Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fr Mark Kirby O.S.B. makes a courageous move today. Your prayers please!

After a long period of prayer, discennment, negotiation and subsequent practical organisation, our dear Hon, Spiritual director of the Oasis, flies out of Tulsa today, en route for County Meath, Ireland where he hopes to make a permanent home for the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle at the invitation of the local ordinary Bishop Smith, and to whom he is being 'lent' by his own good Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa Oklahoma. Father's novice, Brother Benedict, and Hilda the monastery dog are going with him.. I know they can rely on the prayers of all who have followed 'Vultus Christi' blog over the years, and also of the swelling group of Oblates in the US. Fr Mark will be much missed there, but I imagine that he intends to conduct the ministry of Oblate Master via the blog and the private Priory Facebook page.  Please pray for Irish and other European vocations to the monastic community as well as to the Oblateship. (As most of you know, Father runs a solidly traditional monastery with daily Mass and Office according to the pre-Vatican II liturgical books. He also speaks Italian and French.).

As for me, I'll be on edge until I know of his safe arrival and installation!

May God protect and strengthen you my dear father in Christ.    

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fr George writes to Fr Gordon: Spiritual Mothers CR News 10

Go to today's post at Holy Souls Hermitage. Link in left sidebar here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

'Doing things' for Lent

I didn't choose them. They were sent. I accept them and offer them up. At the moment it is the least and the most that I can do.

Sub-zero temperatures from the beginning of the month until a couple of days ago; the need to keep warm whilst I sit still writing at my desk; the increased heating costs that we can ill afford; when the thaw came, burst pipes  in the kitchen and outside wash house; washing machine now completely out of action and not used during the freeze in any case for obvious reasons; plumber came midweek and mended four pipes with resultant bill that we've just about managed to pay; further severe  frosts on the next two days - still no washing done; thought it safe to try today but the machine flooded the outhouse floor and a further leak appears to have sprung from another joint in the plumbing. Monsieur le Plombier, will have to return and will then need to be paid for his ministrations, despite the fact that he is very kind and does  not overcharge.

Both Colin and I are pushing 70 now, and as some of you know, neither of us is any longer in the pink of health.. Nevertheless, as my father always used to say, 'There is always someone worse off than yourself'. Indeed how true that always was, and particularly so now, with Christians being martyred and persecuted all over the world. And since the winter set in I've been daily concerned about how Fr George is managing at Holy Souls Hermitage.  Not to mention the Holy Father's crushing burden. In all conscience, plenty to pray about, and to be glad to have a little something to 'offer up'.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday 2012: Monsignor Guido gets a ride in the Pope's new buggie!

This video is several years old, dating from the time when our Holy Father was physically stronger and could walk in the Ash Wednesday procession from St Anselm's to St Sabina's. Sad to relate, today saw the introduction of a new papal vehicle, somewhat reminiscent of those devices you see being propelled about the streets by aged or disabled people . It was driven by a Vatican aide and afforded sufficient room on the back to accommodate His Holiness and his two Masters of Ceremony.  Its hand bars painted white, it is a fraction of the size of the Popemobile and  so discreet that no one appears to have noticed its debut, possibly because the MSN isn't particularly interested in Christian penitential liturgy and wasn't paying attention. .Tomorrow they may catch up, and we shall have more irritating stuff about our 85 year old Pope 'slowing down'. If I read that phrase once more I shall scream! Tonight however, Pope Benedict appears to have stolen a few hours march, albeit riding and not walking!.
I'm told that Mons. Guido Marini is not a good traveller, and I must admit he looked nervous and as if  he would have preferred to pad alongside his master on terra firma,  as heretofore. ..Nevertheless whatever is necessary, he will do. I shouldn't be surprised if it wasn't his idea anyway. The whole spectacle reminded me of a Hardyesque overloaded hay-cart. But the  liturgy, and the Holy Father's homily,  were beautiful and salutary beginnings to Lent..

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Benedict XVI will celebrate Ash Wednesday in the Basilica of Santa Sabina

Writing update and other more seasonal difficulties

At the thaw about ten days ago, we had a burst pipe and that put the washing machine out of action, horror of horrors! How do two people make so much washing in such a short space of time?! The leak has meant we've had to turn the water off at the mains each day, except for short periods  to allow for essential activities. Our trusty plumber came this evening and mended four separate leaks that he discovered in the washing machine pipes. Fortunately he's an electrician too,  and saw to it before leaving that everything was restored on that front as well. The whole job took him about 2 hours, much of it in the dark, with the aid of inspection lamp. During that time I managed to make the batter for Shrove Tuesday Pancakes, which we  consumed about half an hour ago.

