Friday, 29 February 2008

Hey don't forget - Last Day to Vote !

Come on Ladies and Gentlemen ;
there are many catholic bloggers who exert a lot of thought, time and energy into constructing their blogs - some receive little if no recognition or appreciation for all their hard work and efforts. Go on, spend a little while searching around the peripheral blogs nobody mentions - and if you like what you see make it known ! Go on - Vote !
Even if one extra person clicks on that link it can make the world of a difference - a few weeks ago I wasn't even getting 5 visitors a day and now I'm averaging around forty [sure it may not last, and I have other renowned bloggers to thank for the boost in visitors by linking to me] but just think what a difference a single nomination would make for the lonely isolated blogger ? We all know who's going to win - Fr Z and the big american blogs - so please today 'waste' a vote on one of the little guys and gals - and maybe you'll find it's the most valuable piece of waste you've ever encountered !!!!

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Our Land - China - The Ways of the Middle Kingdom - Chung Kuo

Chinese posters - enforcing the 'One Child Policy'

- Better blood flowing like a river than one extra birth.
- Abort whether early or late, abort using any method!
- Your home will be destroyed and your cows taken away if you don't abort.
There is a list of others such as:
- One sterilization honors the whole family! (Xiandong Province)
- One excess birth, whole village sterilized! (Tsuxiong, Yunnan Province)
- Sterilization dodgers wanted! (Tzechuan Province)

Satanic isn't it...?
China forces the annual murder of tens of millions of the unborn - a significant majority of these are girls [one in the eye for the pro-choice sisterhood eh ? evidently what goes around comes around , but of course it doesn't affect the lives of the white petit bourgeois chattering class 'ladies who lunch' does it ? Not when the genocide they support is halfway round the world] the children who are born ? they're treated like little princes - demigods spoilt beyond imagining [even amongst the very poor] and they become none the better for it....

Fr Tim over at the Hermeneutic of Continuity informs us that 'commie' China is yet again attempting to 'hoodwink' the West by intimating it plans to remove the legislation enforcing 'one child only' - when it has no intention of doing any such thing. Whether this is true or untrue is a valid point to consider...but I'm afraid Fr Tim is falling into that grim fallacy with which the west hoodwinks us.

China's policies are undoubtedly pure evil...Evil beyond imagining.
But why are they allowed to thrive ? To persist ? What necessitates it ? what compels it ?

Now, keep that in your mind while I ask you to hearken back to 13th May 1981 ; we're forever being told that Pope John Paul II's execution was directly ordered via the Kremlin through the 'subverted' neo-fascist Grey Wolves and Mehmet Ali Agca fired the shots - I'm sure there are many informed catholic bloggers out there close to Rome who will tell you that this is simply untrue - Pope John Paul II was disrupting the tyrannising status quo in Eastern Europe - and it was a rich source of cheap goods and resources [produced in an environment of enslavement of whole populations] and the people who profited were rich Multi-Nationalists in the West - it was these 'secret people' who ordered His Holiness's execution; for they had far too much to lose if eastern europe was freed - a vast amount of lucrative 'fast-bucks' in the West being the main one...whenever we look for Evil thriving, whether it be third or fourth world poverty, disease, violence, chaos and death - you will invariably find money at the root of it....

So let's look back at China - and ask why ?
Why was China allowed to persist in its diabolical policies against its own people ?
What country ever stood against it ?
What country ever spoke out , refused to trade or negotiate or withdraw any diplomatic relations with china while this ongoing evil thrived ?
In fact did we not promote, equivocate, excuse, collaborate and conspire in this tyranny , violence and death..whether it be against Tibet, or Taiwan or the students in Tianamen square or the millions of unborn or any political opposition or christians or the millions in rural communities starved to death when resources were low while the stockpiles of arms and nuclear weapons rose higher to ensure they could oppress the people and blackmail the whole world into economic submission ?
The Chinese government are up to their necks in the blood of millions...
But what of us ?

The clothes I wear were made in China , the TV I watch may have a Japanese name but its components came from China , the baseball boots on my feet - from China, the computer in front of me - US brand but its components? yep Chinese - my £27 suit I recently wore to a funeral - China...I've made a quick glance through my paperbacks - the majority were printed in China - the dvds ? You got it !

The radio with which I listen with glee to good old merry england personified by Radio 4, and hear John Simpson and James Naughtie in the mornings telling me of another Chinese atrocity ? And then hear Jenny Murray on women's hour telling me how chinese women are being oppressed ? yep everywhere I look - virtualy everything is made in China !
The company I work for trades $18 billion with China - compelled to as people want their cheap jeans and cheap electrical goods - if it didn't do it someone else would - it's capitalism - it's the way of the world !!!

