Monday, 31 March 2008

Dark Night of the Soul....




Upon a darkened night
the flame of love was burning in my breast
And by a lantern bright
I fled my house while all in quiet rest

Shrouded by the night
and by the secret stair I quickly fled
The veil concealed my eyes
while all within lay quiet as the dead


Chorus
Oh night thou was my guide
oh night more loving than the rising sun
Oh night that joined the lover
to the beloved one
transforming each of them into the other


Upon that misty night
in secrecy, beyond such mortal sight
Without a guide or light
than that which burned so deeply in my heart


That fire t'was led me on
and shone more bright than of the midday sun
To where he waited still
it was a place where no one else could come


Chorus

Within my pounding heart
which kept itself entirely for him
He fell into his sleep
beneath the cedars all my love I gave
And by the fortress walls
the wind would brush his hair against his brow
And with its smoothest hand
caressed my every sense it would allow


Chorus

I lost myself to him
and laid my face upon my lovers breast
And care and grief grew dim
as in the mornings mist became the light
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair
There they dimmed amongst the lilies fair


"Dark Night of the Soul," like much of St John of the Cross's poetry, is based on "Song of Songs" from the Biblical Old Testament, and also on much of the romantic poetry and lyrics of Spanish popular balladry of that time, i.e., 16th century. The "secret stair" has less to do with a staircase in a monastery, and more to do with the popular theme of lovers meeting for a late night romantic tryst. In order for this to be possible, the young maiden of the song or poem would have to sneak out of the house, by the "secret stair."


St John uses this as a metaphor for the soul in prayer who, by means of contemplation, steals away from the world unnoticed, to meet in loving relationship with God. The dark night refers to the soul's search for God, beyond the confines of the human definitions we have put upon God.

Fulton Sheen on 'Compassion : The True and False varieties'

A repost...[feels relevant]























The Rabbit on the Moon

In our day and age children no longer believe in rabbits on the moon. But all Japanese know the charming legend and still see in the shadows on the full moon a rabbit threshing his rice. I believe that other countries see a woman reading or the man in the moon.

All these legends show us that our ancestors looked for meaning in the universe. Here is the Japanese legend:

Once upon a time long ago, a monkey, a rabbit, and a fox lived together as friends.

During the day they frolicked on the mountain; at night they went back to the forest.

This went on for some years.

The Lord of Heaven heard about it and wanted to see if it were really true.

He went to them disguised as an old wanderer.

"I have traveled through mountains and valleys and I am tired out. Could you give me something to eat?" said he, laying down his staff in order to rest.

The monkey went off at once to gather nuts that he presented; the fox brought an offering from his fish trap in the river.

The rabbit ran through the fields in every direction but came back with nothing.

The monkey and the fox made fun of him: "You are really good for nothing."

The little rabbit was so discouraged that he asked the monkey to gather some thistles and the fox to set fire to them.

They did so.

Then the little rabbit said to the old man,

"Please eat me," and threw himself into the flames.

The pilgrim was pierced to the heart by this sacrifice, and wept, saying,

"Each one deserves praise; there are neither winners nor losers. But the little rabbit has given an exceptional proof of love."

So saying, he restored the rabbit to his original form and took the little body to heaven to be buried in the palace of the moon.

The utter poverty of the little rabbit is like that of the child who said, "Pardon me, God, I have nothing to offer." Both exemplify the attitude from which true prayer arises.

Whatever I offer God is really nothing in God's eyes: "Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (Jas 1:17).

For every wild animal of the forest is mine,

the cattle on a thousand hills....

If I were hungry, I would not tell you,

for the world and all that is in it are mine. (Ps 50:10, 12)

The worthy offering is a sacrifice of thanksgiving, an appeal to God in the midst of suffering: "Then you will delight in right sacrifices" (Ps 51:19). The greatest thing we can offer or do is never more than a stone thrown high in the air that ultimately falls to earth. The renown of famous people is the same: Their exploits may flash across the history of humanity, but they soon fade away without leaving a trace.


"Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" (Mt 24:35). And what are these words that will live forever? "Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die" (Jn 11:25 26).

Who could dare to speak such words? Christ, the incarnate Word, who said to his Father, "Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me" (Heb 10:5).

This latter phrase is translated from the Greek of the Septuagint, but in Hebrew the psalm reads, "You have given me an open ear" (Ps 40:6). Christ, in taking flesh, like a slave whose earlobe is pierced, had as his food to do his Father's will and to accomplish his Father's works. "Then I said, See, God, I have come to do your will, O God,' as in the scroll of the book it is written of me" (Heb 10:7). "And it is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Heb 10:10).

