Saturday, 24 June 2017

An Article from the Catholic Herald.

Having referred to Patrick Madrid’s Life Lessons: Fifty Things I Learnt in My First Fifty Years (USUK) in my last blog, I have found it both so readable and so full of wise reflections based on his own experiences (which could easily be the reader’s experiences too), that I will highlight another chapter here.
Madrid relates that, as a full-time Catholic apologist, he was once giving a lecture on the Catholic faith when a Mormon in the audience asked if he could speak to him later on. During their conversation, which happened to be on the Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle, the Mormon remarked, “I really don’t get the impression that most Catholics believe what you have just said about ‘the Eucharist’.”
Madrid was taken aback, commenting: “As a Catholic I figured that I’d know a whole heck of a lot better than what he, a Mormon, could possibly know about what Catholics believe, especially on something as central … as the Eucharist.” Then the Mormon explained that he had been to several Catholic weddings and to other Catholic Masses “And the Catholics I’ve seen there sure didn’t seem as though they believed in what you just said about Jesus being in the Eucharist.”
He went on: “I’ve seen Catholics going forward [for] Communion chewing gum… Some Catholics look pretty bored. I’ve seen some waving to others as they go forward.” Even after receiving Communion, “they look disinterested and indifferent”.
Naturally enough, Madrid began to feel very uncomfortable, realising that what the Mormon described was often the case and that “the generalised lack of respect for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament that stems directly from the generalised lack of faith that he is truly present – was actually true.”
The Mormon repeated his earlier remark, saying: “I’m not trying to be disrespectful or anything, but I just don’t think Catholics believe what you believe on this issue.” But what he said next was an even larger indictment: “If I believed what you believe… if I truly believed that it is really God himself and not just a symbol, I would fall flat on my face and be prostrate before it – him. I would be so overcome with awe and worship. And I’ve never seen any Catholic show that kind of respect. So… I guess they just don’t believe it.”
Madrid concludes that the Mormon “had spoken a terrible truth so clearly and with such devastating accuracy that it’s all I could think about for the rest of our discussion”. The “life lesson” he learned was that Catholics do not always edify and evangelise non-Catholics; indeed, “We can also dis-edify, discombobulate and de-evangelise them without ever trying… simply by dint of our sheer laziness and complacency and our lack of reverence for sacred things.”
At the end of every chapter Madrid adds the appropriate passage from Scripture that reflects the “lesson” he has learnt. Here it is “Let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” (Heb. 12:28). The Mormon’s remarks were a wake-up call to me, too. I have heard other people outside the Church make the same point: “If you Catholics really believed what you say you do…” What we purport to believe is awesome. Reverence and recollection at Mass should guard us against allowing it to become simply a routine weekly exercise.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

LOVE IN MOST PEOPLE WILL GROW COLD

AND THEN MANY WILL FALL AWAY; PEOPLE WILL BETRAY ONE ANOTHER AND HATE ONE ANOTHER , MANY FALSE PROPHETS WILL ARISE, THEY WILL DECEIVE MANY, AND WITH THE INCREASE OF LAWLESSNESS, LOVE  IN MOST PEOPLE WILL GROW COLD, BUT ANYONE WHO STANDS FIRM TO THE END WILL BE SAVED.   MATTHEW 10 - 13

The above scripture is usually one we skip over because we think it is all about the end times and of course has nothing to do with today.   We would rather not think of the growing hatred and terrorism in our society.  We would rather forget the hatred shown towards those who care for the unborn child or for anyone who upholds that marriage is between a man and a woman.   And of course there is the growing hatred that develop within marriage causing misery and hurt to millions of children - of course we should not think of the children they get through it, of course they do.    There is the growing problem of girls becoming single mothers as a result of the breakdown of love and a turning from God and His Commandments.   More children are then hurt.     And need I go into the Political scene?   What happens is that the more we turn form the truth into lawlessness love begins to die and there are now thousands around us who feel unloved and unwanted.    Love has grown cold.

