28 November 2009

The Muppets - Bohemian Rhapsody

I don't know anyone who doesn't like the Muppets. Young or old, the Muppets have an eternal appeal. So here is a Muppets video to share, their take on the Queen song, Bohemian Rhapsody:

17 November 2009

NFL 'Pick Me'

I enjoy watching NFL games, and I follow the Washington Redskins, have done since the NFL was first shown on Channel 4 way back in the eighties. Games are regularly shown on Sky Sports, every week, and during the many (too many) commercial breaks in the game, they often show these snippets of video, with NFL players showing their skills, to encourage you to pick them for your Fantasy Team. The skills are amazing, so sit back and admire these top sportsmen:

26 August 2009

Don't Text & Drive

There are many things that don't mix with driving. Drink. Drugs. Using a mobile phone, either for calling or texting. Because, it doesn't matter how important you think that call is, or that text is, it is never *THAT* important. Sometimes the message needs to be spelled out in a more forceful way, otherwise it just doesn't get through. Watch the video; it is graphic, but it needs to be.



From The Deacon's Bench

25 August 2009

The Catholic iPhone

Ok, so the iPhone has been around for a while, and as a bit of a geek when it comes to mobile phones, I've never really been interested. Nice UI and all that, but as a communication device, it's pretty average. A week or so ago, I got a new phone, the HTC Hero. Swish user interface, open source operating system, and a stack of apps available at the Android Market, all round a great phone for geeks. Talking to a friend who has an iPhone, the discussion got onto why I'd never owned that device. We talked apps, and stuff, and from curiosity I took a look at the App Store on iTunes to see what was around. And, I was mightily impressed with what I found.

There are so many Catholic apps available! After a day, I'd sold the HTC Hero and purchased an iPhone. A decision based purely on the apps available. So, on my phone now, I have the Holy Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and writings from St Augustine, The City of God, Confessions and Christian Doctrine. Then there are apps that just overflow with Catholic goodness, iPieta, Universalis, etc. With iPieta I have a searchable database of saints, the Baltimore Catechism, spiritual texts such as Intro to Devout Life, Imitation of Christ, and more, then there is writings from St John Vianney, St John of the Cross, there is the Roman Catechism, the Catechism of St Thomas Aquinas and the Summa Theologica. Universalis is another fantastic app, with the daily Mass readings, info on the Saint of the day, plus the prayers for the Divine Office! All of this info could easily fill multiple heavyweight books, and it is all in the palm of my hand! I can access any of this wherever I am, on the train to work, queuing at the store, literally anywhere. All I want now is the Catholic Encyclopaedia made compatible with the iPhone, now *that* is an app I would happily pay for!

So, the next time you see someone sitting in Church with phone in hand, don't automatically assume they are texting, or chatting on Facebook; they may just as easily be reading the Liturgy of the Hours, or from the Holy Bible.

I found this clip on YouTube, enjoy:

01 August 2009

100 Quotes From the Saints

So, the other day I was looking for the source of a quote I had come across. During my search, I found lists and lists and lists of quotes. Initially, I thought, I'd pick a selection of 10 and make a blog post. A few days later, and my list is at a hundred, and it could easily have been more! So, here's the list of 100 quotes I've put together. I've tried to group them in topic, where possible, and despite reading through the list a few times I still can't be sure that there are no repeats. Enjoy!

1. "All the good works in the world are not equal to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass because they are the works of men; but the Mass is the work of God. Martyrdom is nothing in comparison for it is but the sacrifice of man to God; but the Mass is the sacrifice of God for man." - St. John Vianney, Cure d'Ars

2. "The soul hungers for God, and nothing but God can satiate it. Therefore He came to dwell on earth and assumed a Body in order that this Body might become the Food of our souls," - St. John Vianney

3. When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but in Milan I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend, if you do not want to give or receive scandal. -Saint Ambrose

4. Be gentle to all and stern with yourself. - Saint Teresa of Avila

5. Our body has this defect that, the more it is provided care and comforts, the more needs and desires it finds. - Saint Teresa of Avila

6. We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the Church so decides. - Saint Ignatius

7. "Attribute to God every good that you have received. If you take credit for something that does not belong to you, you will be guilty of theft." - St Anthony

8. "The Glorious Virgin did not have a stain in her birth because she was sanctified in her mother's womb and safeguarded there by angels." - St Anthony

9. “It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.” - St. John of the Cross

10. “He who interrupts the course of his spiritual exercises and prayer is like a man who allows a bird to escape from his hand; he can hardly catch it again.” - St. John of the Cross

11. We should all realize that no matter where or how a man dies, if he is in the state of mortal sin and does not repent, when he could have done so and did not, the Devil tears his soul from his body with such anguish and distress that only a person who has experienced it can appreciate it. - St. Francis of Assisi

12. Don't imagine that, if you had a great deal of time, you would spend more of it in prayer. Get rid of that idea; it is no hindrance to prayer to spend your time well. - St. Teresa of Avila

13. Be sure that you first preach by the way you live. If you do not, people will notice that you say one thing, but live otherwise, and your words will bring only cynical laughter and a derisive shake of the head. - St. Charles Borromeo

14. I would never want any prayer that would not make the virtues grow within me. - St. Teresa of Avila

15. We should let God be the One to praise us and not praise ourselves. For God detests those who commend themselves. Let others applaud our good deeds. - Pope St. Clement I

16. Our Lord has created persons for all states in life, and in all of them we see people who achieved sanctity by fulfilling their obligations well. - St. Anthony Mary Claret

17. A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction between its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible among us. - St. Basil the Great

18. The more we are afflicted in this world, the greater is our assurance in the next; the more sorrow in the present, the greater will be our joy in the future. - St. Isadore of Seville

