Saturday 29 September 2007

Feast Of The Archangels

I love today's feastday: there is something very "in-your-face" about it...

Most people will accept the idea of saints (even if they don't agree that their intercession is necessary or helpful) because it seems pretty straightforward to acknowledge that there have been some very holy people over the centuries.

However, angels are a different matter. You can't see angels (in the normal run of events, that is) and so can't prove that they actually exist. Some people get quite twitchy if you mention that you believe in angels: you run the risk of being labelled as a bit soft in the head. After all, aren't angels make-believe, like fairies and elves and pixies... No-one really believes in angels nowadays, do they?

Well, you need to decide whether you believe the Bible. They are mentioned quite a lot... and not just in the early Books of the Old Testament where you might be able to persuade yourself that they're only a representation of some human trait or characteristic or something (that's how I used to "explain" difficult Bible stuff to myself.)

They're awesome creatures... about as unlike popular depictions of fairies and pixies as you can get, and by all accounts they don't resemble those cute little cherubs you see on Christmas cards. As it so happens, the Biblical description of the cherubim is rather hair-raising... and of course, whenever the angels and archangels appear, they seem to tell all and sundry not to be afraid... which rather suggests that their general appearance causes some concern... Those great hulking shepherds in the fields surrounding Bethlehem wouldn't be noted for their timidity, for example... but the appearance of angels had them quaking in their boots.

Roman Miscellany has an excellent post on angels, which you can read HERE (I'd quite forgotten that the Feast used to be called "Michaelmas" !) and Fr. Zuhlsdorf has a close-up of an angel (just an artistic representation, so not at all frightening) embroidered on the beautiful vestments he wore for the Mass he celebrated earlier.

St. Michael, St. Gabriel & St. Raphael, pray for us.

Questions, Questions...

Oh boy... I thought the memes and quizzes had died out. How wrong can you be? This was inflicted upon me by Mark of Rise and Pray fame... I like him and his blog, so I shall be good and answer it!

Easy rules: just post the quiz on your blog and answer the questions, then pass it on to five other bloggers, and link to them in your post. Be sure to link back to the one who sent it to you.

1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?

Both. I love the Mass. If it's celebrated with dignity and reverence, then that's fine by me. I prefer Mass to be ad orientem whether it is the extraordinary or the ordinary form. And yes, I know that the extraordinary form is always celebrated ad orientem... I have come to a deeper appreciation of the freedom of worship associated with the extraordinary form Low Mass.

I will, however, move heaven and earth to avoid what I suspect will be an overly "chatty" Mass where the priest "engages" with "his" congregation ("audience")... I similarly avoid teeth-achingly awful "modern" hymns and liturgical dance.

2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?

The extraordinary form of Mass is regularly available at my own parish. It takes me 10-15 minutes to drive (10 mins on Sunday, 15 mins if I travel in the rush hour.)

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?

Roman (ie. faithful to the Pope!)

4. Are you a comment junkie?

Ummm... no, I don't think so... I only comment if I have something to say, or I want to show support or encourage another blogger.

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?

Occasionally - if I asked a question (assuming I remember where I made the comment!!) But not on a regular basis.

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?

No. I don't do anonymous. If I feel it's important enough to say, then I put my name to it.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?

I'm on nearly every blogroll I'm interested in... the exception is Fr Zuhlsdorf's... I'd love to be on his blogroll. However, I'm not a big enough camembert on the blogging cheeseboard, so there's little chance of that happening!

8. Which blog is the first one you check?

The Hermeneutic of Continuity.

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?

Ooooh, yes, shedloads... Fr. Tim Finigan, Fr. Ray Blake, Fr. John Boyle, Fr. Séan Finnegan, Fr. Nicholas Schofield, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, the Dúnadan, Fr. Michael Clifton (only in passing), Londiniensis (who only comments, but under his own profile, and often enough to count as a blogger), Newhousenewjob, Leutgeb, Joanna Bogle, the Sisters of the Gospel of Life, Richard Marsden, Orthfully Catholic, Barbara and George (two more regular "comment-only" bloggers) and probably quite a few more (who will, no doubt, hasten to point this out in the combox!)

10. What are you reading?

At the moment, nothing... this is rare. It will be sorted out soon... once I can locate my pile of un-read books under the piles of exercise books and worksheets which have suddenly swamped my sitting room...

Bonus Question! Has your site been banned by Spirit of Vatican II?

Ummm... is that another blog?

