04 October 2010

St Francis of Assisi

The prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

15 September 2010

Our Lady of Sorrows

At the Cross her station keeping, stood the mournful Mother weeping, close to her son to the last.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing, all His bitter anguish bearing, now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed was that Mother, highly blest, of the sole-begotten One.
Christ above in torment hangs, she beneath beholds the pangs of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep, whelmed in miseries so deep, Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain, in that Mother's pain untold?

For the sins of His own nation, She saw Jesus wracked with torment, All with scourges rent:
She beheld her tender Child, Saw Him hang in desolation, Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love! Touch my spirit from above, make my heart with thine accord:
Make me feel as thou hast felt; make my soul to glow and melt with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through, in my heart each wound renew of my Savior crucified:
Let me share with thee His pain, who for all my sins was slain, who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee, mourning Him who mourned for me, all the days that I may live:
By the Cross with thee to stay, there with thee to weep and pray, is all I ask of thee to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!, Listen to my fond request: let me share thy grief divine;
Let me, to my latest breath, in my body bear the death of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound, steep my soul till it hath swooned, in His very Blood away;
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh, lest in flames I burn and die, in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence, by Thy Mother my defense, by Thy Cross my victory;
When my body dies, let my soul be granted the glory of Paradise. Amen.

14 September 2010

Exultation of the Holy Cross

"God so loved the world"

The cross reconciled us with God, made earth, heaven, caused human beings
to mingle with angels, destroyed the citadel of death, broke the strength
of the devil, freed the world from error, and founded churches. The cross
was the will of the Father, the glory of the Son, the joy of the Holy

The cross is brighter than the sun, its rays are more brilliant. When the
sun is darkened the cross shines forth, for the darkening of the sun does
not mean it no longer exists, but that it is outshone by the splendor of
the cross. The cross destroyed the bond that was against us and opened the
prison-house of death. The cross is the proof of God's love, for: "God
loved the world so much that he gave his only Son to save those who believe
from perishing."

The cross unlocked the gates of paradise, admitted the thief, and led to
the kingdom of heaven the human race which, unworthy even of the earth, was
on the point of being destroyed.

St John Chrysostom

11 September 2010

The Pope is Coming!

The Pope is coming! It's just a few days now, and the Pope will be here, in the UK. There are various events happening, and I will be going to the Prayer Vigil in Hyde Park along with a few members of our Parish. Having seen a preview of the 'entertainment', that is going to happen before the Holy Father arrives, I can see I'm not going to enjoy it much, but I need to keep in mind this event isn't being set up for my benefit, but for all Catholics to participate in. And I'm sure there will be a number in the crowd who will appreciate the ethnic dancing stuff. But, for me, the chance to be part of the experience is something that it is all worth suffering for. I can go to Rome quite easily, anytime, with a cheap low cost flight, and participate in an event in St Peter's Square and have done on quite a few occasions. But this is different, the Holy Father is coming to the UK, and I'm glad to be able to go to one of the official events.

Despite all the negativity coming from certain sections regarding the Papal Visit, people who I know who love the Church are getting very excited at the Pope's visit, and regardless of the nonsense people are coming up with, and regardless of the insults being thrown the way of the Holy Father, this is going to be a great few days.

Long live the Pope! Viva il Papa!

17 June 2010

Papal Smackdown!

This is another video from the excellent RealCatholicTV, and the Vortex program hosted by Michael Voris. I've long listened to Michael Voris, through the stuff he did with St Michaels Media, and the TV show The One True Faith, and again here he delivers a punchy episode of the Vortex. I love the title of the episode too, the idea of the Pope laying the Smackdown on all Heretics and liberals within the Church is an excellent image!

14 May 2010

Magistrate in Trouble for Calling Scum, Scum

A magistrate has got himself into a bit of bother after branding a couple of hooligans as 'absolute scum' after they tore pages out of prayer books and wrote offensive messages about Jews and sexual comments about the Vicar in Blackburn Cathedral.

Sentencing the pair, the Magistrate labelled them "Absolute scum". The Clerk of the court stood up and said that such language was unacceptable in the Youth Court (Note, she didn't say that the words were inaccurate, just inappropriate).

The Mother of one of the youths said she "would be making an official complaint". Perhaps she should worry more about the loutish behaviour of her son, rather than the Magistrate calling a spade a spade.