19. Whenever anything disagreeable or displeasing happens to you, remember Christ crucified and be silent. - St. John of the Cross

20. Many would be willing to have afflictions provided that they not be inconvenienced by them. - St. Francis de Sales

21. The bread you store up belongs to the hungry; the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the naked; the gold you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor. - St. Basil the Great

22. The rich man who gives to the poor does not bestow alms but pays a debt. - St. Ambrose of Milan

23. It would be considered a theft on our part if we didn't give to someone in greater need than we are. - St. Francis of Assisi

24. Make yourself familiar with the Angels, and behold them frequently in spirit. Without being seen, they are present with you. - St. Francis de Sales

25. Beside each believer stands an Angel as protector and shepherd, leading him to life. - St. Basil the Great

26. When tempted, invoke your Angel. He is more eager to help you than you are to be helped! Ignore the devil and do not be afraid of him: He trembles and flees at the sight of your Guardian Angel. - St. John Bosco

27. One single act done with aridity of spirit is worth more than many done with feelings of devotion. - St. Francis de Sales

28. If I had to advise parents, I should tell them to take great care about the people with whom their children associate . . . Much harm may result from bad company, and we are inclined by nature to follow what is worse than what is better. - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

29. Just as a man cannot live in the flesh unless he is born in the flesh, even so a man cannot have the spiritual life of grace unless he is born again spiritually. This regeneration is effected by Baptism: "Unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" [Jn 3:5]. - St. Thomas Aquinas

30. We can't have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterwards we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves. - St. Thomas Aquinas

31. Never read books you aren't sure about . . . even supposing that these bad books are very well written from a literary point of view. Let me ask you this: Would you drink something you knew was poisoned just because it was offered to you in a golden cup? - St. John Bosco

32. When we speak about wisdom, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about virtue, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about justice, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about peace, we are speaking of Christ. When we speak about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking of Christ. - St. Ambrose of Milan

33. If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because He Himself is the way. - St. Thomas Aquinas

34. This Blood that but one drop of has the power to win ALL the world forgiveness of its world of sin. - St. Thomas Aquinas

35. There is but one Church in which men find salvation, just as outside the ark of Noah it was not possible for anyone to be saved. - St. Thomas Aquinas

36. Just as in one man there is one soul and one body, yet many members; even so the Catholic Church is one body, having many members. The soul that quickens this body is the Holy Spirit; and therefore in the Creed after confessing our belief in the Holy Spirit, we are bid to believe in the Holy Catholic Church. - St. Thomas Aquinas

37. I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church: for if Faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where true Faith first began, seek it among those who received it from God Himself. - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

38. The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing. . . . Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater the number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest. . . . Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the Devil. - St. Thomas Aquinas

39. Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church. - St. Thomas Aquinas

40. If it is "daily bread," why do you take it once a year? . . . Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He, who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year. - St. Ambrose of Milan

41. Those who commit these types of scandals are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, but I', here among you to prevent something far worst for you. While those who give scandal are guilty of the spiritual equivalent of murder, those who take scandal- who allow scandals to destroy faith- are guilty of spiritual suicide. - St. Francis de Sales

42. The proof of love is in the works. Where love exists, it works great things. But when it ceases to act, it ceases to exist. - Pope St. Gregory the Great

43. Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mould them accordingly. - St. Ignatius Loyola

44. It is better to say one Our Father fervently and devoutly than a thousand with no devotion and full of distraction. - St. Edmund

45. If there be a true way that leads to the Everlasting Kingdom, it is most certainly that of suffering, patiently endured. - St. Colette

46. At the end of our life, we shall all be judged by charity. - St. John of the Cross

47. When shall it be that we shall taste the sweetness of the Divine Will in all that happens to us, considering in everything only His good pleasure, by whom it is certain that adversity is sent with as much love as prosperity, and as much for our good? When shall we cast ourselves undeservedly into the arms of our most loving Father in Heaven, leaving to Him the care of ourselves and of our affairs, and reserving only the desire of pleasing Him, and of serving Him well in all that we can? - St. Jane Frances de Chantal

48. Let everyone who has the grace of intelligence fear that, because of it, he will be judged more heavily if he is negligent. Let him who has no intelligence or talent rejoice and do as much as he can with the little that he has; for he has been freed from many occasions of sin. - St. Bridget of Sweden

49. Charity may be a very short word, but with its tremendous meaning of pure love, it sums up man's entire relation to God and to his neighbour. - St Aelred of Rievaulx

50. What will be the crown of those who, humble within and humiliated without, have imitated the humility of our Saviour in all its fullness! - St. Bernadette

51. Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day, even every moment in the interior temple of your spirit, remaining like a baby in the bosom of the heavenly Father, where you will be reborn each moment in the Divine Word, Jesus Christ. - St. Paul of the Cross

52. It is better to be the child of God than king of the whole world. - St. Aloysius Gonzaga

53. Nothing is far from God. - St. Monica

54. To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it - Mother Teresa

55. If we wish to keep peace with our neighbour, we should never remind anyone of his natural defects. - St. Philip Neri

56. Not the goods of the world, but God. Not riches, but God. Not honours, but God. Not distinction, but God. Not dignities, but God. Not advancement, but God. God always and in everything. - St. Vincent Pallotti

57. Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God. - St. Vincent Ferrer

58. We should all realize that no matter where or how a man dies, if he is in the state of mortal sin and does not repent, when he could have done so and did not, the Devil tears his soul from his body with such anguish and distress that only a person who has experienced it can appreciate it. - St. Francis of Assisi

59. Love consumes us only in the measure of our self-surrender. - St. Therese of Lisieux

60. Charity unites us to God... There is nothing mean in charity, nothing arrogant. Charity knows no schism, does not rebel, does all things in concord. In charity all the elect of God have been made perfect. - Pope St. Clement I

