Mental Health: Is Wearing Our Heart on Our Sleeve Good for the Soul? 

Comment:

News commentators are enjoying dissecting the ITV documentary interview with Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, generally known as “Harry & Meghan”, in which they both speak very openly about the negative impact of their royal public life on their mental health. 

 The reaction from viewers has been mixed.  Given that they are able to travel the globe at taxpayers’ expense, and use the camera and thick column inches in newspapers to lecture us all not to do the same (in the interests of saving the planet), there has been lots of criticism along the lines of “hypocrites”. 

However, whether true or not, that’s not the purpose of this discussion. We can all be hypocrites on occasion.   Right now, we are much more interested in the growing custom within once “stiff upper lip” British society, of just about everyone – royal or not – wearing their hearts on their sleeves and claiming poor mental health at every turn.

The following point was made in conversation with a friend on the topic earlier today:  what, at one time, a Catholic would have offered up in silent prayer for the sake of his/her own soul, and the souls of others in spiritual danger, is now considered a matter for counselling and/or medication.  Stress, anxiety, depression, you name it, there seems to be an increased sensitivity, to the point of hyper-sensitivity in many, if not most people, for – more often than not – trivial/no good reason.  Lamentably, that includes Catholics.  Surely, Catholics should be living on a rather higher level – notwithstanding that there will be, of course, those with genuine, diagnosed, mental health illness.

Or is the above assessment a bit too hard? Harsh, even?

16/7: Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel…

Comment: 

On this Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, share your favourite prayers, novenas, hymns, experiences etc.  And perhaps reflect on the dedication of the nuns, brothers and priests of the Carmelite Order who pray and make sacrifices for the Church and the world.  The short film below about one community of Carmelite nuns is a reminder that we are perhaps not grateful enough for the sacrifices made by our Religious. 

Technology Vs The Spiritual Life …

Comment: 

Some parents try to put off the day when their offspring are allowed smartphones and thus unsupervised access to the internet. This, however, can cause bad feeling and cultivate rebellious attitudes in the young towards their concerned parents. And once they reach the older teenage years, it really isn’t possible to ban things, not when the youngster has a job or unthinking relatives who buy them technological presents for birthdays and Christmas.   

Having established a routine of family prayer and spiritual reading, some parents have witnessed a weakening of their children’s faith, which, rightly or wrongly, they blame on the technological craze.  If a teenager prefers YouTube to spiritual reading, that’s a problem, they argue.  

What’s the answer?  

17/3 St Patrick’s Day: Pray for Ireland

 

Comment: 

As always with devotional threads, feel free to post your favourite hymns, prayers, stories and jokes of the “good clean fun” variety.  Above all, however, please pray for Ireland today; the Faith has gone, and the state of both Irish politics and the Irish hierarchy appear to be in terminal decline.  So much so, that I feel the need to add the hymn to Our Lady of Knock, as we all, I hope, seek her intercession in prayer for that once great Catholic country, now among the (if not THE) most secular of all the nations in Europe.

 

A very happy St Patrick’s day to one and all! 

Trump, Exorcism, Our Lady of Fatima – Making America Great Again!

From The Remnant Newspaper… Our Lady of Fatima at the White House – posted 3 March…

trump fatima

At a time when raw evil is consuming the world, I have no doubt that Donald Trump’s efforts to keep God in the picture is the main reason his enemies hate him so. Of course, he’s not Catholic but his innate desire to use his office to remind the world about God certainly is not not Catholic.

We distinguish, of course, between sound theology (which Trump obviously lacks) and the President’s basic, almost childlike, attempt to remind a nation hellbent on destruction that God exists and that our nation must acknowledge Him and the power of prayer.

Once this distinction is made, we can take solace in the fact that Trump’s Godly presidential reminders are not wasted efforts, nor are they the deceptive words of papal ecumania which, coming from that exalted office, serve not truth but error.
Trump has not the benefit of sound theological training, access to the Sacraments, and the habit of formal prayer. In other words, he’s doing the best he can with the little he’s been given in a world where even the Catholic Church’s moral authority has become something of a joke.

Somehow, this man is acting more like a Catholic than are most Catholic leaders in the Church today:

Who knows where this will end? But without him, what are the chances Americans will hear words about God, the Bible and the power of prayer from the North Lawn ever again?