I vacuumed the living room not long ago - a nice shiny Dyson - good british Inventor - was once a good british company - now it's in china - it had no choice - the globalisation policies of the New World Order have decreed that the World's workshop, the world's factory - is now focussed upon China !
If it were any other way it would be detrimental to our economy wouldn't it ?
Trudy and Justin wouldn't have their Tuscan Villa , their little getaway cottage in the highlands or be able to take Caspar and Jocasta to The London Oratory and the Ursuline sisters in the latest 4by4 ?,
The distillery companies would go into liquidation if the billions of extra money was no longer spent on alcohol , but actually having to be spent on food, clothes and goods that weren't the obscenely low-priced products of the oppressed, underprivileged slaves of China and the Third World.
When I lived in the US they were incensed at having to pay $1.40 a gallon for gasoline - imagine how they would feel if they were paying the near $10 we're paying here in the UK ? But no, the tens of billions of dollars of trade with China ensure this doesn't need to happen....

The Code of Canon Law 1329 #2 tells us of those conspiring directly with latae sententiae excommunicable acts should be afforded a severe punishment.
How lucky we are that we can equivocate, squeeze our way out of that one by declaring we are merely indirect participants ? But there is something about the law that makes us uneasy when it implies that if there's a hint of 'without whom the acts would not occur'? - there's culpability....puts us on edge doesn't it ?

So when Fr Tim condemns the murderous Commie bastards and their mephistophelean agenda of violence, tyranny and genocide - I'll side with him and agree in the condemnation....
...Yet in order to be authentic I have to go one step further and condemn the world who, for a fast buck, allows, conspires and promotes this !
In some way, blood is on all our hands...

A Warning - by GKC

Suppose that a great commotion arises in the street about something,
let us say a lamp-post, which many influential persons desire to
pull down. A grey-clad monk, who is the spirit of the Middle Ages,
is approached upon the matter, and begins to say, in the arid manner
of the Schoolmen, "Let us first of all consider, my brethren,
the value of Light. If Light be in itself good--" At this point
he is somewhat excusably knocked down. All the people make a rush
for the lamp-post, the lamp-post is down in ten minutes, and they go
about congratulating each other on their unmediaeval practicality.

But as things go on they do not work out so easily. Some people
have pulled the lamp-post down because they wanted the electric light;
some because they wanted old iron; some because they wanted darkness,
because their deeds were evil. Some thought it not enough of a
lamp-post, some too much; some acted because they wanted to smash
municipal machinery; some because they wanted to smash something.

And there is war in the night, no man knowing whom he strikes.

So, gradually and inevitably, to-day, to-morrow, or the next day,
there comes back the conviction that the monk was right after all,
and that all depends on what is the philosophy of Light. Only what
we might have discussed under the gas-lamp, we now must discuss
in the dark.

Just in case your great-great-great-great-grandchildren appear on your doorstep....

Fascinating News from the New Scientist:

AS YOU may have heard, this will be the year. The Large Hadron Collider - the most powerful atom-smasher ever built - will be switched on, and particle physics will hit pay-dirt. Yet if a pair of Russian mathematicians are right, any advances in this area could be overshadowed by a truly extraordinary event. According to Irina Aref'eva and Igor Volovich, the LHC might just turn out to be the world's first time machine.

It is a highly speculative claim, that's for sure. But if Aref'eva and Volovich are correct, the LHC's debut at CERN, the European particle physics centre near Geneva in Switzerland, could provide a landmark in history. That's because travelling into the past is only possible - if it is possible at all - as far back as the creation of the first time machine, and that means 2008 could become Year Zero!!!!

....I've been reading up on all this for the past couple of days - you would truly be amazed at it all....More Later I promise...

...Who's going to be more angry ? The Trotskyite Politically-Correct Liberals , or the Capitalist Catholics who bow before Toryism and Republicanism?

The Vatican's Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, confirmed today that Pope Benedict XVI is about to finish his Encyclical on social issues.

"Yes, the Pope is working on a social encyclical, which will have, I believe, a significant impact on the great social and economic problems in the contemporary world," said Cardinal Bertone during an interview published today by the Italian daily "La Repubblica."

Pope Benedict, according to Cardinal Bertone, "will address issues particularly related to the third and the fourth world."

The concept "fourth world" was coined by Pope John Paul II in his social encyclical “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis”, in reference to the poor and marginalized living in developed countries, especially in inner cities.

The Secretary of State gave no clue as to when the document will be released, but unnamed sources from the Vatican quoted previously by the daily "Il Messaggero," said the third encyclical of Pope Benedict would be signed on the feast of St. Joseph –March 19th - and released during Easter.

"The encyclical will focus on international social problems, with special attention to developing countries," Cardinal Bertone told "La Repubblica."

The way to fight Dan Brown !

Now in case you don't live in the UK and understand what Numberwang is :


Anita Renfroe singing "The Mom's Song"

Dying with dignity , or living with dignity ?

At midday Monday, the Holy Father received participants in an international congress entitled: "Close by the Incurable Sick Person and the Dying: Scientific and Ethical Aspects". the even was promoted by the Pontifical Academy for Life for the occasion of their general assembly which will be held in the Vatican over coming days.