This mystery of incarnation and of suffering is summed up in the "Amen" that concludes Christian prayer. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, "was not Yes and No'; but in him it is always Yes'. 'For this reason it is through him that we say the Amen,' to the glory of God" (2 Cor 1:19 20).

There is, of course, a long way to go before we can apply the legend of the moon rabbit to Christ. Our ancestors in the Far East expressed in this tale their deep desire for authentic love such as was fully realized in Christ. Perhaps we may say that the Christ whom they did not know reveals himself here as living in all persons of good will, as Paul says to the Colossians:

"Your life is hidden with Christ in God" (Col 3:3).

The child who begs pardon for having nothing to offer, the rabbit who can give nothing but himself, share in a certain way in the movement of Christ who, in his poverty, had nothing but his body to offer in sacrifice. In truth all real prayer, if it is rooted in our nothingness, includes at the same time the fathomless riches of Christ.
[From a Carmelite Homily]

In your face Dawkins !!!



I suppose the Atheist would retort : "What of Pineapples and Artichokes ?"
My response would be "They're there as a punishment for unbelieving atheists who don't deserve a banana !"

Your prayers please....


I can't really go into details otherwise I would depress the lot of you ; but things are pretty tough at the moment on so many levels ; and your prayers would be appreciated.



Sometimes thoughtless or selfish "insignificances" which seem meaningless at the time can snowball into devastating events in the future for others which can tear families apart and cause them to lose everything.
What is virtually an irrelevant 'nothing' to one can mean 'everything' to someone else. A single act of spite or malice or an off-the-cuff vitriolic retort or simple act of ostensibly meaningless revenge can lead to the most terrible things.


In my experience it has never solely been the big catastrophes or acts of violence or mortal sins which have led to the 'disasters' in people's lives - it's invariably been the tiny almost unnoticeable 'hinge' in destiny - the karmic nexus - the split path where the selfish or reckless choice is made; and it brings with it the deluge; even if the person who makes the choice never knows it's happened and is oblivious to the future sufferings inflicted upon others....sometmes the most benign and inoffensive people can become instigators of chaos.

Sometimes success or failure can all depend on situations where it's "all for the want of a horse shoe nail"....





Of course it has led me to consider all manner of fantastic possibilities for those venial sins I've committed - and how possibly scarring and destructive they were upon others ; and I never knew or understood how thoughtlessly cruel I was , or what sequence of events I may have inadvertently actuated in the lives of others. God has shielded it from my eyes. I wonder how many people I have slighted without ever being aware , how many people hate me for things I have simply forgotten or neglected to even consider, how many have had to conquer themselves and their situation to find it in their heart to forgive me ; and here am I totally oblivious to the possibility that I could have harmed anyone ?



We see through a glass darkly.
Please God, let all our random acts be kind ones....for through them The Lord may work wonders....

Please God let us be wary of the little things...for we are truly unware of the consequences they might bring.

A Must Read!!!

Two Brilliant posts [Holy Orders and Radio 4 bias] from the Valle Pastor; together with a referral to a terrifying posting on the Zadok blog concerning Belgium's obscene extension of its diabolical euthanasia laws

Faith-Trip [Catholic Youth Social Networking for a "Global Parish"


Great resource mandated by the Australian Conference of Bishops

Facebook with a brain , a heart and a conscience.
So if your kids are spending too long on Neopets or World of Warcraft; push this!!


Sunday, 30 March 2008

The Root of Things by GKC




Once upon a time a little boy lived in a garden in which he was permitted to pick the flowers but forbidden to pull them up by the roots. There was, however, one particular plant, insignificant, somewhat thorny, with a small, star-like flower, which he very much wanted to pull up by the roots. His tutors and guardians, who lived in the house with him, were worthy, formal people, and they gave him reasons why he should not pull it up. They were silly reasons as a rule. But none of the reasons against doing the thing were quite so silly as the little boy's reason for wanting to do it; for his reason was that Truth demanded that he should pull the thing up by the roots to see how it was growing.


Still it was a sleepy, thoughtless kind of house, and nobody gave him the real answer to his argument, which was that it would kill the plant, and that there is no more Truth about a dead plant than about a live one. So one dark night, when clouds sealed the moon like a secret too good or too bad to be told, the little boy came down the old creaking stairs of his farmhouse and crept into the garden in his nightgown. He told himself repeatedly that there was no more reason against his pulling this plant off the garden than against his knocking off a thistle top idly in a lane. Yet the darkness which he had chosen contradicted him, and also his own throbbing pulse, for he told himself continually that next morning he might be crucified as the blasphemer who had tom up the sacred tree.


