Saturday 28 April 2007

Kitty-Cat Is Out And About...

ICEL are on a losing wicket with this one... the Dúnadan has an amusing post in which, tongue firmly in cheek, he agrees with ICEL's position. And Brad is waiting for his billet doux...

Avoiding Occasions Of Sin...

In an attempt to avoid starting the Lord's day with various expletives, as well as not wishing to be in a vile temper all day, I shall have to refrain from having the radio on tonight...

...I normally sleep with the radio on low in the background, a habit I picked up when I was seriously ill (about 15 years ago now) as it helped to hear the passage of time through the small hours. I'm usually tuned to Radio 4, which turns into the BBC World Service between 1am and 5:30am. Sunday morning involves a gradual return to consciousness, accompanied by Sunday Worship, which is a prayer service of varying description (occasionally it's a Catholic Mass) and the dawning realisation that I can have a lie in (I go to the Sunday evening Mass.)

Tomorrow, however, is going to be something to avoid like the plague:

"Fr Donal Godfrey, S. J., leads a service from the Catholic Parish of Most Holy Redeemer, San Francisco, exploring how gay people can find a place in the Christian narrative and speak of the gift of faith. The preacher is the Catholic writer and theologian, Fr James Alison."

My likely reaction might result in the radio hitting my cat or my bedroom window (I won't have my contact lenses in at that time) so I think Sylvester (and my landlord) would prefer that the radio remains "off"...

Mantilla-twitch to the Caveman and to Credo

Friday 27 April 2007

How About A Caption For This?

Mantilla-twitch to Jeffrey who has one of the most beautiful blogs I've seen.

Consecration To Mary

I may have mentioned before that I'm rather keen on St. Louis Marie de Montfort. I have a rather large tome with his collected writings, and I love just opening it at random to see what pops out...

...for example, in "The Secret of the Rosary," I found this little snippet:

"Even though God has set his seal of approval on the Rosary by many miracles, and though it has been approved by the Church in many papal bulls, there are only too many people who are against the holy Rosary today. Such are free-thinkers and those who scorn religion, who either condemn the Rosary or try to turn others away from it.

"It is easy to see that they have absorbed the poison of hell and that they are inspired by the devil; for no one can condemn devotion to the holy Rosary without condemning all that is most holy in the Catholic faith, such as the Lord's prayer, the Hail Mary and the mysteries of the life, death and glory of Jesus Christ and his holy Mother.

"These freethinkers, who cannot bear to have people saying the Rosary, often fall into an heretical state of mind without realising it and come to hate the Rosary and its mysteries."

Ouch. St. Louis certainly likes to make himself clear!!

In "True Devotion to Mary," St. Louis aimed to show the role of Mary in the plan of God, in one's life as a baptised person and in one's apostolic life. He teaches that, as Mary is, of all God's creatures, the most conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus, so devotion to her makes for the most effective conformity and consecration to Jesus. The "True Devotion" in the title consists of giving oneself entirely to Mary in order to belong entirely to Jesus through her, the perfect renewal of the vows and promises of Baptism.

"We give [Mary] all that we possess, both in our natural life and in our spiritual life, as well as everything we shall acquire in the future in the order of nature, of grace and of glory in heaven. This we do without any reservation... we give for all eternity without claiming or expecting, in return for our offering and our service, any other reward than the honour of belonging to Our Lord through Mary and in Mary..."

This is where Pope John Paul the Great's motto came from: Totus Tuus (totally yours)

This total consecration isn't to be taken lightly: St. Louis said that twelve days should be spent preparing by emptying oneself of the spirit of the world, and then three weeks should be spent being imbued with the spirit of Jesus through Mary. Altogether, not including the day of Consecration itself, thirty-three days are needed for the preparation period. Consecration is supposed to happen on one of the major Marian feasts, or on St. Louis' feast day, so the possible "start dates" are fixed...

I undertook this Consecration two Summers ago. I meant to renew it last year, but lost my little pocket book with the scheme outlining the prayers and meditations for the preparation period (I have the vague feeling I lent it to someone...) and then got rather caught up in events with my new job...

