30/11: St Andrew’s Day – Foibles & Fun

Editor writes…

In the video clip below, Ben Shapiro, a young Jewish man, well-known American social commentator, recounts an entertaining story about his one of his wife’s foibles…  

As we approach the Feast of our national patron, Saint Andrew, it’s perhaps a good time to take a break from all the serious debates, and share our stories of the foibles within our own family / circle of friends.  Makes us laugh – if not with family foibles, then with your favourite jokes. Feel free to share your own jokes and stories, favourite music for the Feast day – although don’t feel obliged to treat us to the bagpipes! 

And a word of warning.  It’s just about impossible, I’m very sad to say, to find a Scottish joke that falls into the category of “good, clean fun”.  I’ve found one of the very few, see below, so don’t feel obliged to post Scottish jokes.  Any jokes that fall into our strict “good, clean fun” rule, will be welcomed. Here’s one of my own favourites … although if you struggle to read the Tea-Towel below, you can read a slightly shorter version here  (with apologies to our friends south of the border!) And finally, to mark the Feast, enjoy the  hymn to St Andrew, performed beautifully below by a young girl, Maria, unaccompanied.  I’ve heard it in churches, with rousing organ accompaniment (and sometimes drums as well!) but in this rendition, we hear every word.  A lovely performance.  I’ve posted a comment on YouTube to let Maria, know that we are enjoying her video here.  Happy Feast, Maria, if you visit us! 

Happy Feast of St Andrew, when it comes, to one and all…    

Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Is The Consecration Of Russia Now Urgent?

 

Comment: 

It’s perhaps time to remind ourselves of the fact that Our Lady requested the Consecration of Russia by the Pope and Bishops, as a pre-condition of world peace. 

Is the near panic we are witnessing in the world of politics today, perhaps a sign that this request for the Consecration of Russia, so long ignored by successive popes, is now urgent?   

27 November: The Story of St Catherine Laboure & The Miraculous Medal… 

Mother and Child
The sound of the evening Angelus bells floated across the fields and vineyards of Burgundy. It was the second day of the month of May in the year of Our Lord 1806. In the little village of Fain-les-Moutiers a child of destiny was coming into the world, a tiny instrument of God, who would one day be the confidante of the Queen of Heaven to usher in the age of Mary. Her name was Catherine Labouré, the ninth child of a family of eleven.

The following day, the Feast of the Finding of the True Cross, the small child was baptized. All her life she was to have a deep devotion to the Cross of Our Lord. It would not be long before she was to feel the weight of sacrifice with the death of her mother at the age of nine.

Early one morning shortly after her mother’s death, a family servant came silently upon the little one standing on her tiptoes, stretching upwards, impelled by love, until she reached the statue of the Blessed Virgin. As she held the statue in her arms and leaned her head against the Madonna, the servant heard the child say: “Now, dear Blessed Mother, now you will be my Mother!”

Catherine received her First Holy Communion at the age of eleven on January 25th, 1818. From that day on, she rose at four o’clock each morning and walked several miles to assist at Mass and to pray for grace and strength before the start of her day’s work. Her only desire now was to give herself without reserve to her dear Lord. Never was the thought of Him far from her mind.

By this time Catherine’s elder sister, Marie Louise, had left to join the Daughters of Charity, and the little girl who had always been obedient now had to direct and supervise the homestead. She looked after everything: she made the bread, cooked and did the housework, carried daily meals to the workmen in the fields and cared well for the animals.

A Daughter of Charity
Once, when she was in the village church, she saw a vision of an old priest saying Mass. After Mass the priest turned and beckoned to her with his finger, but she drew backwards, keeping her eyes on him. The vision moved to a sickroom where she saw the same priest, who said: “My child, it is a good deed to look after the sick; you run away from me now, but one day you will be glad to come to me. God has designs for you. Do not forget it!” At that time, of course, she did not understand the significance of the vision.

As is the European custom, Catherine’s father invited various suitors to seek her hand in marriage and always her reply was: “I shall never marry; I have promised my life to Jesus Christ.” She prayed, worked, and served the family well until she was twenty-two, when she asked her father’s permission to become a Daughter of Charity. He flatly refused, and to distract her, sent her to Paris to work in a coffee shop run by her brother Charles. During the entire year spent there, she maintained her resolve to become the bride of Christ.

Her aunt, Jeanne Gontard, came to Catherine’s aid and enrolled her in the finishing school she directed at Chatillon. Since Catherine was a country girl, she was miserable at this fashionable school. One day, while visiting the hospital of the Daughters of Charity, she noted a priest’s picture on the wall. She asked the nun who he might be, and was told: “Our Holy Founder, Saint Vincent de Paul.” This was the same priest Catherine had seen in the vision. Later, after much persuasion from her Aunt Jeanne, her father granted permission for Catherine to enter the convent.