But then this is the age of Prophets as some in the Catholic Church try to tell us.   Have you hears what so and so is saying,  people who oppose the Church become cult figures.  They tell us that sin is not really important, that we just follow our conscience and God will forget our lives if we give to the poor, they say everything we want to hear so that we can sin and feel good about ourselves or the others who sin.  They take control of parishes and destroy Catholic practices with a the disdainful remark "You are living in the Past, this is a Church for the 21st Century"  

I have tried my best to stand firm Lord. as have many others.  I trust in your mercy that we will be saved.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Coming to Mass as a Community

Every day a priest will offer the Sacrifice of Jesus to the Father on behalf of our sins just as he did on Calvary.   At the same time the Protestants will point out and rightly that the Sacrifice that Jesus made on Calvary is according to Scripture the One and Only Sacrifice and cannot be repeated.   So why does the Catholic Church do something which contradicts scripture or does it?

To answer this we must start with the Book of Malachi 1:11.  "From the rising of the sun until its setting my name is great among the gentiles and everywhere there is offered sacrifice - a spotless victim".   Malachi was at  odds with the Jewish priests of his time whom he claimed were breaking the Law by offering injured or infirm animals rather than the best of the flock and  so were making a mockery of the word sacrifice.    The Church recently put this piece of scripture back into the vernacular version of the Mass and the priest reads it just before he offers the sacrifice.  Few understand where it came from.   We move on to the Passover meal of Jesus when just before he was arrested offered them bread and said "This is my Body which will be given up for you" and taking the wine he said "This is my blood of the New and Eternal Testament will will be shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins"  He then added "DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME".   In so saying he was fulfilling the prophesy of Malachi for from thence forward Jesus was recognised in the breaking of bread by the travellers to Emmaus and the practice of the early christians who spent their time in prayer and the breaking of Bread

In the houses and catacombs in the early days to the building of churches which housed the whole community a spotless sacrifice was offered in memory of the Passion of Jesus and the people received the Body and Blood of Jesus.   But why?   As we know when the Jews made a Sacrifice the victim  was then shared among the people who participated ini the sacrifice be eating of the sacrificed animal.  Thus the victim became part of them and they became pleasing to God.   In the same way then the Church became aware that the Mass was not a repeat of Calvary but Calvary itself.   At Mass we are all present at Calvary and we all share in the body and Blood of Jesus.  We do not celebrate a memorial, something dead and gone, but in some way Jesus reached out on the Cross  to all his followers in all ages to forgive the sins of their ages and so that they can truly participate in his Sacrifice on the Cross and receive here and now the fruits of that Sacrifice in the sharing in his Body and Blood.  At Mass we can also share our little sacrifices we make in our daily life to God the Father.

A Common Mass throughout the world demanded a unity of the liturgy and although the early breaking of bread was in Rome said in Greek about 180 AD it was changed to Latin and because of the Roman Peace it soon was said in Latin throughout the known world.   We were not just a local Community but a World Community all saying the same prayers and offering the Sacrifice in the one language.   A truly united Church.  I will avoid the question of the vernacular and go on to unity.   WE cannot go to Communion with different beliefs in the presence of Jesus.   It is insulting to Jesus to pretend we are in unity when all you have to do  is scratch the surface and find wounded people.   Yes, we offer the sacrifice together, we say the prayers together and yes, we should be a community together but we are a Church where the reforms of the seventies deeply divided us into winners and losers.    The winners were those who got the Church that they wanted and the losers had to do what they were told.    I remember just last year a woman complaining that she was 'forced' to kneel for Communion.   I and others remember how in the seventies were were forced to stand and keep our mouths shut.  Yes the sacrifice is a Community as far as it goes, but receiving Jesus in Holy Communion is a personal thing and if someone wants to stand let him or her stand but if someone wants to kneel then give the facility for him or her to kneel.   Surely that should not even be questioned?

Saturday, 17 June 2017

The Feast of Corpus Christi

This is a child receiving her First Holy Communion.  Because it is the very presence of Jesus  Christ, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity great care is taken as she receives.   In humility she kneels, In deep reverence she receives on her tongue.  A plate is put under her chin so that if Jesus slips he does not fall to the floor.   Anyone watching will soon be aware that the host  is something very special to her  the priest and the whole Catholic Church.  Perhaps at a later date she will be brought before this Blessed Sacrament incased in a Monstrance where she will kneel and Adore Him as the God who lives among us and can never be parted from us.  She and the other children will have been sitting in a place of honour and be the first to receive Jesus before the other members of the congregation for it is truly a special day for her.  And everyone has made it a special day not just for the party afterwards but because she now has a new life in Christ, a special relationship with Jesus which is unique to her and not just like the 'rest of the community'