However, I wanted to renew my Consecration this year, and, as it so happens, a friend of mine emailed to ask if I'd ever thought of doing the Consecration: she was keen, but needed some encouragement and support. She'd thought of starting on the feast of St. Louis, with the idea that the period of preparation would end while we were in Lourdes. I pointed out that the Consecration dates were "fixed" but noted that the Feast of the Visitation happened while we were out in Lourdes, and that this was one of the fixed dates...

Fr Tim has agreed to lead a little ceremony of Consecration at Mass on the Feast day, and the fact that we will be able to do this in a place where Our Lady actually appeared is just the chocolate icing on the gateaux...

So, tomorrow it starts. Your prayers for the successful completion of this Consecration (and renewal) would be greatly appreciated...

Thursday 26 April 2007

Hybrid Embryo Consultation

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is holding a Public Consultation on the creation and use of hybrid embryos (clones, cytoplasmic hybrid embryos, chimeras and transgenic human embryos) for research purposes. There is a PDF document which explains all the terms and an online consultation form (very short.) The consultation period will run up until July 20th 2007

There is also going to be an evening consultation meeting (the location of which hasn't yet been advertised) on Tuesday 26th June. If you are interested in attending, you need to register your interest by sending an email.

This really is of vital importance. I'm pretty sure that they have already made up their minds to allow the experimentation on embryos to be pushed even further (in the name of scientific "progress") but we need to register our opposition as clearly as possible.

ICEL Update

The draft translation is alive and prowling around the internet, looking for someone to eat (ICEL translation) or seeking whom he may devour (draft new translation... ok, I made that last bit up!)

So go and have a little look over HERE since Anon is happy to break copyright restrictions. I shall let you know as and when I locate any other sites with the new translation Mass texts...

By the way, Anon seems to have rather a sense of humour... in his Profile, he lists the following: Industry: Religion; Occupation: Whistleblower; Interests: Truth !!

Wednesday 25 April 2007

Censorship Of A Different Kind

Oh dear, oh dear... it would seem that the powers-that-be at ICEL are rather upset. The little kitty-cat of a translation which they had bagged up and hoped to dump quietly in a cupboard for a year or two seems to have clawed its way out of the bag, and made its presence known by yowling on the fence...

...not that the Hermeneutic of Continuity is guilty of sitting on the fence in any way. But it appears that Fr. Tim has received a letter from "The Management" at ICEL, demanding that he take down the draft texts of the new translation of the Mass, or be in breach of copyright.

The reason given for wanting to keep everything under wraps is that the texts are too difficult for us to accept (or understand) without suitable lengthy catechesis. No doubt they are thinking of the same sort of lengthy catechesis which already co-habiting couples are subjected to before they can be married in church, and which has led to the Sacrament of Confirmation becoming known as the "Sacrament of Leaving."

Presumably these are the same bunch of clowns who insult the intelligence of half the population by the assumption that they will not understand texts unless those difficult un-pc words such as "mankind" are translated...

Certainly, they do not believe that the People of God has enough intelligence to reach for a dictionary when they encounter a new word. So much for the Spirit of Vatican II making the Liturgy accessible...

I am intelligent enough to realise that the translation was a draft. I am also intelligent enough to view the delays in bringing out the final version with more than a little suspicion. Perhaps the hierarchy are hoping that someone will die, so they can fudge the matter for a bit longer, rather than face the fact that we have been cheated of our rightful Catholic heritage through the impoverishment of the language of the Liturgy.

I think that this is a clear sign for the Blogosphere: it's time to make our voices heard!

Heyhey... Caption Competition Time...

Softly, softly... put that Motu Proprio down gently... we don't want to wake up any French Bishops...

Mantilla-twitch to Amy Welborn

Tuesday 24 April 2007

A Present For You...

Look at what I found over at Dymphna's Well... a gadget which turns off television sets. Persuade your loved ones that the TV is broken, and that you can't get a repairman in until the middle of next month... and then bask in the silence (possibly punctuated by anguished sobs... well, heck, you can't please everyone!)