In January of 1830 Catherine entered the hospice of the Daughters of Charity at Chatillon-sur-Seine. This was just after the Reign of Terror in France, where sacrileges were committed in the name of freedom. Licentious women danced on the main altar of Notre Dame. Even the body of St. Genevieve, the Patroness of France, was desecrated. Saint Vincent de Paul’s body had been hidden, but four days after Catherine’s entry into the Mother House, his remains were transferred back to his own church with joyous processions and ceremonies.

Shortly after her entrance, God was pleased to grant Catherine several extraordinary visions. On three consecutive days she beheld the heart of Saint Vincent each time under a different aspect. At other times she beheld Our Divine Lord during Mass, when He would appear as He was described in the liturgy of the day.   

First Apparition
In 1830 Catherine was blessed with the apparitions of Mary Immaculate to which we owe the Miraculous Medal. The first apparition came on the eve of the feast of St. Vincent, July 19. The mother superior had given each of the novices a piece of cloth from the holy founder’s surplice. Because of her extreme love, Catherine split her piece down the middle, swallowing half and placing the rest in her prayer book. She earnestly prayed to St. Vincent that she might, with her own eyes, see the Mother of God.

That night, a beautiful child awoke her from her sleep, saying: “Sister Labouré, come to the chapel; the Blessed Virgin is waiting for you.” When Catherine went to the chapel, she found it ablaze with lights as if prepared for Midnight Mass. Quietly, she knelt at the Communion rail, and suddenly heard the rustle of a silk dress. The Blessed Virgin, in a blaze of glory, sat in a chair like that of Saint Anne’s.


Catherine rose, then went over and knelt, resting her hands in the Virgin’s lap, and felt the Virgin’s arms around her, as she said: “God wishes to charge you with a mission. You will be contradicted, but do not fear; you will have the grace. Tell your spiritual director all that passes within you. Times are evil in France and in the world.”

A pained expression crossed the Virgin’s face. “Come to the foot of the altar. Graces will be shed on all, great and little, especially upon those who seek them. Another community of sisters will join the Rue du Bac community. The community will become large; you will have the protection of God and Saint Vincent; I will always have my eyes upon you.” (This prediction was fulfilled when, in 1849, Fr. Etienne received Saint Elizabeth Seton’s sisters of Emmitsburg, MD, into the Paris community. Mother Seton’s sisters became the foundation stone of the Sisters of Charity in the United States.)

Then, like a fading shadow, Our Lady was gone.

The Second Apparition
Four months passed until Our Lady returned to Rue du Bac. Here are Catherine’s own words describing the apparition:

“On the 27th of November, 1830 … while making my meditation in profound silence … I seemed to hear on the right hand side of the sanctuary something like the rustling of a silk dress. Glancing in that direction, I perceived the Blessed Virgin standing near St. Joseph’s picture. Her height was medium and Her countenance, indescribably beautiful. She was dressed in a robe the colour of the dawn, high-necked, with plain sleeves. Her head was covered with a white veil, which floated over Her shoulders down to her feet. Her feet rested upon a globe, or rather one half of a globe, for that was all that could be seen. Her hands which were on a level with Her waist, held in an easy manner another globe, a figure of the world. Her eyes were raised to Heaven, and Her countenance beamed with light as She offered the globe to Our Lord.  

“As I was busy contemplating Her, the Blessed Virgin fixed Her eyes upon me, and a voice said in the depths of my heart: ‘ This globe which you see represents the whole world, especially France, and each person in particular.’

“There now formed around the Blessed Virgin a frame rather oval in shape on which were written in letters of gold these words: ‘ O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.’ Then a voice said to me: ‘ Have a medal struck upon this model. All those who wear it, when it is blessed, will receive great graces especially if they wear it round the neck. Those who repeat this prayer with devotion will be in a special manner under the protection of the Mother of God. Graces will be abundantly bestowed upon those who have confidence.’

“At the same instant, the oval frame seemed to turn around. Then I saw on the back of it the letter ‘M’, surmounted by a cross, with a crossbar beneath it, and under the monogram of the name of Mary, the Holy Hearts of Jesus and of His Mother; the first surrounded by a crown of thorns and the second trans-pierced by a sword. I was anxious to know what words must be placed on the reverse side of the medal and after many prayers, one day in meditation I seemed to hear a voice which said to me: ‘ The ‘M’ with the Cross and the two Hearts tell enough.’ “

“All who wear this medal will receive great graces . . .”

The Miraculous Medal
The Mother of God instructed Catherine that she was to go to her spiritual director, Father Aladel, about the apparitions. At first he did not believe Catherine, but, after two years, approached the Bishop of Paris with the story of the events that had taken place at Rue du Bac. Our Blessed Mother had chosen well Her time for the apparitions as the Bishop at that period was an ardent devotee of the Immaculate Conception. He said that the Medal was in complete conformity with the Church’s doctrine on the role of Our Lady and had no objections to having the medals struck at once. The Bishop even asked to be sent some of the first.