61. My daughter, I see more Pharisees among Christians than there were around Pilate. - St. Margaret of Cortona

62. Let us therefore give ourselves to God with a great desire to begin to live thus, and beg Him to destroy in us the life of the world of sin, and to establish His life within us. - St. John Eudes

63. Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession. - St. Isidore of Seville

64. To love God is something greater than to know Him. - St. Thomas Aquinas

65. Prayer reveals to souls the vanity of earthly goods and pleasures. It fills them with light, strength and consolation; and gives them a foretaste of the calm bliss of our heavenly home. - St. Rose of Viterbo

66. It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for "God is Charity" - St. Albert the Great

67. Who except God can give you peace? Has the world ever been able to satisfy the heart? - St. Gerard Majella

68. We must pray without tiring, for the salvation of mankind does not depend on material success; nor on sciences that cloud the intellect. Neither does it depend on arms and human industries, but on Jesus alone. - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

69. Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you are working for a Master who pays well; who rewards even a cup of cold water given for love of Him. - St. Dominic Savio

70. When you feel the assaults of passion and anger, then is the time to be silent as Jesus was silent in the midst of His ignominies and sufferings. - St. Paul of the Cross

71. My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavour should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings. - St. Isaac Jogues

72. Truly, matters in the world are in a bad state; but if you and I begin in earnest to reform ourselves, a really good beginning will have been made. - St. Peter of Alcantara

73. This world and the world to come are two enemies. We cannot therefore be friends to both; but we must decide which we will forsake and which we will enjoy. - Pope St. Clement I

74. We should have no more use or regard for money in any of its forms than we have for dust. Those who think it is worth more, or who are greedy for it, expose themselves to the danger of being deceived by the Devil. - St. Francis of Assisi

75. You must ask God to give you power to fight against the sin of pride which is your greatest enemy - the root of all that is evil, and the failure of all that is good. For God resists the proud. - St. Vincent de Paul

76. To be pleased at correction and reproofs shows that one loves the virtues which are contrary to those faults for which he is corrected and reproved. And, therefore, it is a great sign of advancement in perfection. - St. Francis de Sales

77. You cannot please both God and the world at the same time; they are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions. - St. John Vianney

78. Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven. - St. Ephraem

79. Love God, serve God: everything is in that. - St. Clare of Assisi

80. Mary was raised to the dignity of Mother of God rather for sinners than for the just, since Jesus Christ declares that he came to call not the just, but sinners. - St. Anselm

81. The Blessed Eucharist is the perfect Sacrament of the Lord's Passion, since It contains Christ Himself and his Passion. - St. Thomas Aquinas

82. What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something. - Mother Theresa

83. The value of our life does not depend on the place we occupy. It depends on the way we occupy that place. - St. Theresa of the Child Jesus

84. They deceive themselves who believe that union with God consists in ecstasies or raptures, and in the enjoyment of Him. For it consists in nothing except the surrender and subjection of our will - with our thoughts, words and actions - to the will of God.... - St. Teresa of Avila

85. No matter how good food is, if poison is mixed with it, it may cause the death of him who eats it. So it is with conversation. A single bad word, an evil action, an unbecoming joke, is often enough to harm one or more young listeners, and may later cause them to lose God's grace. - St. John Bosco

86. Humility is the only virtue that no devil can imitate. If pride made demons out of angels, there is no doubt that humility could make angels out of demons. - St. John Climacus

87. Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ -St. Jerome

88. What do they not see, who see Him Who sees all things? - Pope St. Gregory the Great

89. In the life of the body a man is sometimes sick, and unless he takes medicine, he will die. Even so in the spiritual life a man is sick on account of sin. For that reason he needs medicine so that he may be restored to health; and this grace is bestowed in the Sacrament of Penance. - St. Thomas Aquinas

90. Three conditions are necessary for Penance: contrition, which is sorrow for sin, together with a purpose of amendment; confession of sins without any omission; and satisfaction by means of good works. - St. Thomas Aquinas

91. The minister to whom confession is made is the delegate of Christ, Who is the Judge of the living and the dead. - St. Thomas Aquinas

92. Whoever wishes to hold the fortress of contemplation must first of all train in the camp of action. - Pope St. Gregory the Great

93. Reprimand and rebuke should be accepted as healing remedies for vice and as conducive to good health. From this it is clear that those who pretend to be tolerant because they wish to flatter-----those who thus fail to correct sinners-----actually cause them to suffer supreme loss and plot the destruction of that life which is their true life. - St. Basil the Great

94. Proud is many a man who looks down on his neighbour because the wool of his gown is finer! Yet as fine as it is, a poor sheep wore it upon her back before it came upon his back, and all the while she wore it, she was after all still only a sheep. And why should he now think himself better than she was simply by having that wool-----wool that, even though it is now his, is still not so truly his as it was truly hers? - St. Thomas More

95. When it's God Who is speaking . . . the proper way to behave is to imitate someone who has an irresistible curiosity and who listens at keyholes. You must listen to everything God says at the keyhole of your heart. - St. John Vianney

96. If something uncharitable is said in your presence, either speak in favour of the absent, or withdraw, or if possible, stop the conversation. - St. John Vianney

97. The affairs of God are accomplished little by little and almost imperceptibly. The Spirit of God is neither violent nor hasty. - St. Vincent de Paul

98. The Saints were so completely dead to themselves that they cared very little whether others agreed with them or not. - St. John Vianney

99. It is almost certain that excess in eating is the cause of almost all the diseases of the body, but its effects on the soul are even more disastrous. - St. Alphonsus Liguori

100. A good work talked about is a good work spoiled. - St. Vincent de Paul

21 July 2009

Speeding nuns in a Ford Fiesta fined, refuse to pay

From Italy Magazine

The three nuns, Sister Tavoletta, 56, and two others (unnamed) aged 65 and 78, where rushing to see the Pope at 180kmph (112 mph) when the police pulled them over.