Ok, I challenge Leutgeb at Bara Brith, Newhousenewjobnewfiancé at Just Doing My Best, Fr. Ray at St. Mary Magdalen, Fr. Justin at Nova et Vetera and Faccio La Mamma at Antagonistic Pots and Pans (you may detect a decidedly British theme this time round... fear not, I shall be "sharing" more irritating tidbits with my transatlantic blogging pals all too soon!)

Friday 28 September 2007

Thursday 27 September 2007

Fr. Z's Run-Off Poll...

Forget anything you might read about a possible snap election in the UK, or the nominations for the parties in the USA... the really important vote is the one being held over at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog: What Does The Prayer Really Say?

It is to decide what to call the Mass, formerly referred to as the Traditional Rite, the Tridentine Rite, the Classical Rite, or the Old Latin Mass, or a heap of other soubriquets...

Since Summorum Pontificum has made it clear that there is only ONE Latin Rite, though there are two different forms, it becomes rather crucial to know how to refer to the Mass celebrated according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII...

Fr. Z held a preliminary poll (which counted as the Primaries) and now there is a run-off between the top three: the Extraordinary form/use, the Traditional Latin Mass or TLM or, finally, the Tridentine Mass. Fr Z asked all bloggers to link to the poll, to get a better feel for public opinion... It is likely that all my readers will already have read Fr Z (and voted), but just in case (and to show willing) you can access the poll HERE.

When Will The Baby-Boomers Realise It's Over??

I saw this over at Fr. Ray's excellent and informative blog. It is enough to make anyone with an ounce of common sense cry.

It is not enough to be a Roman Catholic priest in England and Wales. Catholic obviously doesn't mean universal... see what happens when you ditch Latin? Anyway, the Bishops of England and Wales see the need to run induction courses for foreign priests who wish to celebrate Mass and do other stuff like that while they're over here.

"The three week induction programme, endorsed and recommended by the bishops of England and Wales, aims to provide the priests with practical advice and information that will enable them to integrate into UK life and make effective use of their pastoral skills in an alien culture.

"Students will look at issues affecting the Church in England and Wales in the third millennium – power, authority, the role of women, lay/diaconal ministry, ecumenism and much more. This is important preparation for future pastoral work and liturgical celebrations."

Sorry, but that is just sooooooo 1960s. Like watching one's dad trying to dance and look trendy. Cringe-making!

Wednesday 26 September 2007


I see from Fr. Justin at Nova et Vetera that the first ever Catholic Church in Qatar is to be built, dedicated to our Lady of the Rosary. The Emir Amir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani contributed the land, having been involved in talks with the Holy See over many years.

A common response, when the building of a mosque is mooted, is "Oh yes, they want a mosque, but will they let us build churches over there?"

In many Islamic countries the answer would be "No," so the news from Qatar is encouraging. And I do not believe that the dedication of the church to Our Lady of the Rosary is a coincidence...

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder...

...but then again, out of sight, out of mind! I haven't blogged as regularly as usual over the past week: a conjunction of ill-health (yeurchhhh!) and an up-turn in levels of schoolwork for the new job (*sigh*) have conspired to keep me away from my beloved computer. The computers at school block the blogs... I can read bits of them (but any graphics or videos are barred) but I can't comment, and I can't post. In addition, the network seems to go down at about 4:45pm, so even if I'm working late, I don't really have time to read the blogs...

...And, by the time I get home, I haven't got much time left before bedtime in which to blog: I can just about keep an eye on the comments which come through for moderation, and read a few of my favourite blogs. Actually writing something requires a little more time, energy and inspiration. As the job settles into a routine I should find juggling my time a little easier, but right now things are hectic.

I'm really enjoying my new job. The staff and students are friendly, though my memory for faces means that half the time I'm wondering who exactly greeted me in the corridor: I wouldn't mind, but they seem to know all about me... Even more embarassingly, I was greeted this evening by a pupil who introduced me to his mother... and I had to admit that I didn't know his name... or what year he was in... (although I correctly identified the class once he'd told me the year.) Luckily his mother seemed happy enough with my apologetic explanation!

I'm sure that you will be delighted to hear that I have finally (after three and a half weeks) worked out exactly where the Staffroom is in relation to the Science Faculty Office. I also know where the main photocopy room is, and the small photocopy room. And I know where the English Corridor is, because I do a break duty there each week. I am vaguely aware of the existence of a whole school attached somehow to the Science Faculty, but beyond that, I would require a map. And a compass.

Tuesday 25 September 2007

Is It Worth It?

Heheheheh... I saw this little beauty over at Just Doing My Best, and had to have a go...

My blog is worth $39,517.80.
How much is your blog worth?

I have absolutely no idea what it's based upon...
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