Immediately upon receiving them, he put one in his pocket and went to visit Monseigneur de Pradt, former chaplain to Napoleon and unlawful Archbishop of Mechlin who had accepted his office from the hands of the Emperor and now lay dying, defiant and unreconciled to the Church. The sick man refused to abjure his errors and the Bishop of Paris withdrew in defeat. He had not left the house when the dying man suddenly called him back, made his peace with the Church and gently passed away in the arms of the Archbishop, who was filled with a holy joy.

The original order of 20,000 medals proved to be but a small start. The new medals began to pour from the presses in streams inundating France and the rest of the world beyond. By the time of St. Catherine’s death in 1876, over a billion medals had been distributed in many lands. This sacramental from Heaven was at first called simply the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, but began to be known as the Miraculous Medal due to the unprecedented number of miracles, conversions, cures, and acts of protection attributed to Our Lady’s intercession for those who wore it.

In 1841, the most remarkable miracle occured – the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne, a wealthy Jewish banker and lawyer and also a blasphemer and hater of Catholicism. M. de Bussieres, gave him a medal, daring him to wear it and say a Memorare. After considerable persuasion he agreed to do so. Not long after, Alphonse accompanied M. de Bussieres to the Church of Sant’Andrea delle Frate to make funeral arrangements for a dear friend. There Alphonse saw a vision of Mary as on the Miraculous Medal. He was converted instantly and immediately begged for Baptism.

Alphonse Ratisbonne later went on to become a priest, taking the name of Father Alphonse Marie. Working for thirty years in the Holy Land, he established several institutions. Out of reverence and gratitude to Our Savior, he built the expiatory sanctuary of the Ecce Homo on the spot where Pilate displayed Jesus to the Jews. So great was the love he had for his people, that he dedicated the remainder of his life, as did his brother, Father Theodore, to work for the conversion of their immortal souls. Among the converts of these two priest brothers were a total of twenty eight members of their own family.

Conclusion
On the last day of 1876, St. Catherine passed to her eternal reward. For the forty-six years from the year of the apparitions until her death, only she and her confessor knew who it was to whom the famous Miraculous Medal was revealed, despite many pressures she received to reveal the secret. The years passed by, Catherine performed daily her mundane and very ordinary tasks of sewing and door keeping, unknown to the world around her, which was buzzing with the miraculous effects of the medal. Because of this humility, she is often called the Saint of Silence. When her body was exhumed for beatification 57 years after her death in 1933, it was found as fresh as the day it was buried. Her incorrupt body can still be seen today at the Mother House of the Daughters of Charity in The Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, 140 Rue du Bac in Paris.   Source

Comment: 

Share your stories about the miraculous medal, answers to prayers and favourite devotions, novenas etc.  

And a very happy Feast of the Miraculous Medal to one and all…   

Is “Third Order” Membership Risky?

Editor writes: The following comment came to me in an email a few days ago, and I thought it might provoke an interesting discussion on the question of whether Third Order membership risks distorting the lay vocation…

See the source image


Correspondent writes: I found [the following] on an SSPX [Facebook] site…

Education is a process. It [does not happen] overnight. So if you think you are educating people by provoking them, [no matter] how good your intentions may be, still you [make] them feel [angry, notwithstanding] your charitable intention with [what seems like an] uncharitable approach. How do you feel after posting things that provoke your neighbor?  if you are happy, I think you are on your way to great punishment. We should not be happy [when we provoke others to anger] instead we [should] show some remorse or [pity for] those who do not see the crisis.

Instead of talking, have you gone in the streets to bring food for the hungry? Or have you dressed the naked? These things are much more important than you asking the approval of people and in the process your virtues are compromised. So live a normal life in accordance to one’s state. If you have kids better save them and discipline them instead of other kids you focus your attention to. If you are an employee focus your attention to your work and offer every work for God rather telling people about the crisis, which makes people flee from your sight and [you] lose the chance of showing them – instead  -your good works. That is not the way.

Let God do his works in finding sinners, not you. You are to show your light in that area where you are, for people to see God through you, and find people whom He wants to give the grace. That is our work. Let the Church[man] do his job and you focus on your job and save your soul.

Yes, the Church is in a state of emergency but let the hierarchy do the job not you. God asks from you to pray for the Pope, for Him to solve this crisis. God is not asking you to tell the people about the crisis. He sent Mary to inform people, to [tell them to] offer prayers and sacrifices for the reparation of sins and that is what we should do. More often we are more concerned about informing people about the crisis and we have not even prayed and fasted for a month, or at least become a victim for others.