The two hooligans were caught after signing the visitors book. Which sounds about the intelligence level I'd expect from such yobs who would commit acts like these.

13 May 2010

Sin Within

I've always enjoyed listening to Michael Voris, he has a simple knack of getting the message across in language that means something to an ordinary guy like me. He delivers some fine points which you can follow through a website, realcatholictv, and he also does the TV program the One True Faith, which you can find information about at the St Michael's Media website. One of the latest editions of a short program he fronts on realcatholictv, called the Vortex, has a powerful message that all Catholics should pay attention to. It's only a few minutes long, take the time to watch:

10 May 2010

Text the Pope

It's now possible to send the Pope a text message, thanks to Italian TV programme "A Sua Immagine", who are running this initiative linked in with a demonstration of support for the Pope which is happening in St Peter's Square this coming Sunday, May 16th.

The service offers a unique opportunity for Catholics to show their support for the Pope; all messages will be collated together and presented to the Holy Father before the end of May.

If you want to send the Pope a message of support, the number to text is (00) +39 335 1863091.

29 April 2010

Days of Prayer in Reparation and Atonement for Sex Abuse in the Church

The Bishops of England and Wales have urged Catholics to keep the Fridays of May as times for Special Prayer in reparation and atonement for the crimes of sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

“We invite Catholics in England and Wales to make the four Fridays in May 2010 special days of prayer. Even when we are lost for words, we can place ourselves in silent prayer. We invite Catholics on these days to come before the Blessed Sacrament in our parishes to pray to God for healing, forgiveness and a renewed dedication. We pray for all who have suffered abuse; for those who mishandled these matters and added to the suffering of those affected. From this prayer we do not exclude those who have committed these sins of abuse. They have a journey of repentance and atonement to make.

We pray also for Pope Benedict, whose wise and courageous leadership is so important for the Church at this time.”

Resources for these times of prayer have been prepared by the National Liturgy Office and can be downloaded from their website.

23 April 2010

Voting Life

I saw this post on the Mulier Fortis blog a few days ago, and I pretty much agree with what she says, the position of a candidate on Pro Life issues is the most important issue. For me, it defines the person, how they view those most defenceless in our society, the unborn, the handicapped, elderly, etc. If a person has little regard for the most vulnerable, then I don't really see myself voting for them. As it goes, the sitting MP in my area has good pro life views, which I admit is a rarity amongst MP's of all parties.

Then I saw this post over at the Saint Mary Magdalen blog recently, pointing out that a vote for Lib Dems could bring a party into power that accommodates people like Dr Evan Harris.

As it goes, Dr Harris uses Twitter, which I use on occasion too. Someone posted there that the media were stitching up Nick Clegg, and that out of spite they would vote Lib Dem. I replied that I could never vote for a party that houses people with views like Dr Harris. Well, if you are going to take a pro life stance in a public forum, you should expect a bit of flak, but really some comments have just been outrageous. For example, on my Twitter profile it says:

"Being Catholic defines who I am. My Faith is my life"!

Because of that it led someone to say: "A total lack of critical thinking there. Don't sweat it" Just because I'm Catholic??

Some other comments:

I'd rather have @DrEvanHarris by my bed pushing the syringe *at my request* than some ninny praying over my forced painful death.

If you're just going by that insipid "Dr. Death" article then I would implore you to think for yourself. However, looking at your profile I see thinking for yourself is largely out of the question. You may not impose your values on me. (Apparently being a Catholic means I am incapable of thinking for myself!!)

It's pointless trying to talk to someone as dumb as you, isn't it? (Which makes me wonder why this person bothered trying to talk to me?)

@DrEvanHarris why bother arguing with such a reactionary idiot as @Jay3GSM if your after his votes, your not worth voting for. (Even though I'd already stated I wouldn't vote Lib Dem...)

@DrEvanHarris are you expecting a rational reply from @Jay3GSM ? that might be a bit optimistic of you. (From someone who doesn't even know me, just based on knowing my Faith from my profile)

Quite incredible really. To be fair to Dr Harris, he has made a few replies, defending his stance (as I would expect him to) based on the fact that "Yes but those views shared by 350 MPs of all parties so why pick on the LDs?!? Is it esp wrong to be reported (ie "vocal")?" The fact that 350 MP's 'share his views' makes it ok, it seems. But as seen a few comments above, the fact he was at least polite enough to reply to my comment bothers some.

