Saturday 27 October 2007

Dominicans Vs. Jesuits...

I read a scathing comment about feminists by a Dominican Cardinal over on Fr Z's blog. I liked it. It reminded me of an old joke about the relative success of the Dominican and Jesuit orders, especially as I seem to recall several references to Jesuits and their feminist leanings...

Anyway, the joke goes: which Order is most successful, the Jesuits or the Dominicans?
Answer: the Dominicans. The Dominican Order was started to combat the Albigensian (Cathar) heresy, the Jesuits to combat the Protestant heresy. When was the last time you met an Albigensian?

A Game of Cat and Mouse?

I saw this over at Catholic Mom of 10, and howled with laughter...

New Blog

The wonderful Sisters of the Gospel of Life have a new, more work-related blog. It's called the Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative, and it is likely, as befits the name, to focus on the pro-life work which the Sisters do... as well as other pro-life matters. It will stand alongside the Sisters' own blog.

Pay them a visit (to both sites) and give them some encouragement.

Friday 26 October 2007

Last Blonde Joke This Week...

A blonde was getting pretty desperate for money. She decided to go to the nicer, richer neighbourhoods around town and look for odd jobs as a handy woman. The first house she came to, a man answered the door and told her,"Yeah, I have a job for you. How would you like to paint the porch?"

"Sure that sounds great!" said the blonde.

"Well, how much do you want me to pay you?" asked the man.

"Is fifty bucks all right?" the blonde asked.

"Yeah, great. You'll find the paint and ladders you'll need in the garage."

The man went back into his house to his wife who had been listening.

"Fifty bucks!? Does she know the porch goes all the way around the house?" asked the wife.

"Well, she must, she was standing right on it!" her husband replied.

About 45 minutes later, the blonde knocked on the door. "I'm all finished," she told the surprised homeowner. The man was amazed.

"You painted the whole porch?"

"Yeah," she replied, "I even had some paint left, so I put on two coats!"

The man reached into his wallet to pay her.

"Oh, and by the way," said the blonde, "That's not a Porch, it's a Ferrari."

Thursday 25 October 2007

Saints' Days...

I get a little confused: I know that the feasts of the Beatified Martyrs of England and Wales (4th May) and the Forty Martyrs (the Canonised ones, 25th October) have been lumped together as the Martyrs of England & Wales, but I always forget on which day it is now celebrated.

Apparently, it should be the May date. Personally, I had no problem with a general separation of the canonised and the beatified martyrs (I believe that a miracle is needed before a Blessed can be elevated to a fully canonised saint), and I am unsure why today's celebration had to be scrapped - I mean, it's not as if it has had to be replaced by another saint's day...

However, as today was a feria, the parish Mass this morning was a votive one for the Forty Martyrs. Over at Owl of the Remove, the picture of the Forty Martyrs, painted for their Canonisation, was put up in their honour. It is one of my favourite pictures, and St. Anne Line, one of my patron saints, is shown... she's standing at the front left of the picture with keys hanging from her belt (she was housekeeper for Fr Gerard and kept a safehouse in London.)

Wednesday 24 October 2007


I arranged two appointments for today.

I've had a leaky overflow pipe for a couple of weeks, according to my neighbours, and the landlord informed me that he had a plumbing contract with British Gas. (British Gas?? For plumbing?? That was a new one on me!) I arranged the appointment for my half term week. The annual gas boiler check was also due, and to make life easier for myself, I booked it for the same day.

Now, unfortunately, although several supermarkets and retail outlets can arrange a specific delivery slot at half-hour intervals, and my cable TV company were able to book an appointment within a two-hour slot, British Gas do not seem to be able to do the same. It is a case of "morning" (any time from 7am to 1pm) or "afternoon" (the start time of which depended on who was speaking at the time, but it varied between 12pm and 2pm and finished at 6pm.) I picked the afternoon slot both times, as a morning one would prevent me from getting to Mass.

So I hot-footed it back from Mass this morning, and got on with a few household chores I'd been saving especially for half term...

At 11:30am, well before the official "slot," the phone rang. I was in the bathroom (Sod's Law in operation) so couldn't answer. When I phoned back, the gas heating engineer informed me that, since there had been no answer when he'd phoned, he'd gone on to his next job... he promised to return in "about an hour."

The plumber arrived half an hour later: there was just a washer which needed to be replaced, which was fine. I was delighted by this turn of events: it looked as though everything would be sorted pretty early...

