Without good books and spiritual reading, it will be morally impossible to save our souls. (St. Alphonsus Liguori)

 

For purchasing details, click on image…

But what sort of “good books” and “spiritual reading” will help us to save our souls?

 

I’ve heard young Catholics raving about Lord of the Rings as a great story and a marvellous means of understanding their Faith better. Here’s author J.R.R. Tolkien: “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.” [1] By design The Lord of the Rings is not a Christian allegory but rather an invented myth [2] about Christian and Catholic truths. As one commentator noted, giving a young person Lord of the Rings as a means of communicating essential truths of the Faith is to use the same method a mother uses to feed spinach to her baby – sneaking it in via the rivetting story!

If you can think of other non-fiction works to recommend – not just for the young but for us all, as wholesome as possible – let’s hear it…  

Without good books and spiritual reading, it will be morally impossible to save our souls. (St. Alphonsus Liguori)


There is an abundance of solid spiritual reading available;  given the state of the Church right now, however, it is wise to avoid contemporary writings and stick with the tried and tested classics written by great saints,  such as  The Sermons of St Alphonsus…  

for purchasing details, click on image…

For purchasing details click on image…

 

The Secret of the Rosary by St Louis De Montfort is another classic, which I’m currently re-reading – it never fails to inspire and edify – highly recommended, although I have to admit that not everyone finds it an easy read in the beginning – but  it’s worth persevering. I’ve heard it described as “transformative” – with good reason.  You can read it online by clicking on the  link above, at the name of the book.

 

 

For details of how to purchase a copy, click on image…

Another book which has transformed the spiritual lives of Catholics since its publication is St Thérèse of Lisieux’s Story of a Soul which, again, you can read online here

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Life of Christ by Fulton Sheen is another beautiful read; to quote the blurb on the back page of the complete and unabridged copy which describes the contents faithfully:  “With his customary insight and reverence, the author interprets the scripture and describes Christ not only in historical perspective but in exciting and contemporary terms;  he sees in Christ’s life modern parallels and timeless lessons. Sheen probes the hearts of many prominent New Testament figures – Joseph and Mary, Peter and the disciples, Herod, Pilate, et al – shedding new light on age-old events.  The whole adds up to a masterful study: a faithful blending of philosophy, history, and biblical exegesis.” 

For details of how to purchase a copy, click on image…  

 

 

Share your favourite spiritual reading with us in the comments below – not least reading that will inspire us to persevere during Lent… Now, there’s a challenge, folks!

 

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?  😀

Can the “immature” be “good” Catholics?

Recently, in the context of discussing the research findings purporting to show that atheists are more intelligent than believers, I found myself in conversation with a variety of readers on the subject of maturity, on whether it is possible to be a truly mature adult Catholic while lacking  any of the qualities generally associated with mature adulthood: check out the article below to identify which of the qualities on the list you think defines a truly mature adult, without which it’s just not possible to be a “good” Catholic…

How can one classify a true adult?  Many people directly attribute age to adulthood.  The problem with this methodology becomes evident when you discuss the topic with various people of different cultural backgrounds.  If you ask each of them what age they believe constitutes the point at which a person progresses from childhood into adulthood, their answers will always be different.  Why?  Because every one of the answers are based on subjective opinion.  Adulthood is not based on age; it’s based strictly on emotional maturity.

So what constitutes emotional maturity, and thus adulthood?  Here are 20 defining characteristics of a true adult:

  1. Realizing that maturity is  an ongoing process, not a state, and continuously striving for self  improvement.
  2. Able to manage personal jealousy and feelings of envy.
  3. Has the ability to listen to  and evaluate the viewpoints of others.
  4. Maintains patience and flexibility on a daily basis.
  5. Accepts the fact that you can’t always win, and learns from mistakes instead of whining about the outcome.
  6. Does not overanalyze negative points, but instead looks for the positive points in the subject  being analyzed.
  7. Is able to differentiate between rational decision making and emotional impulse.
  8. Understands that no skill or talent can overshadow the act of preparation.
  9. Capable of managing temper and anger.
  10. Keeps other people’s feeling in mind and limits selfishness.
  11. Being able to distinguish between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.
  12. Shows confidence without being overly arrogant.
  13. Handles pressure with self composure.
  14. Takes ownership and responsibility of personal actions.
  15. Manages personal fears.
  16. Able to see the various shades of grey between the extremes of black and white in every situation.
  17. Accepts negative feedback as  a tool for self improvement.
  18. Aware of personal  insecurities and self-esteem.
  19. Able to separate true love from transitory infatuation.
  20. Understanding that open communication is the key to progression.

Above all, true adults do what they have to do when it is required of them, and they do what they want when they can.  They are able to distinguish between the two and manage their time and efforts accordingly.  Source