The Pope said: "Death concludes the experience of earthly life, but through death there opens for each of us, beyond time, the full and definitive life. ... For the community of believers, this encounter between the dying person and the Source of Life and Love represents a gift that has a universal value, that enriches the communion of the faithful". In this context, he highlighted how all the community should participate alongside close relatives in the last moments of a person's life. "No believer", he said, "should die alone and abandoned".

All society "is called to respect the life and dignity of the seriously ill and the dying", said the Holy Father. "Though aware of the fact that 'it is not science that redeems man', all society, and in particular the sectors associated with medical science, are duty bound to express the solidarity of love, and to safeguard and respect human life in every moment of its earthly development, especially when it is ill or in its terminal stages.

"In more concrete terms, this means ensuring that every person in need finds the necessary support through appropriate treatments and medical procedures - identified and administered using criteria of therapeutic proportionality - while bearing in mind the moral duty to administer (on the part of doctors) and to accept (on the part of patients) those means for preserving life which, in a particular situation, may be considered as 'ordinary'".

As for forms of treatment "with significant levels of risk or that may reasonably be judged to be 'extraordinary', recourse thereto may be considered as morally acceptable, but optional. Furthermore, it will always be necessary to ensure that everyone has the treatment they require, and that families tried by the sickness of one of their members receive support, especially if the sickness is serious or prolonged".

Just as when a child is born, family members have specific rights to take time off work, said the Pope, in the same way "similar rights must be recognised" to the relatives of the terminally ill. "A greater respect for individual human life inevitably comes through the concrete solidarity of each and all, and constitutes one of the most pressing challenges of our times".

After noting how it is becoming ever more common for elderly people in large cities to be alone "even in moments of serious illness and when approaching death", the Holy Father noted that such situations increase pressures towards euthanasia, "especially when a utilitarian view of people has become established". In this context, he once again recalled "the firm and constant ethical condemnation of all forms of direct euthanasia, in keeping with the centuries-long teaching of the Church".

"The synergetic efforts of civil society and of the community of believers must ensure not only that everyone is able to live in a dignified and responsible way, but also that they can face moments of trial and of death in the finest condition of fraternity and solidarity, even where death comes in a poor family or a hospital bed".

Society, said the Holy Father must "ensure due support to families who undertake to care in the home, sometimes for long periods, sick members who are afflicted with degenerative conditions, ... or who need particularly costly assistance. ... It is above all in this field that synergy between the Church and the institutions can prove particularly important in ensuring the necessary help for human life in moments of frailty".

St. Teresa's Bookmark

Let nothing trouble you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing;
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who possesses God lacks nothing:
God alone suffices.

Do not go outside yourself, but turn back within;
truth dwells in the inner person;
and if you find your nature given to
frequent change, go beyond yourself.
Move on, then, to that source where the
light of reason receives its light....

St. Augustine "is one of the great converts of Christian history" said Benedict XVI. Reading the "Confessions" , he went on, "it is easy to see that Augustine's conversion was neither sudden nor fully achieved right from the start. Rather it may be defined as a ... journey, and remains as a model for each one of us".

" St. Augustine was, ever since the beginning, an impassioned searcher after the truth. ... and the first stage of his journey of conversion ... consisted precisely in his gradual approach to Christianity" . He received a Christian education from his mother Monica and, despite having lived a wild youth, "always felt a profound attraction to Christ".

The saint's "passion for mankind and for truth ... made him seek God, great and inaccessible" . But "Faith in Christ, led him to understand that the apparently distant God is not in fact distant. He has come close to us, making Himself one of us. In this context, faith in Christ was the culmination of Augustine's long search along the path of truth. ... This path must be followed with courage and, at the same time, with humility, while remaining open to the permanent purification of which each one of us has need".

St. Augustine , the Pope recalled, "was reluctantly ordained a priest in Hippo and assigned to the service of the faithful", in which role "he continued to live with Christ, but while serving everyone. He found this very difficult at the start, but he understood that only by living for others, and not just for his own private contemplation, could he truly live with Christ and for Christ. Renouncing a life of pure meditation he learned, often with difficulty, to place the fruits of his intellect at the service of others, to communicate his faith to the common people, ... and thus to live for them in that city which he had made his own. ... This was his second conversion".

The Pope then went on to identify another stage in Augustine's journey "which we
could call his third conversion and which brought him daily to ask forgiveness of God. ... We have a perennial need to be washed by Christ, ... to be renewed by Him". We need "the humility to recognize that we are all sinners, constantly journeying until God definitively gives us His hand and introduces us to eternal life". With such humility Augustine lived and died.

"Having converted to Christ Who is truth and love", the Pope continued, "Augustine followed Him throughout his life and stands as a model for all human beings who seek after God. ... Today too, as in his time, humankind needs to know this fundamental reality and, above all, to put it into practice: God is love and meeting Him is the only answer to the disquiet of our hearts".

Benedict XVI concluded his catechesis with a prayer that "every day we may be able to follow the example of this great convert, meeting in every moment of our lives, as he did, the Lord Jesus, the One Who saves us, purifies us and gives us true joy, true life".