They had heard that the Pope had fallen and broke his wrist and they wanted to make sure all was ok.

They almost made it there. The Pope is currently in his summer holiday home in Valle d'Aosta at Les Combes, and they were stopped one hour away from their final destination. The Pope had slipped in the bathroom and fractured his wrist, and the Salesian nuns just had to confirm the news reports personally.

A spokesman for Turin's police, said: "Hopefully Sister Tavoletta will be making sure she confesses her bad driving the next she goes to confession. But in the meantime, she will have to pay the Euros 375 fine.

Sister Tavoletta, however, has no intention of simply accepting the fine. She has hired the services of one of Italy's best known lawyers in driving cases, Anna Orecchini who also lost her driving licence for a month, has not meekly accepted this rebuke. Instead, she will appeal against the fine with the aid of Italy's best known lawyer in driving cases, Anna Orecchioni and will appeal on the ground that their mission was more important that the speeding rules of the Italian state.

Source

21 June 2009

The Year of the Priest

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday also marked the beginning of the Year of the Priest. This is an excellent choice for focus this year, our Priests need payer, always, and this year should remind us of that. Below is a video from Archbishop Nichols, marking this Year of the Priest, during which he encourages praying the Rosary, Eucharistic Adoration and revival of the 40 hours devotion. What are you doing in your Parish this year, for your Priest?

The Year for Priests 2009 - 2010: Archbishop Vincent Nichols from Catholic Westminster on Vimeo.

20 June 2009

What is a Browser?

Pretty amazing, this. I can certainly understand that there will be an element of people who are not quite technically aware, but in this clip, an amazing 92% of people did not know the difference between a browser and a search engine!

12 June 2009

Rosary Beads and Fashion


















I am struck recently by the number of people I see wearing Rosary beads. Is this a 'fashion statement' of some kind? I'm not against people developing a devotion to the Rosary prayer, and to Our Blessed Lady, but somehow it strikes me that this is not why people are wearing the beads.

Not totally sure how much this bothers me, but it does, to some extent. It would be nice to believe that an outbreak of love to Our Lady was behind this 'fad', but I can't be that gullible to believe it is true. I shall keep praying that it happens, though.

02 June 2009

Festa Della Repubblica



Today is the Festa Della Repubblica, the day Italy changed from a Monarchy to a Republic. After 85 years, with a vote of 12.717.923 in favour of a Republic against 10.719.284 in favour of the monarchy, Italians voted and the reigning Royal Family, the Savoia, were banished from the newly formed Republic. It is only recently they have been allowed to return to Italy.

After many years the celebration of this date lost favour with many, but since 2000 has become more popular again. Falling as it does on a Tuesday this year, it has offered Italians the opportunity to 'bridge' the weekend into the festive day, and many shops and businesses would have been closed yesterday, too. Before the Republic, the Festive day of celebrating Italians was the first Sunday in June.

Buone Feste a tutti!!

31 May 2009

Pentecost



1 And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place: 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. 5 Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6 And at this sound, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. 7 And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these, that speak, Galileans? 8 And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, Egypt, and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome,

11 Jews also, and proselytes, Cretes, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.

25 May 2009

Champion's League 09

It's the Champion's League final this Wednesday. Being totally neutral, I can sit back, relax, and enjoy a (hopefully) good final. As an appetiser, here's an ad, showing a bit of 'mind games' between Henry and Giggs:

24 May 2009

Grazie, Capitano

Too often in sport, particularly football, words like legend are thrown around towards players who are little deserving. But every once in a while you get a player who deserves recognition for their contribution to the game.

Football generally, particularly the Italian game, specifically AC Milan is important to me. Keeping everything in the correct perspective, football gives occasion of high and low emotions, offers opportunity of fraternity with like minded people, and a certain type of tribal rivalry that, when kept within acceptable norms, is often humorous and enjoyable. It surely doesn't need to be said, I have no time for rivalries that descend into violence.

Today was the last game played in Serie A for Paolo Maldini at the home ground of Milan, the San Siro. You would expect, that after a 24 year career with the same team, making 901 appearances (his 902nd is next week, in the last game of the season against Fiorentina) that the fans would show their gratitude to a player of the quality of Maldini. And generally that was the case, starting off with the opposing players from today's game, Roma, wearing shirts thanking and praising Maldini, congratulating him personally. Before the match, the crowd showed their appreciation, the atmosphere came through well even on TV. Would have been great to be there. However, once the game kicked off, some banners were unfurled similar to that in the picture that criticised Maldini, for some alleged offense given to the fans during the time the current England manager, Fabio Capello, was manager of Milan. At some points Maldini was whistled by his own supporters, and the club's owner, Silvio Berlusconi, was also roundly criticised for perceived lack of ambition in the transfer market.

Whatever the points, today was not the day for protest, and re-opening old wounds. Instead, it was a day for remembering a true great of the modern football era, a player who has performed at the top of his game for almost 25 years. Maldini made his debut for Milan when he was just 16 years old, and soon became a regular figure in the team's line-up. The haul of trophies one during Maldini's career is impressive:

7 Serie A titles
5 Champions League titles
5 UEFA Super Cups
5 Supercoppa Italiana
2 Intercontinental Cups
1 FIFA World Club Cup
1 Coppa Italia

Maldini also played 126 times for Italy, 74 of those as captain. The one major honour missing from his impressive CV is a World Cup. He had retired from the Italian national team after the 2002 World Cup, so missed out on the triumph in 2006. Maldini, for all his triumphs and great matches, was rather unfortunate in the international game, being runner up in the 1994 World Cup Final to Brazil, a match that was lost on penalties, and also runner up to France in the Euro 2000 final, a game that Italy were winning until a couple of minutes before the end of the game, France scored to take the final into extra time. They subsequently one by scoring in extra time, taking the title on the then Golden Goal ruling.

