Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Listen to a Catholic Priest Detective!

GKC - larger than life
GK Chesterton's Fr Brown Mysteries hits the airwaves (again).

Radio 4 Extra is broadcasting the Fr Brown Mysteries by GK Chesterton. The first two stories featuring GKC's clerical 'detective' are online now at the BBC iplayer and the next few will feature soon.

If you have never read or heard the stories do give them a try, they are imbued with a subtle theology and GKC's wit and defence of common sense.

Also on the  BBC's iplayer you'll find the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries (a few have come and gone of late) by Dorothy L Sayers who, I seem to recall, was a friend of GKC's.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Shrivened? Now to the Fast

Some great advice on Lentern fasting from Fr Z: Ash Wednesday

It's good to have such things clarified.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Cheesy Happy Clappy and Word-Change Hymns

La la la I can't hear you la la la
What a wonderful week for Catholicism. 22 new Cardinals if the caption in the Sunday Telegraph was right. 22 new Princes of the Church. Let us pray and hope that they defend the Faith and evangelise for Catholicism in all their lands.

I don't know the "politics" of the appointments, but we can only hope with Pope Benedict that we have more Cardinals now that will be mindful of Catholic traditions and also stand up to the aggressive secularism of the atheists.

Now we have discussed the 'top' of the Church militant, let's have some fun with its lower echelons. That's us.

It's a no from me.
In the car this morning we were joking about the happy-clappy hymns out there. You know the kind: "You are the pop and I am the cup" with the repetitive chorus: "Give us curly straws of love."

Then I got to thinking. We all remember the word-change hymns and carols of school days such as "When shepherds washed their socks by night..." and I sang, in light of the many old bangers I've owned which often reached journey's end by stint of storming heaven with prayers: "Give me oil in my car, keep it running, give me oil in my car I pray."

So please let me know what are your favourite made-up happy clappy or word-change hymns. The cheesier the better. And (new) Cardinals can join in too!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Human Rights Commissar Says Christians Must Shut Up

Human Rights Commissar says Christians must obey State law when it contradicts our Faith. What he doesn't realise is that Acts of Parliament are not "the Law" when they contradict the Law, which comes from God. e.g. an Act of Parliament may consider it (in modern parlance) "lawful" to murder a baby, to allow sodomy in public, for widespread euthanasia, or to have blasphemy and foul language on TV; but such an Act of Parliament goes against Objective Truth and as the Law is rooted in Christianity it cannot be turned on its head by the misinterpretations of politicians.

To put it simply, murder cannot be made "lawful" just because politicians vote it so anymore than if they vote left is right or right is left.

That's my penny's worth anyway.

How interesting that his comments were reported by The Tablet, who seem to wish to follow Acts of Parliament rather than the Law of God upon which all binding and legitimate Law of the land is based.

Vote now at the Telegraph site:

'Christians Must Choose...'

Thursday, 16 February 2012

And so the Mantle Passes on

The blogs I have meme'd:

  1. That the Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill
  2. The Badger Catholic
  3. Supremacy and Survival
  4. Once I was a Clever Boy
  5. A Reluctant Sinner

And here's the text I sent to each one:

I'm dropping you line to let you know I'm passing on a "meme"
It means you are asked to put up a post of your three favourite books - then you ask 5 other bloggers to do the same.
For info see:
My Three Favourite Books...

Thanks of course to Richard at Linen on the Hedgerow who first meme'd me.

Why do I feel part of a pyramid sales team?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

My Three Favourite Books - Yes I've Been Meme'd (?)

Read it! Or I'll send the boys 'round.
Oh well here goes, head first into the 21st Century.

Apparently I've received a "meme" from Richard at Linen on the Hedgerow Blog.

I had no idea what this meant. my first thought was that a meme was an unmarried French lady, but I don't think Richard would use them as a currency (he seems far too civilised).

So what is it to be "tagged on a meme?" I'm still not 100% sure, but apparently I have to name my three favourite (Catholic) books and then ask some other bloggers to do the same.