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

You really couldn't invent this...

a French blog, received an email from a reader who took his
children to visit the Basilica of Saint Denis, near Paris, where the kings of
France are buried. The blog writes:
He was surprised by the brochure entitled "Tour of Discovery for the Young":
First, on page 8, he read: "Dagobert, the first king buried in Saint-Denis.
[...] A contemporary of Mohammed, Dagobert was King of the Franks from 629 to
Then, on page 9, [...] "In the Bible we find the story of the Angel Gabriel,
the very one who would bring the Koran to Mohammed, who announces to Mary, a
young girl engaged to Joseph, that she will soon give birth to a son named

It seems that Christianity is being explained and taught only in relation to
Islam. It is as if young people in France can only relate to Christianity
through references to Islam

They're at it again....

[Now I don't agree with everything Daphne MacLeod of the Flock Magazine gets up to [Ecclesia et Pontifice blog] but this news need to be known by us all....]

It is the fashion today for dioceses in England and Wales to offer glossy expensive Programmes with trendy titles for adult lay Catholics. None that we have seen works through either the “Catechism of the Catholic Church” or the “Compendium”,so, although there is a real need for adult catechesis, these programmes should be approached with caution. As most seem to bear little relation to true catechesis or the teaching of the Church they could lead us down the wrong path entirely.

For example, giving an interim report on “Seeking the face of Christ” the Programme of Consultation with the Laity used in Clifton Diocese, Bishop Declan Lang pointed out to an audience of priests, deacons and parish council members that some issues could not be decided by him alone. He cited as examples, “women priests, married clergy and celibacy” explaining that these would have to be “taken to the Bishops’ Conference for discussion.”

Does he really believe that these are proper issues for laity to discuss or that there is any point in taking them to the Bishops of England and Wales for discussion ?

Another programme which we have studied, as it seems fairly typical, is “At Your Word, Lord” – the follow-up to which is currently running in Westminster Archdiocese. Like the others, it aims to set up small ‘faith-sharing’ groups within parishes where people exchange their own ideas about the faith without any correction of error allowed. As the Pope has warned us, there is now ‘widespread religious ignorance’ among Catholics so this is bound to cause confusion and distress.

To compound these errors, the team running the programme, Bishops John Arnold and George Stack, Mgr Keith Balthrop of CASE and Father O’Boy, under the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, seem to have deliberately chosen well-known dissenters as the only resources. For instance they have invited Father Rafeal Esteban, author of “How the Church must change” to come all the way from East Anglia to explain how the Church must change Her teaching on, among other things, contraception. He will also show how we must dismantle the Hierarchial Church, instituted by Christ, in favour of a democratic church of his own devising. We are told that ‘Father is an excellent speaker’ who will explore “ideas of leadership and the development of lay ministry,” but whether he will be following the ‘Lord’s word’ I am not at all sure.

“Sadhana: A Way to God,” is the book chosen as a resource. This book, by Father Anthony de Mello, promotes practices from eastern religions such as mantras, centering prayer, and other Buddhist techniques. It was considered to be so dangerous to Catholics that the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, when under Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, took the unusual step of issuing a stern notification pronouncing it “void” and “ambiguous”. This must prompt the question: Why teach Buddhism when it is Catholicism we need to know? Or is the Lord in “At Your Word, Lord,” the Lord Buddha? And if this was not enough….. Westminster have also invited the psychotherapist Margaret Philpot to indoctrinate Catholics with the discredited Liberation ‘Theology’. Laity will be trained in theory-practice-methodology techniques so they are equipped with the skills they need to take over from the clergy in leading their fellow Catholics - obviously down the wrong road. We must do all we can to expose the dangers of this Programme to the innocent, vulnerable Catholics who will otherwise be led astray by it.

We should also point out to the authorities that there are many faithful Catholic priests much closer than East Anglia who would willingly give talks which are in line with Church teaching to people following a Programme. There are also excellent CATHOLIC spiritual books, some of them by canonised saints, which would not lead anyone astray but would make really worthwhile resources. Indeed, there is now an excellent, truly Catholic Programme for adults called Evangelium which informs and inspires people without dissent of any kind. Evangelium is available from the CTS. It presents the faith extremely well and in an interesting way using modern technology. If this was used in all our dioceses it would go a long way towards correcting the errors instilled by forty years of false catechesis, by the rogue courses ‘Catholic’ ALPHA and CaFE, and by these new Programmes. It could even put whole parishes back on the right path and lead them to Christ.

The Deception regarding the abortion pill and birth defects....

This may appear to be unrelated to what follows but I remember over twenty years ago my cousin and his wife were expecting their first child - after a scan they were told there was something wrong with the foetus and the G.P. merely passed over an appointment card to consult [what they thought] was a specialist obstetrician - it wasn't ! It was the abortion clinic.
They refused to even consider it ; and subsequently the healthiest of daughters was born, athletic, continually top of her class at school ; so much so that she was even having poetry published in her teens ! We have to ask how many times this happens - and how many confused and distraught women abort because they have been misinformed by the medical profession ?

