Saturday, 31 January 2009

Dear Pope Benedict . . . . . and erm . . .

Interesting that Pope Benedict has lifted the excommunication on the Bishops of the Pius X Society. Perhaps Pope B thinks I'm being a bit picky not liking the fact that Bishop Williamson denies any Jews died in gas chambers and that only about 2 to 300 thousand jews died rather than 6 million. Now if Papa B could find it in his heart to accept what we might call erm right wing catholics with a strange hold on history, surely he might see it in his heart to;
  • sanction the lifting of compulsory celibacy - after all the orthodox allow a married priesthood and he likes the orthodox.

  • recognise that some marriages breakdown and allow the reception of the sacraments to the divorced and whilst he's at it allow a second marriage - after all the Greek Orthodox allow a second marriage and he likes the orthodox.

I won't be too greedy for the moment, but surely this 'little' step would bring back some people who feel alienated by the church and perhaps provide quite a few married priests to help prevent the closure of some churches and prevent the scattering of communities. Surely nothing of the above is going to be contrary to the deposit of faith. After all, if Papa B wants unity with the orthodox, his work would be focussed upon the filioque clause and some issues of authority rather than the two listed above. Surely these requests are only a titchy bit left of centre compared with the SSPX being to the right of Genghis Khan ? Call me naive but . . . . .


Naive !

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Richard Rohr : Hope Against Darkness

A few notes from my reading of "Hope Against Darkness." They by no means offer a review of the book, but may give a flavour of Richard Rohr's thought. A review can be found here.

  • "You cannot think your way into a new way of living, but you can live your way into a new way of thinking."

  • Quotes Bernard Haring's phrase "practical Atheism" - the way most of us live when not allowing ourselves to be transformed by Christ. He also describes a vast number of Church goers who want "nothing more than to be left alone," to use Cardinal Newman's sad phrase.

  • "God has no grandchildren, each generation discovers God for themselves."

  • "We cannot change the world except insofar as we have changed ourselves."

  • "We can only offer to others, what God has done in us. We have no real head answers. We must be an answer."

  • "Only the forgiven can forgive, only the healed can heal, only those who stand daily in need of mercy can offer mercy to others."

  • "We always think the problem is elsewhere, whereas the gospel keeps the pressure of conversion on me. As far as the soul is concerned, no-one else is your problem. You be converted and live, says the biblical tradition."

  • "No epoch is finally privileged. We are all tomorrows food."

I always find reading Richard Rohr renews. He challenges my 'safe' positions, helps me explore the contradictions and paradoxes arising within me and through the gospel he helps me accept those contradictions and paradoxes and points me in other directions ready to begin the transformative process again and again ! It's a great book, but don't take my word for it - buy it !

William Moon and his tactile reading code

Many people have heard of Louis Braille and his 'Braille' tactile reading code. Did you know that a tactile reading code called MOON was invented by an Englishman, William Moon from Brighton ? He designed it for people who lost their sight in middle age and knew how to read before the onset of blindness or other visiual impairment. The letters of the code are very similar in many cases to the actual letters of the alphabet. Braille can take months to learn, whereas Moon can be learnt in a few hours ! A holy grail for Moon users is finding a way of reproducing MOON in the manner in which Braille is made. Presently, text has to be written onto a word processor, printed, photocopied onto zychem paper and then the zychem paper is sent through a heater which raises the individual letters. Not an easy way to keep in touch with friends ! If you can invent a better way, you'd make millions !

Friday, 23 January 2009

Romano Guardini

"The Church is the Cross on which Christ is always crucified. One cannot separate Christ from his bloody, painful church. One must live in a state of permanent dissatisfaction with the church" Find out more about Msgr Guardini here.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Moutrie !

My new baby has arrived. She's a superb looking new Moutrie upright piano. The touch is really good and tone superb. Now we're all over the dreaded lurgy I can get to get grips with Mozart sonatas I've not played for years ! I'm rediscovering piano playing all over again - I'll try not to neglect my blogging ! ! ! -love the 'socks' on it's pedals.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

"Diary of a small village catholic Church" - Episode 5

November 28, 1897 : "We have just secured an organ for our Church the original cost of which was £600. It is almost a new one · we shall have to pay £285 for it. We considered such a chance should not be lost. The question now is "how are we to raise the money?". We feel certain that our people will come forward generously in this matter We have authorised Mr Marsh to collect subscriptions and he has kindly consented to call on our people individually. The new organ will be in use by Xmas day. We trust that a considerable portion of this money will be raised before Christmas, thus saving interest on honoured monies".