Perhaps he might have been so crucified if he had so torn it up. I cannot say. But he did not tear it up; and it was not for want of trying. For when he laid hold of the little plant in the garden he tugged and tugged, and found the thing held as if clamped to the earth with iron. And when he strained himself a third time there came a frightful noise behind him, and either nerves or (which he would have denied) conscience made him leap back and stagger and stare around. The house he lived in was a mere bulk of blackness against a sky almost as black.

Yet after staring long he saw that the very outline had grown unfamiliar, for the great chimney of the kitchen had fallen crooked and calamitous. Desperately he gave another pull at the plant, and heard far off the roof of the stables fall in and the horses shriek and plunge. Then he ran into the house and rolled himself in the bedclothes.




















Next morning found the kitchen ruined, the day's food destroyed, two horses dead, and three broken loose and lost. But the boy still kept a furious curiosity, and a little while after, when a fog from the sea had hidden home and garden, he dragged again at the roots of the indestructible plant. He hung on to it like a boy on the rope of a tug of war, but it did not give. Only through the grey sea-fog came choking and panic-stricken cries; they cried that the King's castle had fallen, that the towers guarding the coast were gone; that half the great sea-city had split away and slid into the sea.
Then the boy was frightened for a little while, and said no more about the plant, but when he had come to a strong and careless manhood, and the destruction in the district had been slowly repaired, he said openly before the people, "Let us have done with the riddle of this irrational weed. In the name of Truth let us drag it up." And he gathered a great company of strong men, like an army to meet invaders, and they all laid hold of the little plant and they tugged night and day. And the Great Wall fell down in China for forty miles. And the Pyramids were split up into jagged stones. And the Eiffel Tower in Paris went over like a ninepin, killing half the Parisians; and the Statue of Liberty in New York harbour fell forward suddenly and smashed the American fleet; and St. Paul's Cathedral killed all the journalists in Fleetstreet, and Japan had a record series of earthquakes and then sank into the sea. Some have declared that these last two incidents were not calamities properly so called; but into that I will not enter. The point, was that when they had tugged for about twenty-four hours the strong men of that country had pulled down about half of the civilized world, but had not pulled up the plant. I will not weary the reader with the full facts of this realistic story, with how they used first elephants and then steam engines to tear up the flower, and how the only result was that the flower stuck fast, but that the moon began to be agitated and even the sun was a bit dicky. At last the human race interfered, as it always does at last, by means of a revolution. But long before that the boy, or man, who is the hero of this tale had thrown up the business, merely saying to his pastors and masters, "You gave me a number of elaborate and idle reasons why I should not pull up this shrub. Why did you not give me the two good reasons: first, that I can't; second, that I should damage everything else if I even tried it on?"


All those who have sought in the name of science to uproot religion seem to me very like the little boy in the garden. Skeptics do not succeed in pulling up the roots of Christianity; but they do succeed in pulling up the roots of every man's ordinary vine and fig tree, of every man's garden and every man's kitchen garden. Secularists have not succeeded in wrecking divine things; but Secularists have succeeded in wrecking secular things. A religion cannot be shown to be monstrous at the last; a religion is monstrous from the beginning. It announces itself as extraordinary. It offers itself as extravagant. The sceptics at the most can only ask us to reject our creed as something wild. And we have accepted it as something wild. So far one would think there would be a mere impasse, a block between us and those who cannot feel as we do. But then follows the curious practical experience which has ratified religion in our reason for ever. For the enemies of religion cannot leave it alone. They laboriously attempt to smash religion. They cannot smash religion; but they do smash everything else. With your queries and dilemmas you have made no havoc in faith,: from the first it was a transcendental conviction; it cannot be made any more transcendental than it was. But you have (if that is any comfort to you) made a certain havoc in common morals and common sense.


The opponents of our religion do not commit us to accepting their axioms; our axioms remain what they were before; but they do commit themselves to every doctrine of insanity and despair. They do not hit us, but they do plunge past us into the marsh and the abyss. Mr. Blatchford cannot commit us to the comment that man is not the image of his maker for that statement is as dogmatic as its denial. But he can and does commit himself to the statement, humanly ludicrous and intolerable, that I must not blame a bully or praise the man who knocks him down. Evolutionists cannot drive us, because of the nameless gradation in Nature, to deny the personality of God, for a personal God might as well work by gradations as in any other way; but they do drive themselves, through those gradations, to deny the existence of a personal Mr. Jones, because he is within the scope of evolution and his edges are rubbed away. The evolutionists uproot the world, but not the flowers. The Titans never scaled heaven, but they laid waste the earth.

