Tuesday 7 July 2009

Happy Summorum Pontificum Day!

Yes, in case you'd forgotten, it's two years since the Holy Father issued the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum liberating the Extraordinary Form/Tridentine Mass/Old Rite/Traditional Latin Mass/Gregorian Rite of Mass (how have we come up with so many titles for it over 40 years?), and the same Pope has decided to release his third encyclical letter on the same day. On another note, you may have found a rather interesting article about the arrival of Mass in Chinese, which whatever one's views on is still fascinating.

Wednesday 1 July 2009

Hibernation over. Possibly...

Oops! The other week I rather imprudently mentioned that my degree was over. Not especially silly one would think, only my friend Oliver (formerly of McCarthyism UK-sadly no longer online) happened to be present, and said that now I had finished, there was no excuse to neglect my blog. Today I won't be really 'blogging' except to wish you all a Happy Feast of the Most Precious Blood

Saturday 11 April 2009


As you may have observed, I have temporarily ceased blogging until my degree has finished. Hopefully I will begin again in July. God bless!

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Thank God for wise priests

Following Bishop Conry's bombshell of an interview the other day, Fr Tim has done a good job on rebuffing his unhelpful comments on the value of frequent confession (among other things), whilst Mac has a thoughtful post on some of the issues raised by the bish. Enjoy!

Saturday 8 November 2008

What I've been up to...

Quite a while since I last posted, I know. I've been kept busy by university work to the extent that I don't even get round to reading many blogs these days. Perhaps when my degree is over and I join all the other jobless graduates I might find a little more time to post more regularly. Besides trying to work on my dissertation and doing odd jobs, I managed to get to Oxford at the end of October for the very moving High Mass at Blackfriars and unveiling of the plaque in honour of the Oxford Martyrs. A week later or so I found out (thank you Brian) that Edward 'Ed' Stourton had not only been given a radio programme on religion, but had also interviewed Dr Joseph Shaw, who organised the event. Brian has neatly demolished Stourton's irritating argument. Enjoy!

Wednesday 3 September 2008

I'll bet you had no idea...

...that Batman was a Catholic. Or so someone has been arguing. I haven't read any of the articles properly, and don't quite agree with what he's saying, but I find it a refreshing and somewhat amusing change from the usual things we come across on the blogosphere.

Saturday 9 August 2008

The Time-Warp Wives

There was a rather interesting and whacky documentary on Channel 4 last night about a few people-mostly ladies, who live life as if they were in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Overall, I found them rather sweet and courageous-if more than a little eccentric. You have to give them credit for braving ridicule, and they were all really quite well dressed. I have to admit that I felt a certain sympathy with their admiration for those times in comparison with the misery of the modern world.

I can't say I agreed with their idea wholeheartedly. They admitted that they had created their own cocoon. Christians are often accused of living in a cocoon (as some do) and this can be a temptation for most if not all of us. It would not be ideal for any of us to completely ignore the age in which God has seen fit for us to live in.

I am not nostalgic about the 1930s-1950s. I was not born until several decades later-but I can't help but admire the dress sense of that era, and the fact that people generally had good manners then-it reminds me of when George Gershwin visited London and was touched by the politeness of everyone who he encountered, which few would agree with these days. On the other hand, I don't deceive myself into believing that everything was perfect then. Rather appropriately, I was flicking through the channels and ended up watching that especially sad moment in The Shawshank Redemption where a prisoner of fifty odd years is released, and unable to cope with the pace of modern life (in the 1950s) hangs himself-a grim reminder that even in those times people were not immune from giving into despair and risking the loss of their souls.

Undoubtedly we would do well to learn from the past, but to imitate it would only be of any real value if would help us to fulfill the will of God and contribute towards our salvation. In this respect, the 1930s still have a lot to offer us. At the time, a substantial group of writers such as G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, Evelyn Waugh, and the Dominicans Vincent McNabb, Bede Jarrett, produced a wealth of fictional and non-fictional literature which can still help us today.

In the end, I don't hold out a great deal of hope for the efforts of those in the documentary. Of more use to society and to the Church will be families of faithul Catholics-and even this depends upon each one of us building up the Kingdom of God within our hearts, but we can all learn a thing or two from the past.