Monday, 30 April 2007

St Catherine of Siena

The soul, who is lifted by a very great and yearning desire for the honour of God and the salvation of souls, begins by exercising herself for a certain space of time, in the ordinary virtues, remaining in the cell of self-knowledge, in order to know better the goodness of God towards her. This she does because knowledge must precede love, and only when she has attained love, can she strive to follow and to clothe herself with the truth.

Thus begins the Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena with God the Father. St Catherine is undoubtedly one of the most eminently holy children of the Church, as well as one of my favourite saints. Gueranger writes: From the very commencement, there was something heavenly about this admirable servant of God, which we fancy existing in an angel who had been sent from heaven to live in a human body.

For such a lovely saint, it is entirely appropriate that the 'secret' prayer of the Roman rite should be so marvellous:

In the virginal fragrance of the virutes of blessed Catherine, whose feast-day we are are keeping, together with the saving victim to be laid upon Thine altar, may our prayers, O Lord, mount on high to thee. Through Christ our Lord.

Happy Feast Day!

Friday, 27 April 2007

Be nice to Auntie Beeb!

For those of you who do not know it, "Auntie Beeb" was an epithet used not so long ago to describe the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Now most of use are aware that in recent years Auntie Beeb has not exactly been kind, polite, or considerate towards the Catholic Church. In fact, Auntie has been downright rude, virulent, and bad-mannered towards the Church (to put it as mildly as possible) on several recent occassions. It was with some surprise then, that I came across this article entitled Concern over Pope's Latin Mass move (thanks to Rorate Coeli). My first concern was: why on earth would the BBC care about the possibility of removing restrictions on what Father Faber called "The most beautiful thing this side of Heaven"? And then I realised: They intend to put across the worst spin possible in order to confuse those who don't know what the fuss is about. I am rather too tired to go and point out the laughable errors, so please enjoy-especially the very good comment by a Protestant about Catholics following the Bible!

Thursday, 26 April 2007

The Incorruptibles

Our venerable brother in Christ and fellow blogger Andrew has a characteristically marvellous post on the incorruptible bodies of saints with some splendid pictures and descriptions of their lives. One of these, St Jean-Marie Vianney, is mentioned in a rather interesting little story Fr Tim has treated us to. Enjoy!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

The Sacrament of Love

I have been wondering lately if we take the Mass for granted. I am afraid that I have done so in the past, and in retrospect, that was-and is-a silly and sinful thing to do. I recently came across this marvellous website of Padre Pio devotions, and found a very simple yet profound remark of his:

If only we knew how God regards this Sacrifice, we would risk our lives to be present at a single Mass.

Now that is an uncomplicated dose of the truth. I do not intend to say much further on this matter other than: we should constantly thank God for the adorable Sacrament of the Altar, and always be grateful for being able to hear Mass. If you need some further inspiration, click here.

Saturday, 21 April 2007


Dear readers, once again I must apologise for my lack of regular posting. As I have said before, it is not easy to maintain a blog and be a student at the same time-and yes, I know that I am not the only one to do so.
I will be unable to post regularly over the next week or so as I will be very busy, and intend to devote some private time to recollection, as I will be twenty in a short time, and feel it is important to take stock of my life and where I am heading.
Please pray for me, and I will pray for you.

Friday, 20 April 2007

By George?

There was a rather extensive article in today's Telegraph about St George's Day. I am sure that the non-British readers of this blog will be aware that for many years now, there has been considerable demand for St George's Day (April 23) to be made a national holiday in Britain. Now, I am in favour of this to be done, but am rather disgruntled with the attitudes of some people behind it. I seem to remember the London celebrations last year of St Patrick's day to have fallen on the Sunday. Now just how many of the people celebrating then were actually of Irish extraction? And just how many of them were practising Catholics?
I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few of the crowd were of the 'not keen on organised religion' persuasion, and there were probably a few people there who didn't exactly feel warm towards the Church, forgetting that it is thanks to the Church that St Patrick's Day even exists. Like it or not, St George's Day (or any other saint's day) is a religious feast, not just an excuse for getting drunk and having a day off from work. It has been established by Holy Mother Church so we can thank God for having provided us with such a courageous saint and martyr. It's time for us to win back this day from the secular missionaries!

Monday, 16 April 2007

Happy Birthday Holy Father!

Emitte wishes the Sovereign Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI his very best congratulations on the happy occassion of His Holiness' eightieth birthday. Ad multos annos!

Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto,
Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam in inimicorum ejus.

