27th October – Feast of Christ the King!

Comment:

We are reflecting upon, and discussing, the shocking state of the Church on various threads; We have noted that Our Lord, Christ the King, is being abused and insulted at the highest levels in His Church today.  The human element in the Church is all but obscuring the divine.  Let us, therefore, use this Feast Day thread as a small means of reparation, as well as celebration. Take a few minutes to share your favourite hymns and prayers, devotions, novenas, pilgrimages etc. as a means of reminding ourselves that, despite the scandalous outward appearances, Christ is  remaining true to His promise to be with His Church right to the end:  “…And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt 28:20)  

Real faith is required of us today – we cannot merely, as some put it, “cling to a tribal identity”.  Perhaps a short extract from the life of St Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, will point us towards the attitude of soul which we might most profitably embrace at this time – the saint is writing (to her Superior) about the affliction of her “dark night of the soul”: 

From the time of my childhood I felt that one day I should be set free from this land of darkness. I believed it, not only because I had been told so by others, but my heart’s most secret and deepest longings assured me that there was in store for me another and more beautiful country—an abiding dwelling-place. I was like Christopher Columbus, whose genius anticipated the discovery of the New World. And suddenly the mists about me have penetrated my very soul and have enveloped me so completely that I cannot even picture to myself this promised country . . . all has faded away. When my heart, weary of the surrounding darkness, tries to find some rest in the thought of a life to come, my anguish increases. It seems to me that out of the darkness I hear the mocking voice of the unbeliever: “You dream of a land of light and fragrance, you dream that the Creator of these wonders will be yours for ever, you think one day to escape from these mists where you now languish. Nay, rejoice in death, which will give you, not what you hope for, but a night darker still, the night of utter nothingness!”

Dear Mother, this description of what I suffer is as far removed from reality as the first rough outline is from the model, but I fear that to write more were to blaspheme . . . even now I may have said too much. May God forgive me! He knows that I try to live by Faith, though it does not afford me the least consolation. I have made more acts of Faith in this last year than during all the rest of my life.  (Chapter IX, The Story of a Soul).

Maybe we should compete with this great saint and Doctor of the Church, in making many acts of Faith, not just on this beautiful Feast, but every day throughout the worsening crisis in the Church.  Here’s one – if you have a favourite, please share:

An 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.   Amen.

Hail, Christ the King! 

31/5: The Queenship of Our Lady

Note:  only two of the verses published below, are sung in the video, but included here for the record (so to speak!)

Bring flowers of the rarest
bring blossoms the fairest,
from garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling
the praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Their lady they name thee,

Their mistress proclaim thee,
Ah, grant that thy children on earth be as true
as long as the bowers
are radiant with flowers,
as long as the azure shall keep its bright hue

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Sing gaily in chorus;
the bright angels o’er us
re-echo the strains we begin upon earth;
their harps are repeating
the notes of our greeting,
for Mary herself is the cause of our mirth

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May

Comment: 

Earlier in the Month of Mary, a few of the families who attend the traditional Mass at the SSPX chapel in Glasgow, organised a little gathering for the purpose of crowning Our Lady’s statue.  Since these families double as Catholic Truth readers, I was invited along.  It turned out to be a truly beautiful experience. 

The host family has a statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in their garden, which is large enough to allow the children to play/kick a ball around etc.  The afternoon began with a buffet lunch and, following some play time (and chat time for the adults), everyone gathered round the statue for the crowning.  Girls, assorted ages and from the different families, were primed to place the lovely crown of flowers on the statue’s head as we began singing each chorus.  They did so perfectly.   An adult would remove the crown at the end of the chorus, and then it would be placed again on the statue by the next girl in line – and this until all three choruses had been sung, and every girl had had the privilege of placing the crown on Our Lady’s head.  It was absolutely beautiful. 

Later, when everyone had abandoned the garden and gathered in the living room, where a statue of Our Lady of Fatima takes pride of place, the children asked if they could again crown the statue.  That’s understandable; as the novus ordo Mass-goers keep telling us, everyone, especially the young, “like to be actively involved…”  😀  Of course, anyone who can’t see the difference between this sort of “active involvement” and the (literal) mass takeover in parishes in the past fifty years, needs help.  

Anyway, afraid of over-kill, of perhaps putting them off hymn singing forever, if not the Faith itself, I suggested that we just do the crowning, not necessarily sing the three verses/choruses of the hymn again. The youngsters would have none of it!  They insisted on singing the hymn again, every verse and every chorus.  And sing along they did, so seriously, so touchingly. 

