Friday, June 29, 2012

Palestrina, Tu es Petrus, Gloria

In celebration of today's Feast.

Saints Peter and Paul; pray for us.
God bless our Pope.

Tomorrow the novena begins to the Holy Spirit for a satisfactory conclusion to the talks with the SSPX.

The Sale of 'Bethany'

All problems were solved this morning and it looks as if the sale will go through. Fortunately  I had just begun to watch the Pallium Mass from Rome when the Agent rang me, and so the shock did not hit me immediately. Of course one has to be ready for 'many a slip 'twixt cup and lip'. But now we have to find somewhere smaller to rent in Saint Romain. We will consult with the Mairie on Monday.

Everyone involved is utterly amazed at the speed with which this the events of this week have unfolded. During the day I have been unable to dismiss the thought that Saints Peter and Paul may have had a hand in all this. Not to mention Saint Joseph to whom I've been praying since the decision to sell last year. The Lord knows how painful this separation is going to be, but I have already offered Him any benefit it may bring down upon us, or others.

On an equally positive note, it means that I'll probably be able to come over to England before next winter, and see some of you again, or for the first time, and even maybe accompany my friend Mary to Rome next Epiphany..............Whether I go or not isn't important. But the fact that I may now consider it is blessedly healthy.

I hope you've all had a joyful Solemnity.

Silverstream renovation 4 Holy Week

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Another shattering day: the future of 'Bethany'

I am in a state of shock. the people who visited yesterday asked the Estate agency if they could arrange for another visit today. When they got here they asked permission for the Agency's consultant builder to also be allowed to visit before lunch time to examine the house for the work that will need to be done, (and which we can't afford, which is one of the reasons why we are being forced to sell.)

I think that our dear 'Bethany' has captivated them; they have sustained a 'coup de foudre'. And I know from several exchanges with them throughout the two days that they should have it. They made an offer this afternoon but there are still things to be sorted our tomorrow. Now it has come to it and the pain of separation looks as if it's in the offing, I can hardly write about it here. I know you will all pray that God's will be done in this matter. In the meantime, we have to find somewhere else to live.

We know of several houses in this area that have stayed on the market for years., but it pleases me tremendously that my dear 'Bethany' is proving to be a different case.

This afternoon I had a brief siesta and then went next door to have my hair done. May our Lord and His Blessed Mother give me strength to face what may be coming in the next few months.

God bless all here

In Christo pro Papa

Silverstream renovation series: number 3 of four

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's almost Castel Gandolfo time again.........

Just the Pallium Mass on Friday, and then privacy, peace and rest from labour awaits our dear Holy Father at Castel Gandolfo, well at least for the month of July.

Its been a long gruelling day here. Up at seven to do some housework before breakfast; time to read overnight emails before the General Audience; and then for the first time, some people came to view the house. Astonishingly they turned out to be newly retired teachers  from a village in Devon quite near to where I once lived, close to Newton Abbot..(The wife was also called Jane.) I don't think they'll make an offer and I doubt that all future viewers will be as pleasant as they were. Letting go of the house and its memories is going to be unconscionably difficult but it will have to be faced eventually. (Your prayers please.) Returning to the computer I realised with a shock that this morning's General Audience was the last one before the Castel Gandolfo recess.. Throughoust the day I also conducted an email conversation with an old friend about the recent appointments of Bishop Roche and the new bishop-elect of Wrexham. However  I spent the later afternoon pottering in the garden and did the watering when the sun was 'over the yard arm'. Then it was time to cook supper.

It all sounds idyllic I know, but there is no security now, and I'll have to get used to it.
I forgot to mention that this morning the postman delivered a bottle of Crosse and Blackwell's gravy browning, courtesy of Amazon, and an expected letter from my beloved Monsignor in Rome..

The two best things about today, are first that when I was showing the Devonian visitors the garden, I pointed out the 'Compassion'' Rose which is in a riot of bloom at the end of my 'Via Crucis' pergola. I don't know what came over me but I said. that I thought the rose was well named because it is so generous in its blooming and also has a divine scent. This touched some nerve in my namesake and she picked a bloom and offered it to me.

The second thing is that after all the recent brouhaha about the SSPX, our Holy Father has done everything he can and very shortly will have  more time to pray.

We are so blessed in him.

Silverstream renovation 2

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Silverstream renovation 1

The first of four videos sent this morning by Fr Mark to all Oblates and friends of the new Monastery.
The choice of music is a stroke of brilliance. Prepare to be moved.

Monday, June 25, 2012

When was that 'Pell' meeting?