Still, even taking those disappointments into account, Paolo Maldini has had an amazing career. He is a true great of the game, and fully deserving of all the praise he receives. In a modern game where greed drives players to show disloyalty at every moment, to have achieved 901 top level games with one club is a real achievement. Grazie, Capitano, per tutto.

Paolo's father, Cesare, was a great defender for the club. With sons of his own, maybe the Maldini name will continue to be part of AC Milan into the future. The oldest, Christian, is already part of the youth set up, and if this video clip is anything to go by, there is a future for Daniel Maldini. Only 5 years old in this clip, Daniel makes an excellent tackle on Clarence Seedorf, himself a Champions League winner with three different clubs:

22 May 2009

Archbishop Nichols

I watched the service yesterday on TV, for the installation of the new Archbishop. It was great to see it on the BBC. A video is available, with highlights of the service, at this link

06 May 2009

30 April 2009

Installation of Archbishop Vincent Nichols

The special Mass for the installation of Archbishop Vincent Nichols as Archbishop of Westminster is on the 21st May. It is reckoned around 4,000 people will be there, including Diocesan priests and religious, priests from the Archdiocese of Birmingham, as well as representatives from every parish and school throughout the Diocese. A number of high profile guests are also expected to attend, including all of the Bishops of England and Wales, Catholic Peers and MP's, and Cardinal Mahoney, Archbishop of Los Angeles. In our parish, our representatives are being chosen by draw.

If you are unable to go, but will be by a TV, the Mass will be aired on BBC2 from 11.45am

More info here

Abortion & Contraception is Killing our Culture



H/T Patrick Madrid

18 April 2009

The Christians in the World

"Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives.

They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law. Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they, rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body's hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself."

From a letter to Diognetus (Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401)



Prayer

Father of all holiness,
guide our hearts to you.
Keep in the light of your truth
all those you have freed from the darkness of unbelief.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

13 April 2009

A Bit of Fun

A while ago I posted the T-Mobile advert, recorded at Liverpool St rail station. Well, browsing around the web, I found this, which is in a similar vein. Recorded at Centraal Station, Antwerp. If you like the Sound of Music, you'll like this:

12 April 2009

Ubi et Orbi

He Is Risen!







1 And on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalen cometh early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre; and she saw the stone taken away from the sepulchre. 2 She ran, therefore, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and saith to them: They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. 3 Peter therefore went out, and that other disciple, and they came to the sepulchre. 4 And they both ran together, and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 5 And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying, 7 And the napkin that had been about his head, not lying with the linen cloths, but apart, wrapped up into one place. 8 Then that other disciple also went in, who came first to the sepulchre: and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. 10 The disciples therefore departed again to their home.

11 But Mary stood at the sepulchre without, weeping. Now as she was weeping, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been laid. 13 They say to her: Woman, why weepest thou? She saith to them: Because they have taken away my Lord; and I know not where they have laid him. 14 When she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing; and she knew not that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith to her: Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, thinking it was the gardener, saith to him: Sir, if thou hast taken him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith to her: Mary. She turning, saith to him: Rabboni (which is to say, Master). 17 Jesus saith to her: Do not touch me, for I am not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father and to your Father, to my God and your God. 18 Mary Magdalen cometh, and telleth the disciples: I have seen the Lord, and these things he said to me.

10 April 2009

Buried



43 Joseph of Arimathea, a noble counsellor, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, came and went in boldly to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. 44 But Pilate wondered that he should be already dead. And sending for the centurion, he asked him if he were already dead. 45 And when he had understood it by the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

46 And Joseph buying fine linen, and taking him down, wrapped him up in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of a rock. And he rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of Joseph, beheld where he was laid.

Empty

Lamentation

La Pieta



Descent From the Cross



Litany of the Passion

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,

Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,

Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,

Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One, God,

Have mercy on us.

Jesus, the Eternal Wisdom, have mercy on us.

Jesus, sold for thirty pieces of silver, have mercy on us.

Jesus, prostrate on the ground in prayer, have mercy on us.

Jesus, strengthened by an angel, have mercy on us.

Jesus, in Thine agony bathed in a blood sweat, have mercy on us.

Jesus, betrayed by Judas with a kiss, have mercy on us.

Jesus, bound by the soldiers in heavy restrictive chains, have mercy on us.

Jesus forsaken by Thy disciples, have mercy on us.

Jesus, brought before Annas and Caiphas, have mercy on us.

Jesus, struck many times in the face by evil men, have mercy on us.

Jesus, accused by false witnesses, have mercy on us.

Jesus, declared guilty of death, have mercy on us.

Jesus, spat upon hundreds of times, have mercy on us.

Jesus, blindfolded, have mercy on us.

Jesus, smitten on the cheek, hundreds of times, have mercy on us.

Jesus, thrice denied by Peter, have mercy on us.

Jesus, despised and mocked by Herod, have mercy on us.

Jesus, clothed in a filthy garment, have mercy on us.

Jesus, rejected for Barabbas, have mercy on us.

Jesus, whose flesh was torn to the bone with hideous scourges,
by demonically possessed men, have mercy on us.

Jesus, bruised for sins, have mercy on us.

Jesus, esteemed a leper, have mercy on us.

Jesus, mocked and covered with a purple robe, have mercy on us.

Jesus, crowned with long, deadly thorns, have mercy on us.

Jesus, repeatedly struck by blows and kicks over Thy entire Body, have mercy on us.

Jesus, demanded for crucifixion by the Jews, have mercy on us.

Jesus, condemned to an ignominious death, have mercy on us.

