Saturday 18 July 2009

Oh Dear...

I just couldn't resist Gonzo's new act... the Benedictine Monkees.

Twitch of the mantilla to Carolina Cannonball.

*sigh* I have got to get out more!

More Ways To Waste Time...

I'm a terrible one for procrastinating. Despite knowing all too well the dangers involved, I always seem to put things off until the last minute.

Packing, for example. I always leave it until the last minute, and, as a result, I often pack far too much stuff (I might need it, I haven't got time to work out what I really do need...) and I usually forget something or other.

However, I do like to be organised. I like to know what I have left to do... so, I employ that device beloved of so many procrastinators: the drawing up of lists.

Now, don't get me wrong, lists are useful. Making a list in order to prioritise things is quite helpful. However, I have it down to a fine art: my lists can end up taking longer to complete than the tasks themselves.

And, as one needs positive feedback, (sorry, I studied Psychology, I can't help it...) I find myself making lists of things that I have already done, just so that I can cross them off my list and feel productive.

Google obviously employs people of a similar mindset. I noticed a new section when I logged on to check my email: the "Tasks" link. Ooh, another way to make lists...

Unlike many online task management lists, Google's list facility doesn't automatically delete the completed tasks... instead, after you have clicked on the task to show it's completed, (very satisfying) a line is drawn through the item, so you can see it's been crossed off your list.

Very, very satisfying.

And there is the option of printing out the list with the completed items on it, or clearing the completed items out, and just printing the outstanding ones. Printed lists are very satisfying indeed... The inclusion of a due date is also optional, which is handy for all those items which need to be done at some time in the future, but not by any particular time, so they can never be marked as "late"...

And you can make different lists.

I don't know what happens if you don't clear an item by the due date. I might have to omit ticking something just to find out... except that I'd look as if I was putting things off...

Now, if you'll excuse me, I just have to go and make a list of the different lists I need to make...

Friday 17 July 2009

Prayers For The Holy Father...

The Holy Father fell and fractured his wrist. A Vatican spokesman said it wasn't severe - Pope Benedict said Mass and had breakfast before going to hospital.

He had the wrist pinned, and it's in a cast.

I have to say that I'm surprised he had breakfast, knowing that he might need a surgical procedure done on the wrist, but, obviously, I'm delighted to hear that it wasn't, therefore, a bad break.

The Holy Father needs our prayers more than ever now. Knees to the deck and crack open the rosaries, chaps!

Twitch of the mantilla to all those who tweeted the news on Twitter...

Thursday 16 July 2009

They're Going To Do It Anyway...

Matthew Archbold of Creative Minority Report has an excellent post comparing the US government's approach to smoking in teenagers and the approach to underage sex... and wondering what would happen if the approach to the latter were consistent with that of the former.

Why not restrict advertisers from using sex in commercials geared towards young people? How about Hollywood treats underage sex in movies as something undesirable rather than the apotheosis of cool?

Certainly, young people engaging in premarital sex is as least as dangerous to themselves and society as smoking.

So why do we spend so much and try so hard to prevent young people from smoking and then just throw our hands up as a society when it comes to sex saying "Ah, they're just going to do it anyway?"

The government's reaction of just handing out condoms is like putting filters on cigarettes - and about just as effective.

Read the rest HERE.

Cherishing Vocations...

A short while back, I got chatting to a gentleman in Addiscombe. He has been doing a lot to promote vocations to the priesthood in his parish, and asked if I would be kind enough to advertise some of the initiatives they have introduced.

As I explained, I'm happy to do anything I can to promote vocations to the priesthood, and to support those who wish to promote them: remember, no priests means no sacraments, and therefore no Church.

First of all, there's the website. This is, I suspect, a "work in progress" as I couldn't get any further than the front page. Keep an eye on it, though, as it has great potential.

I was more interested in two other initiatives: The 31 Club and Friends of the Lamb.

The 31 Club is a simple enterprise: during the Year for Priests, members agree to attend Holy Mass on one day of the month (in addition to the normal Sunday obligation) where they pray for priests and for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The idea is that you pick a date which is memorable for you. Eventually, all 31 days of the month are covered (hence the name.) I'm not sure what happens in any month where your date doesn't occur (eg. if you pick 31 and it's April), but presumably you can transfer it to another date - which is the advice given if you forget your selected date.

People who are sick or housebound are also encouraged to join: they are encouraged to offer up an hour of their daily suffering, say a rosary, or pick a prayer they can say without too much difficulty.

The Friends of the Lamb is a way for younger members of the parish to pray for priests. Children who have not yet made their First Holy Communion are asked to pray a Hail Mary on one day in the month (again, a particular date which they can remember.) Children who have made their First Holy Communion are asked to pray three Hail Marys. The children are also encouraged to tell the priest that they are praying for him each month. Once the children have been Confirmed, they are encouraged to join the 31 Club.

I think that these initiatives are a wonderful way of marking the Year for Priests.

Bethlehem Art

We had a visit to the parish on Sunday from Bethlehem Art. Christian families living in Bethlehem used to rely on pilgrims and visitors to the Holy Places for their income, but, as visitors have dropped off, the families have found it harder and harder to make ends meet.

The group contacted our Archbishop and got a letter of introduction from him, and, on the basis of that, then contacted various parishes to see if they could sell stuff after Mass.

The carvings are all from olive wood, and they are beautiful. I took a couple of photos of the display in the small hall, but they don't convey the feel of the wood, which is very touchable.

The website can be seen HERE, and, in the UK, you can contact George Rishmawi by email.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

Take The Challenge...

I challenge you to watch this video without cracking a single smile. I don't think it's possible, there's something infectious about babies' smiles. I would love to know what the father is doing though!

Twitch of the mantilla to Matthew Archbold.

Monday 13 July 2009

What Happens At A Sunday Missa Cantata

A while back, I wrote a post about what to do when you attend a usus antiquior Mass for the first time, and what to expect. I also described the differences between a Low Mass, a Missa Cantata and a Solemn High Mass.

Seraphic Spouse (formerly Seraphic Single) has gone one better, and has given a blow-by-blow account of a Sunday Missa Cantata in her parish. I know it has to be Sunday, because she mentions the Asperges.

It is absolutely brilliant, and comes in four parts: part one, part two, part three and part four.

Twitch of the mantilla to Leutgeb... and I shall have serious words, as I want to know why I didn't spot this sooner!

How To Bowl A Maiden Over...

Yesterday, the cricket happened to be on TV in the parish club. I mentioned, in passing, that I didn't understand the rules of cricket, and how it was that, if England were in the lead by 6 runs (or whatever it was) that, actually, Australia was winning.

Bad move.

In the space of about ten minutes, I was taken through fast bowling, slow bowling, creases, overs, top-spin, seams, stumps, bails, leg before wickets, hand signals used by umpires, fielding, wicket keepers' gloves, batting for six, or four, running someone out, boundaries, wide balls, no balls, calling, polishing one side of the ball to give it more spin, the minimum number of overs in an innings, and the ten-minute gap between innings.

I then started to watch the cricket. Only there was less than ten minutes before the end of the match, so, although England were in the lead, Australia couldn't have their innings and so it was a draw, and the match ended, or something.


I only managed to grasp that much because I was on the coca cola rather than anything stronger.

I was also told that there aren't any rules in cricket. There are laws.

I still don't quite understand why they're playing for an ashtray...

UPDATE: Miss Ellen has added a little clarification. I would also like to point out that I shall try and pay attention to the match, if it's still going on, after Rosary and Benediction, when I shall be in the parish club again...
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