Holy Week 2018: A Meditation …

The blog is closed to comments for the duration of Holy Week; we will re-open at Easter.

ACT OF FAITH
O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

ACT OF HOPE
O MY GOD, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I
hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and Life Everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

ACT OF CHARITY
O MY GOD, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. 

ACT OF CONTRITION 
O MY GOD, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.  

A peaceful Holy Week to all Catholic Truth bloggers and readers. 

Do Muslims Worship The True God?

From the Catholic Herald

Some time ago I wrote a blog in which I remarked that only Christians worship the true God, that is, the Trinitarian God who is composed of Father, Son and Holy Spirit; God as three divine Persons: creator, saviour and sanctifier. This led to an exchange of emails with a reader of the blog in which we discussed the Muslim idea of God. He thought Muslims worshipped the same God as Christians; I thought they didn’t. He referred me to the philosopher Peter Geach’s book God and the Soul (1969) and specifically to his chapter “On Worshipping the Right God”.

In this chapter, Geach does not specifically refer to the Muslim idea of God but he does make a number of interesting statements. For instance, he writes, “A sufficiently erroneous thought of a God will simply fail to relate to the true and living God at all. Where the line is to be drawn God only knows…” He also comments, “ For Christians, “God” is not a proper name like “Woden”, but a descriptive term, true of the Blessed Trinity and not true of Woden.” In another place he writes, “Only by turning to the true God can a man win grace and forgiveness.”

So do Muslims worship “the true and living God?”  For the [writer’s]  answer, click here

Comment:

It has been commonplace for years now, to hear popes, priests and teachers claim that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.  Here’s Pope Francis:  “Our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance, since they are now significantly present in many traditionally Christian countries, where they can freely worship and become fully a part of society. We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”.  [emphasis added].

Nobody ever quotes the words of Christ Himself in the matter of so-called “Abrahamic faith”:  “Before Abraham was made, I am.”  

Still, if the Pope thinks Muslims and Christians worship the same God, that must be true … mustn’t it?  

Are Scots The World’s Crudest Men?

It’s almost impossible to find a good clean “Scottish” joke and the popular Scots “comics” just can’t seem to get through a sentence without using the “F” word, and other crude language.  This was a matter of embarrassment to me when I lived in England and found myself apologising for various foul-mouthed Scots, and not just celebrities.   I still feel the same nausea when I see the “jokes” online, and I just wouldn’t dream of watching the standard TV shows which pass for Scottish humour. About as funny as a sore head.  But, why am I writing about this now?  Well…

For a number of weeks, I’ve been refreshing my cooking and baking skills; if there’s one area of expertise in which I am tragically lacking, it’s cooking and baking.  So, realising that time is running out, companies are folding – think: Toys R Us –  and who knows for how much longer the ready-made meals industry will last.  I might well starve to death, I thought, so I took to YouTube to see if I could learn to cook and bake properly, albeit late in the day (I’m almost 29).  As an aside, I will admit that I’ve thrown out more inedible fairy-cakes in the past couple of weeks than Greggs have sold in any six-months period you care to name, but, hey, I’m sticking with it.  I’ll get there. 

However, when I decided to give the attempted murder of my eggs and self-raising flour stock a break and turn to red meat cooking, I was reminded of my contempt for alleged Scottish humour.  You see, having watched a string of YouTube videos, some on baking, some on cooking beef stew and the like, I saw, listed on my sidebar, “Scottish mince and tatties” (M & T) and curiosity got the better of me so I clicked to watch.  Don’t misunderstand. I’m a dumpling in the kitchen (so to speak) but one of the few things I can make is mince and potatoes.  Not well, but I can eat it without having to visit Accident & Emergency which, for me, is a clear sign of success. And having watched so many videos from various parts of the world, all very professionally executed, both male and female cooks sharing their expertise politely,  I thought it would be interesting to watch a fellow Scot explaining to the world how to make M & T.   Despite my long experience to the contrary, as outlined above, I thought this might be OK, good clean fun and maybe a tip or two on how to cook what some regard as a national dish (it’s not, of course – there were plenty of videos on the sidebar with well known English cooks advertising their mince recipes.)  Anyway, I settled down to watch the young man share his recipe and then, disappointingly, within a few minutes, he’d used the “F” word.   I switched off.  I’ll never been able to look at a plate of mince and potatoes again without thinking of that so & so on blankety blank YouTube. 

So, what has this to do with the mission of Catholic Truth to contribute to the restoration of the Catholic Faith in Scotland?  Well, I wondered if I am being prudish, if this is nothing to worry about, even if Catholic Scotsmen and women are as uncouth as their non-Catholic neighbours, so what?  I made a deal with myself.  I decided to Google variations of the title of this thread and if I could find the topic covered anywhere else, I’d stick the link on the General Discussion thread and leave it at that.  But no – I could not find any articles, reports, conversations anywhere. Indeed, the search threw up umpteen links headlined – for example – “Scots the most macho men….” and similar.