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Prayers under the snares

Please forgive the rather tongue-in-cheek title of this post. Yesterday, I decided to see if this blog is blocked in China using the marvellous Great Firewall of China. I had tested this a few months ago, and the blog was accessible from China. What's new? I can now officially declare that Emitte Lucem Tuam is blocked! Now I can't say that I am terribly upset about this (because I am not), but I am surprised that it took them so long to do so. I rather suspect that my recent post about Tibetan Catholics pushed them to do so. You will be pleased to hear that I do not intend to indulge in vain-glory by boasting about the Commies having recognised an enemy, instead I propose that since I am no longer able to provide reading or otherwise for the good people of China-as many bloggers are, that we 'help them from the outside'. In other words, I propose that we should pray more fervently for our brethren in China. Those who have upheld the Faith in such adversity are an example of steadfastness and integrity, as shown by a recent post by Fr Zuhlsdorf. Please say at the very least an Ave Maria for them now.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum,
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Et Benedictus Fructus ventris tuis, Jesus.
Sancta Maria, Mater Dei,
Ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Nunc, et in horae mortis nostris.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Coming to a Parish near you?

I expect that most of you have watched the splendid video of order being restored to an altar for a celebration of the Traditional Roman Rite. Speaking of which, I am sure that like me, you are feeling just a little disgruntled with the continued hype over when exactly the speculated Motu Proprio arrives. Well, I was silly enough to be encouraged by the rumours that it would be released before Easter, I should have known better. I am making a firm purpose of amendment not to indulge in any further speculation about when it is going to appear. Instead, I am going to double my efforts in praying for the lifting of restrictions on the celebration of this Rite, and invite all of you (who have not done so already) to join me in doing so.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Our brethren in the East

Watching the televised Urbi et Orbi (or any other televised event at the Vatican for that matter), I am always struck by the many nationalities of those present. One always expects there to be pilgrims from Germany, Poland, the Philippines and so forth. Hence, one is often surprised when learning of the Catholic communities in countries where we do not expect them. I came across this very moving account of the small Catholic community in Tibet, which I earnestly recommend reading. And when you've finished reading it, remember them as well as all Catholics (especially in Asia) in your prayers, and pass the news onto other people.

Ecclesiae tuae, quaesumus Domine, preces placatus admitte : ut, destructis adversitatibus et erroribus universis, secura tibi serviat libertate. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Mercifully receive, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the prayers of thy Church: that overcoming all adversity and error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God for ever and ever.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

In case you didn't know already

Mr McCarthy has a thoughtful post on the meaning of Easter, something we would all do well to reflect on.

Easter greetings!

Resurerrexi, et adhuc tecum sum, Alleluia. Posuisti super me manum tuam, Alleluia. Mirabilis facta est scientia tua. Alleluia, alleluia.

I am risen, and yet with thee, Alleluia. Thou hast put thy right hand upon me, Alleluia. Thy knowledge is become marvellous, Alleluia, alleluia.

I wish you all a very Holy and Happy Easter!

Thursday, 5 April 2007


Lucky old me (Don't worry, I am not being smug, I am being sarcastic). This evening I am going to have my feet washed, and I can't say I'm looking forward to it. It may well be accepted by all religions and cultures that the feet are probably the least attractive parts of the anatomy. Hence, the idea of a priest In Persona Christi washing my feet makes me feel more than a little uncomfortable, and I daresay the apostles weren't exactly keen on the idea when Our Lord performed this task. Let us follow the advice of Gueranger:

"the feet are those earthly attachments, which so often lead us to the brink of sin. Let us watch over our senses, and the affections of our hearts. Let us wash away these stains by a sincere confession, by penance, by sorrow, and by humility; that thus we may worthily receive the adorable Sacrament, and derive from it the fulness of its power and grace."

Gueranger, The Liturgical Year-Passiontide and Holy Week. Translated by Dom Laurence Sheppard OSB, 1929. London, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Dress code for Mass

This morning I came across an American group named the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), who happen to have a blog. Scrolling down the page, I came across a very good post on appropriate dress for Mass. Now, given the nature of their website etc, this is a good demonstration of how showing respect for the Domus Dei is not just a pre-occupation of the 'Rad-Trads'. Of course, we should not stop there. It is quite possible for even the most immaculately dressed person to behave improperly in church. Nevertheless, it is good to see how this is a concern for more than just a few Catholics. And as we are in the season when many irregular church-goers come along to liturgical celebrations, this is definitely a topical issue. And whilst I'm on the subject, I would like to ask the ladies who read this blog if they wear a mantilla (headscarf) or not in church. Rest assured that I am not setting off on an inquisition, but am interested in how many Catholic ladies do these days.