God’s way is consistent. St. Therese of the Child Jesus preached through offering every little thing for God and why can’t we do the same? It is better you take away your TV at home than you telling people about the crisis. See the difference?

In conclusion, the Church is in its stage where people knows about the Catholic Church, however they hate it. So if you start talking you will lose the chance. It would better if you recommend him or her to God and say your rosary every hour for them. Let your deep conversion transcend and illuminate your light for others to see God through that light.

Comment:  

Unfortunately, our  correspondent was unable to copy the link to the above Facebook comment.  If you click here, however, you will read the official SSPX Third Order page. While the sentiments expressed in the above Facebook comment do not accurately reflect the official position of the Society as set out in the above Third Order page, they are not uncommon among the Catholic laity today.  How come, then, that the above commentator has formed his/her erroneous view about the lay vocation?  Do you think Catholics who take on membership of Third Orders – whether SSPX, Franciscan, Dominican, whatever, risk misinterpreting their vocation as lay people – as the above Facebook commentator has misinterpreted it?  Or maybe you think he/she has not misinterpreted the lay vocation, but has got it right.  That we should forget about alerting other Catholics to the crisis in the Church, and the fact that Pope Francis is doing much damage, and just leave it all to God. Share your thoughts.  Politely 😀 

The Mystery of the Missing Tweet: English & Welsh Bishops Support Transgenderism – Dissent Prohibited…

Image

From Lifesitenews… 

The tweet was welcomed by American LGBT activist Father James Martin, SJ., who tweeted in response, “I join with the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales in praying for all transgender people, especially those who are persecuted in any way. May you know that you are all God’s beloved children.”

However, English Catholics were less enthusiastic at what some construed as a blurring of Catholic doctrine on human sexuality.
Author and speaker Father Marcus Holden responded to the bishops’ tweet by saying that the secular holiday is part of an “ideological colonisation”:

While we must pray for everyone who has died and fight against persecutions of any group of vulnerable people, ‘Transgender Remembrance Day’ is part of an ‘ideological colonisation’ which Catholics cannot support,” he wrote. “I’m surprised to see this here.”
The English priest concluded with a link to the wikipedia page about the secular, pro-LGBT innovation.
Click here to read the rest of this report, and to reach the links in the above extract…

 

Catholic Truth Comment: 

In a separate development, I received news of a deleted tweet.  Get this, folks.  The Ordinariate of Our Lady of  Walsingham, posted its own tweet (see below), dissociating the Ordinariate from the Bishops’ support for this scandalous celebration of transgenderism (for that is, make no mistake about it, what is going on – this is the usual devious “let’s pray for these persecuted people” way of communicating support for sexual deviancy) only to find themselves (we must assume) rebuked and ordered to remove their perfectly legitimate tweet. Not only is it a perfectly legitimate tweet, but a dutiful tweet.  If they were not ordered to delete it, why would they?  And who ordered them? Who put pressure on them to delete the tweet below?  Do they no longer wish to be dissociated from this statement from the Bishops of England and Wales?  Are they now supportive? What then?

Catholic Truth wholly endorses the content of the deleted tweet, and we will send a link to this blog discussion to the Ordinariate, for their information and to signal our support for their absolutely praiseworthy attempt to stand up for the Faith and true Morals in the face of this latest scandal from the Bishops of England & Wales, as they continue to push the LGBT+++ agenda.   The link is also being sent to the Bishops of England & Wales via their website. 

 

Is Pope Francis right to think he will “go down in history” as a Schismatic? Gulp!

Extracts below, from Christian Order February 2018 editorial: Francis is So Bad, He’s Good  

 

If we speak explicitly, …what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly.” (Pope Francis)

“Let what you say be simply `Yes’ or `No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”       (Jesus Christ)

As underlined last month, the filthy fingerprints of the Father of Lies are now all over the Vatican (aka Sodomy Central). Hiding in plain sight, his ‘signature’ is not only apparent in orgiastic eruptions, however. It is also clear and ever present in the leitmotif of this papacy — deception.

This devilish modus operandi is expressed in the slithering papal strategy above, confided by Francis to his Special Secretary for the 2014/15 Sinods, Archbishop Bruno Forte. In October 2014, it was Forte who penned the infamous text calling for the Church to “value” homosexuality. And it was Forte who subsequently revealed that his boss had told him:

“If we speak explicitly about Communion for the divorced and remarried, you don’t know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly, do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusions.”

Far from “evil”, as Our Lord Himself designated such deceit, Forte found this papal ploy so clever (“typical of a Jesuit,” he sniggered) and so appealing, that he had no qualms whatsoever recounting it during a May 2016 conference on the equally deceitful Amoris Laetitia.