Read this over at Fr Tim's Hermeneutic of continuity :

STOCKHOLM,Sweden: A Swedish court of appeal on Tuesday sentenced a 27-year-old man to 18 months in prison for trying to make his girlfriend miscarry by mixing abortion pills in her food.
The man, who was not named for legal reasons, had his jail term increased from a previous one-year sentence set by a district court in June.
In its ruling, the Court of Appeal for Western Sweden found the man guilty of aggravated assault for attempting to make his girlfriend of eight years miscarry by giving her a yoghurt containing three ground-up pills. The sentence also included a more minor count of assault.

The court documents said the woman had decided to have the baby even though he felt he was not ready to be a father. The man ordered some pills on the Internet and fooled his doctor into prescribing others for another condition.
The woman ate the yoghurt and suffered severe stomach pains and vaginal bleeding.
When she later realized what she had eaten, she decided to have an abortion, fearing that the foetus had been permanently damaged by the pills.

Now I have to ask the question - why did she abort ?
Now this is what I was going to write in regard to the issue ; after I'd read the regular details on the pro-choice, medical and pro-life sites :

Admittedly there is an increased risk of foetal injury if ru486 is ingested - but with immediate treatment this risk is significantly reduced [especially considering it doesn't work at all in 5% of patients even with prostaglandin, may take 3 days to take affect, some require 4-5 treatments, some studies have it as being only 54% effective without prostaglandin ] in other words the child was alive....and the doctors should have made known to the woman involved that she could most likely have had a healthy child at the end of it; and even then the defects would be handicaps the child could overcome ; and lead a more than normal healthy life.....

UNTIL I ACTUALLY READ FURTHER INTO THE ISSUE - and discovered that this was NOT THE CASE !!!!! The Reason abortion is recommended after the ingestion of RU486 is related to litigation over the potential birth defects - the actual chance of birth defects is exceedingly LOW - and not high as all these sites [including the pro-Life sites] imply - and some research has suggested that the susceptibility to birth defects is caused mainly, if not solely, by the subsequent use of prostaglandin !!! The first two articles speak of the 'legal threat' of potential defects after ingesting RU486 and subsequently wishing to continue with the pregnancy [there's even the suggestions that medical professionals wish to make surgical abortion mandatory if the abortion pill does not work to prevent litigation] But have a look at the last two articles - amidst all the technical details and long words it inadvertently says something really shocking - with immediate progesterone treatment the risks of any birth defect is MINIMAL - it's the use of prostaglandin after RU486 that causes virtually all the defects - and this woman had not received prostaglandin....

Misunderstandings....with an apology to Joanna Bogle.

I really feel like I should apologise to Auntie Joanna for being intentionally sarcastic but inadvertently in the process , appearing to be saying some things both needlessly cruel and implying she was living in some sort of 'Narnia-by-the-wold' - that was not my intent at all: My main point was that we will never get anywhere with the youth until we start with their parents' generation. I have known hundreds of eleven year olds over the years ; wide eyed, innocent, well-mannered, thoughtful [if boisterous , reckless, self-consciously vain and troublemaking in a naiively adorable way] and I have witnessed the crushing of their souls and spirits within a year of senior[secondary] school - it wasn't mere hormones that turns these angels into demons - but a socio-cultural mechanism that parents in the home couldn't fight against and so their children sank into the mire - to mix metaphors like dead salmon they went with the flow - and why ? because the majority of their parents'/relatives' lives were contaminated with this social malaise - and being even more trapped than their kids - they could not help them as they were becoming more enmeshed in mundanity, cynicism and cruel beyond imagining thoughtlessness and narcissism.....If we wish to alter society for the good we cannot do it in the old jesuitical way of forming the child while young and hoping he or she has the strength and integrity to perservere - those days are gone !! The adults wield far too much power these days - for they are not the masters of this power any more; they are just as enslaved to it as they intend the youth to become - like heroin junkies seeking out more victims - the power corrupts and seeks to corrupt - and that power is via the exigents of the media, the economy, the academic agenda, the tyranny of pragmatic relativism and secularism that crushes meaning ; destroys the ability to perceive there's any hope.

Anyway : This is the beautiful , considerate passage Joanna Bogle wrote in her blog a few days ago :

"Young people want - need - to know they are loved and lovable, necessary, valued, and capable of great things. They need to know that life can be full of huge challenges and tasks, and adventures in doing them, and they need the structures that come with all that. How horrible that in modern Britain all this is being denied to so many.
Today in the High Street, a team of Christian singers were braving the cold and the weary who-cares-anyway of shoppers, and singing cheerily about the love of Christ. Their joy was suddenly contagious, and I felt warmed by it. It also made God seem real: he came here, lived among us all, joined in. Cares hugely about every single individual one of us. Easy to forget that "

My Response ?
Well I was trying to say one thing but somehow along the way I think it could be misconstrued that I was instigating a personal attack against Mrs Bogle [one blog reader thought so and subsequently launched a vituperative assault on her; grounding their arguments with things I had said {albeit out of context} ] I'm embarassed beyond imagining and feel exceedingly burdened with guilt - so this is my penance - show you how much of a bastard I am and can be....
Well ? Anyway this is what I said and I hope the more excusing amongst you may try and see that I wasn't going for the Bogle-jugular ; but attempting to put a point across regarding the source of the problem. Whatever you think; please don't hate me - I may have been slightly 'sarky'; but I didn't mean to be offensive...