Jesus, given up to the will of Thine enemies, have mercy on us.

Jesus, loaded with the heavy weight of the Cross, have mercy on us.

Jesus, falling many times while carrying the cross, have mercy on us.

Jesus, spat upon hundreds of times while carrying the cross, have mercy on us.

Jesus, led like a sheep to the slaughter, have mercy on us.

Jesus, barbarously stripped of Thy clothes causing Thy wounds to reopen, have mercy on us.

Jesus, fastened by long blunt nails to the cross, have mercy on us.

Jesus, reviled by the malefactors, have mercy on us.

Jesus, promising Paradise to the penitent thief, have mercy on us.

Jesus, commending St. John to Thy Mother as her son, have mercy on us.

Jesus, declaring Thyself forsaken by Thy Father, have mercy on us.

Jesus, struggling for every breath on the cross, have mercy on us.

Jesus, in Thy thirst given gall and vinegar to drink, have mercy on us.

Jesus, testifying that all things written concerning Thee were accomplished, have mercy on us.

Jesus, the God Man, dying to save the whole world, have mercy on us.

Jesus, commending Thy spirit into the hands of Thy Father, have mercy on us.

Jesus, obedient even to the death of the cross, have mercy on us.

Jesus, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.

Jesus, made a propitiation for us, have mercy on us.

Jesus, taken down from the cross, have mercy on us.

Jesus, laid in the sepulcher, have mercy on us.

Jesus, rising gloriously from the dead, have mercy on us.

Jesus, ascending into Heaven, have mercy on us.

Jesus, our Advocate with the Father, have mercy on us.

Jesus, sending down on Thy disciples the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, have mercy on us.

Jesus, exalting Thy Mother above the choirs of angels, have mercy on us.

Jesus, Who shall come to judge the living and the dead, have mercy on us.

Be merciful, spare us, O Lord.

Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord.



From all evil, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

From all sin, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

From anger, hatred, and every evil will, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

From war, famine, and pestilence, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

From all dangers of mind and body, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

From everlasting death, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy most pure Conception, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy miraculous Nativity, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy humble Circumcision, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy baptism and holy fasting, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy labors and watchings, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy cruel scourging and crowning, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy thirst, and tears, and nakedness, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy precious death and Cross, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

Through Thy sending forth the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, Lord Jesus, deliver us.

In the Day of Judgment, Lord Jesus, deliver us.



We sinners beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt spare us, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt pardon us, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt bring us to true penance, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt mercifully pour into our hearts,

the grace of the Holy Spirit, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt defend and propagate Thy holy Church, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt preserve and increase,

all societies assembled in Thy Holy Name, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt bestow upon us true peace, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt give us perseverance

in grace and in Thy holy service, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt deliver us from unclean thoughts,

from the temptations of the devil,

and from everlasting damnation, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt unite us to the company of Thy saints, we beseech Thee, hear us.

That Thou wilt graciously hear us, we beseech Thee, hear us.



Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Have mercy on us.



V. Christ, hear us.

R. Christ, graciously hear us.

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee,

R. Because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Let Us Pray

Almighty and eternal God, Who didst appoint Thine only-begotten Son the Saviour of the world and willed to be appeased by His blood, grant that we may so venerate this Price of our Salvation, and by its might be so defended upon earth from the evils of this present life, that in Heaven we may rejoice in its everlasting fruit. Through Christ Our Lord Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. R. Amen!

The Crucifixion



24 And crucifying him, they divided his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

26 And the inscription of his cause was written over: THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. 28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith: And with the wicked he was reputed. 29 And they that passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying: Vah, thou that destroyest the temple of God, and in three days buildest it up again; 30 Save thyself, coming down from the cross.

31 In like manner also the chief priests mocking, said with the scribes one to another: He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let Christ the king of Israel come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

Christ Carries the Cross



21 And they forced one Simon a Cyrenian who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and of Rufus, to take up his cross. 22 And they bring him into the place called Golgotha, which being interpreted is, The place of Calvary. 23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; but he took it not.

The Crowning With Thorns





16 And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and they called together the whole band: 17 And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him. 18 And they began to salute him: Hail, king of the Jews. 19 And they struck his head with a reed: and they did spit on him. And bowing their knees, they adored him. 20 And after they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own garments on him, and they led him out to crucify him.

The Scourging



15 And so Pilate being willing to satisfy the people, released to them Barabbas, and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.

Christ Before Pilate





1 And straightway in the morning, the chief priests holding a consultation with the ancients and the scribes and the whole council, binding Jesus, led him away, and delivered him to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him: Art thou the king of the Jews? But he answering, saith to him: Thou sayest it. 3 And the chief priests accused him in many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, saying: Answerest thou nothing? behold in how many things they accuse thee. 5 But Jesus still answered nothing; so that Pilate wondered.

6 Now on the festival day he was wont to release unto them one of the prisoners, whomsoever they demanded. 7 And there was one called Barabbas, who was put in prison with some seditious men, who in the sedition had committed murder. 8 And when the multitude was come up, they began to desire that he would do, as he had ever done unto them. 9 And Pilate answered them, and said: Will you that I release to you the king of the Jews? 10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him up out of envy.

11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12 And Pilate again answering, saith to them: What will you then that I do to the king of the Jews? 13 But they again cried out: Crucify him. 14 And Pilate saith to them: Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more: Crucify him.

Peter Denies Christ



66 Now when Peter was in the court below, there cometh one of the maidservants of the high priest. 67 And when she had seen Peter warming himself, looking on him she saith: Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. 68 But he denied, saying: I neither know nor understand what thou sayest. And he went forth before the court; and the cock crew. 69 And again a maidservant seeing him, began to say to the standers by: This is one of them. 70 But he denied again. And after a while they that stood by said again to Peter: Surely thou art one of them; for thou art also a Galilean.