Low Sunday - Feast of Divine Mercy

John 20 : 19* On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21* Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." 22* And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23* If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." 24* Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe." 26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." 27* Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing." 28 Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" 29* Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."





Sermon of St Augustine [from today's office]
I speak to you who have just been reborn in baptism, my little children in Christ, you who are the new offspring of the Church, gift of the Father, proof of Mother Church’s fruitfulness. All of you who stand fast in the Lord are a holy seed, a new colony of bees, the very flower of our ministry and fruit of our toil, my joy and my crown. It is the words of the Apostle that I address to you: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh and its desires, so that you may be clothed with the life of him whom you have put on in this sacrament. You have all been clothed with Christ by your baptism in him. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor freeman; there is neither male nor female; you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Such is the power of this sacrament: it is a sacrament of new life which begins here and now with the forgiveness of all past sins, and will be brought to completion in the resurrection of the dead. You have been buried with Christ by baptism into death in order that, as Christ has risen from the dead, you also may walk in newness of life.
You are walking now by faith, still on pilgrimage in a mortal body away from the Lord; but he to whom your steps are directed is himself the sure and certain way for you: Jesus Christ, who for our sake became man. For all who fear him he has stored up abundant happiness, which he will reveal to those who hope in him, bringing it to completion when we have attained the reality which even now we possess in hope.
This is the octave day of your new birth. Today is fulfilled in you the sign of faith that was prefigured in the Old Testament by the circumcision of the flesh on the eighth day after birth.
When the Lord rose from the dead, he put off the mortality of the flesh; his risen body was still the same body, but it was no longer subject to death. By his resurrection he consecrated Sunday, or the Lord’s day. Though the third after his passion, this day is the eighth after the Sabbath, and thus also the first day of the week.

And so your own hope of resurrection, though not yet realised, is sure and certain, because you have received the sacrament or sign of this reality, and have been given the pledge of the Spirit. If, then, you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your hearts on heavenly things, not the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, appears, then you too will appear with him in glory.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

What I've been reading during my work-breaks

THE CATHOLIC REFORMATION

By Henri Daniel-Rops


THE AWAKENING OF THE CATHOLIC SOUL


The series of events which form the history of Catholicism in the
mid sixteenth century are most often depicted as follows. A violent shock
causes the very foundations of Christendom to tremble, and whole sections
of the Church's ancient edifice are swallowed up in heresy. Her rulers
then drag themselves from their lethal indifference; they determine to
oppose the Protestant menace, and at last take steps that should have been
taken long ago.

Such is the pattern implied by the word `counter-reformation.' The
term, however, though common, is misleading: it cannot rightly be applied,
logically or chronologically, to that sudden awakening as of a startled
giant, that wonderful effort of rejuvenation and reorganization, which in
a space of thirty years gave to the Church an altogether new appearance.
What happened was a true renascence in the fullest etymological sense,
more impressive from a Christian point of view than the Renaissance of art
and letters upon which contemporary Europe was priding itself. The
so-called `counter-reformation' did not begin with the Council of Trent,
long after Luther; its origins and initial achievements were much anterior
to the fame of Wittenberg. It was undertaken, not by way of answering the
`reformers,' but in obedience to demands and principles that are part of
the unalterable tradition of the Church and proceed from her most
fundamental loyalties...


Protestantism played a part, dialectically, in the Catholic
renascence. "Oportet haereses esse," as St. Paul says; and heresy obliged
the Church to devise an exact statement of her doctrine upon certain
points, to establish her position more securely than she would, in all
probability, have been led to do, had she not been confronted with the
challenge of error. But the impetus which enabled herto join battle with
her enemies was generated long before the Lutheran assault, and can in no
way be considered a result of the upheaval caused by that event.


A general view of the history of the Church makes it clear that the
sixteenth-century Catholic reform is not essentially different from other
reforms, which have applied an irresistible law and thus serve as
mile-stones on the road of time. The work of Cluny in the eleventh
century, the achievements of St. Norbert, St. Bernard and others in the
twelfth, the heroic undertakings of St. Francis and St. Dominic in the
thirteenth -- all these monumental and unending labours are of the same
spirit and the same significance as those accomplished by the Popes and
the Fathers of Trent, and by the religious founders of that period. Here
indeed we have one of the most permanent features of Christianity, one of
the most certain evidences of its divine origin and of the reality of
those promises which it claims to have received. For ever dragged
downward by the weight of original sin, the baptized soul repeatedly falls
back into darkness. Nevertheless, with equal regularity, there springs
from her very depths, where primeval defilement cannot altogether mask,
much less destroy, the supernatural resemblance, a force that impels her
once more upward to light and life: a force whose name is Grace...


