Lent & Love of God…Join The Dots!

Comment: 

There can sometimes be a failure to understand the true nature of Lent.  It’s seen, rightly, as a time of prayer and penance, making atonement for sins, and reflecting on the Passion and Death of Our Lord. However, arguably,  the majority of Catholics pay insufficient attention to what should be the outcome of our Lenten prayers and penances – namely, an increase in our love for Our Lord.  It’s sometimes striking to reflect on the uncharitable way we behave towards others, sometimes even right after attending Mass or praying a rosary – indications that we are seriously lacking in charity, that charity which is the love of God, made manifest in our lives…  

I am ashamed to admit that I have never – ever – made a good Lent. My attempted penances over the years include the classics; giving up chocolate, crisps, soft drinks – and if I were fond of the less soft drinks, I would have, very likely, sacrificed those as well (pat on the back),  but I can’t , without fibbing, claim an increased love of God, manifesting itself in increased charity towards my neighbour, as a result.  The truth that no-one can stand still in the spiritual life – we either go forwards or back – terrifies me. I need help, therefore, and I’m hoping that this thread will do the trick…

As we mark the beginning of Lent today, Ash Wednesday, share your ideas for useful penances, and post any meditations, experiences, prayers, hymns and advice that you think will be helpful to us all this Lent, as we seek to grow in the love of God. 

Pater Noster: Lord’s Prayer, Not Pope’s…

Somebody forgot to say this prayer!

 

From the Editor, Catholic Truth…

When the news broke of Pope Francis’ criticism of the “Our Father”, I dismissed it as a blog topic, certain that nobody in their right mind would give it a second thought, let alone take it seriously enough to change this ancient prayer. I forgot about the Scottish Bishops.  Alerted to the incredible news that the Bishop of Paisley, (John-wasn’t-Martin-Luther-a great-guy-Keenan), and  former Bishop of Galloway, (the notorious Maurice-I’m-proud-of-my-part-in-creating-the-awful-liturgical-texts-for-new-Mass-Taylor), are sympathetic to the possibility of changing the Lord’s Prayer to suit Pope Francis’ latest shocking whim,  and might thus seek to influence the rest of the Bishops, I decided to launch this thread.  Me? I’ll say this latest “new” prayer, like, never. What about you?  Click here to check out the “cautious welcome” given to the Pope’s proposal to change the Pater Noster by these two outright modernists,  and then read the excellent commentary from the Fatima Center (Canada) website below. 

From the Fatima Center Staff: And Lead Us Not Into Stupidity…

How obtuse and inattentive have been the custodians of the Faith these past two thousand years! We and our ancestors have apparently been permitted, even enjoined, to recite the Our Father in an inaccurate and misleading way. Resonating through the corridors of time, from the first century until our own, are the words, “lead us not into temptation.” (ne nos inducas in tentationem — in the Latin Vulgate)
At last, however, in this year of Our Lord 2017, we have a Pope who is prepared to lead us out of the traditional Lord’s Prayer and into a new and improved version that will save us from the misunderstanding we have presumably labored under through the millenia.

Just what is this misunderstanding that requires correction? It is, according to Pope Francis, the idea that God tempts us to sin. “A father doesn’t do that,” the Pope said in a recent television interview. “He helps you get up right away. What induces into temptation is Satan.”

Did we not know this already? Does it require the Pope’s critique of an ancient translation to enlighten us in the matter? All authorities agree that the traditional translation from the New Testament Greek is accurate, and it has never posed a problem — until now.

But does it really pose a problem at all?

We have all prayed the Our Father countless times and repeated the words “lead us not into temptation” with the clear knowledge that we are asking Our Lord to save us from falling into sin. We have prayed these words with the understanding that we are asking for the grace to help us resist the lies of satan, and the attractions of the world and the flesh that are laid before us and that tempt us to forget we have an immortal soul and an eternal destiny.

Have any of us actually thought that God wants us to sin? That Our Lord is trying to induce us to transgress His laws and harm our souls so that He may damn us? How absurd! Yet, Francis is admittedly worried that such may be the case. How ought we to respond to the Pope’s desire to change the words of the Our Father?

We are forced, by common sense, to doubt the genuine nature of Francis’ expressed concerns. It cannot be that a Vicar of Christ, a highly educated Jesuit, really believes that the words of the Our Father have been misinterpreted for two thousand years and that a corrective is needed at this particular time. To take the Pope’s words at face value we must impugn either his intelligence or our own. Francis is not a stupid man, and Catholics are not so doctrinally benighted as he seemingly fears.

So what is this new commotion regarding possible changes to the Our Father really about?