Oh the mantle of responsibility! I may have dreaded that this day would come. Like a humble Cardinal not wishing to receive the Keys of Peter... but duty has called, so here goes.

As of today (and Lord knows this may change) here are my favourite three books:

1. The History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland by William Cobbett. Although a protestant, Cobbett pulls apart the Reformation in such a way that the reader will think it bizarre that he didn't convert. He looks primarily at the social impact of the Reformation, which is vital for English/British and to an extent even Irish history. There are so many books dealing with the liturgical aspects (I haven't yet obtained/read Michael Davies's trilogy - but hope to do so eventually) and the impact on the monarchy etc., but Cobbett looks from the lower tiers of society. he also argues forcefully and convincingly against such things as a married priesthood (how apt in today's climate). It's a must-read!

2. God's Secret Agents by Alice Hogg. A boys-own adventure story - but this was real, the life of the priests who struggled and sacrificed to bring the Sacraments to the poor, put-upon Catholics of England and Wales. An "easy" read (as opposed to some more turgid or academic works) it really reminds one of those days, when so much was at risk, so much was lost, and yet some beautiful crowns of martyrdom (whether priests or housewives) were gained to the glory of Wales (yes, and England). It is another must-read.

3. The Flying Inn by G.K. Chesterton. A fun fable by the master of English wit and Catholicism. Here we find the heroes in a future England in which Islam has banned pubs. very un-pc. It is an age since I read this book and I must do so again. The heroes establish their own "underground" travelling pub, with sign and rolling cheese. It is joyous, thoroughly English, irreverent, political (with a small p), imbued with GKC's Catholicism and wit. A great book to hook people on GKC.

Some of those bubbling under: The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, the famous Brummie Catholic, partly because it was the first "grown up" book I read and had a huge impact. The Counter Reformation 1550-1600 by BJ Kidd, DD, because it brings home how Catholics rallied to defend their Faith, how whole nations were 'won back' through arguing for Catholic Truth. A magnificent read. The Church and the Land by Fr V McNabb, because it reminds one of how 'fighting Catholicism' took its message to the streets, the impact of the whole Chesterbelloc phenomenon, and of those who dream of a 'green and pleasant land'. Radio Replies Vol 1 - 3 by Frs. Rumble and Carty - Cathechetics that pull no punches, they answer the really hard questions that doubting Catholics may have or that enemies of the Church may fling. A beautiful defence of the Church. The Curé d'Ars by Abbe Trochu, which shows just why this Holy Saint is the patron of parish priests. It reads almost like an adventure. The Great heresies by Hilaire Belloc, because the more things change, the more they stay the same. The enemies of the church may tweak here and there, but their heresies remain pretty much the same, attacking on different fronts. The Rash Adventurer by Margeret Forster, because the story of Bonnie prince Charlie can still bring a tear to a manly eye... another "what if..." Christian Institute Briefing Paper: Section 28, which (although Protestant) deals with the realities of allowing pro-homosexual materials in schools. This opened my eyes to some of the awful things homosexuals choose to do... yuch. Then there's William Thomas Walsh's Characters of the Inquisition, which I found incredibly informative after believing so much anti-Catholic propaganda for years. Similarly The Last Crusade by Warren H Carroll deals with more recent Spanish history, and was a revelation. Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor by Eamon Duffy is a fascinating reappraisal of Catholic England after the Edwardine Reforms and overturns 100s of years of "war propaganda" against Catholicism in England. His book The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, c.1400 to c.1580 is a heartbreaking account of those who turned beautiful altars into soulless tables. Columba by Nigel Tranter is the heartwarming story of the Irish Saint-monk who takes monasticism and Catholicism, the Sacraments and the Mass, to the Scottish islands and highlands, into pagan territories. Even the Loch Ness monster gets a look-in (and you know you're on to a good thing when that happens!).

Sorry to warble on, but even though I seem to get less and less time to read the books I want to (I have quite the 'waiting-pile') a good book, an enthralling book, a book that opens one's eyes to the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith that we hold so dear can really and truly lift the soul to Heaven... why else does the modern world turn out such garbage as umpteen Katie Price ("Auto-") Biographies?