Sunday is the feast of Corpus Christi.   The feast was brought into being to emphasise the special presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament   We can read the story in the Gospel of John when Jesus first announced that he would give us his flesh to eat and his blood to drink.  It was so ridiculous to many of the hearers that they followed him no more.    Jesus then turned to his disciples and asked if they would also leave.  Peter replied "To whom shall we turn for you have the words of Eternal Llfe"   What Peter was saying is that yes, they did not understand but their Faith in Jesus was such that they believed.   So there should be no controversy about the Real Presence in the Catholic  Church.    I related in a former post that I believed in the Real Presence when I was seven, it was because I was a little child and I trusted my priest and my parents and my teacher and when I saw their utter dedication with flowers and candles filling the altar at Adoration I had no doubts whatsoever.
If indeed the majority of young people who make their First Holy Communion today never return or seldom return, perhaps it is because the children see little Faith among the adults, they do not see the commitment I saw, and instead of flowers and candles on the altar they see this 'Jesus living among us'  put out of sight ins some corner of the Church because he is interfering with the Community.  We have much to answer for.   Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament teach us to love you.


Thursday, 15 June 2017

TIM FARRON; An indication of things to come.

Our Lady at Fatima told us that unless we changed then Russia would spread her errors to the rest of the world.   She never specifically mentioned the errors but if we look at our society today we can come a reasonable conclusion that what she was referring to was a Society where morality was not based on the law of God but on human and atheistic convenience.  

We have just had another glimpse of this in the recent British Elections where Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats was asked his opinion on homosexuality.    Tim declined to answer since his views were well known for he was an Evangelical Christian.    But the pressure was then on him and he was forced to resign.   So we now have one party where no Christian faithful to Jesus can expect to be welcome and indeed I guess that will soon apply to all Parliamentary Parties.  The Godless are on the rise and seeking out and destroying Christians wherever they find them.  

What I find curious though is the way that Moslems such as Siddiq Khan are never asked their vews on these subjects of Homosexuality and Abortion.    I am not attacking him for this but more and more it is the Christians whom the Godless turn on.   I remember when the Gay Marriage Bill was being debated and in the Sunday Morning show THE BiG QUESTION the atheists were full of scorn for the Christians in the audience hurling all the usual bricks at them.   There was an Imam in the audience so the facilitator turned to him and asked if he would marry two men.  The reply was "No, we only marry a man and a woman"  The facilitator did not probe and went back to the main audience who continued to attack the Christians.  

Abortion is another curious subject with the Godless,.   Whereas Feminists go on the street shouting for womens rights they are strangely silent when it comes to defending Moslem women.    There are no major condemnations of Genital Mutilation of girls, no protest about child marrage, and indeed I never heard any of them criticise the Rotherham affair where white girls were being groomed for ses.
In Northern Ireland however because of the DUP influence at the moment there they were with their penny worth on hard cases and attacking the rights of other women to defend the rights of the unborn.     The difficulty is of course that the only right in abortion is the right of the women to kill the baby.   They give no help to a girl who does not want to kill her baby and they abuse the women who defend the baby and give active support so that the baby will be saved.    In this hateful campaign against Life they show themselves as inhuman monsters by denying the God given right of the babies, and insist that their opinion that the baby is not human must be observed by all.    Some have even gone as far as boasting that they do not feel any guilt after an abortion.  Now thee are women who are placed in difficult circumstances by Abortion and go through with an aboirtion and the guilt or otherwise is none of my business but for a woman to boast that such experiences are liberating is appalling, many good and decent women do feel guilty - now the feminists are telling them they are stupid.

God knows whee we will go with all this transgender nonsense.   Allowing a man to walk into a womans toilet is appalling.    It is always the right of the transgender person the takes paramount of course not the feelings of the women who are in the toilet.    Bigotry always comes first.  

Before the police call I should state my view on homosexuals.   It is the Catholic view that they ar4e created and loved by God and will always be loved by God.   In any activity the have the choice of free will to act or not to act.  Whether you are homosexual or heterosexual sex shouldn't be a compulsion and if you find that it is then you need help.   But I do not see most homosexuals as the world's greatest sinner.   You are adults and have every right to make your decisions as adults but when a minority try to force their views on mine I will defend my view - whatever the cost.        

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

FATIMA; THE SECOND APPARITION.