Yippee! I Got Me A Nomination !!

My site was nominated for Best Religion Blog!
When I wasn't looking, some cool cat called Kebersole (hehehe... I think I just figured her out!) nominated me for Best Religion Blog. Not a snowball's chance in Purgatory even... but it was sooooo nice to be nominated...

...I did consider nominating myself, but couldn't quite bring myself to do that!!

So, at the moment I am basking in the fact that I have six votes... well, ok, five: I did vote for myself... so I'm somewhere around page 17 (now that really was a shock... I started searching from Page 40!)

Anyway, to the five of you who voted, a big thank you... and I just want to thank all those who helped me get here... *sniffle* my cat, Sylvester... *gulp* my phone-camera... *collapses weeping*

Hey! Those Are OUR Vestments!!

John Browne has been exploring Facebook (something I haven't bothered with up until now...) In doing so, he has unearthed a strange predilection for traditional vestments and clerical garb... among American Pentecostals.

Now, I have no objection to traditional vestments and clerical garb... but please! Not on women!! (I warn you, the black cassock with candy-pink piping and buttons is rather disturbing!!)

Check out the rest.

A Little Good News

Moneybags has been accepted for his diocese, and will be starting at Seminary in the Autumn. I'm sure you'll all want to pop on over to his blog and congratulate him...

...and say a prayer or two for him while you're at it!

UPDATE: While sorting out my favourite blogs and deleting dormant ones from my bookmarks, I found that Edward (To Jesus Through Mary) has also been accepted for Seminary (a different one, I think... my geography is sorely deficient...) so more congratulations, and more prayers.

Hey, didn't someone say vocations were down...?

I Got Tagged

Oooh, another meme. Who thinks these things up? They need professional help...

Anyway, I've been tagged by the upside-down pastor, Fr Dwight Longenecker, to reveal "my four favorite saints, one favorite blessed, and one person I think should have been a saint"

I'm assuming that Our Lady doesn't qualify (if you know what I mean) because I could use up my four favourites by just invoking my favourite titles for her: Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Rocamadour, Our Lady of Grace, Our Lady of Walsingham... oops, more than four, and I haven't quite finished...

Limiting myself to just four saints is going to be extremely tricky. I collect saints for various occasions...

*sigh* well, if I can only have four, then, in no particular order, it has to be:

St. Alphonsus Liguori (the stuff he wrote, especially on Our Lady and the Rosary, is just brilliant. And mind-blowing.)

St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (for his Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary outlined in "True Devotion to Mary")

St. Francis de Sales (for pointing out, in his book "An Introduction to the Devout Life" that we are all called to holiness, whatever our state in life)

St. John Fisher (awesome English Bishop, who preferred to be martyred than accommodate the political powers of his time... a few more Bishops like him, and the country would probably not be going down the pan quite as spectacularly as it is right now!!)

And four female saints... (you didn't really expect me to follow such mean-spirited rules, did you?)

St. Bernadette (I adore Lourdes, but ever since I saw St. Bernadette's incorrupt body at the convent in Nevers, I have been completely smitten with her.)

St. Anne Line (I've explained elsewhere why I like this feisty woman. A great martyr for the Faith!)

St. Cecilia (another martyr: but as she is the patron saint of church music, I feel we possibly need her help in getting rid of the heretical hymnals... I feel an auto da fe coming on...)

Finally, last but most definitely not least, St. Catherine Labouré. I know very little about her, but I have a real attachment to the Miraculous Medal, and I want to go and see her incorrupt body at the Rue de Bac.

My favourite blessed is a little tricky... I think I'm going to cheat again, and vote for a Venerable... which case I'm having Venerable Louis of Granada - apparently a favourite writer of St Teresa of Avila... and his book, "The Sinner's Guide" is fabulous.

