 'big ask:'
  • Kneeling for Communion. The Holy Father insists on it at his Masses. It shows devotion and reminds us that we are receiving Our Lord and King in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. 
  • Communion on the Tongue. I know this is an optional today, but I (in all my horrible anti-liberal ways) would dearly love it to be the rule (again). My hands are not sanctified, I am not a priest, I and others have no need to touch the Sacred Species and risk Our Lord being dropped, sullied or (as can happen) slipped into a pocket for profane usage.
  • Reintroduction of Altars. Please! No more tables. Let us have Altars. High Altars. With beautiful images, paintings, Crucifixes and statues. Altars that raise our hearts, minds and souls to their ultimate home in Heaven. When I see a table masquerading as an Altar in a Church I am reminded that during the reformation this was one of the first things the hate-filled protestants did: rip out Altars and put in tables. A table is for a meal. An Altar is for a SACRIFICE!
So now we have a great Catholic tradition back - fish on Fridays! - let's press, pray and hope for many more.

If we pay honour to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in these ways it can only bring many and great Graces to us all in Wales  (OK, and in England and elsewhere too).

Monday, 23 April 2012

Defend Marriage! Help C4M Reach Half a Million Signatures

I received the following text in an email from C4M. For more info, to sign-up or to help more - go to www.c4m.org.uk. Here it is in its entirety so all of us can push to get the signatures up to 500,000 asap.

As Catholics we have a special duty to defend a Sacrament of Holy Mother Church.

===

Dear marriage supporter,
Next Monday (30 April) will mark ten weeks of the Coalition for Marriage campaign and the national petition for marriage. In that time, you and over 450,000 fellow marriage supporters have already signed the petition. That’s great, thank you for your support.
Let’s celebrate the ten-week milestone by pushing the petition past the half-a-million mark. Help us reach 500,000 by next week. We’re nearly there. Just an extra push from you would put us over.
That would send a clear message to the Government that the campaign is going from strength to strength. We are already one of the fastest growing national petitions in living memory. Let’s show the politicians that there’s more where that came from. Let’s show them that the nation’s affection for marriage is strong, deep and widespread.

Practical tips

Some of you may be sitting on paper petition sheets that you have yet to send in to our office. Perhaps you are waiting for the sheet to be entirely filled before posting it to us. We like your dedication! But send it in now – no matter how many signatures you’ve got. You can always collect more signatures on extra sheets later. You can get extra petition sheets by phoning 0207 403 7879 or by downloading a copy from our website.
Some of you may not have yet downloaded our paper petition sheets. These are for your friends who can’t sign the petition online. Some of our supporters have taken the petition door-to-door to their neighbours, some have asked friends at work to sign it, some have asked their families. Download the sheet, or get copies by telephoning 0207 403 7879. Get people signed up and post the sheet back to us to the address on the sheet by Monday 30 April – or very soon afterwards.
Post the petition to Facebook. Just copy this link http://www.c4m.org.uk into your status update – and add some words to encourage people to push the petition over the 500,000 mark. Share the petition on Twitter also. If you’ve already done this, think about doing it again. We all need gentle reminders from time to time.
Perhaps you want some talking points before you speak to others about the subject. Download our briefing, that will help you to think about the issues and talk to people about why marriage is part of the common good and should not be redefined.
Together, we can get the petition over 500,000 by Monday 30 April. After that, the petition will still be there, growing bigger every day. But let’s make our ten-week milestone extra special by hitting half-a-million supporters!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

SPUC's Life Chains: Take a Stand for the Unborn

I was chuffed to be reminded c/o John Smeaton's excellent blog that SPUC's Life Chains are coming back to the streets, mostly on the 28th of April. More details here.

There's one near us and I am hoping that there'll be no last minute family drama (car dying, child breaking bone etc.) that stops at least a few of us attending!

Have a look and see if there's one near you. If there is ask your Parish Priest to publicise it. Let's make this a year when more and more Catholics (and men of good will) make a stand for the butchered innocents.

And look! Someone's taken a folding chair... so there's no excuse, not even for those of us who like pork pies a little too much (you can even take one or two in a pocket!)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

BBC Thinks Murder is the Answer to Poverty

From Love Undefiled Blog
I just watched a BBC News 24 Programme. It was actually a propaganda piece. It was about the Philippines and was an attack on that country's Faith and its policy of not promoting contraception.

We were treated to all the clichés about women's rights, poverty, the "dark ages" etc.