There is no question about it, the sparks of devotion, love of Our Lord and Our Lady, are ignited when we sing the “old hymns” – you know, the ones which raise our hearts, minds and souls to the things of God and help to embed and deepen our love for Christ and His Mother.   

So, enjoy the above lovely rendering of Bring Flowers of the Rarest – and maybe next year YOU might organise a crowning party for your family and friends.  

For now, as this Month of Mary draws to a close, I wish a very happy Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary to one and all! 

2/11: All Souls Day – Offering Prayers for the Church Suffering in November…

Despite an extensive YouTube search, I have not been able to find the lovely hymn for the souls in Purgatory They are waiting for our petitions…  

I have, therefore, decided to publish the popular first couple of verses and if anyone can find it sung on YouTube please feel free to post it in the comments below.

They are waiting for our petitions silent and calm
Their lips no prayer can utter, no suppliant psalm.
we have made the all too weary with long delay
For the souls in their still agony, good Christian pray.
Requiescant in pace, requiescant in Pace.

For the soul thou holdest dearest let prayers arise
The voice of love is mighty and will pierce the skies.
Waste not in selfish weeping one precious day
But speeding thy love to heaven, good Christian pray.
Requiescant in pace, requiescant in Pace.

Comments invited… especially edifying stories about the souls suffering in Purgatory, prayers, novenas, indulgences, and any hymns which will help us to reflect on the Church Suffering in this Month of the Holy Souls.  

Catholic Truth Conference Huge Success!

Our Conference, held to mark the 100th anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions, and to note, too, the 100th edition of the Catholic Truth Newsletter, was, by any standards, hugely successful. 

The event began with the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary, Hymn Bring Flowers of the rarest and crowning of Our Lady’s beautiful statue – that privilege was given to the little 4 year old daughter of one of our readers, who was thrilled at having been chosen to do this. We had other young people helping out at the various stalls and being general dogsbodies. To each of them our heartfelt gratitude. Our thanks, too, to Chairman Paul who took us through the day calmly and efficiently.

The four speakers were all well received and feedback has been largely positive. Here’s a sample:

Very good speakers. I really enjoyed it. Look forward to another. Motherwell Diocese.
(Ed: there isn’t going to be another – that was our Grand Finale, but it’s great that it has been such a success, and we leave the world of conferences on a high!)

Fr Nicholas Mary – most interesting talk. Learned so much! Ellen Ward – very strong speaker. Loved her account of Legion work and the priority of saving souls.  Fr Mann, very informative and thought-provoking…  Northampton Diocese (England)

The day was very interesting and learned a lot. I felt there was a strong message to take away with us and share with others; my only negative would be a lot of the talk would have been so off putting for people searching for Jesus (my own family being first). Surely God is love and wold bring people to his love and then they would learn the truth and turn away from sin. Ended up being very disturbed.  Galloway Diocese

All in all, however, the day was a great success, with the Fatima and piety stalls doing great “business” and the new initiative, Crusaders of Mary, drawing much interest.  Thanks to Joe and John who brought the Fatima Statue and beautiful banners over from County Cork for our use and for helping to make our Conference such a success.  Thanks, too, to John Blyth from Edinburgh, whose piety stall was very busy – as is usual at our Conferences.

Our American blogger, Wurdesmythe, has given the thumbs up to the Conference, and is set to enjoy the rest of his stay with us, before returning home on Thursday.  Chairman, Paul, called him up to the front of the hall at the start of the day to return his cheque/check in payment of his ticket, because, he said, we wanted to put to rest, once and for all,  the myth of the “mean Scot” !

One last word…

Note: one of a group of women from the Diocese of Galloway, expressed concern in the Q & A sessions, because she (and I believe others in her group) act as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (EMHC) and she had been offended at remarks made by me about the “poisonous” effect of the novus ordo Mass and the diminution of belief in the Real Presence (or words to that effect).  She said they had to act as EMHC because they had no priests. For your information and interest, visit the  website of the Diocese of Galloway.

Perhaps we could use this thread to offer comments to help the Galloway group of EMHCs to come to a deeper realisation of how seriously wrong it is for lay people to handle the Blessed Sacrament: key question: is a shortage of priests really a good enough reason to allow this practice? And, perhaps  some of those who attended might respond to the lady from Galloway who remarked that the “a lot of the talk would have been so off putting for people searching for Jesus…[because] God is love…”

Comments invited…