Wherever we look, it’s that sort of papacy. There was even a deceptive symmetry about the Pope’s Christmas message and subsequent stroll across St. Peter’s Square to view the Vatican Nativity. After vespers in St. Peter’s, having just bewailed a “wasted and wounded” year of “lies and injustices” (perpetrated by everyone except himself, of course) our pontifical hypocrite then visited and complimented a subversive depiction of Bethlehem; a ‘wound, lie and injustice’ that passed without papal comment, despite (or because?) it involved a blasphemous nudge and wink to the sodomitic culture he has cultivated.

Pink provocations

Under the pretext of clothing the naked, the life-size nativity featured a naked man lying on the straw right opposite the manger. He was being offered a cloth by a pilgrim, but as one of countless outraged onlookers truly observed, he was “too much a poster boy for the local gym to be a man in need of corporeal mercy.” Indignant Catholics were not alone in voicing their disgust. Even ultra-liberal Facebook drew the line. It rejected an advert centred on the scene with the following explanation: “Your ad can’t include images that are sexually suggestive or provocative”!

Unlike Francis, who blithely praised the Nativity as “inspired by the works of mercy,” its creator, Antonio Cantone, at least displayed signs of a conscience, albeit a guilty one. “It is not a campy nativity,” he pouted, before conceding that it did contain “provocations.” You might say! As Ann Barnhardt discovered:

It turns out that the whole Vatican Nativity scene was made in the Sanctuary of Montevergine, a Benedictine monastery outside of Naples. The Sanctuary of Montevergine has long been notoriously and blasphemously claimed as a mascot and meeting place for sodomites and transvestites.

[In 1256], a false story was started by sodomites that two sodomite men, after being caught, convicted and condemned to death by exposure for their sickening capital crimes by being tied to a tree, were miraculously saved by the Virgin of Montevergine, whereupon the two sodomites… wait for it… promptly celebrated by sodomizing each other because their “love” had been ratified by the Queen of Heaven, or something.

Blasphemy of the sickest and most demonic sort. This blasphemy spread, and now the Sanctuary of Montevergine is used by Italian sodomites as a mascot for gay pride marches and drag queen conventions. The biggest gay pride march at the Shrine of Montevergine, happens, even more blasphemously, on February 2, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin.

So the Vatican Nativity scene was made at the Shrine of the so-called “Gay Madonna”, and there is an image of the Icon of the Madonna of Montevergine in the Vatican Nativity scene itself – a CLEAR SIGNAL to the sex perverts that the scene is a bow to them.
So, to all the people who remarked that the figure of the Blessed Virgin in the Vatican Nativity scene looks really, really masculine, almost like a man in drag, I think you have
been vindicated.

Just as Freemasons on every continent, but especially in Italy, imprint their occult symbols on monuments, buildings and structures of every kind, so the inclusion in the Vatican Nativity of male erotica, a masculine Madonna and, in one corner, a replica of the Icon of Montevirgine — known in Italy as “The Gay Madonna” and “The Madonna of the Drag Queens” — were Pink Mafia ‘calling cards which cried out: We’re everywhere! Subverting! Deceiving! Defiling all that is holy, wholesome, innocent and pure!

Such ‘pink provocations’ are now legion and flagrant.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia has even befouled his coat of arms with the ‘gay’ rainbow (yet another beautiful symbol the sodomites co-opted to corrupt). He has no fear of papal rebuke since he was chosen by Francis to head the Pontifical Council for Life despite his public support of the homosexual political movement; support he further signposted by commissioning a homosexual artist to adorn his former cathedral in Terni with a massive “homo-erotic” mural featuring an “erotic” depiction of Christ.

Painted by Argentinian sodomite Ricardo Cinalli, the pornographic mural depicts an almost nude Christ figure lifting two nets filled with contorting human figures, including a nude depiction of Paglia himself. Cinalli confirmed that Paglia had approved every stage of the work. He added that Paglia had drawn the line only at depicting the figures in the act of copulating, but agreed “that the erotic aspect is the most notable among the people inside the nets.”

Creepy Curia

Thus, forever fixated on political deceptions and lies, our worldly pontiff happily ignores the deceit, mendacity and associated perversions tearing the Church apart. He ignores them because he facilitates and personifies those very traits — as the Forte revelation, the Paglia appointment and a Curia stacked with his creepy placemen make crystal clear.
Aflame with radical Modernism, Vatican Congregations, Pontifical Councils and Institutes, and other curial bodies are all billowing forth the smoke of Satan. Cleansed of orthodox heads and advisers they are now run by sinister figures like Francesco Coccopalmerio (Legislative Texts), Pio Vito Pinto (Roman Rota) and the aforementioned Vincenzo Paglia (Council for Life/Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences), to name just a few. Yet if there is ‘something of the night’ about all these men, and so many other Bergoglian appointees beyond Rome, it goes double for the man who appointed them. 