It always strikes me as weird that liberals (such as the BBC) think that all the poor children we see playing, working etc. should have been killed. Is it a solution to kill children, rather than stop poverty?

That is like taking a machine gun into a council estate because you think the people there are unfairly treated by a system in which a minority have too many riches.
  • We call a man who puts puppies in a sack with a brick and throws them into the canal a monster.
  • We call a man who wants the mass murder of innocent babies on the grounds of poverty a "progressive."
As the Americans would say: 'go figure.'

It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish. ~ Blessed Mother Teresa

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Good V Bad: Films and Parenting

"Torture Porn" - For Kids (or Anyone)?
There was a piece on the Victoria derbyshire Show on Radio 5 Live this morning about "reception class" children in infants school (ages circa 4 or 5 years old) playing violent video games (Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty). These games tend to be rated 15 or 18 and do contain some extreme violence.

Without going into details of the where and when (or even the gender), I know of a child in a reception class who is so young/immature that he/she still wears a nappy. Yet this child regularly "effs and blinds" in class.

One cannot blame all the ills in society on bad parenting, but there is no doubt that bad, sloppy, lazy or similar parenting is to blame for a good proportion of what is wrong in society.

In recent days there has been a lot of discussion of violence in the media because of the 14 year old boy who killed his mother and set fire to her afterwards. He was 'hooked' on violence in films and on TV.

Now let me put my cards on the line. I enjoy films, and these include psychological thrillers, murder mysteries and similar. I also played with Action Man toys, toy soldiers and played 'British and Germans' in the playground when we (teeny lads) would pretend to have pistols or machine guns and run around shooting each other, dying in agony (imagine the theatricals!) only to be brought back to life if a comrade-in-arms got to you.

So what am I trying to say? Well, I think boys will always be boys (and some girls will always be tomboys), and playing 'war games' is as old as the hills; but I also think parents have a duty to teach their children right from wrong. A percentage may always choose the wrong things as they grow older; but if parents take an active role in promoting good values (anchored in the Ten Commandments, for example) then at least children have a fighting chance of not being quite so bad as they grow up.

We all of us know that working through school and in jobs (whether offices or factories) you bump along with some rum characters, and so very few us live in a bubble. Nor should we, unless we wish to be a hermit.

But we should at least give children the protection they deserve, and the values that can help them in life; even if they decide (of their own free will) to jettison those values when they are older.

It's akin to a wooden ship sinking. We could let it sink and hope for the best, knowing that some will cling to the flotsam and jetsam, or we can fling a load of life-saving 'rubber rings' in, knowing that it could help even more people survive. Giving children a decent upbringing, teaching them right from wrong, shielding them from horror films, porn and foul language, can't ensure they are perfect as adults, but it is a good start, and will lessen the odds of losing more further down the road.

I think that is why some Catholic writers I've read articles by, blame lax catechetics by the Church on the number of cradle Catholics who drift away from their Faith. Good foundations protect against subsidence later on.

As I supped my lunchtime cup of tea today I heard Jeremy Vine on the radio saying the murder by the 14-year-old was somehow linked to the Saw movies. Now I have never seen one of these movies, they just don't appeal to me at all. In some quarters (e.g. film critics) they are known as "torture porn" and Mr. Vine said that the theme of these movies was turned on its head because in them the bloke doing the torturing held all the power. At least in more traditional "horror" films the bad guys got their comeuppance and the good guys won. In many of them the good guys also happened to be Catholic priests or in some way sanctioned by the Catholic Church. So there was some sense of 'good v evil' and good winning.

As I said I have never (and hope never to) see a Saw movie, but the lines delineating good and evil seem blurred, to say the least. Besides which, surely even with the best will in the world and even with 'scarey' films that play the good v evil, Church v Satan, Priest v possession (etc.) themes, these are meant for grown-ups only!

I think the films The Rite and The Exorcism of Emily Rose are very good, and contain valid Catholic themes, and portray a battle of good versus evil that can take the complacent person and make them realise that just as there is a God, so there is an evil being called Satan ("who roams the world for the ruin of souls" to quote the Leo XIII prayer to St Michael).

But the idea of showing such films to children is a no-no, because they have some disturbing images, frightening sequences and suchlike.

The riots in London were blamed on bad parenting, which came as no real surprise to anyone with more than an ounce of intelligence. Liberals, atheists, 60s hippies and professional social workers may wish otherwise, but we need good parenting in this country (mums and dads!), and without that children miss out on the fundamentals, whether it is teaching your children that smashing shops up is wrong, that swearing is wrong, that watching or playing games that are for an older age group is wrong, just as much as eating nothing but crisps and sweets and drinking fizzy pop all day is wrong.