In fact, given the cast of democratic characters threatening to run in 2020, it’s more likely they’d be sacrificing babies to Moloch on the North Lawn. And obviously it would be supremely unlikely that any one of them would be seeking out the services of a Catholic Priest to conduct an exorcism upon taking office.

Keep praying.
TRUMP 2020!

Comment: 

There’s so much to say about the above heartening report, but let’s focus on considering the fact that, in the closing words of said report, referring to the candidates for election in 2010: “…it would be supremely unlikely that any one of them would be seeking out the services of a Catholic Priest to conduct an exorcism upon taking office. “

Which, of course, begs the question: what did Donald Trump know about the goings-on in the White House that the rest of us don’t know (and are unlikely to find out), that prompted him to arrange for an exorcism? 

And notice that photo at the top, of the President holding the statue of Our Lady of Fatima and clutching a rosary in his hand… We really MUST pray for the grace of conversion to the Faith for him – it seems to me that he has a great deal more Catholicity in his soul right now than certain of the U.S. Bishops, if not Pope Francis!  Recall that, on his election, a number of Catholic Truth readers sent President Trump material on Fatima.  It would be wonderful to think that he may have received and read that information.  Whatever,  let’s pray now that through Divine Providence the President finds the traditional Catholic Faith – Our Lady of Fatima, pray for him!   

Advent Reflection: Preparing for Birth of Saviour & Second Coming of Christ… 

 

Comment: 

The blog will be closed to comments throughout Advent, to allow us all to prepare spiritually and materially for the Feast of Christmas. 

As we all know, in Advent we prepare firstly to welcome the long-awaited Messiah into the world, in celebration of the first Christmas when He came into the world to save us from sin and eternal death.  Secondly, we reflect on the Second Coming of Christ when He will come to judge the world.  Salvation and Judgment, then, are themes which give us plenty of food for meditation, reflection and prayer during  the four weeks of Advent. 

Again, as we know, and it is good to remind ourselves, Advent, like Lent,  is a time of penance – the “famine before the feast” – so, the Catholic Truth team wishes all of our bloggers, readers and lurkers, a very peaceful and productive Advent.  

The blog will re-open to comments on Christmas day.   

Does Music Help the Spiritual Life? 

As we’ve had discussions on books which have helped us know the Faith better, on spiritual reading books, and even blogged to share jokes, and as the Feast of St Cecilia, Patron Saint of Music approaches  (22 November), now might be a good time to reflect on the role – if any – of music in building our spiritual life.

There are people who misinterpret the exhortations of the great mystical saints who teach us to avoid seeking sensible consolation in prayer,  as meaning that any sense of uplift within the soul is a bad thing and to be avoided  This is nonsense.  Singing a devotional hymn should lift our mind and soul to God and so it is with other beautiful music.  I remember hearing a composer once explain her conversion to Christianity by telling a radio interviewer that, while she could explain how she chose the notes that created a beautiful melody, she could not account for, nor take credit for, the impact it had on the listener’s innermost being – the soul.  That set her thinking anew about the whole question of the existence of God and ultimately led her into Christianity. Unfortunately, I had switched on the radio halfway through the interview, and this was some years ago, so I’m unable to provide the name of said composer.  Anyway, it stands to reason that a composer may well have the talent to create a lovely piece of music, but is unable to foresee the impact it will have on individual listeners.  That recognising this fact has led at least one composer to seek Christ, is wonderful. 

So, in honour of St Cecilia, let’s share some of our favourite pieces of music, whether hymns or some moving pieces which may raise our minds and souls to God.  The two videos included in this introduction are among my own favourites … Enjoy!

Reminder – to post a video directly onto the page, simply find it on YouTube and copy the link from your browser.  Bring it back to the blog, and paste it into a comment box, with your own remarks, perhaps explaining why it is one of your favourites. No limits, either, feel free to post as many as you wish!  If you can’t find a video-presentation, just tell us what kind of music helps your prayer and meditation.  Of course, if you disapprove of hymn singing or of seeking any sensible consolation in prayer, let us know, but be aware that the saints were not banning sensible consolation – they were simply warning us against thinking that we are not praying well if we lack such sensible consolation. Over to thee!