Schismatic agenda

Modernism alone does not account for Francis. Quite apart from doctrinal issues, he exudes a pungent combo of mental illness, complicity and blackmail. How else to account for the unhinged rants, the perverts he coddles, and, above all, the noxious path to formal schism he is not only set upon but talks of treading? Der Spiegel of 23 December 2016 reported him having said, “It is not impossible that I will go down in history as the one who split the Catholic Church.” A boast that flags his instability, it is not, however, an idle one. Daily reports confirm what we all sense: that his cherished place in history (infamy more like) is nigh.  [Emphasis added -Ed.]

Among several schismatic snippets filed at the time of writing, Bishop Bode, Vice President of the German Bishops’ Conference, wants to bless active homo pairs because he feels that “it is difficult to say from the outside whether someone is in the state of mortal sin.” [LifeSiteNews, 10/1/18] Yet in order to comprehend sodomy as mortally sinful behaviour, and so conform himself to the plain-speaking counsel of Christ, it is not so difficult for His Lordship simply to Google the hard science on destructive sodomitic fruits. Like his pontifical role-model, however, the Bishop “won’t speak plainly.” Instead, he babbles. “We have to reflect upon the question as to how to assess in a differentiated manner a relationship between two homosexual persons,” he proclaims. “Is there not so much positive and good and right so that we have to be more just?”

As Jesus taught, this sort of evasive, convoluted verbiage — ideological blather that will not countenance a “yes” or “no” — “comes from evil.” And schism is its evil end. To read the rest of this devastating editorial, click here…

Comments invited… 

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Brexit Battle, Deal/No Deal, EU Army… Does It Matter To Catholics?

As the week ahead looks set to be exciting, politically, to put it mildly, the selection of opinions in the video clip below provide food for thought…

 Comment: 

As the Brexit Battle heats up, and the UK is becoming more divided by the nano-second, we learn that the long-standing desire of the EU to build its own army is now being pushed by the French President – click here to read more.   So, perhaps it’s time to reassess our thinking on the whole European project and the question of the moral, Catholic attitude to Brexit. 

Is there a “Catholic” attitude to Brexit, or is it acceptable for a Catholic to be a “remainer” or a “brexiteer” as individuals choose?  And what about those Catholic politicians who are being less than loyal to their leader. Are they right to be calling for a vote of confidence in Theresa May’s leadership, or should they humbly submit to her authority, in the Gospel spirit of  “Give unto Caesar”…  

Tell us what you think of the agreement/deal currently causing so much controversy – assuming you’ve read and understood all 585 pages that is… 😀

Interfaith… or Interference with God’s Plan of Salvation: does Church matter?

Below, extract from Archbishop stresses unity during visit to synagogue

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Glasgow

Archbishop Tartaglia of Glasgow said: “I think it’s important to remember no matter what religion we are loyal to it’s ultimately God that directs and nourishes us in our daily lives and on different perspectives of certain issues, God is talking and guiding us all in our daily lives.

“Ultimately, that is the truth of the matter and it is therefore up to our Churches, Synagogues and Kirk to take that message of a ‘common good’ to the doorsteps of those who don’t believe.

“In a world that has so much devastation we each believe our religion has the truth to finding peace and happiness, but our differences are not the cause of conflict and dispute.

“Here today we are gathered as that witness of a desire for men and women of different religions to promote harmony, especially during Interfaith Week.
“Our role within civic society can help expose people of every class and denomination to a platform in which they can be informed of God’s message of hope and the common good which is a powerful force to unite people.
“As we sit together this morning discussing our Faiths we are grateful for the things we have in common and can be thankful for positive relationships which now exist between different religions and denominations.”  Source – Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO)

Comment: 

Ecumenical and interfaith events such as that described in the SCO report above, make it increasingly difficult to see the point of individual religions.  Are they really nothing more than a group of “peace” movements, at their best when working together to achieve peace, locally, nationally, globally?  Is that what “religion” is all about.   It’s not what I was taught, that’s for sure. I was taught that God has a plan of salvation, and that this plan of salvation is – in accordance with His will – achieved through His one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.  Surely, if that is true, the Archbishop has a duty to say so and not make statements to the effect that God is pleased with every religion as long as they are looking after “the common good”, whatever that might be at any point in time.  Share your thoughts…  

16/11: Feast of St Gertrude the Great…

The following account of the life of St Gertrude the Great, is taken from website of Catholic Tradition

January 6, 1232 – November 17, 1291

Saint Gertrude, Virgin, Mystic, and Benedictine Abbess, was called by Our Lord Himself, “My chosen Lily”, and the Church has given her the title of “Great” although she is not counted among the Doctors of the Church, at least as of yet. She is the only woman Saint to have been accorded this honor. There [is]  more than one Saint named Gertrude, one of whom was the Abbott of the monastery when Gertrude entered there at five, so it is an added blessing that she is distinguished by the term Great, for our sakes, because there is one less opportunity for confusion. It ought to come as no surprise that she was born in that great age of Saints, the 13th century, among which are numbered St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and in the later years of which, both St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic, the latter two being born in the 12th century. Not only was this century the “Century of Saints”, but the age of the most wondrous of Saints.