Sorry Joanna but I'd truly love to know what you would suggest for young adults to do ?
I work as a shelf-stacker ; and virtually all my fellow employees under the age of thirty [with one notable exception] spend every ounce of free time [i.e. where they don't have to care for young kids if they have them] in pubs and clubs - because frankly there is nothing else to do - we're talking of millions of people here whose only recreation is alcohol - because that is the way society has decreed it - and please don't tell me that capitalist/conservative policies [of both the Tories and New Labour]which have decimated the arts and entertainments industries since the war hasn't conspired with this ?
What exactly do you propose ? a paper chase , charades , or a bike journey to Budleigh Salterton with brass rubbings and lashings of ginger beer ? a nice lecture on Pugin or teaching them how to crochet ? cream teas with the archdeacon ?

These poor disenfranchised people have been let loose to the wolves...and what did we do to help ?
They go all Newmaniac for once..
'dispossessed , aside thrust chucked down by the sheer might of a despot's will...'

...and what do we do to help ?
I have three kids and it is very ,very hard to keep them safe and informed of their catholic inheritance and responsibilities amidst this secularist tyranny...

I'm sure you meet many admirable young 'gels' and upstanding young catholic schoolkids belonging to youth groups as you venture forth round the country ; and I'd bet my last shiny sixpence that you pray hard and care unremittigly for the drunken drug induced louts or foul-mouthed half-dressed teenage harridans f-ing and blinding on the street corner, knocking seven bells out of each other when they aren't recklessly copulating with all and sundry....but sometimes treating the rash does no good when the disease is allowed to thrive...

...and I agree wholeheartedly ; they most sincerely need to know they are loved and lovable ; but so too do their parents from whom most of this dissolution of sanity, propriety and hope originates...
we need to make an all-out assault on the root of the life and their entire disenfranchisement by today's society....

The devil wins when we confuse our priorities...and if [we] delude ourselves into thinking this problem is sourced in the youth we will continue to make the same errors ; merely supporting and sustaining the few already saved while the lost sheep remain in the wilderness.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Why it upsets me so...

The wonderful Abbey Roads 2 blog of Artist and all-round fluff-bundle Terry Nelson has been commenting on the recent statements of Archbishop Ranjith regarding communion in the hand and kneeling to receive communion. One commentator stated that they hoped 'Communion on the tongue' was not seen as a litmus test for orthodoxy and vice-versa. I felt I had to reply....

Bit of a fallacy involved here : it's not whether it's local praxis that makes it a litmus tests ; it's where communion in the hand is enforced that indicates something exceedingly suspect - for instance in seminary it was seen as a warning alarm of Tridentinism if someone received on the tongue and in group masses [performed on coffee tables [once someone placed an upright brass crucifix on the table and it was picked up and thrown onto an armchair by the presiding priest] communion was distributed ilegally before the priest consumed - we were expected to sit there on our bean bags holding the host for up to five minutes ; when I was in a benedictine monastery being part of a team which took underprivileged families on holiday - the kids made their own communion bread which was consecrated - crumbs went everywhere all over the room and was subsequently hoovered up or swept off the kids' jeans and sweaters...
My kids were seen as renegades at school because I had told them to disobey their headmistress and schoolteacher and only receive on the tongue; one got a severe dressing down and ended up in tears - they replied that they were doing what their father told them to do - the teacher's response was 'you do what everyone else does !!!'
I've seen priests have 'hissy fits' because a sacristan has brought out silver chalices and patens when they have demanded porous unglazed pottery [one of a certain priest's 'chipped mug chalices' was stained red/brown inside from years of non-purification...
One seminarian I knew used to genuflect before reception [his home parish was run by an old traditionalist lithuanian priest] - it was a significant contributory factor to his expulsion from seminary [quote: we don't want any of this pre-council rubbish here !!!]
we had liturgy lecturers who would be incensed beyond all imagining at suggestions that an altar was anything other than a wooden table - they ridiculed notions of reliquaries , ordered us that once we were ordained we had to ensure the tabernacle was removed from the sanctuary as soon as possible in our designated parishes, that benediction and adoration of the blessed sacrament was an obscene anachronism and that we should replace this 'respect for Jesus' by worshipping the 'fully present' Christ when the priest announced the gospel.
We were told that saying the Hail Mary at the end of the bidding prayers was 'illegal' , an english invention 'banned by Rome!!!!' and [get this] that the time when the consecration was completed [in other words Jesus was not fully present in the host and chalice until this point] was at the great Amen after the doxology!!! The participation of the congregation performed the contributory actions of the consecration - not the priest ???

Mother Teresa was asked what the most terrible thing in the modern world was - she was ridiculed, dismissed and mocked by replying 'communion in the hand'...