With the help of my saints and those of you who spare prayers for me, I've kept writing over these last days, and am now only about 1,300 words short of the target for March 9. Will report again then. In the meantime tomorrow is washing morning (thank God) whilst I listen to the Papal Audience. Then the usual detested shopping trip followed by the Holy Father's Ash Wednesday Mass from Santa Sabina.

With my prayers that all of you may have a holy and fruitful Lent.

In Christo pro Papa

Monday, February 20, 2012

Is there now even more hope for Fr Gordon MacRea?

See http://holysoulshermitage.com

Thanks to Fr George Byers for his indefatigable work  in rooting out the latest information about this case.
God bless you Father, and of course Fr Gordon, for whom I've been praying since I first found his blog. See 'These Stone Walls'', link at top of RIGHT HAND sidebar here.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

ZENIT - New York Archbishop Gives Cardinals a 7-Point Evangelization Plan

ZENIT - New York Archbishop Gives Cardinals a 7-Point Evangelization Plan

Thank you Your Eminence! Congratulations, felicitations, jubilations, and of course most importamtly, PRAYERS.
Ad multos Annos!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

'Oh my prophetic soul!', sorry prophetic Pope!

h/t to The Anchoress, oka Elizabeth Scalia, at her blog Patheos. Tonight she has recommended a book written in 1971 by then Archbishop Ratzinger, entitled 'Faith and the Future' and recently republished by Ignatius Press. (And Mac, it's also available on Kindle) Its 160 pages,  seem from the Patheos  selected quotes, to be pure, and as time has proved, accurate Ratzingerian prophecy. Order in hardcopy from  amazon.com

Some time ago I tried to pinpoint the occasion on which Pope Benedict had first mentioned the probability of a smaller, poorer and leaner Church. It was quite a shock to discover that he had written about this even before the election of John Paul II. I plan to acquire a used copy to add to my Lenten reading list..

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Macushla", John McCormack

Another one for the bedtime hour  Memories of my Grandmothers, and many of yours I hope.
( Up to over 10,000 words today.)

Hope for Fr Gordon Macrae?

Link at Holy Souls Hermitage in my sidebar here.' I hope they make him a bishop after he gets out.'

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?" (Henry Hall, 1933)

Sheep or pig, cheer up, and God bless you!

The Big Bad Wolf?.

Who is it? Is it Cardinal Bertone or Cardinal Sodano, or someone quite other? Whatever the case, our Holy Father Benedict XVI is still our supreme earthly Shepherd and he has not fled yet. Cling to him, and above all pray for him.

May God protect and defend him, and all of us, his sheep.


Monday, February 13, 2012

little man you've had a busy day - Henry Hall

Goodnight, God bless and sleep well everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Mac's Meme

If you're tagged for a Meme ( as I have been by Mac, here are the rules:
1. You post these rules on your blog.
2. You link back to the person who tagged you, in my case Mulier Fortis, and me for anyone tagged on this post
3. You tag five people and tell them they've been tagged on their own blog
4. The subject of this meme is Mac's wants to have your choice of three essential books to have on her new Kindle. So you post the names of three books. (She has said that they have to be reading books, no reference books or prayer books)

Here are my five 'tagees'
Fr Bede Rowe at a Chaplain Abroad
Fr John Hogan at St Genesius blog
Dylan Parry at 'A Reluctant Sinne
Fr Michael Gollup at 'Let Nothing You Dismay
and Sandy at 'A Catholic Comes Home' Sorry I can't give a direct link because her URL won't work on my system for some reason, ie. http://acatholiccomeshom49.blogspot.com

My three recommended books are (sorry have no time to check whether they are available on Kidle but I recommend them anyway

1. 'One Lord, One Faith' by Mgr Vernon Johnson , originally published in the 1930s I think. (too dark and cold upstairs in the library to go searching for my copy!) Still in print as a classic of Apologetics and of a Conversion story. Ignatius Press has it I think. Essential reading for anyone still teeteering on the brink of swimming the Tiber, and salutary reading for Catholics who have forgotten why the authority of Peter is essential and insurmountable, in this volume scripturally argued and proved. Essential reading too, for all those who have come into the Church over recent decades with faulty of insufficient catechesis.