Whereas Protestantism marks a complete break in the history of
Christendom, the most grievous and most tragic there has ever been, the
Catholic reform stands in the direct line of ancient tradition. It is
itself, in fact, the rediscovery of the living Tradition. From whatever
point of view it is considered, the same permanency is observed. The
reforming decrees of Trent are in perfect harmony with the Gregorian
Bulls, while those concerning faith look back constantly to the ancient
conciliar decisions, to the decretals of the popes, to the Fathers
andDoctors of the Church. Likewise in the moral sphere: Tauler, Suso and
the great medieval mystics form an obvious link between St. Ignatious of
Loyola and the "Imitation," as do the Fraternities and Oratories of Divine
Love between St. Philip Neri and St. Catherine of Genoa.

The Catholic reform, then, was in no respect a
`counter-reformation' in the chronological order; nor was it any more so
as regards the process of its development. Those who promoted it had no
intention of combating Protestantism and halting its progress...

The true reform was not directed an enemy; it was
undertaken God, Jesus Christ, as a protestation of unwavering
loyalty. Before emerging as a body of doctrine, a disciplinary canon, an
ecclesiastical code, it was an immense and prodigious movement of fervour,
which uplifted the Christian soul almost everywhere (more especially
perhaps in Italy and Spain), a kind of spiritual sublevation operated by
the saints...


HER HISTORY WRITTEN BY THE SAINTS


At the critical moment when the Catholic Apostolic and Roman Church
was about to recover possession of herself and regain her rightful aspect,
it was as it had always been; her authentic history is written by the
saints. The reform was brought about by means of a spiritual rebirth,
that is to say, by a deepening of faith, a return to vital sources. The
practice of prayer put an end to doubt and laxity, to the divorce between
faith and life. It is characteristic that the really decisive
personalities of the Catholic reform were all mystics, whose primary and
indeed sole purpose was to know God, to love Him and to serve Him. Captain
Inigo, wounded at Pampeluna, wrote no treatise on anti-heretical strategy,
but "Spiritual Exercises;" nor was it rage against the Lutheran thesis,
but love of God, that lit up the face of St. Cajetan before the crib in
Santa Maria Maggiore on Christmas night 1517.


That the Catholic renascence originated in prayer is of profound
significance. The whole difference between Catholic reform and Protestant
`reformation' is summed up in these words uttered by a monk of shining
faith, Giles of Viterbo, in 1512: `Man must be changed by religion, not
religion by men.' `Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His justice,' said
the Mater, `and all these things shall be added unto you.'

The most surprising feature of this interior movement, of this
effort to obey the Gospel precepts of repentance and self-renewal, is the
fact that it was not limited to the domain of conscience, where every man
can, of he so wills, be sovereign. In the troubled years of the fifteenth
century, mysticism retired within itself, isolating itself from the world
of men; the "Imitation," for example, proposed the monastic enclosure or
the more secret region of the heart as the proper field of spiritual
endeavor. But the mystical leaders of the sixteenth century practiced
afrom of spirituality directed to the science of God and to the demands of
charity -- a momentous change of outlook , the causes of which defy
analysis.


While fashioning a body of religious men dedicated to prayer
and renunciation, they were almost unconsciously training an army of
seasoned troops for the greater battles in which the Church would find
herself engaged. They became the most successful opponents of those
heretics whom they had at first ignored; and the reform which they began
by accomplishing within themselves overflowed and radiated its vigour in
the larger realm of institutions.

It is this movement of renascent fervour, this tremor of awakening
faith, that allows us to consider the sixteenth century, for all its
blasphemy and bloodshed, as one of the fairest in Christian history. At a
moment when the mind of man was everywhere scintillating with high
intelligence and even genius, the human soul burgeoned also with sublime
exaltation, in acts of faith, hope and charity. It was indeed the
pressure exerted by this distinctively religious phenomenon upon the
Church's rulers that determined the reform of morals, institutions and
theological education, just as, by altering the climate of the period, it
enabled the greatest of all councils to assemble and the Tridentine canons
to become the lifeblood of a reborn Catholicism.

John Kearney's New Blog


He's not overly fussed whether a cleric wears a dalmatic or a maniple, he thinks Hillary and Obama are as bad as each other so doesn't waste precious blogspace on them; he's fully aware of the sin of detraction and knows that if a cleric is up to no good he'll have to face God and it's none of our business to muckrake. He loves God, the Church, his neighbour and especially his family - so he writes with all due respect to them - a lesson we could all [perhaps ?] learn.


