Friday, 29 January 2010
A short while ago I gave a fair amount of time and attention to the Stand Up for Vatican II crowd - despite my reluctance to give them the oxygen of publicity, I thought that it might help for people to realise that this meeting was being co-ordinated by Catholics for a Changing Church (CCC), a nasty, dissident group, which does NOT have the best interests of the Church at heart, and merely wants to re-create a church in its own image.
For anyone who missed it, the first post was HERE, with two more HERE and HERE. Don't read them if you have problems with high blood pressure...
The meeting was last Tuesday - I've been too ill to give it any consideration, but I will turn my attention to it shortly.
In the interim, I would suggest checking out the rival organisation, GCC4vat2, which, while similar in structure and purpose to CCC, has the advantage of declaring its aims and intentions in a manner devoid of the bureaucratic officialese so beloved of civil servants, bank managers and management consultants...
I particularly enjoyed reading about their Executive Committee...
This is a very girly blog post. If you are a man, I expect you to read the first four paragraphs (including this one) and then skip straight to the comments to leave a message of sympathy. If you happen to see the photos as you skip past, comments of admiration or commiseration* (depending on your point of view) may also be left. *Please be aware that if your comments are less than appreciative, I will hunt you down...
I haven't blogged since Tuesday - I've been ill with a nasty chest infection which has seen me curled up in bed with only my iPhone to remind me that there was a world outside my bedroom.
Today I realised that I had to bite the bullet and get myself to the doctor. I'd hoped it could be avoided, because there weren't any appointments available for the next two weeks, but after yet another sleepless night spent coughing my lungs out, I decided to try my luck with the "sit and wait" option.
Three and a half hours later, I left the surgery clutching a prescription. One visit to the chemist later, and I was ready for a nap, much to Sylvester's disgust: as far as he is concerned, my bed is his domain during the hours of daylight.
(Ok, men can skip to the end...)
In the evening, I woke up again, and remembered that I was due to have my hair done.
Now I have been battling to get my "ideal" blonde colour for some time; although I have liked the result, repeated applications of the same peroxide-based tint have gradually resulted in the shade becoming too light for my colouring... I do not wish to end up a platinum blonde!
So, I told my hairdresser that I wanted to go a shade or two darker. This caused some consternation... apparently, all the peroxide used previously would interact with my preferred new shade and go green... and I didn't like any of the more "honey and gold" options.
After a prolonged pow-wow among all the hairdressers in the salon (with me as the centre of attention, clutching a book of hair samples) it was suggested that I try to grow out the peroxide completely, prior to trying a slightly darker ash blonde shade, while disguising the growing-out roots with careful application of low-lights in a colour similar to my natural shade. I was a little dubious at first - dark roots look awful, and they'd be pretty obvious for about a year while my hair grew out - but then agreed to give it a go.
I expected to find that my hair was light blonde with darker blonde low-lights. In fact, it seems that the result has been more dark blonde with lighter blonde high-lights... and the roots have been completely disguised...
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
"Communion on the tongue" seems to be one of those phrases which, to the proponents of "the Spirit" of Vatican II, is the embodiment of all that is wrong with the pontificate of Benedict XVI.
It is cited as an example of how some people want to "turn the Church back." Conversely, Communion in the hand is explained as "more hygienic," "easier," "faster" and "a more adult way to receive Communion."
Curiously, for the "turning the Church back" brigade, there is often an appeal to the practice of the "early Church": how early is rarely made explicit.
Personally, I think that Communion on the tongue is a far more reverential way to receive Communion. I didn't always think this way. When I first returned to the Church, I was on crutches, and so had no choice in the matter (unless I wanted to fall over!) As soon as I was off the crutches, I hastened to avail myself of the opportunity to receive Communion on the hand, encouraged, I might add, by my Parish Priest (not my current PP, I hasten to add!)