Those parents who allow their children to eat and drink rubbish all day cannot be surprised when their teeth rot or they get obese. Those who don't may still get 'cavities' or grow chubby and those who do may by sheer chance get through unscathed, but the battle to protect their teeth and health is nonetheless important and it is a parent's duty to step in, say "no" when necessary and put up with any strops and tantrums that happen along the way.

Similarly those parents who do not shield their children from foul language, porn, horror films etc. cannot be surprised when their children grow up to be obnoxious, nasty or foul.

It's going to be a battle against the odds anyway given the modern world, given the people in our schools, colleges, workplaces and in the streets. It's going to be a hard slog against the tide given the media, adverts in the streets, films, magazines etc.

But to surrender at the start and give children full access to bad materials and bad influences is not just sloppy and lazy parenting: it's evil parenting. And I would think that kind of parenting is now reaping the whirlwind it has sown.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Joanna Bogle Tackles the Foul Internet Haters

And She Rides a Bike Too!
Why do those who say they are against "hate" practice the most hateful of lifestyles (sic) often embroiled in drugs, multiple 'partners' and violence?

Why do those who say they are against "hate" spread the most vile hateful language and twisted rage against God and His Church on the internet?

Joanna Bogle (pictured right), an intrepid and insightful journalist, is exposing the messages of hate posted by homosexual militants on the internet.

Visit her blog to find out more, leave feedback, offer info, help etc.

It is vitally important that the public understands that it is not Catholics posting vile abuse, foul language and outright hatred on the internet.

One wonders why the police don't take action against the blogs, sites, fora etc. that allow abuse of Catholics, clerics etc. who dare to defend the Church, the Magisterium, Catholic tradition and the Gospel Truth, all to let those who would otherwise engage in them realise that homosexual sexual activity is a mortal sin which kills the presence of God in one's soul and leads to eternal damnation.

Certain pressure groups (minorities within a minority) may not like that, but the Truth will set you free.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Medieval Music Documentary on the BBC

The Sackbut - a Medieval Trombone
If you have the time listen to this great 30 minute documentary The Topping Tooters of the Town on BBC iplayer.

As the blurb for the programme says: "William Lyons conjures the brash brilliance of the Waits, town musicians at their peak in the 15th and 16th centuries, playing shawms, cornetts and sackbutts."

It is also a reminder of how our culture is rooted in Catholic European traditions, the guilds of Medieval Europe etc.

You'll be pleased to learn the sackbut (pictured here) isn't hessian underwear designed for mortification!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Homosexual Brian Sewell Says Govt is Wrong to Push "Gay Marriage"

The openly homosexual art critic, author and TV presenter Brian Sewell says that David Cameron and his government are wrong to overturn many years of tradition and make a Sacrament based on procreation available to homosexuals, to appease a tiny minority. His piece appeared in last Friday's (London) Evening Standard.

Link:
Brian Sewell's Evening Standard article.

Fabrice Muamba: The Atheists Order Us Not To Pray!

Fabrice Muamba: How offensive can prayer be?
Further to my last post an official atheist (on what criteria I know not) was on the Jeremy Vine show today on Radio Two, telling the world and its sister why praying for Fabrice Muamba (the Bolton footballer who collapsed and whose heart stopped working) was a waste of time.

He told us that we shouldn't be "wasting our time" praying. Rather we should all write to our MPs to say how important the NHS is.

The dimwit (excuse my intemperate language, but he was a dimwit) doesn't seem to grasp that we can pray and write letters. Moreover, those who refused to pray for the collapsed footballer -- how many of them actually wrote a letter to their MP, and how would that impact - there and then - on Muamba?

The atheist spokesman came across as very bitter and twisted. Especially when Muamba's relatives have thanked everyone for their prayers. With one of them (his sister or fiancé, I'm not sure) even saying 'keep praying - the prayers are working.' Even his footballing friends (hardly known as a rule for their asceticism or religiosity) asking for the prayers of fans and the public.

No! The atheists would rather we did not pray. It is an affront to their sensibilities, their rationale and heir pride. Never mind what we all want to do, never mind what the family and friends want, never mind what Fabrice Muamba himself might want.