Our Gertrude the Great was born at Eisleben, Germany, the same town as that of the unfortunate heretic, Martin Luther. But when she was born there were no Lutherans or any kind of Protestants because all of Christendom was Catholic. The revolt and upheaval would begin a scarce two centuries later. Note that she was born on the Feast of the Epiphany, destined as she was by God’s providence to be one of the Stars in the Communion of Saints. Her parentage is unknown for certain, although it is thought that she was born a countess, but we do know that when she was five years old, she was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Helfta in Saxony, where she became the pupil and close friend of St. Mechtilde. The nuns there were known for their thoroughness in training and study, which only served to augment the intellectual gifts that God had bestowed on Gertrude. Very early on she was versed in Latin, the Bible, and the works of the Fathers of the Church. Yet, compared to her capacity for loving God, they pale. While still a child she began to speak to the Heart of Our Lord, her chosen One. She already had the capacity and the readiness to withdraw as much as possible from worldly pursuits in order to spend time with Him. And Jesus did come to her; the Benedictine sisters were not slow to learn that she was favored by Heaven. One nun, who suffered the torment of terrible temptations, had a dream in which she was told to ask Gertrude for help, to ask for her prayers. And as soon as Gertrude began to pray for her, the temptations ceased. Another religious had a similar urgent need of help. She took a cloth which had been used by the Saint, applied it to her heart and she was instantly healed of her spiritual malady. [2]

Our Lord Himself conveyed to another favored soul that Gertrude “contains and perfects in her soul those five virtues which please Me above all others, and which I have placed therein by a singular liberality; she possesses purity, by a continual influence of My grace; she possesses humility, amidst the great diversity of gifts which I have bestowed on her — for the more I effect in her, the more she abases herself; she possesses a true benignity, which makes her desire the salvation of the whole world for My greater glory; she possesses a true fidelity, spreading abroad, without reserve, all her treasures for the same end. Finally, she possesses a consummate charity; for she loves Me with her whole heart, with her whole soul, and with her whole strength; and for love of Me, she loves her neighbor as herself.” [3]

St. Gertrude was elected Abbess of her monastery in 1294 when she was but thirty. And for forty more years she continued to guide her spiritual children, many of whom attained a high degree of sanctity. As superior she was known for her zeal, and for her charity. Whenever anyone was suffering, whether in body or in spirit, she could not rest. If repentance was required she prayed and wept until the person had repented. She preferred this approach to severe upbraiding. So fervent were her nuns because this approach that not only did they attain sanctity but a number of them received singular favors from Heaven.

By this time Gertrude’s mystical union with her Spouse, Our Lord, Jesus, was so ardent and intimate that even the thought of sudden death could not disturb her. In fact she expressed her desire to join her Spouse. But she surrendered her will to His in this matter, saying that she preferred His will and providence even to the Sacraments.

Her confidence, which we shall speak about later, was so pre-eminent that it is impossible to think that his Sacred Heart could refuse her anything. It was not always thus. Once she had been praying fervently for a favor, which He had not yet granted. When asked Him why the delay, He replied that it was because she was lacking in confidence of the effects of His Mercy.

Later, He told St. Mechtilde, “I have united My Heart so closely to her soul by the ties of My Mercy that she has become one spirit with Me. It is on this account that she obeys so promptly all the desires of My will . . .” [4]

One year, before the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, St. Gertrude, addressing Our Lord’s Five Wounds, repeated the following salutation five thousand four hundred and sixty-six times: “Glory be to Thee, most sweet, most gentle, most benign, most noble, most excellent, effulgent, and ever-peaceful Trinity, for the roseate wounds of my only Love!” As she repeated this salutation, our Lord Jesus appeared to her, more beautiful than the Angels, bearing golden flowers on each Wound, and saluted her thus, with a serene countenance and the tenderest charity: “Behold in what glory I now appear to you. I will appear in the same manner to you at your death, and will cover all the stains of your sins, and of those also who salute My Wounds with the same devotion.” [5]

Gertrude’s life became daily more supernatural and often she experienced ecstasies in which she not only enjoyed the company of Our Lord, but His Holy Mother as well. Even her favorite Saints came to visit her.