Many things were changed following Vatican II: liturgy, discipline, customs, catechesis, prayers. Many of these changes appeared to be gratuitous, others gravely troubling. But the overall import of the changes was to unsettle the Catholic mind and heart. Once we accepted that anything and everything was subject to change, we were more likely to accept with acquiescence whatever novelties authority proposed. We simply got used to having the ground shift beneath our feet with such frequency that we no longer minded the large and little earthquakes that shook the Church.

All of these changes were merely cosmetic, we were told: an updating of language and discipline to keep pace with the times. Nothing of substance was being lost, we were re-assured time and again. But imagine someone cut off from the Church, say from 1960 until the present. Would he recognize as Catholic anything that he might see going on today in his parish? Would he not be dumbfounded by the words of the post-conciliar popes? Would he not regard Pope Francis as incomprehensible and outrageous? Would he not, like Mary Magdalene at the tomb, say in pain and confusion, “What have they done with my Church?”

What would he make of the vernacular Mass, the changed words of the Consecration, lay men and women distributing the Blessed Sacrament, people receiving Holy Communion in their hands or drinking the Precious Blood from the Chalice? What would he make of the typical Novus Ordo funeral Mass, which is now a falsely jolly ceremony of canonization? What would he make of Amoris Laetitia? Of the pedophile scandals among the clergy? What would he think of a notorious homosexual prelate being placed in charge of the papal residence and serving as the papal representative to the corrupt Vatican bank? What would he make of Pope Benedict’s resignation? We could go on. But we all know how vast and deep have been the so-called reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council. The Church is hardly recognizable from what it was a half-century ago and from what it has been throughout the ages.

And there is no end in sight for the “updating” that is deemed so necessary to keep the Church relevant to the modern world. Now, we are told that the Our Father may need to be updated, too. France has taken the lead and its bishops have already changed the phrase the Pope finds theologically troubling. “Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (do not let us give in to temptation) has already been adopted. So, the Pope can rest easy that at least the Catholics of France, or the diminishing remains of them, will not be misled.

As for the rest of us, we are apparently still in need of further instruction and the habits of a lifetime may have to be broken, for our own good, presumably. But does any of this nonsense about the words of the Our Father have to do with genuine pastoral concern? Is the Holy Father really worried that spiritual harm will befall us unless he intervenes to change the custom that has persisted for two millennia? It may be doubted, to put it politely.

Even the most mild and conciliatory of Catholic commentators are clearing their collective throats about this latest of the Pope’s initiatives. “Pope Francis has made a habit of throwing things into confusion, and this is one of them. It just makes you wonder, where does it stop, what’s up for grabs. It’s cumulative unease.” So says Philip Lawler, editor of Catholic World News and a compliant apologist for any number of post-conciliar novelties. Perhaps, if Mr. Lawler and others had not allowed their unease to accumulate but had addressed it immediately, we would not be faced with the present absurdity, which even they feel compelled to address, albeit in their restrained and ineffectual way.

The Protestant world, however, is not so restrained. According to a report in the New York Times, R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said he was “shocked and appalled” by the Pope’s remarks. “This is the Lord’s Prayer. It is not, and has never been, the Pope’s prayer…”

But Southern Baptists probably fall within the spectrum of those fundamentalists for whom the Pope has repeatedly expressed his disdain, so he is unlikely to be deterred by his otherwise keen ecumenical sensitivities. Still, Mohler’s remarks are refreshing in their frankness when set beside the timid reservations of Lawler’s “cumulative unease.”
During her final years, Sister Lucy said that we must take the initiative in prayer and penance and not look to those in authority to lead us in these things. Those who have seen the full Third Secret, such as Cardinal Ciappi, have told us that apostasy in the Church will begin “at the top.” Has it not begun? All we can do is follow Sister Lucy’s advice. And when we pray, let us pray the words of Our Lord, “lead us not into temptation.”  Source – Fatima Center Staff

Comment:

Well – will YOU ever say the new Our Father?  Even if you are attending the new Mass, praying the new rosary, reading the new catechism, accepting the new morality, supporting the new canonisations, new everything.  Will you draw the line at this outrageous change?  Or do you agree that Christians have been idiots for two thousand years and didn’t understand the meaning of this simple prayer  – thus, now we need to grow up and get with the papal programme, which appears to be to leave nothing, absolutely nothing unchanged. Let’s hear it… 

Should We Kill Rapists, Not Babies?

