Thursday, June 29, 2006

Full in the Panting Heart of Rome



Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam.

A happy feast day to you all

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Otium Sanctum


Today (in Scotland) the children will begin their Summer holidays. Pray for them, especially my children and their little chums, for a happy time and blessed rest

CAUSA NOSTRAE LAETITIAE
(HOLIDAY HYMN)

Mother of all that is pure and glad
All that is bright and blest
As we have taken our toil to thee
So will we take our rest.
Take thou and bless our Holiday.
O Causa Nostrae Laetitiae.

Airs that are soft and a cloudless sky
We would owe all to Thee
Speak to Thy Son as Thou didst of old,
That feast day in Galilee
Tell Him our needs in Thine own sweet way,
O Causa Nostrae Laetitiae.

Be with us, Mother, from morn till eve,
Thou and Thy Blessed Son,
Keep us from all that is grief to you,
‘Till the weeks and months are run.
Thine be we still, when grave or gay,
O Causa Nostrae Laetitiae.

Smile upon all that is dear to us,
Smile on our school and home,
Smile on the days we are passing now,
Smile on the years to come,
Brighten our work and gladden our play,
O Causa Nostrae Laetitiae.

Keep us in all that is blest of God,
Give us the joys that endure,
Lips that have smiles and words for all,
Hearts that are kind and pure;
So wilt Thou be by night and day,
O Causa Nostrae Laetitiae
.
Come when earth’s tears and smiles are o’er,
Mother of peace and love,
Show to us Him who is joy to earth,
And joy to the hosts above,
So shall we laugh in the latter day,
O Causa Nostrae Laetitiae

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Most Holy Name of Jesus


The Holy Name of Jesus has long enjoyed devotion in the Catholic Church and is an expression of the Second Commandment. Christopher Howse wrote well, as usual, on its expression in the medieval Charterhouse in London that gave so many Holy Martyrs to the Faith. How strange then that when I bought my eldest a t-shirt in Tesco (£2 each, four in total for the boys costing less than a tenner!) it should have on the front, the sacred monogram representing the Holy Name of Jesus. I guess we are easier at such accidental placing of sacred symbols in a secular context, than other faiths I could mention. We have at the core of our faith the belief in the God who pitches His tent among us.

I suspect the design is there because a lazy designer liked the look of it without knowing its significance. My hope is that the designer is a Catholic who knew just what he was doing and secretly wanted to give believers the chance to praise the Holy Name of Jesus whenever they see it.

May the Holy Name of Jesus be praised, blessed and glorified throughout creation, now and for ever more.

Can you imagine if it had been the Holy Father?



Celibate leader of a major world religion condemns homosexual acts. I know what you’re thinking, but no, it didn’t make the front of The Guardian. I meant to post on this some time ago, but there was a remarkable interview with the Dalai Lama in The Telegraph, a man whose moral courage should inspire anyone, in which he did not obfuscate about sexual morality.

“Although he is known for his tolerant, humane views, he is a surprisingly harsh critic of homosexuality. If you are a Buddhist, he says, it is wrong. "Full stop.
No way round it.
‘A gay couple came to see me, seeking my support and blessing. I had to explain our teachings. Another lady introduced another woman as her wife – astonishing’”



Now can you imagine how the BBC would have covered such a revelation had it been an interview with the other "His Holiness"?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Et Verbum caro factum est



ANGELUS Domini nuntiavit Mariae,
R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum; benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

V. Ecce ancilla Domini,
R. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.

Ave Maria...

V. Et Verbum caro factum est.
R. Et habitavit in nobis.

Ave Maria...

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genitrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus.
Gratiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, mentibus nostris infunde; ut, qui, angelo nuntiante, Christi Filii tui incarnationem cognovimus, per passionem ejus et crucem, ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.
R. Amen.

I had a wonderful experience the other evening. I work late on a Monday and was quietly working in my office when the Angelus rang out at 6pm. I rose and said the prayers - genuflection and all (the office was empty of my colleagues!!). It was a wonderful grace to hear the bell from a local church (perhaps I'm too busy or it is too noisy at noon). So many graces flow when our Catholic faith is publicly expressed and we are reminded of Our Lord as God-Made-Man.

Ring out, Catholic bells!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Out of the mouths of babes



I've started my eldest boy's preparation for his First Holy Communion next year. One of our first exercises is for him to come up with a prayer to tell our Lord how much he wants to receive him in Holy Communion.

"I want to receive him completely", my boy said.

Pray for him, pray for us.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Shameless plug for favourite bookshop


I promised the bookshop man that I would plug his bookshop. It's a fantastic treasure trove of good Catholic books and cards, rosaries and the like. If you're up by the Cathedral (that's to say the one near the Infirmary that was nicked at the Reformation), pop up to St Mungo's,Townhead, the Passionist Church where St Mungo's Gallery Bookshop is to be found.

By the way, Father Paul Francis of St Mungo's has a good blog, Laus Crucis, too.

Get to confession, Tartan Army!

As an Englishman in Scotland I walk the line, as Johnny Cash would say. I always support the country of my adoption, my wife and my children, unless they play the land of my birth. Thankfully, help is at hand for us exiles (in this vale of tears) from the Rector, no less, of the Scottish National Seminary, Scotus College.

"Scotland's national team did not qualify for the World Cup, and Father William McFadden told soccer fans north of the English border that they need to examine their consciences before deciding where their allegiance lies for the June 9-July 9 games in Germany."

That would be "Anyone but England". Right?

Fr McFadden has strong words: "If a Scot has an automatic negative reaction to supporting England, then they would have to question where that feeling is coming from." So you'll all be off to confession to tell the priest of your uncharitable thoughts towards Jimmy Hill.

Still we're a forgiving lot. Says Beckham of Jack McConnell's support for Trinidad and Tobago: "In a way I understand. He's very patriotic. I'm also very patriotic."

So am I, so as in the rugby World Cup, it'll be a novena to Our Lady of Walsingham.

Come on Mary's Dowry!!!!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Synchronised Red Hats


Am I alone in thinking there has been a certain change in tone during this pontificate with regard to Islam? I don't envisage any Koran kissing from the Holy Father. But there have been some interesting snippets from members of the Sacred College. The normally anodyne Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor challenged Muslims in Oxford to speak out when Christians are under attack in Islamic states (as if!). Then the Vatican Secretary of State tells Muslims in the light of the MoToons violence: "If we tell our people they have no right to offend, we have to tell the others they have no right to destroy us,"

Last, but by no means least, the magnificent Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney telling it like it is: "In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence.There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages."

UPDATE: Great interview with Cardinal Pell here. Many sensible things to say about Islam and a little about the new English translation of the Novus Ordo.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Holy Top Trumps!



Over at Patter Noster there's the wonderful tale of Softsaints.com. As an aid to passing on the Faith to wee ones, Holy Cards are pretty good too (obviously trying to be a good example, leading in prayer and teaching the Faith kindly but firmly are important). The Holy Cards are purchased as a reward for good behaviour at Mass (30p from the piety stall, including plastic cover - very good value). But my own boys have developed a version of Top Trumps. So far the rules seem to be that Our Lord trumps anything and Our Lady trumps anything other than Our Lord. Can anyone suggest some more (theologically sound) rules?