Today's saint

March 27th - St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church

(676-780)

Saint John was born in the late 7th century, and is the most remarkable of the
Greek writers of the 8th century. His father was a civil authority who was
Christian amid the Saracens of Damascus, whose caliph made him his minister.
This enlightened man found in the public square one day, amid a group of sad
Christian captives, a priest of Italian origin who had been condemned to
slavery; he ransomed him and assigned him to his young son to be his tutor.
Young John made extraordinary progress in grammar, dialectic, mathematics,
music, poetry, astronomy, but above all in theology, the discipline imparting
knowledge of God. John became famous for his encyclopedic knowledge and
theological method, later a source of inspiration to Saint Thomas Aquinas.

When his father died, the caliph made of him his principal counsellor, his Grand
Vizier. Thus it was through Saint John Damascene that the advanced sciences made
their apparition among the Arab Moslems, who had burnt the library of Alexandria
in Egypt; it was not the Moslems who instructed the Christians, as was believed
for some time in Europe. Saint John vigorously opposed the ferocious Iconoclast
persecution instigated by the Emperor of Constantinople, Leo the Isaurian. He
distinguished himself, with Saint Germain, Patriarch of Constantinople, in the
defense of the veneration of sacred images.

The Emperor, irritated, himself conjured up a plot against him. A letter was
forged, signed with Saint John's name, and addressed to himself, the Emperor of
Constantinople, offering to deliver up the city of Damascus to him. That letter
was then transmitted by the Emperor to the Caliph of Damascus, advising him as a
"good neighbor" should do, that he had a traitor for minister. Although Saint
John vigorously defended himself against the charge, he was condemned by the
Caliph to have his right hand cut off. The severed hand, by order of the Caliph,
was attached to a post in a public square. But Saint John obtained the hand
afterwards, and invoked the Blessed Virgin in a prayer which has been preserved;
he prayed to be able to continue to write the praises of Her Son and Herself.
The next morning when he awoke, he found his hand joined again to the arm,
leaving no trace of pain, but only a fine red line like a bracelet, marking the
site of the miracle.

The Saint was reinstated afterwards to the favor of the local prince, but he
believed that heaven had made it clear he was destined to serve the Church by
his writings. He therefore distributed his property and retired soon thereafter
to the monastery of Saint Sabas near Jerusalem, where he spent most of his
remaining years in apologetic writings and prayer. Occasionally he left to
console the Christians of Syria and Palestine and strengthen them, even going to
Constantinople in the hope of obtaining martyrdom there. However, he was able to
return to his monastery. There he died in peace at the age of 104, and was
buried near the door of the monastery church, in the year 780.

Rushing headlong towards forty....Yearning for the good old days.

I returned home from work this afternoon and Nicky was watching a contemporary british comedy using the digital TV on demand feature - I will not deny that parts of it were quite funny but the general 'jist' was unbelievably crude and outrageously shocking ! I went beetroot after watching a few minutes , but these days it's just seen as par for the course that comedy can get away with being as pornographic and jaw-droppingly repulsive as it wishes - I long for the old days where the double entendre reigned and sex was all in the mind....







The Duty of Love of Neighbour - from 'Deus Caritas Est'

Love of neighbour, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: from the local community to the particular Church and to the Church universal in its entirety. As a community, the Church must practise love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community.

The awareness of this responsibility has had a constitutive relevance in the Church from the beginning: “All who believed were together and had all things in common; and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:44-5). In these words, Saint Luke provides a kind of definition of the Church, whose constitutive elements include fidelity to the “teaching of the Apostles”, “communion” (koinonia), “the breaking of the bread” and “prayer” (cf. Acts 2:42).
The element of “communion” (koinonia) is not initially defined, but appears concretely in the verses quoted above: it consists in the fact that believers hold all things in common and that among them, there is no longer any distinction between rich and poor (cf. also Acts 4:32-37).
As the Church grew, this radical form of material communion could not in fact be preserved. But its essential core remained: within the community of believers there can never be room for a poverty that denies anyone what is needed for a dignified life.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

G.K. Chesterton - Defending the Faith

Here's part 1 of the EWTN programme - the audio isn't great [on occasion some twit is playing the drums in the background]- just follow the links for parts 2 & 3 .

Did you watch it ?



