Saturday 1 March 2008

The Latest Olympic Sport... that of "spin-doctoring." Aided and abetted by the Western news agencies, (the BBC, the Guardian and Reuters are just three examples) the Chinese Communist regime is trying to smooth out any adverse publicity ahead of the Olympic Games by suggesting that they might scrap, or at least significantly relax, the one-child, forced-abortion population control policy.

You can read more about it on John Smeaton's blog. For those of you who don't already know, John is the Director of SPUC. His blog is an excellent source of news on the pro-life front.

What The Papers Say...

...seems to be whatever was on last week's blogosphere!

The intrepid Fr. Z has left Blighty, but before he went, the Catholic Herald managed to get an interview. Fr. Ray Blake claims the credit for this... on the basis that Fr. Z was in Fr. Ray's presbytery having breakfast at the time the interview was arranged... Reading the article, I gather that the interview itself occurred during Fr. Z's sojourn in Oxford. The man certainly covers some serious territory.

The story of how he converted to Catholicism makes for interesting reading. I can vouch for the fact that, as well as writing an excellent and entertaining blog, Fr. Z is entertaining and witty in "real life," and a thoroughly nice chap too.

I didn't think much of the photo taken by the Herald, and so have used the one I took on his visit last year... Fr. Z and Fr. T having coffee.

Thursday 28 February 2008

HFE Bill...

The relentless progress of this Bill strikes me as nothing less than diabolical. I received an email earlier today from a priest who suggested that every priest in the country should offer a Mass for its defeat.

There is more information to be found on the England & Wales website.
I would extend that: as many Catholics as possible should ask for a Mass Intention to be said for the defeat the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Bill.

Time to do some serious storming of the pearly gates.

Wednesday 27 February 2008

A Little Light Relief...

...I've just finished writing reports for my Year 8 class. As I am in need of a little light relief at the end of that lot, I thought I would put up the following pics because they made me smile...

First up, this is a blonde's speedometer...

And now we have a demonstration of the best way to set up a car showroom if you wish to attract the blonde consumer...

Tuesday 26 February 2008

The Art Of Taking Minutes...

I see that there is a current kerfuffle about the release of the Cabinet minutes from the meetings where the Cabinet discussed going to war with Iraq. Whatever was said, I doubt that there will be much to be gained from reading the minutes. Civil Servants have perfected the art of minute-taking, as Sir Humphrey Appleby, that apparently omniscient Whitehall mandarin, explains HERE.

(I can't put up the whole video clip, because it's been disabled by the BBC, but trust me, it's worth going to watch it!!)

Monday 25 February 2008


The problem with mock exams is that some poor soul has to sit down and mark the papers. I have two Year 9 classes. One class has 30 children. Fortunately, the other class, being a much lower ability set, is considerably smaller: only 21 children.

Each student sat two Science papers.

Each paper has about 32 pages - A4 size, by the way.

I need to apply rather a lot of red ink to those pages. Blogging may be a little light for the next day or two...

Sunday 24 February 2008

Eurovision 2008

Ireland has decided to register its disdain for the whole Eurovision thing by entering a puppet turkey to sing its 2008 entry, "Irlande douze points." I watched it just to see what the fuss was about - after all, The Muppet Show was quite cute, and they had some fabulous numbers...

Unfortunately, the turkey in question is not the lovable type one might find alongside Kermit and Miss Piggy. Dustin the turkey is rather repulsive, burping and passing wind... obviously Ireland have decided that there is no chance of them winning this year! I'm not really keen to put up the video, but you can follow the link...

*sigh* ...Come back, Riverdance, all is forgiven...

Anyway, in the meantime, this is my kind of puppet show...

More On Holy Water...