71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying; I know not this man of whom you speak. 72 And immediately the cock crew again. And Peter remembered the word that Jesus had said unto him: Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt thrice deny me. And he began to weep.

Christ Before the High Priest





53 And they brought Jesus to the high priest; and all the priests and the scribes and the ancients assembled together. 54 And Peter followed him from afar off, even into the court of the high priest; and he sat with the servants at the fire, and warmed himself. 55 And the chief priests and all the council sought for evidence against Jesus, that they might put him to death, and found none.

56 For many bore false witness against him, and their evidences were not agreeing. 57 And some rising up, bore false witness against him, saying: 58 We heard him say, I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another not made with hands. 59 And their witness did not agree. 60 And the high priest rising up in the midst, asked Jesus, saying: Answerest thou nothing to the things that are laid to thy charge by these men?

61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said to him: Art thou the Christ the Son of the blessed God? 62 And Jesus said to him: I am. And you shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of the power of God, and coming with the clouds of heaven. 63 Then the high priest rending his garments, saith: What need we any further witnesses? 64 You have heard the blasphemy. What think you? Who all condemned him to be guilty of death. 65 And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him: Prophesy: and the servants struck him with the palms of their hands.

The Betrayal



43 And while he was yet speaking, cometh Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve: and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the ancients. 44 And he that betrayed him, had given them a sign, saying: Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he; lay hold on him, and lead him away carefully. 45 And when he was come, immediately going up to him, he saith: Hail, Rabbi; and he kissed him.

09 April 2009

The Agony in the Garden





32 And they came to a farm called Gethsemani. And he saith to his disciples: Sit you here, while I pray. 33 And he taketh Peter and James and John with him; and he began to fear and to be heavy. 34 And he saith to them: My soul is sorrowful even unto death; stay you here, and watch. 35 And when he was gone forward a little, he fell flat on the ground; and he prayed, that if it might be, the hour might pass from him.

36 And he saith: Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee: remove this chalice from me; but not what I will, but what thou wilt. 37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping. And he saith to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldst thou not watch one hour? 38 Watch ye, and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 39 And going away again, he prayed, saying the same words. 40 And when he returned, he found them again asleep, (for their eyes were heavy,) and they knew not what to answer him.

41 And he cometh the third time, and saith to them: Sleep ye now, and take your rest. It is enough: the hour is come: behold the Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise up, let us go. Behold, he that will betray me is at hand.

The Washing of the Feet



1 Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 2 And when supper was done, (the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him,) 3 Knowing that the Father had given him all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and goeth to God; 4 He riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments, and having taken a towel, girded himself. 5 After that, he putteth water into a basin, and began to wash the feet of the disciples, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

6 He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered, and said to him: What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith to him: Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him: If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith to him: Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. 10 Jesus saith to him: He that is washed, needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all.

The Last Supper



12 Now on the first day of the unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the pasch, the disciples say to him: Whither wilt thou that we go, and prepare for thee to eat the pasch? 13 And he sendeth two of his disciples, and saith to them: Go ye into the city; and there shall meet you a man carrying a pitcher of water, follow him; 14 And whithersoever he shall go in, say to the master of the house, The master saith, Where is my refectory, where I may eat the pasch with my disciples? 15 And he will shew you a large dining room furnished; and there prepare ye for us.

16 And his disciples went their way, and came into the city; and they found as he had told them, and they prepared the pasch. 17 And when evening was come, he cometh with the twelve. 18 And when they were at table and eating, Jesus saith: Amen I say to you, one of you that eateth with me shall betray me. 19 But they began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one by one: Is it I? 20 Who saith to them: One of the twelve, who dippeth with me his hand in the dish.

21 And the Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man shall be betrayed. It were better for him, if that man had not been born. 22 And whilst they were eating, Jesus took bread; and blessing, broke, and gave to them, and said: Take ye. This is my body. 23 And having taken the chalice, giving thanks, he gave it to them. And they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them: This is my blood of the new testament, which shall be shed for many. 25 Amen I say to you, that I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God.

26 And when they had said an hymn, they went forth to the mount of Olives.

08 April 2009

Wonderful Cross

This video is different to the one posted yesterday, using mainly stills at the start, and has a different soundtrack.

06 April 2009

Offline Time - Holy Week

The post yesterday, this, and all posts til Easter Sunday are scheduled. I am offline for Holy Week, as I attempt to remove myself from the things that matter not, and immerse myself into that which is most important. I wish all who come by this blog between now and Sunday, a very peaceful Easter.

05 April 2009

Palm Sunday

1 And when they were drawing near to Jerusalem and to Bethania at the mount of Olives, he sendeth two of his disciples, 2 And saith to them: Go into the village that is over against you, and immediately at your coming in thither, you shall find a colt tied, upon which no man yet hath sat: loose him, and bring him. 3 And if any man shall say to you, What are you doing? say ye that the Lord hath need of him: and immediately he will let him come hither. 4 And going their way, they found the colt tied before the gate without, in the meeting of two ways: and they loose him. 5 And some of them that stood there, said to them: What do you loosing the colt?

6 Who said to them as Jesus had commanded them; and they let him go with them. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus; and they lay their garments on him, and he sat upon him. 8 And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way. 9 And they that went before and they that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. 10 Blessed be the kingdom of our father David that cometh: Hosanna in the highest.

25 March 2009

The Apprentice

A lot of my friends watch the tv programme, The Apprentice. Although I know what it is about, and have heard of it, I've never really watched it. I hardly watch tv anymore, I mainly use my set for listening to the radio stations available on satellite. There's been a lot of advertising for this series, on radio and elsewhere, so I thought I'd tune in.

I wish I hadn't.