I said last night that it happened a week ago, citing 'Whispers in the Loggia' as my source. VIS email tells me this afternoon that it happened this last Saturday, that is a week later than claimed. on 'Whispers'. Who knows, and one might say who cares? Let's pray that the first thing Greg Burke will do is make sure there are no more confusing reports like this. Perhaps there were two meetings and the Holy Father got in a quickie when we were all otherwise occupied. If so, clever Benny, as my husband would say. In any case, I return now to my prayers for him.

Spiritual Mothers CR (Good) News: 16

ZENIT - Vocations on the Rise in England and Wales

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cardinal Pell: update

It seems that Cardiinal Pell  and three other Cardinals (Ouillet, Tauran and Tomko) met with the Pope A WEEK AGO SATURDAY ), that is on June 16 ( according to 'Whispers in the Loggia). This meeting has been confused with his meetings with Dicastery Cardinals since that date, to 'seek their advice'. (June 23) Then on June 24 the Vatican announced the appointment of Greg Burke as the new Communications ADVISOR for the Secretariat of State.(not as DIRECTOR. I know it's only a word but think there is a difference between an Advisor and a Director, even in the Vatican!  I should imagine that this appointment has more to do with the first above-mentioned meeting than with the second, considering the given dates.

Make no mistake, I think our Holy Father is far from feeble and floundering, in spite of the interpretation of events that the MSN seems determined to promote. .  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cardinal Pell in Rome for meeting with Pope on how to deal with 'Vatileaks'

Well that's a comforting thought at the end of today.

Semper Fidelis International: Sign a Pledge of loyalty to the Pope

Link at 'Stella Maris' in side bar here. Many, many thanks to Fr Abberton.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fr Alexander Lucie Smith saves me some work and at just the right time

People are walking away from Catholicism because they do not understand it |

The IEC in Dublin: Fr Mark is disappointed.

See 'Vultus Christi' and the link to 'Collar and Tie'. If the Pope had been there it would have been very different, in spite or the sterling effort of his Legate. I can't help feeling that he, that is the Pope, was deliberately discouraged from going there by the Irish hierarchy and I wish he had ignored them.

My mother in law told me that the Archbishop of Dublin had given Rome to understand that the feeling against the Church in Ireland was so strong that the Pope's safety could not be guaranteed..How convenient. I'm sorry but I do not trust this. Father Mark does not usually post in negative terms, in fact he rarely comments on events. The fact that he has done so this time makes me aware of the dangers we face.

Poor Pope Benedict. They managed to keep him out of this. Poor Irish Church that was deprived of his presence. Only that would have woken people up and shown them the truth.. I agree with Father Mark. It was a lost opportunity for change.

How long, O Lord how long?..

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kes: clip from the 1969 award winning film

Before 'free expression' began to erode the false discipline that had previously held sway.
Unfortunately it was replaced with no discipline at all.

In this middle incident of this clip, with the unintentional help of a 'mouthy' class member, Colin Welland makes a breakthrough and the boy and his kestrel speak out..

Sunday, June 17, 2012

John F. Kennedy Missile Crisis

One year into my training, it seemed that JFK called a fearfully dangerous Soviet bluff.
Thanks to this we could all relax and go on with our lives. At that time there were two Catholic poliical leaders in Europe - Adenauer in Germany and De Gaulle in France. I thought we were safe.........
Of course one couldn't see this video at the time. We just had to sweat it out.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Beyond the Fringe - Civil Defence.

When, how and why it all went wrong. The 1960s.............

I was a war baby and so my early childhood unfolded during the recovery period after that conflict. I remember food rationing, going with my mother to the 'Food Office' in town and not understanding why there was no food on the shelves. Only years later I realised that the place had dispensed the essential rationing coupons. On a day in 1946 I remember my father finally coming home from the war. It was the first memory I have of him. He climbed the steep Sheffield street, at first a black speck in the distance and eventually  becoming a man in a special uniform,although I did not at that stage know that if was the uniform of  an RNVR Lt Commander. Nor did I know what he had been through, until many years later. He was never captured, imprisoned or tortured. He was one of many who fought that war. He never forgot how lucky he was to come back alive. And nor did I. Yet he never ' kept on' about it. Occasionally he would lift the veil. Not until I  was adult did he tell me that his ship 'H..M.S. Whippingham', (I think that's the right spelling.) in fact a converted Isle of Wight  ferry, had been part of the naval force that had 'swept' the Channel just before D Day. Afterwards they did not receive Admiralty orders to return to the relative safety of Portsmouth but were instructed to tie up with another sweeper off the coast of France, until they received orders to sail home.. They were sitting ducks for an enemy gun emplacement on the mainland cliffs. The captain had a nervous breakdown under the strain of this arrangement; eventually my father who was chief navigation officer, was given command and brought the ship and all hands safely back to the Solent. Not until my thirties did he share with me the earlier time that he had stood on the bridge at night, afloat on the freezing waters of Scapa Flow and looking out over those dismal waters had asked himself and maybe God, whether he would ever see his wife again and whether he would ever see me, his only child at all.