Ok, now for the "should have been a saint" category... I think Dean Peyramale (parish priest of Lourdes at the time of the Apparitions) gets this slot. When I first went to Lourdes, I couldn't understand why he was commemorated everywhere, as the books I had read had cast him in a rather unfavourable light. I have since read a lot more, and the film "Bernadette" by Jean Delannoy helped to show what an awkward spot he was in to begin with, and how he really defended Bernadette once he became convinced the Apparitions were genuine.

There's a great account given in one of the books I read... Bernadette had reported that the lady had asked for a chapel... only, being a little discouraged by the priest's expression, she added that it didn't have to be big, "just a little one!" Dean Peyramale declared that he wanted a sign: if the bush in the grotto could be made to bloom, in February, then she could have her chapel... "And it won't be a little one. Oh no, it will be a nice big one!" said the Dean, who didn't believe in being shabby...

This is so often the attitude of the saints (and so often at odds with the post-Vatican II liberal trendies) - poverty was observed only in their private lives. Everything for the worship of God was the very best that could be afforded. Churches, chalices, monstrances, tabernacles, altar cloths, vestments... all made of the best, most precious materials, and decorated with care and love... There seems to be a lesson (or two) in there somewhere!!

Fine, now, upon whom shall I inflict this...?

Heheheheh... Northern Cleric, I think!

Monday 23 April 2007

Blessing Of Animals

I am totally besotted with my cat, Sylvester, and he knows it. He can twist me round his paw, no problem.

However, one day he will die. I have no intention of getting a plot in the pet cemetary, or holding a Requiem... and I have caused outrage and upset in previous years when telling pupils firmly that animals do not have immortal souls in the same way humans do, so I do not expect to meet Sylvester at the Pearly Gates (assuming that's where I fetch up!) This is probably just as well, because I would be slightly disconcerted to encounter St. Francis of Assisi surrounded by a few hundred of my ex-research associates (the pink-eyed, sharp-toothed and long-tailed variety!!)

So the following snippet, courtesy of Antonia, amused me greatly:

A priest friend of my husband's was once asked if he ever did any special blessings over animals.

His reply: I pray over animals every day... I call it "Grace".


Nephew Update

The latest photo of my nephew... I have to say that I'm a little concerned by the "rabbit-in-headlights" expression he keeps adopting whenever there's a camera in the vicinity! Maybe he'll grow out of it!

I do think he's totally gorgeous....

Sunday 22 April 2007

New Discoveries

Exploring the blogosphere (well, actually I had a tip-off from Anne in the com-box, and I was checking out my stats on SiteMeter) I have discovered two more blogs to add to my roll...

First up, courtesy of Anne, is Vive Jesus! which is written by Ali, a Roman Catholic Mexican. I'm a bit slow: no indication in the profile as to whether Ali was male or female... but a previous blog was mentioned: "Pray the News" (now defunct) so I explored that for clues. I liked the by-line: "Lets change the world, one piece of news, one prayer at a time." but still had no joy in identifying Ali (I had the strong idea that it was a woman, though I didn't know why!)... then I clocked the by-line on Vive Jesus: "Musings of a daughter of Saint Francis of Sales." Yes, I'd say that pretty much makes it definite!!

Second discovery is A Thorn in the Pew. The Thorn has only been posting since January (so I don't feel quite so bad about not having spotted her before!) She has a truly awesome banner (is that what it's called?) at the top of her blog... I am very jealous... and she is also refreshingly direct about her trad credentials.

*sigh* So much to read, so little time...

Aha! I Always Suspected I Was Misunderstood!!

You Are 47% Tortured Genius

You are very smart and a little bit tortured. Like a tortured genius in training.
You're brilliant enough to see how screwed up the world is. Just don't let it screw you up!

Mantilla twitched in Jeffrey's direction!

Anyone Fancy Another Caption Contest?

"What was that you asked? When's the what coming out? You'll have to speak a little louder..."

Twitch of the mantilla to the American Papist for the photo.

I Won !!

For the first time ever, I have won a caption competition... I don't think I have a prize coming my way, but the kudos, link and anticipated increased visitor numbers will more than suffice...

...especially since I think my caption was in rather poor taste... you'll have to go and visit the Ironic Catholic to find out what it was...

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