From February 10 to March 20, our community will take part in 40 Days for Life … a groundbreaking, coordinated international  mobilization. We pray that, with God’s help, this will mark the beginning of the end of abortion in our city [Glasgow] — and beyond.  Source

animatedbabyIn the Scottish print media, the above pro-life event is being portrayed as a militant US style attack on women going into hospitals/clinics for abortions.  Not so, of course, it’s a peaceful, prayerful vigil, that’s all, but, hey, when did any media hack let the truth get in the way of their bigoted bias, if you get my drift…

This article in The Scotsman is a classic  example of the shallowness of the pro-abortion industry and its supporters.  Penned by Muriel Gray, who passes for a “celebrity” or “personality” in Scotland, it is full of the daft hyperbole that presents the pregnant woman as a wee, mousy, terrified gal, who is likely to buckle when she sees a handful of folk fingering their rosary beads outside the place where she is about to take the life of her unborn child. Legally, of course.  Don’t get me wrong.  She’s not doing anything criminal in the eyes of the law in Scotland today.  It’s just not legal to smoke in a restaurant or say something “offensive” about same-sex “marriage” but killing an unborn baby? Nope, that’s fine. That’s legal.

I decided to post this thread after reading the (at the time) two comments underneath Mzzzzz Gray’s Scotsman piece.  The second comment handed out the old chestnut, “what if the woman had been raped” [it’s then OK to abort the baby…]

I remembered seeing the headline “Why Do We Kill Babies Instead Of Rapists?” on a Lifesitenews report some time ago and thought, what the heck, let’s reflect on that sentiment here to challenge the oppressors, not just of free speech, but of free prayer and free movement.  Mzzzz Gray thinks it’s OK to protest, as long as the protest takes place outside Parliament, not outside hospitals.  My reply:  mind your own business. I’m not taking orders from you and your ilk as to where I pray my swears… Gerragrip wummin!

Comment:

Rape is a truly terrible crime.  Everyone agrees on that, and we know that death is a highly likely outcome for one of those involved.  But why should it be one of the innocents; why, in fact, the most innocent of all human beings, the most vulnerable, the baby in the womb?  If someone has to die as a result of rape, why not the guilty man – the rapist?  

Will Pope Francis’ Inter-Faith Peace Prayers Please God? If So, Which One?

ImageVatican City, Jun 6, 2014 / 08:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican has released the details for Sunday’s prayer between Pope Francis and the Israeli and Palestinian presidents, stating that although peace will not be immediate, it’s a starting point.

“The intent of this encounter is to open the road to peace,” Fr. Pierbattista Pizzaballa O.F.M., Guardian of the Holy Land, revealed to journalists in a June 6 press conference, telling CNA that “My hope is that this event will help to bring a new atmosphere in the Middle East.”

Speaking to other journalists, he explained that “the goal is not to change dramatically the peace process in the Middle East, but to bring back in the atmosphere among the people in the Middle East the desire, the real desire for peace.”

Detailing the itinerary for the prayer, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. stated that Presidents Shimon Peres of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine will arrive to the Vatican within a few minutes of each other, and will meet Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartolomeo I of Constantinople at the pontiff’s residence in the Saint Martha guesthouse.

Afterward the four will travel together by car to the Vatican Gardens, where a brief explanation of the celebration will be given in English.

The prayer, the spokesman noted, will be divided into three parts following the chronological order of the three faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Beginning around 7 p.m., the first part of the prayer will be recited in Hebrew, honoring the Jewish faith. It will include an initial prayer, a brief musical interlude, a prayer of forgiveness, a second musical interlude, a prayer invoking peace, and finally a Jewish musical meditation.

The second part of the prayer, dedicated to Christianity, will follow the same structure, and will be recited in English, Italian and Arabic. ImageThe third part, honoring the Muslim community, will only be said in Arabic.

Following the three parts of the prayer, Pope Francis will give a discourse invoking peace, and then invite the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to give their own, beginning with Shimon Peres, who will be followed by Mahmoud Abbas.

After giving the speeches, the Pope and the presidents, along with Patriarch Bartolomeo I, will exchange a sign of peace in shaking hands. Pope Francis and the two presidents will then plant an olive tree together as a symbol of peace.

Concluding the celebration, the four will stand side-by-side as the delegations of each come to greet them, and will then travel to the Casina Pio IV nearby for a private discussion, after which the presidents will depart for their own residences, while the Pope and Bartolomeo I go to Saint Martha’s Source

Comment

The following information is taken from a report of today’s event published in The Times of Israel – information which is notably omitted from the Catholic News Agency report. Am I alone in thinking that what follows are highly revealing – and disturbing – tidbits?  

Every detail about Sunday’s meeting has been sensitive — the explanation for the delay in publishing the composition of the delegations taking part.

Friday was excluded since it is a Muslim holy day and Saturday for the same reason for the Jewish community, while Sunday is Pentecost for Catholics — a day of celebration of the Holy Spirit considered appropriate.

The choice of the Vatican Gardens is also significant since it is considered the most neutral territory within the Vatican City, with none of the Christian iconography that might be seen as offensive to the other two faiths.  END. 

Over to you. I’m speechless.   