I had a secure and happy childhood. I learned obedience, the value of discipline and respect for authority. Of course I fought all of them at times but the boundaries they supplied were rock solid. Then at the approach of generation  came to understand the seriousness of the threat of nuclear war. But although it haunted us we learned to live with it. British satire was very healthy at the time and we were able to laugh at sketches from 'Beyond the Fringe' about Civil Defence and running along to the local leader in th event of the dreaded 'four ninute warning'  and 'he'll tell you exactly were you can go'. Ergo, apart from jumping into a brown paper bag, absolutely nowhere..

As has since transpired, the 1940s and 50s turned out to be the only years of moral societal national stability in my life. Since 1961 when I began my teacher training , everything that I was educated to value and respect has been gradually  destroyed. It is a very hard fact.

to be continued

Catholic Hymnal: O Purest of Creatures! sweet mother, sweet maid

Sunday, June 10, 2012

'Glory of the Olive' 2: Sunday 24 April 2005

I don't know how I found the radio station, its name or its provenance, but as I searched the air waves suddenly it was there, broadcasting from St Peter's Square direct into my little Pimlico living room. It was a bright and beautiful spring day. The new Pope was about to begin his homily. I turned up the sound and opened the window. Outside was Sunday quiet, as if the whole of central London was preparing to listen to him. I could not believe my good fortune.  It may have been Vatican Radio English Service because there was a simultaneous English translation.. I was riveted and stood in the middle of the empty room throughout. (Colin was in France.)

The homily certainly answered my question about what kind of Pope we now had. As you remember he said that he was not going to present a programme of governance and preferred to meditate at this point on the significance of two of the symbols with which he would shortly be invested: the pallium and the fisherman's ring. How effective this was. As he spoke the sensation grew and grew that here was a Pope who was full of the gifts and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. They were all there in his actual words and in his mien, and they have been proved to be present in him during all the seven years since then. Particularly in the way he has reacted in moments of difficulty, the present one being the latest case in point.. But on that April morning  I knew with no shadow of doubt that this was exactly how it would be. Here was my shepherd. My trust in him was forged that day and will not be broken.

That God had sent us such a man as Pope to succeed John Paul II was incredible,.given our manifest lack of merit,.validated and strengthened my faith. I rejoiced in thanksgiving. There was nothing I could do about the tears of profound relief that welled up from the depths of my half century's experience as a catholic Christian. Ever since that day I have always matched what he has done and said against those lists of Gifts and Fruits.. Everytime,  the essence of Pope Benedict defeats the arrogant individualism of the dissenters.

I invite you to check the lists and see for yourself, if indeed you are not already convinced.

May the Lord have mercy on us and not take Pope Benedict from us just yet.And may He bless His holy  servant with a quiet, restorative night.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

'Glory of the Olive' I (A Life under six Popes)

Like many I couldn't quite believe it when Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope. At the time I didn't have access to all the news sites that are now my daily bread and butter. As I've already said, in the years when I was writing my books  I only used the computer in connection with that work. As it is, I still don't know how I wrote them and functioned effectively as a full time teacher. When John Paul II died my third one had just been published. I knew his successor as a shadowy figure who was acknowledged as a consummate theologian and who had a penchant for traditional liturgy. And that the mainstream media, with the help, I'm sure, of many inside the Roman 'corridors of power', were determined to characterise him as totally impossible to elect as successor to John Paul II.. He is still suffering from the effect of their longstanding hatchet job..Indeed, this false representation of him is even now only just below the surface.

In the early 1990s I had a young friend who was a seminarian at Wigratzbad. He wrote to me in great excitement to tell me that Cardinal Ratzinger had visited the seminary and celebrated the Tridentine Mass. He enclosed a photograph of the event and it's still upstairs somewhere.  In the same letter my friend begged me to take no notice of what the media said about the Cardinal.. I never had done, I didn't then and I don't now.. I suppose that knowing I had worked for the Tablet, my friend thought I may have been tainted. If so, he need not have worried.