I will now seek out three (?) other bloggers to "meme"(?). oh yes you can tell I'm a dab hand at this kind of thing.

Treasures of Heaven - Catholic Relics Documentary

The right eye of Bl Edward Oldcorne
For those who missed it first time around, you really must watch: Treasures of Heaven, now on BBC i-player.

It is one of the most beautiful, uplifting and Catholic programmes I have seen outside of any Catholic media.

Please do watch it, please do spread the word. It reminds us of our past, present and future, of our Catholic heritage, our Catholic martyrs and the saints of all ages, specifically in/of England.

Look out (sorry!) for the right eye of Bl Edward Oldcorne SJ, who made pilgrimage to St Winifred's Well in Wales to obtain a cure for cancer. He later returned, together with many famous recusant Catholics (including some "Gunpowder Plotters") to the Holy Well to give thanks for the cure.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

God is the Author of Marriage - Bishop Mark Davies Defends Civilisation

Bishop Mark Davies is fast becoming the Shepherd we need as the wolves move amongst the flock:

h/t to Catholicism Pure & Simple from which I have shamelessly lifted this text:

Homily given by Bishop Davies at the Diocesan Celebration of Marriage at  Saint Wilfred’s Church in Northwich, Cheshire on 11th February 2012

Today we have come together as a Diocese to celebrate marriage with many couples who have travelled here to give thanks for twenty five, forty, fifty, sixty and for one couple seventy years of married life. I am sure each of you today can glimpse how those promises of love and faithfulness, and of openness to the gift of family, made in the morning of your youth, became the foundation for so great a good, not least the upbringing and security of your children and grandchildren. Experience and research speak of how vital this marriage-commitment of yours is for the well-being of new generations and for society as a whole. Yet in the months ahead the very meaning, purpose and identity of marriage is about to be challenged. When earth tremors shake the walls of our homes people then give serious thought to the foundations on which their homes rest secure. This I believe is such a moment for the British people as for the first time in our history a government is proposing to change the meaning of marriage and to re-define its identity as the life-long union of one man and one woman. What the Government now proposes to legislate into law constitutes nothing less than a seismic shift in the foundations of our society.

We face a mindset which sees progress only as a continuous shifting of our society further and further from its Christian foundations until we have nothing left for family and society to be founded upon than changing, political fashions of thought.  It is surely then that we hear the cry of the Psalmist: “Foundations once destroyed, what can the just do?” For the “vocation to marriage” is not the invention of any passing Parliament or political or legal system but is, as the Christian faith declares, “written into the very nature of man and woman as they came from the hand of the Creator”(CCC 1605). Marriage is not a merely a human institution made or un-made by any generation. God himself is the author of marriage.

Despite the many variations marriage has undergone throughout history in different cultures and social structures, the stability and the greatness of the marriage union and its identity has always remained. Christ our Lord unequivocally taught this original meaning of the union of man and woman as the Creator willed it from the beginning (CCC 1614) and raised marriage to the dignity of a sacrament. The meaning and greatness of marriage can be recognised from the natural law even without the light of faith. Indeed, many who do not share our Christian faith see in this timeless institution of marriage not only the source of the greatest good for the family but one of the key foundations on which the whole of society ultimately depends.

During his recent visit to the United Kingdom, our Holy Father Pope Benedict spoke of a mentality which today threatens to obscure “the unchanging truth” about our nature, our destiny and our ultimate good.  By attempting to redefine marriage for society, politicians will find they have not only undermined the institution of marriage but obscured its identity for generations to come. For politicians of Christian conscience this will be a moment to resist the leadership of their own political parties together with every parliamentarian who recognises the Judeo-Christian foundations on which our society rests. Yet this will also be a moment for our own voices to be raised in defence of marriage. The Holy Father urged us at Glasgow: “I appeal in particular to you, the lay faithful, in accordance with your baptismal calling and mission, not only to be examples of faith in public, but also to put the case for the promotion of faith’s wisdom in the public forum.” “Society today needs clear voices …” he told us (Bellahouston Park 16th September 2010). Our voices must now be raised as clearly as they can be, in order to proclaim the God-given meaning of marriage not only for the sake of this generation, but for the sake of all generations to come.