The programme has gained some plaudits from a few bloggers - but it frankly annoyed me somewhat - yet again the narcissistic tendencies of Rageh Omaar subsumed what could have been a deeply more informative documentary - there was nothing mentioned regarding the pollen [evidence of springtime jerusalem, constantinople and mesopotamia], the formation of the linen , the presence of vanillin, the possible pilate lepton over the eye - there could have even been a little more time spent emphasising the absolute impossibility of it being an ochre painting or a 'urine' photo or a statue scorching



You can still see it on BBC Iplayer for the next three days



but I'd also advise you read some more sites - there are many out there ; plus it's one of the sceptics favourite 'bones of contention' so there are hundreds of websites seeking to disprove that it could have anything to do with Our Lord [you can look for those yourselves]- they spend ages trying to disprove it to the point where their arguments turn to enraged ranting about its impossibility because it HAS TO BE IMPOSSIBLE!! It gets quite funny at times....


Tuesday, 25 March 2008

WAR!!!!!


The time has arrived to make things absolutely clear:
It is now no longer possible to be a catholic and belong to Gordon Brown's cabinet ; if not government : and this exactly the way the 'movers and shakers' in the 'New' Labour Party, in the media, in secularist academia and pressure groups - want it !

Let's face up to the facts :
We're the enemy !

Take for instance the General Medical Council yesterday - it has now ordered all GPs - irrespective of their conscientious objection - to conspire with abortion in such a way that it would be virtually impossible for them to remain authentic to their religious principles :
http://catholicactionuk.blogspot.com/2008/03/gmc-catholic-doctors-must-cooperate.html




Not only this : Last week the GMC stated that any conscientious objection of a medical practitioner regarding
life-issues MUST NOW BE STATED via posters and information leaflets - axiomatically this must mean that those with a mobile remit must have to wear a badge ? or maybe a sticker ? or perhaps have 'anti-choice' branded on their forehead ????
Redolent of Jews being compelled by Nazis to wear a yellow star !
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article3564497.ece



How soon before catholics are simply banned [i.e. being placed in impossible dillemmas] from being or training to be doctors ?

and while we're at it , don't forget the little piece of legislation that's coming onto the statute books very soon [via the back door of quangoes] whereby supervised chemically induced abortions will be performed in EVERY surgery - Dawn Primarolo has already stated the success of the pilot trials at two undisclosed locations.


we've already heard this week the diabolical figures regarding the use of abortion as a form of contraception :
http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2008/03/more-contraception-answer-to-repeat.html



Lloyd's pharmacy's 'ethical'[???!!} guidelines have ordered that all pharmacists must refer any customer wishing to procure the morning-after-pill to another pharmacist willing to give them the abortifacient - something a catholic could not do without compromising their very faith !
http://catholicactionuk.blogspot.com/search?q=lloyd



How soon before a catholic is intrinsically forbidden on grounds of their faith from being a pharmacist in this country on grounds of governmental impositions which would compel them to conspire with murder ?

But what more can we expect ?
When the Council of Europe is now expected to make it Illegal on grounds of 'Human rights' to have any legal limits on abortion:
http://spuc-director.blogspot.com/2008/03/help-stop-europe-wide-abortion-campaign.html



Bishop O'Donoghue underwent severe scrutiny last week under the excuse that catholic Schools were socially discriminatory - when we all know that the underlying motive is the ongoing assault upon the argot and catholic principles within catholic schools which seek to promote a pro-nuclear family and pro-life and MARRIED sexual responsibility.This is merely the beginning of hostilities against us...


How soon will it be before government guidelines order mandatory 'morally neutral'[???!!!] teaching in all schools regarding gay sex and abortion ? Schools are already under mandatory guidelines to teach all manner of forms of 'safe sex' and forms of contraception/abortifacients - we have sex 'education' which teaches anything except responsibility and self-control- it takes very little for this to be pushed into other arenas -
so how soon will it be before catholic teachers in catholic schools are banned by governmental edict from teaching catholicism ???


- we already have foster parents being banned from fostering for holding 'homophobic' opinions [i.e. they were unwilling on point of their religious faith to equate homosexual civil partnerships with heterosexual marriage]



Albeit this ruling was overturned after a media outcry - But...
How soon will every catholic be banned from fostering and adopting on grounds of their religious faith being 'bigotted' ???

How soon will it be before it is illegal to compare abortion to murder and genocide ? [as it is now in Germany - we need only refer to the Lutheran pastor imprisoned for comparing abortion to the holocaust !!!] http://catholicactionuk.blogspot.com/2007/07/european-threat-to-catholics-free.html


How soon ?

We already have Richard Dawkins , Johan Hari, Polly Toynbee, the National Secular society and a vast array of others

denouncing the teaching of catholicism to children as a form of intolerance, homophobia, bigotted fundamentalism ; that it's dangerous to sexual and psychological health ; and is ultimately child abuse !!!