I really don't think people understand what is going on within the church - this neo-protestantisation has reached cataclysmic proportions - and the major asault has been on the dignity and respect afforded to the blessed sacrament. This picture offends us all - but think about the reality that's occurring in churches around us - and what is really going on...

Monday, 25 February 2008

Ramblings to help me think... plus The Grounding of Beauty - from 'St Thomas Aquinas' by G.K.Chesterton

These are solely mere ramblings for my own sake ; and I'll probably endure a lambasting from those more educated and informed than I could ever hope to be.
I was questioning a specific phrase a friend had written in an essay for the Faith Magazine the other day - now ostensibly and peripherally it seemed a perfectly feasible, tenable and appropriate point to make ; and I am certain my friend used it in this light ; but if taken apart and scrutinised it worried me somewhat in that it seemed to be implying something very different - and then I realised this was the main place that Aquinas and Duns Scotus differed in perspectives - the existence of matter without form rather than nothing existing which wasn't either formed matter or spirit ; the haecceity [unique 'this'ness] within individuation rather than the shared communal contiguity of aspects of the created image of the Godhead , and the attribution of universal predicates to both God and man, rather than the analogy that Aquinas insists upon [God is always beyond our understanding- not merely according to degrees of our perception/ability/predication ]- and on each of these I always end up siding with Aquinas.

Why ? Because even though I see where Duns Scotus is coming from ; I find distinct problems when we come to all manner of things :

a] the efficacy of prayer
b] both sacramentals and the sacraments
c] miracles
d] the very nature of the creation of the cosmos and its relationship to/with the Holy Spirit
e] the nature of sin and its effects upon creation

....although I'm certain Duns Scotus never encroached upon it ; I worry that if taken to its natural ends this leads to a kind of 'Deism with subsequent pseudo-interventionism' subsuming all the other considerations - an over-distinction between God and creation - God less a Creator but more a sculptor in clay ; forever adding pieces/re-shaping - an artist who can not leave well alone - an intervening God rather than an immanent constancy irrespective of the 'apeironic' transcendency - I don't think I'm being very clear.

I'm not suggesting our response should be a reversion to a stoical metaphysics , or a Spinozan panentheism warped into a chardinian/meister eckhardtian [as described somewhat tenuously by Matthew Fox] - type 'creation is an inseparable part of God' - But what I am saying is that I worry when we move away from the principle that it is the Holy Spirit in whom we live move and have our being and rather have the Holy Spirit as an animating force - like electricity in an already prepared automaton....

I used the example of Jesus walking on water - how did it occur ? did Our Lord make Himself and St Peter light or the water strong enough to support their weight [which I think is the scotist view] or was none of this necessary whatsoever as the nature of everything involved is reliant upon the Holy Spirit [the Thomist] ?

Is something added to holy water to make it holy [Scotist - implying predication] or is this unnecessary as it is reliant upon its very being as well as nature by the power of the Holy Spirit?

I remember a sermon by Fr Benedict Groeschel where he speaks of the bread and wine being the only things in the universe that are ever annihilated when they are consecrated - and I think this is very much a Scotist approach - and almost a kind of 'reverse consubstantiationalism' where instead of the body and blood 'cohabiting' ; the bread and wine's form merely vacates - 'leaves the building' i.e. 'it is no longer held in being' - and I feel compelled to ask 'is this at all necessary'? because we always seem to be imagining God as someone who removes,replaces, re-installs, repairs, cleans or eradicates...always like a builder, engineer, potter, craftsman, repairman - rather than a creator....surely transubstantiation can mean what it says and not involve all this ontological refurbishment ?

I sometimes envision [and I may be utterly wrong in this] the Scotist view of things as redolent of a chess game where spatio-temporality affects the liberty or volition of the pieces within the game ; or an agatha christie 'whodunnit' where only the final page explains all ; or a whitehall farce where all the characters are rushing across the stage , impersonating others , misunderstanding everything ,hiding in wardrobes,slamming doors behind them....nothing really makes sense during the participation until the final scene/denouement.
Whereas the Thomist is more like a great novel by Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or Flaubert , or a Play by Chekhov ; or a game of Go [Wei chi] which could be halted at any instant during its course and still have enough intrinsic worth and value to be an entire 'thing in itself' without the necessity of a final act , a denouement or a stalemate/checkmate....

I think [and yet again I may be utterly incorrect in this] Scotism is playing a game towards an end - towards a fulfillment ; whereas Thomism is playing a game for the sake of playing a game as the game is of equal if not more import than the completion - the fulfillment is linked to that which occurs during it [even though much greater is to come]....of course it's a question of perspective and approach - but it's like Scotus is imagining us all like soloists in the orchestra combining in harmonies to make the music and discover who we are; in Thomism we play hoping we can find and reflect the music of the spheres and angels and uncover what we always were....I don't know , but it feels that way....

I think the problem with this is we go too far along the [albeit very necessary Scotist way] we're perceiving God as pure Actor rather than Pure Act

An 'environer' [what a horrible word??] rather than an actuating sustainer...almost like He was a butler or genie providing our every necessity rather than giving us everything we are and ever will be - it's a very subtle difference regarding the nature of grace.