Today the 13 June is the Centenary of the the second appearance of Our Lady to the children of Fatima.   In this appearance when the children asked her if they would go to heaven she said the Jacinta and Francisco would go very soon but that Lucia would stay on earth for some time to spread devotion to her Immaculate Heart.  It was he said the WILL OF GOD not her own that honour would be paid to her immaculate and loving heart.    The two children died immediately after the First World War with the Spanish Flu that raged through Europe.   Lucia lived with constant visits from Our Lady  until she was 95 years old.    The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotion recognised by the Church and as I said emphaise4d by God in there Miracle of Fatima that she was to be honoured in this way.  Our Lady at the apparition showed the children in her hand a heart pierced by thorns.

But what do we mean by Immaculate.   What did Mary mean when she said "I am the Immaculate Conception" at Lourdes, or talk about her Immaculate Heart at Fatima.   Unfortunately we usually think of Immaculate in negative terms.   In Our Lady's case our thoughts are that she was born without something that we have.  That she was preserved free from Original Sin.   Perhaps I can clear that one up straight away.  No baby is 'born in sin' original or otherwise.   What it is born with is a weakness in its soul or nature which often draws it away from the thins of God.   When Mary was born she actually had something that we today do not have, the most perfect closeness to God that only our first parents had.   As the writer of Genesis tells us they walked with God in the Garden of Eden and spoke with God.   You may remember how the rest of the Genesis story went.   On finding that the parents had sinned God turned to the Serpent and told him he would create a second woman he could not overcome, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between her seed and your seed, she will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel"   Already in God's plan was Mary a woman he would create as a new Eve close to Him because he would give her back the friendship and grace that Eve had lost.   So Mary was born filled with the Holy Spirit, and as the angel said "Full of Grace"   How did this play out in her life.   She had a wonderful closeness to God and although she had free will she kept so close to God and was so aware of his love that she never betrayed him in sin.     Mary was so aware of this beautiful privilege that when she declared at Lourdes she was the Immaculate Conception she came down from the rock and stood with the people raising her eyes and her hands to heaven.   And as she told her cousin Elizabeth "He that is Mighty has done great things for me"

But why does got want us to honour her Immaculate Heart?   Because he wants us also to be like Mary and thought the power of the death of Jesus and the Sacraments he gave the Church to become saints just like Mary,  knowing just how much he loves us.  When we sin God is not up there on a throne looking down and judging us   He is standing  beside us and weeping.   And if we just turn a little he will grab at us and make us turn the full way back to Him, such is his love.

But alas despite the Cross and Resurrection, despite two thousand years of his Church how little the Church has changed the world.   Our Lady wants us to know that God is hurting very much since so very few love him and so many are losing their souls.   Please, please, please, if you profess the Catholic Faith then say the Rosary as she requested.  Say the Rosary for Peace, and weep as Good weeps for the evil the is in this world.

Most of all remember what Mary said.  "In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph".    Mary as the new Eve will bring us her children given to her by God, to the safety of Heaven.








Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Loving God.

As we receive constant reports of Christians refusing to convert to Islam and being executed I wonder how many in this Britain would offer their lives in the same way.   Is our Christianity, and our Catholic Faith in particular, strong enough to make us stand up and say "I would rather die"  I suppose the answer is found in just how much we really believe in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ gave us the litmus test when he said "If you love me keep my Commandments".    He did not say keep my rules, feed the poor, and be kind to one another - he said "Keep my Commandments"   So what are his Commandments?   Yes, we can all say they are there in scripture and we all do our best to keep them but we cannot, so let us talk about something else.   Let us just do what we can and give to the poor.  

Now it is a fact that we all fall short of keeping the Commandments but we have to be honest with ourselves.    If we decide not to bother with them because we cannot keep them, and put them down to rules that really mean nothing for we are so good at doing other things, where in this is the love that Christ demanded.   I sometimes hear that teachers are frustrt4ed because although we have Catholic Schools they know that over 90% of pupils are not interested in the Catholic Faith by the time they are 14 years old.    The answer is of course that they see nothing different in the teachers because they call themselves Catholic.    They see nothing different in the Catholic Communities because they call themselves Catholic.   Of course there is great camaraderie in the Community and great talk of welcoming, inclusiveness, Communities of Faith, but they still do nothing different the would attract them.     I have still to hear of a child ask teacher, priest, or lay person why they are so obviously different, for they obviously to the child are not.    It all comes back to the question of how much you love Jesus and how much you try to live the way he wants you to live rather than the way you want to live.   If a child ignores its parents its parents will feel hurt and that the child does not really love them.   It is the same with God.