...a case of crossing one's chickens before one's bridges are hatched...

Three hours later, I tried the heating engineer's mobile. No answer, so I left a polite voicemail message asking for an estimated time of arrival. An hour after that, I tried again... he answered (I heard a connection) and then he hung up. An hour after that, rapidly losing patience, I rang headquarters. The chap I spoke to was very apologetic.

Apparently, the engineer told the headquarters chap that my address didn't exist. He also said that there was no contact number... given that I was on the phone to headquarters at the time, and the address came up on their records (and I'd reported that the engineer had phoned me in the morning), I wonder what the chap said to the engineer. I was on hold, so I can only guess...

Another engineer is being sent round before 6pm.

UPDATE: He didn't turn up... Grrrrr!

It's All That Pope's Fault...!

I do get soooooo tired of all that "HIV/AIDS is increasing because the Catholic Church won't allow condoms" malarkey.

It is, after all, obvious to anyone with half a brain cell, that people who openly flout Church teaching on sex and marriage are going to be so very concerned about the Church's ban on condom use. Not.

Someone will, no doubt, trot out the excuse that it's the innocent wives, who get infected by their errant husbands, who need condoms. I doubt very much that the innocent wives get offered the option of condom use anyway, and if hubby is so careless of his wife's health that he's sleeping around, then he's hardly going to worry about a little thing like infecting her with a killer disease...

...because, knowing that condoms are not a guaranteed protection against HIV/AIDS, to sleep with her at all is to play Russian Roulette with her life.

Anyhow, the Curt Jester has a brilliant commentary on the statistical evidence that abstinence works and condoms don't, while Ma Beck has a very, very amusing rant along the lines of obedience to Church teaching. Check them out.

Tuesday 23 October 2007

Online Petition

I mentioned a programme on abortion which was to be shown on Channel 4: Dispatches. I didn't get to see it as I was totally shattered, and I don't have a video recorder. Someone put a link to part of the programme in the combox, and I'm embedding it here... It isn't for the squeamish!

Anyway, now there's a petition to Gordon Brown asking for the time-limit on abortion to be brought down from 24 weeks to 16 weeks, in line with other European countries. I've signed, but I'm not entirely convinced that this is the best way to go... my fear is that, in order to gain agreement on the lower limit, political campaigners will agree to lifting the current requirement for a second doctor's signature, effectively ensuring abortion "on demand." I know it is, to all intents and purposes, effectively guaranteed anyway, but I feel it is important that the law is there. Maybe I'm wrong on this one. Comments gratefully received...

The petition can be found HERE.

Just A Blonde Having Fun...

A blonde and a lawyer are seated next to each other on a flight from Heathrow to New York. The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game? The blonde, tired, just wants to take a nap. Politely she declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks. The lawyer persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun.

He explains, "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5.00, and vice versa."

Again, she declines and tries to get some sleep. The lawyer, very persistent, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5.00, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $500.00." This catches the blonde's attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, agrees to the game.

The lawyer asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?" The blonde doesn't say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill and hands it to the lawyer.

"Okay," says the lawyer," your turn." She asks the lawyer, "What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?" The lawyer, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references. No answer. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the Internet and the Library of Congress. No answer. Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and coworkers, to no avail. After an hour, he wakes the blonde and hands her $500.00.

The blonde says, "Thank you," and turns back to get some more sleep.

The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the blonde and asks, "Well, what's the answer?" Without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep.

Big Brother Has Big Connexions...

Being a teacher, I had heard about "Connexions" a while back with reference to Careers advice in secondary schools. I have little time for "careers advice" as it generally bears little relation, in my opinion, to the abilities and aptitudes of the students I have come across. The number of students who seemed to think they could become doctors when they would, in reality, be lucky to scrape 5 GCSEs, always left me speechless, for example. And I never heard any of the brighter pupils being encouraged to think of Oxbridge applications.

Then, a friend with teenage children told me some of the stuff that Connexions wanted to know: the child's mobile phone number being the most worrying. They also seemed to be gearing up to offer "healthcare" advice, which, as we all know, is a convenient euphemism for contraceptive advice, abortion services and STD checks. Then I changed jobs, and went to a Sixth Form College: the Connexions advisor came in, and seemed very keen to get the teenagers to visit the Connextions centre in the High Street, with emphasis on the fact that it was all confidential. Students were also told that, if they preferred, any meetings could be arranged in a local coffee shop or fast food outlet of their choice.