...and then we have today - Gordon Brown is now on the record as saying that ministers and MPs can exercise their conscience where it's ineffectual ; but they have to tow the party line when it comes to the second and third readings of the bill - OR ELSE !!!


Now let's look at the HFE bill - without going into the detail that other bloggers have done so well - let's merely look at the reaction.



The HFEA has already granted licences for laboratories to create chimeras and animal/human hybrids - BEFORE the legislation is merely waved through in parliament. So we must surely be aware that this is already a 'done and dusted' issue - the same way anything the HFEA has wanted to do over the past decades has been allowed - this will happen ! Sure we can fight and pray and write to our MPs and protest until the cows come home - it doesn't matter - even if the bill failed in parliament - it would still happen through some behind the scenes watering down of the legislation or some apparently insignificant subclause which ostensibly forbids something but essentially allows it - think of the 1967 abortion act leading ultimately to abortion on demand even though it categorically opposes that principle . Please make no mistake - all the scientists wish to do they are already doing - and nothing will stop them - especially a bunch of ridiculously loud-mouthed and ill-informed stuffed shirts and blouses in Westminster.


Alan Johnson, Dawn Primarolo, Polly Toynbee and Lord Robert Winston and many many other social commentators and columnists have not only said that we were wrong by opposing the bill , and consequently vindictively cruel and heartless in denying hope to the sufferers of genetically-related diseases - they have called us LIARS !!! They have stated categorically that we are not just standing by our principles through ignorance - No, rather we are LYING about what the bill entails.

This is the message :


Catholics are not only cruel , sexually repressed, misogynistic and a bunch of medievalist haters of science and progress ; they're all hypocrites if they're not paedophiles, alcoholics, abusive nuns or sadistic christian brothers they have all manner of evil bigotries and prejudices etc etc etc - not only are they homophobic ,they're murderers of millions in Africa don't you know ? - they forced those people not to have condoms and that's why millions die of AIDS]


They aren't followers of the message of Jesus - it's all been twisted by the vatican and tyrannical irish clerics or bullying nuns - if they're not all like the crusaders, the spanish inquisition, the bloodthirsty IRA, or the murderous Mafia , they're all conspirators in it and therefore hypocrites - they're duped and brainwashed by the vatican. If they aren't Torquemada's bitches they're Ned Flanders-like lapdogs....




Catholics aren't 'christian' - they care nothing about religious tolerance and inter-faith dialogue - they have no desire to consider that there is any equivalent validity in other religions...they merely wish to dominate - to usurp - to impose, to disenfranchise, to indoctrinate, to suppress, to oppress,to tyrannise....they may speak of peace and love so why are they so argumentative and dogmatic and hateful !!???


catholics are a terrible amalgam of right-wing fascist and pinko commie liberal ; and in either sense it is always siding with the most oppressive and anti-human rights faction ;

they can never be trusted....


in ths secularist humanist world - if there is anything that represents injustice, intolerance and is utterly antagonistic to the 'human individual with rights and dignity' - it is exemplified in the despicable phenomena known as catholicism - it would be valid to say 'catholicism , from a wordly secularist perspective - is the only evil !!!'

Only catholicism forces a woman to have their unwanted child, only catholicism prevents men who love men and women who love women from fulfilling their sexual desires for each other ; only catholicism prevents a teen sexually fulfilling themselves ; only catholicism prevents a divorcee finding love in the arms of another; only catholicism forces the unborn disabled and handicapped to be born and thus suffer with their parents in the ignominy of being pitiably different from the collective; only catholicism prevents the terminally ill from being put out of their misery; only catholicism is totally unwilling to compromise....and that's why it must be declared the enemy !!!



catholic MPs cannot be trusted - invariably when it comes to the crunch they are always 'the honourable member for Vatican East' [Independent letters - today]



not only that ; these catholics - they LIE about everything - this HFE bill is about hope and love and respect for the suffering of the sick and dying - and catholics are its enemy - don't believe anything they say - Cardinal O'Brien lied !!! Dawn Primarolo told us so on PM on radio 4 this Evening - everything catholics say about it is a LIE !!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/news/pm/ [click listen again]
And for all you Tories out there - please do not think this is all indicative of being under the iron heel of the red marxist menace - anyone heard what David Cameron said last week ?


How soon before something is done about these evil catholics and they are either rounded up and incarcerated for their own good ? or sterilized for their own good ? how soon before catholicism is banned outright ? and catholics be declared 'enemies of the state ' - indeed of humanity itself ?