So, the question for discussion is this: if, as seems to be the case, a significant number of Scots – certainly the men –  are very crude people, filthy mouths, unable to express themselves in conversation or comedy without resorting to expletives, what can be done about it? Do Scots Catholic have a particular role to play, a particular responsibility to correct this disgusting behaviour?  If so, how?  Or is highlighting the issue here sufficient, raising the importance of modesty of speech and decrying the widespread bad example to the young etc.  Vote in the poll below, and then share your thoughts…

PS if you hear that I’ve been charged with a hate crime, please club together to get me released. If that fails,  bribe the judge – whatever it takes. I mean, if push comes to shove, I’m not that bothered really… Scotsmen will be Scotsmen, after all…  And people all over the world are still keen to claim Scottish heritage… Really, with the rattle of handcuffs ringing in my ears, I have to admit that I could be way out of line here and anyway… who am I to judge?  😀

Catholics MUST Be ProLife:Action!(2)

This thread is dedicated to sharing news about pro-life issues.

Where possible, we suggest that bloggers make and respond to calls to action in defence of the unborn child – whether that entails emailing MPs or supporting various vigils etc.
Try not to simply post a link to news – publish an extract and/or make a suggestion about possible action, that will encourage readers to click your link.

Among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The Second Vatican Council defines abortion, together with infanticide, as an “unspeakable crime”.54
But today, in many people’s consciences, the perception of its gravity has become progressively obscured. The acceptance of abortion in the popular mind, in behaviour and even in law itself, is a telling sign of an extremely dangerous crisis of the moral sense, which is becoming more and more incapable of distinguishing between good and evil, even when the fundamental right to life is at stake. Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception. In this regard the reproach of the Prophet is extremely straightforward: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Is 5:20). Especially in the case of abortion there is a widespread use of ambiguous terminology, such as “interruption of pregnancy”, which tends to hide abortion’s true nature and to attenuate its seriousness in public opinion. Perhaps this linguistic phenomenon is itself a symptom of an uneasiness of conscience. But no word has the power to change the reality of things: procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth.

The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth
if we recognize that we are dealing with murder…
Pope John Paul II: Evangelium Vitae – on the Value and Inviolability, of Human Life #58  [Emphasis added]  
Click here to read the entire encyclical

To read Pro-Life thread (1) click here

Scots Bishop: young must save Church

Does anyone seriously think that contemporary youth is equipped to “save the Church”?  Aren’t they kinda tied up saving the planet?  And doing Facebook and stuff? 

Some extracts from this Scottish Catholic Observer report follow [with editorial comment]

Bishop of Paisley calls on the [uncatechised] faithful to halt ’25 years of decline’. Yes, you read that right. He wants the blind to lead the blind. It’s the latest in pastoral practice.

The laity needs to take up more leadership positions in the Church to save it from a 25-year period of decline, the Bishop of Paisley has said.
[Notice, no mention of the nature of the “decline” or the cause of said decline – that would require facing some uncomfortable truths.]

Speaking as the diocese prepares to implement the next stage of an historic synod, Bishop John Keenan urged the faithful to decide for themselves how to shape the future and create ‘new skins for new wine.’ [A tad difficult when the poor kids have no experience of the “old wine”]

Paisley parishioners have been taking part in an ongoing synod in the diocese in recent years, discussing its future against a background of a 31 per cent drop in Mass attendance over the ten years from 2005-2015. [Getting close there – how many of the Paisley youth realise that the Mass they attend is a relatively new liturgy; that there is such a thing as “the old Mass”? And that there are young people who attend it? Young people who love it? I wonder why they don’t know that?]

Other dioceses in Scotland are struggling with similar issues, with Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh indicating this month that as many as 40 parishes in his archdiocese could close. [Ouch! Not exactly a sign of rip-roaring success, is it. Vatican II, please say “sorry, folks”! ]

Bishop Keenan said a small number of parish closures could be a part of his diocese’s future, but he stressed he would take his lead from parishioners. [Well, there’s a novelty. A bishop who refuses to lead.  A shepherd being led by his sheep. WOW. Original or what? Cool, man.]   Source – Scottish Catholic Observer

Comment

Vote in the very serious poll below and then share your thoughts…

19/3: Happy Feast of Saint Joseph… 

Dear St Joseph, pure and gentle,
guardian of the Saviour child,
Treading, with the virgin mother,
Egypt’s deserts rough and wild.
Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

He who rested on thy bosom
is by countless saints adored,
Prostrate angels in his presence
sing hosannahs to their Lord.
Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Now to thee, no gift refusing,
Jesus stoops to hear thy prayer;
Then, dear saint, from thy fair dwelling,
give to us a father’s care.
Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Dear St Joseph, kind and loving,
stretch to us a helping hand;
guide us through life’s toils and sorrows
safely to the distant land.
Dear St Joseph, spouse of Mary,
blest above all saints on high,
When the death shades round us gather,
teach, O teach us how to die,
teach, O teach us how to die.

Comment:


St Joseph 
is a very powerful saint indeed, so if you’ve experienced his powerful intercession, share your story with us, here.
Publish, too, your favourite prayers and hymns to this great saint.
Happy Feast of St Joseph, everyone!

17/03/18: Hail, Glorious Saint Patrick!

I cannot allow the Feast of my patron saint to pass without marking it, so I wish everyone, bloggers and readers, A very happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

As always with devotional threads, feel free to post relevant comments, stories and jokes, favourite prayers and hymns… As well as the above rendition of the hymn to Saint Patrick, I’m posting the lovely Irish hymn to Our Lady of Knock… Enjoy!