She also wrote with St. Mechtilde a series of prayers that became very popular, and because of this and her writing, devotion to the Sacred Heart began to spread. After numerous sufferings and an almost lifelong set of infirmities, she now neared her death. The Sisters were reading the Passion of Christ at her bedside where Jesus appeared to her with Our Lady at His right hand. The nuns pronounced the words, “And bowing His Head, He gave up the ghost,” Jesus leaned toward the Saint, opening wide His adorable Heart, pouring forth all His love while the Angels surrounded her bed; she beheld them inviting her to Paradise and heard then singing, “Come, come, O mistress! . . . Alleluia, alleluia!” [6] She died at Helfta on November 17 and although never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII in 1677 directed that her Feast [Originally November 17, but in this past century, the 16th] be a universal Feast in the Church. She is listed in the Roman Martyrology, which lists all the Saints and Martyrs.

She is the patron of the West Indies because of a petition to the Holy See made by the King of Spain.  To learn more about this great saint, click here

Comment: 

My beloved mother (RIP) was named Elizabeth Gertrude, but, unfortunately, she hated her middle name. While she disliked the name,  though, she loved the saint and would boast that her middle name patron was “St Gertrude the Great“…

Clearly, St Gertrude the Great was highly favoured, although cynics would question the visits from Our Lord and other mystical experiences.   Such experiences appear to have been not uncommon in those days.  It seems unlikely that they are as common today.   Feel free to share your thoughts on that, but also consider what – if anything – we might learn from a saint like St Gertrude the Great that would help us to become more pleasing (to God) Catholics. 

Scottish Schools to Teach LGBT Rights – Catholic Bishops Tacitly Supportive…

Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon (centre) celebrates with Time for Inclusive Education activists…

Schools in Scotland soon will be required to teach students LGBT history to prevent “homophobia and transphobia” and to encourage exploration of  their gender identity.

That’s according to the London Guardian, which says Scotland has become the first nation in the world to embed teaching about gender options in its regular school curriculum.

The move comes after lawmakers “accepted in full the recommendations of a working group led by the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign,” the report said.

“There will be no exemptions or opt-outs to the policy, which will embed LGBTI inclusive education across the curriculum and across subjects and which the Scottish government believes is a world first,” the report said.

Those advocating for mandates regarding alternative sexual lifestyles were cheered.

“This is a monumental victory for our campaign, and a historic moment for our country,” Jordan Daly of TIE told the newspaper.  Read more here

Comment:  

So, to sum up…  “Scotland will become the first country in the world to embed the teaching of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights in the school curriculum…” 

Pride in our national identity used to be a characteristic of Scots.  Well, not this Scot.  I’m thoroughly ashamed to belong to a country – once renowned for its rigorous academic record in education – where evil is being taught (“embedded”) so that young people grow up to think that homosexual activity and “transgenderism” are normal behaviours; something good and desirable. 

And note, importantly, that the Scottish Bishops can’t complain about the fact that  “there will be no exemptions or opt-outs to the policy” [including for Catholic schools, obviously] because one of their priests – Father Paul Morton, Diocese of Motherwell –  actively supports the group behind this diabolical policy, the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE)  Not only does he actively support TIE but the Scottish press lauded him as the very first Catholic “representative” [of the Bishops] to support LGBT education in schools. 

This policy, then, is being implemented in Catholic schools, with the active support of the Catholic Church in Scotland – and that will remain the case unless and until the Bishops take action – publicly – to safeguard children in the Catholic education system against being “embedded” with immoral beliefs which are contrary to Catholic teaching because they are offensive to God. Not for any puerile reasons, not out of bigotry or prejudice, but because such sexual immorality is offensive to God.  

We’ve discussed this LGBT indoctrination in schools before and, to be honest although I saw the headline a few days ago, I contented myself with posting it on one of the topic threads, but now that I’m getting emails from thousands of miles away to alert me to this latest report, I thought it might be time to launch another thread, in the hope of encouraging Catholic teachers and parents to fight this evil with all of their collective might, in a spirit of better late than never.  I didn’t include “priests” in that list.  No prizes for guessing why…

Everyone’s going along to get along, as the saying goes.  Nobody’s fighting back.  Everybody’s terrified of the LGBT +++ juggernaut.  I’m not crazy about it, myself, but I think we need to regroup and DO something.  But what?  When Catholics thousands of miles away are reading that Scotland is proud of being  a”world first” in brainwashing children into the LGBT +++ “lifestyle”, then maybe it’s long past time we were a bit more pro-active in dealing with this scandal.  

Talking’s no use.  I challenged Father Paul Morton to a debate, before, remember?  That went down like the proverbial lead balloon, with the Bishop banning any such debate although not banning Father Morton from his supportive “pastoral” work on behalf of the TIE bunch. I wonder what that Bishop is thinking now, with the “fruits” of his tolerance about to be “embedded” in the souls of children and young Catholics across Scotland. 

I’m fresh out of ideas. Over to thee!