May God bless and protect +Mark Davies!

Monday, 13 February 2012

JRR Tolkien on His Mother's Sacrifices for the Catholic Faith

"My own dear mother was a martyr indeed, and it is not to everybody that God grants so easy a way to his great gifts as he did to Hilary and myself, giving us a mother who killed herself with labour and trouble to ensure us keeping the faith."

JRR Tolkien.
(from Carpenter, Biography, page 31.)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

First They Came for the B&B Owners...

In an age when a Christian (albeit Anglican/Presbyterian) Monarch passes "laws" on abortion, homosexuality and marriage which run contrary to the law (and undermine her coronation oath), something the Pope has condemned as moral relativism,we should remember this (from St Augustine) and wear it as our badge for the new Pilgrimage of Grace.

As Catholics I believe we need a huge debate on what we can do to rectify the situation wherein the law-of-the-land, in crucial areas is contrary to objective Truth, especially when councils are being banned from having official prayers and B&B owners are being fined for stopping sodomites from having a double bedroom.

The words of the German Lutheran pastor Niemoller spring to mind.

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

Interestingly, according to his page on Wikipedia, he was initially a supporter of Hitler and on meeting him, as a protestant representative, in 1932 as he said after WW2: "Hitler promised me on his word of honor, to protect the Church, and not to issue any anti-Church laws." 

It makes me wonder how much longer the laws meant to "protect" abortionists, homosexuals etc. are turned against the Church. In my humble view this has already started, with active/practising Catholics now stopped from adopting children out (via Catholic adoption agencies) and from running any business which may make them complicit in promoting/allowing homosexual activity.

One thing is sure, we need strong, powerful and unapologetic Catholic leaders such as the wonderful Scottish Cardinal, Thomas Winning who led from the front, was a strong voice for the rights of the family, the poor and the unborn, and would not be silenced by the pc lobby.

Image from: St Peter's List

Friday, 10 February 2012

Devon: Hotbed of Illegal Prayer

So public prayer is "illegal."

What a world! Homosexual rights activists parade their "pride" in scanty clothes; a 'spliff' smoked in public will get you a reprimand from a constable at best; MPs found swindling can 'pay back' their ill-gotten gains and not face court, foul language is the norm on the streets, in public, on TV and even on clothes...

But prayers at a council meeting?

The agenda of militant secularists is being pushed through thanks to "human rights" legislation; which I mistakenly thought would be about stopping torture or shoot-to-kill style policies...

That prayer is now deemed illegal in some circumstances speaks volumes of where we have come to.

A couple of years back a good friend had a Mass for his inauguration as the local Mayor, with local politicians and suchlike invited. He must be akin to a war criminal by now, on the run in Bolivia for his heinous crime against humanity...

Devon Council Prayer Illegal

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Pope Pius XII Addresses 8th Army Soldiers in 1944

One can sense the excitement and witness the reverence of these soldiers, who must have witnessed the horrors of war, as they receive an audience with His Holiness, Pope Pius XII.

And what joy as the soldiers burst into song (was it spontaneous or a pious plan?) and choose Faith of Our Fathers, which must rank as one of the most beautiful and militant Catholic hymns, bursting with history and sacrifice, tradition and humility.

What a joy to those soldiers to hear the Pope ask the intercession of so many English Saints who have gone before us, and gave their lives, for the sake of Holy Mother Church.

Not so long ago I was at the funeral of a brave soldier, whose medals bedecked his coffin, who was a loyal son of the Church. He had fought through Italy and more besides. It comforts me to know that even if he wasn't one of those brave souls to be granted an audience with the Pope, some of his compatriots were and that news must have filled him and many others with joy.