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?


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).