On the second day of the conclave I was at work and had to wait until I got home to find out what had happened..It was all over and 'habemus papam' had been declaimed across the Square to an apparently jubilant crowd..  I think it must have been a google alert report since that is the only thing I had fixed at the time. And I saw Benedict XVI on the central loggia of St Peter's for the first time.. It seemed like a dream come true. But what would he be like as Pope? I would have to wait until his homily at the inaugural Mass for an inkling as to the answer to my question.

To be continued

Friday, June 8, 2012

Corpus Christi 2012: A stunning little providence at the Oasis

I don't mind admitting that personally  the last several weeks have been a nightmare culminating with Colin's collapse. Thanks be to God he is now recovering well and the nurse came to take the blood test this morning..

Yesterday being Corpus Christi was special anyway, ending for me, with the televised Mass and Procession from Rome. But before that in the late afternoon something very special had happened in this house..

Just before Easter, I 'lost' my precious Rosary from Knock. I have put the word lost in inverted commas because I knew it couldn't really be lost. It was just hidden from me. Since it was given me by a most dear and holy friend, I had used it every day to pray the Rosary in church. On the day of its disappearance I brought it home in my pocket and put it on my desk. The next day, I could not find it. Every day since then I have fretted about it and searched for it in every possible place. The weeks and days went by. And I used my other Rosary, bought at St Emilion in 2008, but it wasn't the same somehow, being a simple wooden affair with the decades not clearly separated to the 'feel''..

Then in the late afternoon of Corpus Christi I decided it was time to clean my bedroom upstairs. During the course of that exercise I had to move the bed to sweep underneath it, and as I did so I heard the sound of beads and metal. There it was. My beloved Rosary in amongst the dust.! I don't know exactly how it got there but I guess I must have taken it to bed with me on the night of its disappearance and it  must have slipped out of my hand during the night. It went to church with me this afternoon and is now in my pocket. I am determined never to lose sight of it again.

Deo gratias

All along, the parable of the Lost Coin had been at the back of my mind and I have just reread it..

"Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15 8-10)

Even in the ordinary domestic round there are so many lessons to learn............

Tomorrow DV: The sixth Pope: 'The glory of the Olive'.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Good news. No hospital!

The doctor has ordered a blood test and prescribed various medicaments including calcium  and vitamin D. The blood test will be done at home by the district nurse as is the custom here. If it shows nothing worrying, and if after a month's course of prescribed medicine, his general constitution shows a marked improvement, he will NOT have to go into hospital. She was very thorough in the examination of the shoulder and I am finally satisfied that there is nothing broken.

During the course of the consultation, it became apparent from Colin's answers to her questions that he has absolutely no memory of what caused the incident, or of the incident itself. .

Afterwards I went into the Aubeterre pharmacy with my French friend and from there to do essential shopping in Chalais. It was approaching 1.30pm when I got back. I am afraid that after lunch I gave in to fatigue and had a siesta and feel much better now. Colin himself is much better and over the past week has gradually returned to his normal self.

I cannot thank you enough for the support of your prayers which, at the very least, I'm sure made all the difference to my ability to keep going. The Oasis is a little blog but it constitutes a powerful family. .

And tomorrow is Corpus Christi. I wish you all a holy and happy Feast day and hope to return to posting on Friday.

In Christo pro Papa ,


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Doctor is coming tomorrow morning

I'm terribly afraid she'll send him to hospital in Angouleme. Please pray that it won't be necessary.

Monday, June 4, 2012

No news until tomorrow

An extremely frustrating day. Colin continues to improve but I know he needs medical care. Everything went wrong today. Nobody could come, and as is the way with these things, through no deliberate fault of theirs.. Please continue your prayers. Tomorrow I hope to have definite news, and possibly to get back to  my posting plans. Above all I know that Our Lady answered my prayer on Tuesday night and is looking after him..

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Oasis medical update

I should imagine that the non-appearance of the doctor was caused by a particularly heavy surgery and there was not time in the day to make any house visits. I am having to wait until Monday morning when I will ring to make another booking. In the meantime it seems apparent that in spite of most appalling bruies to Colin's shoulder he has not if fact broken it. I do not know exactly what happened because I was in another room at the time.  We agree though that he must have fainted.

Our heartfelt thanks for all your prayers.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Sorry for silence. Collapse of husband on Tuesday evening..

The doctor was booked to make a house visit today, but did not turn up. I'd be most grateful for your prayers.
Will post again as soon as possible,. and hope to complete the 6 Popes series