I sometimes think that contemporary theologians who adopt this scotist view of things have watched a little too much 'Jason and the Argonauts' where the omnipotent Zeus watches everything from on high playing with the toy models - only he being aware of how things will end... but always moving his playing pieces around the board; rather than everything already being pre-ordained and self-corrected to always accommodate our volition [which after all is really our actions towards the imbued graces of freed will] - I think I'm trying to say 'God doesn't need to tweak the knobs of Creation' - take for instance the effects of prayer affecting reality - does it alter reality [Scotist] or merely make reality more real [Thomist] ?

Now I find this distinctly [and poignantly] ironic because of all our great Theologians throughout the history of the church - it's Duns Scotus who is the most ardent advocate of the Immaculate conception - whereas Aquinas is somewhat reticent - but their metaphysical approaches should lead to the reverse positions....unless Duns Scotus is implying an unnecessary 'interventionism' where Thomism would see it as merely a natural consequence devoid of any necessary 'change of the way things were'.
before I'd ever read His Holiness or von Balthasar I had always presumed that the immaculate conception was a very Thomistic-type of concept in that it is an 'Anticipatory' extra-temporal effect of our redemption on calvary - akin to the consecration at the last supper. Whereas it's the Scotist approach which sees that which St Thomas could not...horses for courses I suppose?

It's weird...I should shut up...before the veritable Fathers on these blogs beat me about the head regarding my obtuse ignorance on anything pertaining to the man....I doubt if the clerical lecturer-bloggers ever speak to me again - maybe it would have been better to have kept my mouth shut and made others presume i was a fool rather than opening it and thus confirming it ? throughout all this thinking I had one thing at the fore of my mind ; it's in Augustine:

ego in tempora dissilui...donec in Te confluam purgatus et liquidus igne amoris Tui. Et stabo atque consolidabor in Te, in forma mea... [Aug: de conf XI 29-30]
But I am scattered in times whose order I do not understand...until that day when, purified and molten by the fire of your love, I flow together to merge into you. then I shall find stability and solidity in you, in your truth which imparts form to me... [St Augustine's 'Confessions']

I have hunted high and low for a way to express what I'm thinking at the moment; and by happenstance came across this - perhaps it will help...

That strangeness of things, which is the light in all poetry, and indeed in all art, is really connected with their otherness; or what is called their objectivity. What is subjective must be stale; it is exactly what is objective that is in this imaginative manner strange. In this the great contemplative is the complete contrary of that false contemplative, the mystic who looks only into his own soul, the selfish artist who shrinks from the world and lives only in his own mind. According to St. Thomas, the mind acts freely of itself, but its freedom exactly consists in finding a way out to liberty and the light of day; to reality and the land of the living. In the subjectivist, the pressure of the world forces the imagination inwards. In the Thomist, the energy of the mind forces the imagination outwards, but because the images it seeks are real things.

All their romance and glamour, so to speak, lies in the fact that they are real things; things not to be found by staring inwards at the mind. The flower is a vision because it is not only a vision. Or, if you will, it is a vision because it is not a dream. This is for the poet the strangeness of stones and trees and solid things; they are strange because they are solid. I am putting it first in the poetical manner, and indeed it needs much more technical subtlety to put it in the philosophical manner. According to Aquinas, the object becomes a part of the mind; nay, according to Aquinas, the mind actually becomes the object. But, as one commentator acutely puts it, it only becomes the object and does not create the object. In other words, the object is an object; it can and does exist outside the mind, or in the absence of the mind. And therefore it enlarges the mind of which it becomes a part.

The mind conquers a new province like an emperor; but only because the mind has answered the bell like a servant. The mind has opened the doors and windows, because it is the natural activity of what is inside the house to find out what is outside the house. If the mind is sufficient to itself, it is insufficient for itself. For this feeding upon fact is itself; as an organ it has an object which is objective; this eating of the strange strong meat of reality.

Note how this view avoids both pitfalls; the alternative abysses of impotence. The mind is not merely receptive, in the sense that it absorbs sensations like so much blotting-paper; on that sort of softness has been based all that cowardly materialism, which conceives man as wholly servile to his environment. On the other hand, the mind is not purely creative, in the sense that it paints pictures on the windows and then mistakes them for a landscape outside. But the mind is active, and its activity consists in following, so far as the will chooses to follow, the light outside that does really shine upon real landscapes.

That is what gives the indefinably virile and even adventurous quality to this view of life; as compared with that which holds that material inferences pour in upon an utterly helpless mind, or that which holds that psychological influences pour out and create an entirely baseless phantasmagoria. In other words, the essence of the Thomist common sense is that two agencies are at work; reality and the recognition of reality; and their meeting is a sort of marriage. Indeed it is very truly a marriage, because it is fruitful; the only philosophy now in the world that really is fruitful. It produces practical results, precisely because it is the combination of an adventurous mind and a strange fact.