The atheists always seem to know best - and always seem to want to get involved when people offer their prayers, their time, as a gesture of goodwill, or love, of friendship... Here again we see how atheists always want Christians to "shut up" yet when the family of a very sick young man wish for all our prayers, they charge in and slap down the family and everyone who is helping in this way. It's not as if Christians are stopping mid-prayer to assault the doctors and nurses to stop them helping the footballer!

It seems the atheists just find prayer offensive, find God offensive, find Jesus Christ offensive and find the beliefs of all Christians offensive. That is the Truth of the matter. The atheists are free to believe that our prayers have helped Muamba recover, or not. But they are not free to order us to shut up. They might wish they were - that road leads to the gulag.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Call for Atheists et al to Butt Out?

I see there is a debate on the Church of England on the BBC this morning (the "Big Question"). Will atheists, homosexual militants and secularists pack out the debate? Or will they take their own advice and "butt out" of religious debate? If they do not (as they never do!), then they cannot complain when Catholics (who also walk about these streets, work in hospitals and schools, play football and rugby, work in councils and parliament... etc.) talk about social affairs and political policy that effects us too!

Saturday, 17 March 2012

St Patrick and the New Atheist Snakes Besetting Britain

Victim of extreme atheists
A very Happy St Patrick's Day to all men of goodwill. I pray we may one day get a glorious saint like Patrick to evict all the "snakes" out of Wales and Britain...

We all know St Patrick was Welsh. In today's Daily Mail it is shamefully written that he came from England. This is the standard of education and journalism today! When Patrick was alive England hadn't yet been created. In a similar piece earlier this week another Mail writer asked if an Anglo Saxon burial from circa 600AD could be "Britain's first Christian."

I despair! I really do. Just as the whole Medieval glory of Welsh and English Catholicism (from the monastic glories of Strata Florida and Rievaulx to the 'lowliest' parish churches) are airbrushed from a history that focuses on the oath-breaker, regicide and murderess "Good Queen Bess" (sic), so the entire history of Welsh Catholicism and the Age of Saints in these Celtic lands are forgotten by a media that thinks Anglicanism --born in heresy and divorce and "flowering" today in homosexual bishops, untreadable goo and outright apostasy-- is the beginning and end of Christianity in these Isles.

Catholicism in Wales can trace its roots directly back to the time of the Diocletian Persecution and the Roman catacombs, the age of St Philomena, and earlier. Certainly by the 6th century Wales was a Christian land, the Mass and Sacraments received by all, and a hotbed of Monasticism.

If you are a journalist, a teacher, a pupil, a writer or just a bod like me: please remember that our Catholic heritage goes right back in these isles in  an unbreakable line to at least the third century and possibly even right back to Apostolic times.

The airbrushing of history seems to fit in with the Weltanschauung of the modern world in which a government says "we are going to have gay marriage whether you like it or not, but we will have a public consultation on how best to do it!" all lead by PM David Cameron who says he favours gay marriage: "because I am a Conservative." Furthermore the 'Equalities Minister' Lynne Featherstone calls anyone who opposes the oxymoron that is 'gay marriage' "homophobic" and wears a gay pride rainbow lapel badge.

Nice to know that this isn't already decided by Whitehall mandarins and MPs and we're all being steamrollered by a minority of a minority -- the influential "gay lobby."

St Patrick, St David, St George and St Andrew pray for us all! I fear these islands are being dragged downwards into a new dark ages that will make the savagery of the heathen Saxons look mild by comparison, especially as the new atheists have more sophistication, the media to ply their wares and the ability to gain influence in our very families. The very sophistication, eloquence and weasel words of the new atheists (apart from when the mask slips) makes them a worse enemy than the Saxon horde who desecrated Churches and whose misplaced loyalty to false gods was eventually overcome by the Catholic Faith.


If "gay marriage" is enacted (as seems humanly most likely), then it sets the gay lobby and the human rights lobby (backed by the courts especially in Europe) on a collision course with the Catholic Church. An immovable object and an irresistible force... If the court finds against the Church (in human rights lingo this is likely) then the Church, unable to back-down or give in becomes a law-breaker.

Fines, arrests, priests locked up, those who cave-in excommunicated, mobs demonstrating against "hateful" clerics... it all has the smack of the Reformation, or to use a more recent example the (atheistic) Communist repression of the Church. Might the new atheists follow in the footsteps of the old ones? Hardy times call for hardy souls.

But first we need to campaign against the idea of gay marriage (start by spreading the petition against gay marriage) and pray like never before! Might I suggest a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament? Some time spent in prayer before and after Communion in thanksgiving. Some preparation for Mass? It really is the very least we can do.