A few posts back, I wrote about the preparation of real Holy Water, the top-of-the-range, hardcore, send-devils-screaming-out-of-the-room stuff. The stuff, in other words, to which St. Teresa of Avila referred when she wrote:

"From long experience I have learned that there is nothing like holy water to put devils to flight and prevent them from coming back again. They also flee from the cross, but return; so holy water must have great value. For my own part, whenever I take it, my soul feels a particular and most notable consolation. In fact, it is quite usual for me to be conscious of a refreshment which I cannot possibly describe, resembling an inward joy which comforts my whole soul. This is not fancy, or something which has happened to me only once it has happened again and again and I have observed it most attentively. It is let us say, as if someone very hot and thirsty were to drink from a jug of cold water: he would feel the refreshment throughout his body. I often reflect on the great importance of everything ordained by the Church and it makes me very happy to find that those words of the Church are so powerful that they impart their power to the water and make it so very different from water which has not been blessed."

After Mass today, a woman asked for some Holy Water, and handed over a massive bottle. I looked in the jar, and realised that we would be just about cleaned out of holy water... so, not being the type to look a gift-horse in the mouth, happily filled the bottle right to the top, and then mentioned to Fr. Tim that his services would be required in order to replenish our sadly depleted stock...

...fortunately, I had my little camera to hand...

First of all the salt, then the water are exorcised. I found a translation of the prayers on the net (along with the original Latin), and they certainly pull no punches... I'm not sure how accurate the translation is, but I suspect that it's fine...

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

Exorcism of Salt
O salt, creature of God, I exorcise you by the living God, by the true God, by the holy God, by the God who ordered you to be poured into the water by Eliseus the Prophet so that its life-giving powers might be restored. I exorcise you so that you may become a means of salvation for believers, that you may bring health of soul and body to all who make use of you, arid that you may put to flight and drive away from the places where you are sprinkled every apparition, villainy, and turn of devilish deceit, and every unclean spirit, adjured by Him Who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Let us pray.
Almighty and everlasting God, we humbly implore Thee, in Thy immeasurable kindness and love, to bless + and sanctify + this salt which Thou did create and give over to the use of mankind, so that it may become a source of health for the minds and bodies of all who make use of it, and may rid whatever it touches or sprinkles of all uncleanness and protect it from every assault of evil spirits. Through our Lord, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Exorcism of Water
O water, creature of God, I exorcise you in the name of God the Father almighty, and in the name of Jesus Christ His Son, our Lord, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. I exorcise you so that you may put to flight all the power of the Enemy, and be able to root out and supplant that Enemy with his apostate angels: through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

Let us pray.
O God, Who for the salvation of mankind has built Thy greatest mysteries on this substance, water, in Thy kindness hear our prayers and pour down the power of Thy blessing + into this element, made ready for many kinds of purifications. May this, Thy creature, become an agent of divine grace in the service of Thy mysteries, to drive away evil spirits and dispel sickness, so that every- thing in the homes and other buildings of the faithful that is sprinkled with this water may be rid of all uncleanness and freed from every harm. Let no breath of infection, no disease-bearing air, remain in these places. May the wiles of the lurking Enemy prove of no avail. Let whatever might menace the safety and peace of those who live here be put to flight by the sprinkling of this water, so that the healthfulness, obtained by calling upon Thy holy name, may be made secure against all attack. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

The priest mixes a little salt into the water.
May a mixture of salt and water now be made in the name of the + Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy + Spirit.
R. Amen.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with your spirit.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Creator unconquerable, invincible King, Victor ever-glorious, Who did hold in check the forces bent on dominating us, Who did overcome the cruelty of the raging enemy, Who did in Thy power beat down the wicked foe:

Humbly and fearfully do we pray to Thee, O Lord, and we ask Thee to look with favour on this salt and water which Thou has created. Shine on it with the light of Thy kindness. Sanctify it by the dew of Thy love, so that, through the invocation of Thy holy name, wherever this water and salt is sprinkled it may turn aside every attack of the unclean spirit and dispel the terror of the poisonous serpent. And wherever we may be, make the Holy Spirit present to us who now implore Thy mercy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.
R. Amen.

This is a better picture... unfortunately there was quite a lot of light coming into the sacristy from the back, and it was difficult to get a really good shot because of the pillar in the middle.

And here you see the salt and water being mixed...

Et voilà... proper Holy Water!
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