2. 'In this House of Brede'. This novel is Rumer Godden's masterpiece in my opinion. A critique tomorrow if I have time. First published in 1969, it's about an English monastery of Benedictine nuns circa 50s-70s and based on Stanbrook Abbey.  I still read it once a year!

3.'Liturgical Reflections of a Papal Master of Ceremonies' by Msgr Guido Marini (published in English by Newman House Press) . Indispensable round-up of where we are now liturgically, and how far we have come during the present pontificate, Deo gratias..

Hope I've done everything properly Mac! Sorry about any typos. Tired and can hardly see the screen. Am now up to just over 8,000 words of my contracted assignment. - 6,000 to go!

God bless all here,

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Update on Writing Project and what I've found most helpful on the Blogosphere during the last week: Vultus Christi and the Muniment Room

Since the beginning of the current month I've written over 6,000 words. The target is 14,000 words to be completed by the deadline date of March 9th, so as long as I write at least 600 a day I should make it with no insurmountable problem. The results will be published in May and you should be able to purchase them for less than £2. (If that's not a hint, at least to UK readers, then I don't know what would be.) I'll publish further details once my text is accepted by the publisher.

During the evenings, I've been catching up on the orthodox Catholic internet and aside from absorbing all the brouhaha resulting from President Obama's recent Healthcare Mandate have found two series to be most valuable. On 'Vultus Christi', (link in sidebar) Father Mark Kirby OSB, has been writing a series of letters to incipient Benedictine Oblates.. I cannot recommend them highly enough. More about this at a later date.
And then 'The Muniment Room' (a UK blog, also linked in sidebar) has been explaining the history of the Church in the UK over the last half century with particular quoted references to the National  Pastoral Congress, and to the largely hidden activities, and the now more apparent agenda, of Cardinal Hume and Archbishop Warlock. I think the author, tTony, and I must be about the same age, because during this series he has described things that I remember living through, and which I could not understand at the time. The difference is that even though I was working for the Tablet during the 1980s, I was too busy earning my daily crust bumping up the subscription figures and did not pay proper attention to the documentation to which tTony had access.

I left the Tablet in 1985 but continued to index it and its sister journal , the Clergy Review (later Priests and People) until 1993 . For many years now, whilst it still has the occasional excellent article,  I have deplored the stance of its editorial. Reading tTony's series has explained so much, and I am most grateful to him. This series too, I recommend that you read.

Now to bed so as to be ready  and fit to produce tomorrow's word allocation!
Please, of your charity, spare a Hail Mary for me.

All of you remain always in my prayers.
J..    . .

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Friday, February 3, 2012


A bishop feeding his sheep.
God bless you Bishop Slattery
(h/t to Father Z).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Nunc Dimittis - Sheppard (1515 - 1559)

           A holy and peaceful feast of Candlemas everybody.

Twelve Lights of Candlemas

1.The light of the candle which you will carry before Mass if you are fortunate enough to have a procession tonight according to the 1962 Missal. (If not, please consider lighting a candle before Mass at Our Lady's altar and if you are unable to attend Mass you can always light one at home. Symbolically we each carry Christ in the candle we hold.)

2. The light of example in the submission of Mary and Joseph to the ritual of Purification, even though it was entirely inappropriate to Mary and her Child

3. The light of our realisation that Christ Himself willed that it should be so. He submitted to the Law in order to purify it. He willed to become like us  He entered the Temple in demonstration that He had come to rebuild it.

4. The light of His glorious kingship over Israel and over all the kingdoms of the earth.

5. The light of His sacred priesthood over all priests.

6 The light of the Spirit that brought Simeon into the Temple to receive the Child that day.

7 The light that spoke through Simeon of suffering, not only for Mary but for all Israel in the near and far distant future, and for all of us who would either accept or reject that light.

8 The light that enabled Simeon to recognize the Child as the glory of his people, and enabled Anna to acclaim that Child as Messiah and Redeemer.

9. The light that completed the cycle of prophecy immediately surrounding the birth of the Saviour.

10. The light of personal fulfilment and peace brought to Simeon and Anna by His presence.

11. The light of life He is to us.

12. The Light of Christ Himself.