It may come as no surprise to know that the organ was not ready for Christmas, but this notice appears on January 2nd 1898."We wish to make the following preliminary announcement. Today, this fortnight -16 Jan - we shall have the opening of our new organ. - the collections that date will be to reduce the debt on the organ. We have £128.9.0. in hand so far. The sermon will be preached by Rev Fr Placid Whittle OSB, Rector of St Albans Warrington. Fr Bede Cox OSB Rector of St Mary’s Liverpool will preside at the Organ.” The collections on that day raised £20.l0.l 1/2. "The Clergy (January 23) wish once more to return their heartfelt, grateful thanks to all who contributed so generously to make last Sunday so great a success. We beg God to Bless you.”

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Blogging Suspended !

Due to an outbreak of *$%"&*^&"* in our house, blogging has been suspended until the infirmary is shut !

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Karen Money : "Secret Things"

I'd like to dedicate this post to the music and recordings of Karen Money, a singer songwriter from the South West of England. Her music is available on i-tunes (here) and she has a 'My Space' page which can be accessed here. Her album, "Secret Things" has immense spiritual reserves. Listening to her songs can tear down your barriers, refresh the spirit, rebuild what is broken and send you on your way again renewed in strength. My personal favourites are "Sanctuary" and "Surrender" Don't take my word for it though, go buy yourself an i-tunes card from Tesco and download her album. Alternatively listen to "Pray as you Go" and you'll often hear her songs there.


The good news is I am lucky enough to own a new piano. The sad news is I have to say farewell to my old piano, a Herbert Marshall pianola. It has come to the end of it's pianola roll and will be visiting the great pianola home in the sky. Thankyou and farewell friend !

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Teresa Helena Higginson

Teresa Higginson (1844 - 1905) was a catholic teacher, mystic and contemplative. Her story is well worth reading and perhaps she has some lessons for our time. My own personal admiration is of her living a life of faith arising from her relationship with God in prayer. A prayer found in a notebook after her death sums this up;

Father of all, we fain would say, as did thy only Son,
In every hour of every day, Oh let Thy Will be done.
In thought, in word, in deed, in death, things finished or begun,
Let every transitory breath whisper, Thy Will be done.
In daily cares to thousands known, or known perchance to none,
Let this request be heard above, Oh! Lord, Thy Will be done.
In sickness though some stroke unseen may oft the senses stun,
Let grace suggestive intervene to feel Thy Will be done.
In health, when in it’s full career the race of man is run,
Let joy be taught by holy fear to pray, Thy Will be done.
Amid the rocks and shoals of life which few can ever shun,
Let peace compose each spark of strife and cry, Thy Will be done.
And when the bow of hope shall bend all colours into one,
Time eternity shall end with Lord, Thy Will be done.
Further information on the life of Teresa can be found by clicking on the above picture or here.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

John Henry Newman

Not too long ago I bought an envelope written by Cardinal Newman addressed to
"the Rev W. R. Nicols,
Free Church Manse,
Kelso" for £30. It's a treasured posession of mine. However, the following ebay item is beyond my price bracket - how about yours ?

"Diary of a small village catholic Church" - Episode 4

November 7th 1880 : Parents should be more particular in sending their children to school in time for Catechism. I have again to warn parents against sending children to school so irregularly. I have a list of irregulars (about 2 Doz) -almost all living in Rodick, Rose St and immediate neighbourhood.
January 16th 1881 : Last Sunday Parents were requested to send their children regularly and punctually to school. Though many have carefully done so in spite of the severity of the weather; a great many others have kept their children at home without sufficient reason. In most cases the weather is no excuse - children who can play in the cold streets are well able to come to a warm school. Careless parents should remember that the Law will fine them for continued negligence.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year !

Happy New Year to all. Wishing you every blessing for the coming year. I celebrated by getting up early for a walk in the most beautifully frosty weather. Hope you like the pictures.