Now I'm getting comments re euthanasia, and abortion, asking why I'm against them?!? I mean, seriously? At least they are polite, in the main:

@Jay3GSM May I politely ask why? As I see it, Euthanisia provides a dignified exit to someone who is dying. The alternative is to use medicine to extend life beyond which it should not have lived. Thus increasing suffering.

@Jay3GSM To those directly involved Euthanasia is quite a comfort though, should we allow people to suffer. Is that not also a sin?

@Jay3GSM If someone is dying, and they choose to ask for help to die before life gets ugly, what is the problem with that?

Someone also said:

@Jay3GSM @DrEvanHarris Abortion *is* a horrible, but understandable thing. But Euthanasia is in no way bad. EVER!!! It's a choice.

It's been an interesting day, really, reading the views of these people, interacting with them online. What saddens me is none of the people who've commented have supported a pro life stance. Is it *really* that rare?

29 March 2010

Sand Art

This video has been on YouTube for a while, and has received more than 13,000,000 views. Despite this, today is the first time I had ever seen it, and it is amazing. Art, created in sand, on what appears to be the some talent show. It's worth watching, very moving:

04 March 2010

Vivaldi's Birthday

Today, thanks to Google, I noticed it is Vivaldi's birthday. As we are on the verge of Spring, and having had a fairly harsh winter here in the UK by recent standards, I thought a bit of Spring, from Vivaldi's Four Seasons may be in order:

02 March 2010

The Our Father in Olde English

I saw this over at the site of the Catholic Caveman, the Our Father prayer in Olde English. Classic stuff:

Fæder ure
Þu þe eart on heofonum
Si þin nama gehalgod.
Tobecume þin rice.
Gewurþe ðin willa on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
Urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us to dæg.
And forgyf us urne gyltas, swa swa we forgyfað
urum gyltendum.
And ne gelæd þu us on costnunge,
ac alys us of yfele. Soþlice.

Modern Literal Translation
Father our
You who are in Heaven
Be Your name hallowed,
Come your kingdom.
Become Your will on earth as on Heaven.
Our daily loaf give us today.
And forgive us our guilts as we forgive the fellow guilty.
And do not lead you us into temptation
But release us of evil. Truly.

19 January 2010

Be Perfect, as Your Heavenly Father is Perfect

To be perfect, as Our Father in Heaven is perfect. This is what Jesus asks of us. At first glance not an easy task, but it is perfection that we are called to. How are we to achieve this perfection? It is something I have pondered on in the past, and a few days ago a friend gave me the following:

It is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well. A short road to perfection - short, not because easy, but because pertinent and intelligible. There are no short ways to perfection, but there are sure ones.

I think this may be an instruction which may be of great practical use to persons like ourselves. It is easy to have vague ideas what perfection is, which serve well enough to talk about, when we do not intend to aim at it; but as soon as a person really desires and sets about seeking it himself, he is dissatisfied with anything but what is tangible and clear, and constitutes some sort of direction towards the practice of it.

We must bear in mind what is meant by perfection. It does not mean any extraordinary service, anything out of the way, or especially heroic - not all have the opportunity of heroic acts, of sufferings - but it means what the word perfection ordinarily means. By perfect we mean that which has no flaw in it, that which is complete, that which is consistent, that which is sound - we mean the opposite to imperfect. As we know well what imperfection in religious service means, we know by contrast what is meant by perfection.

He, then, is perfect who does the work of the day perfectly, and we need not go beyond this to seek perfection. You need not go out of the round of the day.

I insist on this because I think it will simplify our views and fix our exertions on a definite aim. If you as me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first - Do not lie in bed beyond the due time of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God's glory; say the rosary well; be recollected; put out bad thoughts; make your evening meditation well; examine yourself daily; go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect.

08 January 2010

Cold Britain

The snow does look pretty, but normally where I live it lasts for a couple of days and then things get back to normal. The snow this year has been around for longer, we're expecting more, and it is being made worse by the severe cold around the country. I saw this satellite image on the web this morning, shows just how cold things are (Click on image for full size):