I doubt that parents were being told of the arrangements being made to meet with their children...

Now I read that the WhiteStone Name Seeker has run into the Connexions posse: only this time they have taken the liberty of "following up" the progress of her 16-year-old son by calling at his home and demanding information. Apparently the government "requires" it.

Orwell didn't know how right he was...

How To Really Mess Up Your Day...

I have no idea where this is. I am relieved to note that it must be somewhere on the other side of the pond (I spotted the Stars & Stripes) but I hope to goodness that we never get it happening here.

What the woman thinks she's doing with the scallop shell is anyone's guess...

Twitch of the mantilla to Gillibrand at Catholic Church Conservation.

UPDATE: A few people seem to have gotten the wrong end of the stick... the woman appears to be acting as some sort of "stealth priestess" here, as is shown in one or two of the other photos, which, to avoid further confusion, I will post below... I was hoping to avoid doing so, because I wanted to retain my dinner, but...

Monday 22 October 2007

Bloggers Choice Awards

My site was nominated for Best Religion Blog!
Ok, I'm done with being modest and reticent... I did that last year and it didn't get me anywhere. The Bloggers' Choice Awards 2008 are up and running. You can vote for the big hitters, such as the excellent Fr. Zuhlsdorf, and the British Catholic Blogmeister, Fr. Tim, but you can vote for me as well...

So far I'm on Page 60 because I haven't got any votes, and my blog name begins with "M" !!

Ma's Music Meme

Ok, Ma Beck tagged anyone who has prayed the Rosary in the past week... which means I'm "it"... especially as I'm short on profound thoughts (hence the ham bush!)

What song is in your head?

Requiem for Evita - the opening (and closing) refrains from Evita - the original cast recording with Elaine Paige and David Essex, I hasten to add, not the rather poor imitation mangled by Madonna. The opening lines (after "Requiem aeternum") are actually the words to the Salve Regina. Quite catchy!

What is the newest album in your collection?

"Newest" as in "most recently acquired" or "newest" as in most recently published? Because if it's the former, then Annie Lennox's Diva (I had the album on cassette for years, but finally got round to getting the CD last month); most recently published, Schola Cantamus Plainsong for Parishes.

What is the top album on your wish list?

Don't have one. I'm more of an impulse music buyer... and a very infrequent one at that.

What is the most recent live music event you have attended?

Hmmmn. Does a Christmas carol concert count? Actually, I did attend a parish music evening back in August where some young people played various instruments and sang. They were pretty good, so I guess that counts as "live music."

What is the top live music event on your wish list?

Again, I don't really have a live music wish list... though it would be great to hear Leutgeb play her new viola...

What are the top three albums currently in rotation at your house?

The music from Evita (original cast recording as explained earlier), Abba's Voulez Vous and Annie Lennox's Diva.

Ok, I'm going to tag Mark (because he's suffering winter blues and needs distracting), Fr. Justin (because he's been awfully quiet of late), Fr. Paul (so that he doesn't feel lonely now he's back in the Lune Valley) and Leutgeb (as she's a musician, her answers should be worth reading.)

Time For Another Joke...

Two Mexicans were in the desert. They had been lost for days, and were on their last legs. Suddenly Pepe stopped short and sniffed.

"Hey, José, do you smell sometheeng?"

"Si, Pepe... what do you theenk eet ees?"

"I don't know, José... let's go look..."

The two of them crawl over the next sand dune. There up ahead is a large tree with different cuts of meat hanging off the branches. There is gammon, back bacon, rashers of streaky bacon and Pepe points excitedly: "There!" he says, "José, we are saved... over there is a bacon tree!"

José cautions his friend: "Pepe, we are in the desert. How do you know thees ees not a meerage?"

Pepe pats José on the shoulder. "My friend, when deed you ever hear of a meerage that smelt so good... I tell you, we are saved!"

He crawled rapidly towards the tree. Suddenly, a barrage of gunfire breaks out, and Pepe collapses. With his last breath, he attempts to warn his friend...

"José, my friend... do not come any closer... you was right...! Thees ees not a bacon tree..."

"Pepe, Pepe!" José shouted, "What ees eet?"

"José, ees not a bacon tree... ees a ham bush!"
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