However, I soon became uncomfortable with this. First of all, there was the matter of making some sign of reverence: if I waited until I reached the priest, I held up the queue (genuflecting is difficult for me, if I have nothing on which to hold) and if I genuflected while in the queue, I risked being trampled by the person behind me. Secondly, I became acutely aware that, by failing to move away until after I had placed the Host in my own mouth, I was holding up the queue (albeit for only a few seconds), and quite a few priests seemed to want to hurry me along.
Finally - and this was the clincher - I became conscious of a grainy, gritty feeling where the Host had been on my hand and my fingers. Where there is a grainy, gritty feeling, there are particles which are causing that grainy, gritty feeling... and Our Lord is present, whole and entire, in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in even the smallest of particles of a consecrated Host. Licking my hand and fingers after placing the Host on my tongue seemed to negate the whole "it's more adult" argument, and I decided to cut out the middle-man, so to speak, and returned to receiving Communion on the tongue.
As I said, I think it is more reverent to receive this way. However, while the Church allows people to choose how they receive, then I have no problem with someone who chooses to receive in the hand. I cannot understand, though, why anyone who truly believes that Our Lord is present in the Blessed Sacrament would find kneeling at altar rails to receive Communion objectionable. I would dearly love to be able to kneel in adoration, but I physically can't manage it.
Anyway, Bishop Schneider has some very interesting reflections on the reception of Communion:
With the Swine Flu scare we had here in England, some dioceses actually went as far as banning Communion on the tongue - they also ditched Communion under both kinds, the Sign of Peace and holy water. It seems to be acknowledged that these draconian precautions were rather an overreaction. I heard, through a friend of mine, that, at Sunday Mass in a church in the diocese of Portsmouth, the precautions were to be rescinded from the beginning of February.
But the priest pleaded with the congregation to continue to receive Communion on the hand. The reason given was that it was so much easier for the ministers to give Communion on the hand than giving Communion on the tongue. I have to say that this really beggars belief.
Sunday, 24 January 2010
A twitch of the mantilla goes to Fr. Michael Brown, for bringing a new blog to the attention of the Catholic Blogosphere.
As he so rightly points out, the Holy Father has encouraged priests to use the blogging medium as a way of evangelising the world. Fr. Wilfrid Elkin is doing just that in his blog "Let the Welkin Ring." It's a fascinating read, especially as he explains how enthusiastic he was when Vatican II was called, and how disillusioned he became with what people have called "the Spirit" of Vatican II.
It's exactly the sort of testimony that the Stand Up for Vatican II crowd ought to take to heart... but somehow, I don't think it'll happen!
In the meantime, pop on over and say hallo.
I was given the following quotes from various children by a friend of mine... I have no idea where he got them from, (they're probably apocryphal) but they are just so funny, I had to share...
Q1. How do you decide who to marry?
Kristen (Age 10) - No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all the way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with.
Alan (Age 10) - You've got to find somebody who likes the same stuff... like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dips coming.
Q2. What is the right age to get married?
Camille (Age 10) - Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
Q3. How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
Derrick (Age 8) - You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
Q4. What do you think your mum and dad have in common?
Lori (Age 8) - Both don't want any more kids.
Q5. What do most people do on a date?
Lynnette (Age 8) - Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
Martin (Age 10) - On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
Q6. When is it ok to kiss someone?
Pam (Age 7) - When they're rich.
Curt (Age 7) - The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that.
Howard (Age 6) - The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do.
Q7. Is it better to be single or married?
Anita (Age 9) - It's better for girls to be single but nor for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
Q8. How would the world be different if people didn't get married?
Kelvin (Age 8) - There would be a lot of kids wondering who owned them, wouldn't there?
Q9. How would you make a marriage work?
Ricky (Age 10) - Tell your wife that she looks good, even if she looks like a dump truck.
The Bishops of England & Wales are failing to protect their flock. John Smeaton has an excellent post on the need to stand up for the family and other pro-life issues, and examples of how bishops in other countries are protecting the people in their care... Meanwhile, Fr. John Boyle records his disquiet at the direction being taken by Catholic education...