I found the whole thing very uncomfortable, the contestants come across as greedy, and selfish. The whole attitude is money, money, money. One of the contestants in his bio even said "making money is better than sex" Pretty pathetic really.

At the end, after much squabbling, accusation and counter-accusation, one contestant got fired. Not nicely done, poor girl even said thanks, for being fired! I can't imagine myself in that situation, at all, I wouldn't last. I'm not competitive enough, not motivated by money. I wouldn't get fired, I would have quit already. Nasty programme, really.

22 March 2009

March 22nd 2008

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008. About the same time that I am now writing this blog post, in fact, I was received into the Catholic Church, Confirmed and took my first Holy Communion. So, today is my full one year calendar anniversary as a full member of the Catholic Church!! It has been an amazing year since then in my life, my Faith grows stronger each day, my love for the Lord keeps growing, and despite the many times I fall and get it wrong, He keeps on picking me up, dusting me down, and helps get me moving again.

I wrote about my journey into the Church last year, just after Easter, which is here I hope to have many more years in which I can celebrate the greatest moment of my life, when I was fully received into the Church!

19 March 2009

The Oath Against Modernism

I, Jay Augustine, firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.

And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (cf. Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated:

Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.

Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.

Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.

Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our Creator and Lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful.

Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labour, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles.

I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the Faith of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .

18 March 2009

AIDS, Condoms and the Church

I missed this last night, but Joanna Bogle from the blog Auntie Joanna writes was on Channel 4 news talking about comments Pope Benedict XVI has made concerning condoms and AIDS. You can see a clip of the event here. I personally thought Joanna did a wonderful job of passionately defending the Church's teaching here, so I was dismayed to read on her blog that some people have been criticising her, saying they were ashamed of her because she appeared to lose her cool.

Well, blow them, is all I can say. Being passionate is not a crime, and she did a wonderful job of putting the woman from Christian Aid and the interviewer in their place. It was noticeable when he (Jon Snow, I think he is) couldn't contain the passionate responses from Joanna he fell back to the old cliche "Well, you are not being very Christian, are you?" Like he would know what being Christian is all about!

I think it would be a great thing to pop over to her blog and give her some much deserved messages of support.

Go Joanna!

01 March 2009

It Really bothers Me....

...When people who claim they are Catholic live a life and preach a belief that is contrary to Catholic teaching! It grates me, it twists up my insides and it causes me pain. If you are a Catholic, then you live the Catholic life, you accept the authority of the Church and the teachings of the Faith. If you can't do this, at *least* be honest, and stop calling yourself Catholic.

30 January 2009

Just Because....

Today has been quiet, and this has been one of the best advertising campaigns recently. Real good fun.

Are You a Geek?

This is a good fun quiz, the guys over at the What Mobile site have updated a quiz first ran back in 2004, to test if you are a geek.

I don't recall what my score was back then, but this time round I scored 26 points:
25-34 points
A highly evolved techie, you are totally at home with technology and use a wide variety of gadgets in your everyday life.

So, I am comfortable with technology but am officially *not* a Geek!

The quiz can be found here

27 January 2009

A Day Out

It becomes a bit much when attending a training course can be considered a day out, but the training course I went on today was just a little bit different.

I work in a high st shop for one of the mobile networks, and today an event was organised in London to pick up info on one of the latest Nokia mobile phones, the Nokia 5800.

Now, it needs to be said, I am a bit of a mobile phone geek, so much so I have another blog that talks mainly about a certain type of mobile phone, the Nokia Nseries range. The Nokia 5800 is very similar to the Nseries handsets, it uses the same operating system, and has a really good range of features. The 5800 is the first consumer focused touch screen device.

The training course was held in London, and when I arrived at the hotel location I had to sign a disclaimer for the days 'activities'. I absolved the organisers from any liability for any injury I suffered, and the list was horrendous! Sliding down mud banks, getting run over, medical fees, all sorts. The responsibility for any mishap was mine and mine alone! I very nearly refused to sign, I have no time for such fooling around, I thought. But, curiosity got me, that and the fact I had to do the course or go back to work in the shop!

As it turns out it was one of the best training courses I've ever participated in. Normally with a new phone we get trainers who will highlight the main features of the phone, we then get some hands on time with the product, and that's it. Fine for me, being a geek, but a bit samey after a while. The disclaimer thing promised this would be a bit different, and it was. We were all split into pairs, and given one of the new phones. After a brief session that highlighted the main points, we were sent out around London with the phone and a list of objectives that had to be completed within two hours! At each of the locations we had to perform a task with the phone, either taking a picture and editing it, then sending it back to the base, or saving it as wallpaper, recording video clips, and navigating around town with the built in GPS facility. Pretty basic stuff really.

What really made the day was the tasks! These included a session in the boxing ring throwing some punches, being locked in a room at minus 10 for a minute, rowing 500 metres in two minutes on a rowing machine in a gym, driving a golf ball on a virtual reality golf course and dancing! It was an excellent day, really good fun, and I know I shall sleep well tonight. I'm pooped!

One of the first tasks we completed was the dancing. I didn't volunteer, my partner decided for me that I would dance whilst he 'DJ'd' using the music player on the phone. I don't think I did too good, but even so I got nominated for best dance!! (Probably in sympathy I think!) Back at the base when prizes were handed out I had to stand up in front of the whole room and recreate my slick moves for everyones amusement! But it was good fun, and the girl I danced with was very nice and a good sport.

The golf driving range was also good; I've never played golf before but managed a shot of 187 yards. My colleague was less successful, on one swing he completely missed the ball and hit the floor with the club. Thing is, he hit it so hard the ball actually fell off the tee and rolled a little across the floor, and the machine measured his drive at 4 inches! Very funny.

Overall the whole event was great fun, and I'd certainly do it again. I'm glad my curiosity got the better of me!