 

 

The Mystery of the Missing Malaysian Airplane – And Other Mysteries…

ImageThe mystery of the missing plane is exercising the media like nothing else has done for quite some time. Constant news updates reveal that every imaginable line of enquiry is apparently being followed. 

One aviation  expert told callers to a  popular radio phone-in show this week that even far-fetched possibilities, dismissed at the beginning, are now being considered  Nobody knows anything, and so all sorts of possible, if unlikely, explanations are being examined by the experts.

The media is working hard, endlessly interviewing the various experts in aviation technology, with commentary wall to wall round the clock, and  newspaper reporters and TV presenters are pointing to maps and other images galore, all carefully explained for maximum audience comprehension. Calls to mind Our Lord’s observation that “…the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.”

For, if Catholics spent half the amount of time, energy and imagination on working to explain the great mysteries of our Faith as the news-researchers and chat show hosts are doing to explain the mystery of the missing Malaysian flight MH370, the world would be converted in no time.

As you may have guessed by now, this is a corny way to introduce a thread of discussion on atheism and agnosticism. A discussion with a difference because the key question is not “how can we prove to unbelievers that God  really exists?” but, rather, do atheists and agnostics really exist?  Take a look at the photo of the rescue workers at prayer at Kuala Lumpur airport.  Is there anyone who hasn’t uttered a prayer for the passengers, crew, and relatives of all those on board missing flight MH370?

In short – if there really are unbelievers and agnostics in the world today, isn’t this a greater mystery than the mystery of the missing plane? Greater, even, than any mystery of our Faith?

Glasgow: Welcome to a Fun-Filled Lent!

ImageWelcome to Lentfest!

As the season of Lent calls us to a sober and reflective assessment of our lives, at the same time the principal arts festival of the Archdiocese gets underway. That apparent contradiction is explained away by casting an eye over the many elements of this year’s programme. For they are, in truth, aids to living Lent well … the Stations of the Cross rediscovered; the great drama of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection interpreted through the new prism of music and visual art; a revisiting of the theme of redemption through drama and an opportunity to deepen our appreciation of the pontificates of two great Popes soon to be canonised (John XXIII and John Paul II) through film. Lentfest is about deepening our faith through the gift of the arts. We thank those whose work will open up for us new horizons, and pray that all who are touched by the events of the coming weeks will sense the call of the Lord to repentance and newness of life.

Just a few months ago Pope Francis summed up our hopes for this year’s Lentfest very well when he said: “In every age the Church has called upon the arts to give expression to the beauty of her faith and to proclaim the Gospel message of the grandeur of God’s creation, the dignity of human beings made in his image and likeness, and the power of Christ’s death and resurrection to bring redemption and rebirth to a world touched by the tragedy of sin and death.” “What are you doing for Lent?” is a question you might be asked over the next few weeks. While our practical resolutions may involve prayer, fasting and almsgiving, our ultimate goal should be to find and grow closer to God in our lives, and to love our neighbour more generously. My wish is that in attending some of the events of this year’s festival that search for God in your life and commitment to service may be intensified and given new impetus.

With every blessing on you and your family

+Philip Tartaglia

Archbishop of Glasgow  

Source

Comment:

“rediscovered; new;  revisiting” … the same theme all the time. Everything has to be “new”, we have to “rediscover” and “revisit” every darn thing – even penance and fasting.

Is it really possible to make the message of prayer, penance and fasting more attractive through attending various entertainment shows?  I can’t see it, but if you can, please explain…I’d love to be booking theatre tickets for the next six weeks as my Lenten penance, so I’m very open minded about this… 😀

Glasgow Crash: does human tragedy make God more present in the world?

 Glasgow Crash: does human tragedy make God more present in the world?

The popular view about human suffering is that it makes it more difficult to believe in God. Even Catholics – indeed, even some priests – express themselves at a loss when dealing with death, especially sudden death or the death of a young person. That’s astonishing, and completely contradicts what Catholic believe about the shortness of even the longest life, and the fact that this life is but a preparation for the next.

In any case, there is another aspect to this question. Something, such as the helicopter crash in Glasgow which happened late last night, on the eve of the Feast of St Andrew, our national patron, could be interpreted as God reminding us that He is in charge. God never treats us like puppets.  He gave human beings free will, and it was the abuse of that fee will by our first parents which led to disorder in the world, so it is futile to blame God for suffering; instead, we ought to reflect deeply on the truth that in various ways, through all the suffering caused by illness, accidents, disease, natural disasters, and so on, somehow, God makes His presence felt.

It would be interesting to know how many (if any) atheists were standing outside the Clutha pub last night. Did anyone fail to offer a prayer, whether or intercession or gratitude?

St Andrew, Patron Saint of Scotland, intercede for everyone affected by the helicopter tragedy.

Our Lady of Lourdes, health of the sick, pray for them.