Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wonderful Gift Of Apostolicity

In the face of so many critics of the Church hierarchy and calls to change it, by for example ordaining women, or removing the distinction between the priesthood of the laity and the ministerial priesthood of the clergy, I thought it would be good to share these intercessions, from the Office of Lauds of the Divine Office, for todays feast of St Andrew the Apostle.

Savage Dismissal of Monogamy

It really is hard to believe that this guy, Dan Savage, is considered America's leading sex advice columnist. The fact that anyone takes Dan Savage seriously explains what is so dreadfully wrong with our world and the direction we are going in, and its not a good place.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Truth Is Negotiable?

Surely one the biggest dangers we face as Christians today must be the mistaken belief that there is no absolute truth. We have become convinced, as our level of knowledge of our universe has increased, as our scientific capabilities have improved, that life is not as simple as it may always have seemed. We have fallen into the trap of believing that life is more complicated and that there are no longer simple and clear right or wrong answers. Truth is now negotiable and subjective.

Monday, 28 November 2011

How To Form A Catholic Conscience

I came across this excellent document on "How to form a Catholic conscience". You can read it at source or read it below.

Hacking Inquiry Hacked?

In the UK, the Leveson Inquiry, named after the chairman of the inquiry, Lord Justice Leveson, is revealing just how unethical journalists can be in their pursuit of “news”. I say “news” because, frankly, in my opinion, some of the things that are reported by journalists cannot be classified as news. Malicious gossip is probably a more appropriate term.

Church Fails To Implode

Here are some comments extracted from a report by the Catholic News Association[i] on the new English translation of the Roman Missal. I am pleased to read that on the whole the official introduction of the new English translation of the Roman Missal appears to have gone quite well.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Confession Prepares Us For The Coming

Today is the first day of the season of Advent. The season is a fantastic opportunity to remind myself that I must be constantly preparing for the second coming of our Lord Jesus. “His (Christ’s) first coming was to fulfil his plan of love, to teach men by gentle persuasion. This time, whether men like it or not, they will be subjects of his kingdom by necessity.[1]

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Some Facts About Advent

The season of Advent begins the ecclesiastical year in the Western Churches. The season of Advent always starts on the Sunday of the year that is the closest Sunday to the feast day of St. Andrew, the Apostle. The feast day of St. Andrew is on 30 November.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Priesthood of the Laity - Another Perspective

Fr. Anthony Egan recently published an article in the Southern Cross about the “Priesthood of the Laity”. It was a good article but I could not help wonder why more was not made of the important role that the laity has to play in the ordinary everyday circumstances of their normal daily lives.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Is Embryonic Stem Cell Research Done?

“Has research on embryonic stem cells come to the end of the line” is the first line in an article, by Alessandro Speciale, published earlier this week in the Vatican Insider. The article is titled “The end of the line for stem cells”. I obviously got really excited because we all know what the Catholic Church’s position is on the subject of embryonic stem cell research and this is therefore potentially really good news.

Awestruck - New Catholic Social Network

Please don't forget to take a look at the new Catholic Social Network site. It is a proudly South African creation. It launched publicly on 1 November 2011 and already it has international members. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Mission To Prey

Aoife Kavanagh | Fr. Kevin Reynolds

I sometimes think that we must lead extremely boring lives. This appears evident from the haste with which we jump onto the bandwagon, when any news surfaces that detracts from or calumniates someone. Not to mention the glee with which we then continue to follow this news to its conclusion.

Catholic Church Is Supernatural

I often worry about the continual calls, sadly often by Catholics, for the Church to reconsider its teachings on a variety of subjects, like pre-marital sex, abortion, euthanasia, ordination of women, gay marriage, homosexuality, divorce and contraception, to mention just a few. All the arguments, which I hear in support of these topics, always seem to approach the matter as though these are just man made rules that are being enforced by an archaic man made institution, which is ruled by male chauvinist dictators.

Jesus Christ Offensive Or Pornographic

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has classified “Jesus Christ” as offensive or pornographic, along with about 1000 other English words.[i] It issued a letter on 14 November 2011 giving cell phone companies until today, 21 November 2011, to implement the ban on the list of words in text messages.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Benedict Avoids "C" Word, But Not Truth

Pope Benedict XVI in Benin

Unlike his last visit to Africa in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI has this time steered clear of the word, which caused all the controversy last time. That word was of course “condom”. Pope Benedict XVI did not of course avoid the subject of HIV/AIDS. How could he during a visit to Africa? What the Pope did say on the matter was:

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Benetton: Pope Benedict Kissing An Imam

Was I glad to read these lines from Reuters: “The Vatican said on Thursday it would take legal action to stop the distribution of a photo montage in an advertisement by the Italian fashion firm Benetton showing Pope Benedict kissing an imam on the mouth.” Well done Vatican. Its time to take action.

Recommended Reads (Nov 17, 2011)

“Beware the man of one book.”
St Thomas Aquinas

“The man who doesn't read good books
has no advantage over the man who can't read them.”
Mark Twain

“There are worse crimes than burning books.
One of them is not reading them.”
Joseph Brodsky

Yesterday I made mention of Pope Benedict XVI’s call for all to pray the Divine Office. One of the challenges of the Liturgy of the Hours is that it does seem quite daunting to get to know how to pray the office. The Divine Office consists of either three or four volumes and it can become confusing, for those new to it, to know what prayers and readings apply on which day. Though I assure you that it really appears more daunting than it actually is.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Pope Calls All To Pray The Divine Office

Communal Praying of the Liturgy of the Hours

I was extremely happy today when Pope Benedict, during his Wednesday Audience, said “I would like to renew my call to everyone to pray the Psalms, to become accustomed to using the Liturgy of the Hours, Lauds, Vespers, and Compline.” I was pleased to hear this because I have often expressed my concerns that this tradition of prayer is being neglected. I even wrote a post, on my blog, explaining that it is a great loss that the Catholic laity is not being exposed to this wonderful gift of the Church. Here is the link to the post: 

The Inequality Map

I thought I would share this amusing little column by David Brooks from the New York Times:
"Foreign tourists are coming up to me on the streets and asking, “David, you have so many different kinds of inequality in your country. How can I tell which are socially acceptable and which are not?” This is an excellent question. I will provide you with a guide to the American inequality map to help you avoid embarrassment."

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Confiteor by Edward Sri

I previously wrote a post about the new words of the Confiteor. I did so in response to the number of people who I had seen writing to complain about how ridiculous it is that, in the new English translation of the Mass, they will now have to say “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” instead of saying it just once. Here is an extract from the book by Edward Sri titled “A Biblical Walk Through the Mass”, wherein he writes about this prayer. I thought it would be good to share it again.

Monday, 14 November 2011

True Friendship Lasts A Lifetime

My Girls - Charlie (Top) and Milo (Bottom)

I love cats. No, I adore them. So I could not resist this story of Christian the Lion. Anyone who lives in South Africa would have seen, on television, the Coronation advert about Christian the Lion. As you will know it is a true story. Here is a beautiful video clip I found with a fantastic message. 

"Love knows no limits and true friendship lasts a lifetime"
Enjoy the video:

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The Unity Of The Church

The Basilica of St Josaphat

Today is the memorial of St Josaphat Kuncevyc. He was born around 1580 in Lithuania. He died a martyr, on 12 November 1623, in Russia, when leaders of a schismatic group in the Church had him killed, with the stroke of an axe and a bullet. They had him killed precisely because of his tireless and faithful work towards bringing about unity to the Church.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

What Women Ordination Says About Christ's Divinity

Calling of Peter and Andrew

The second reading, in the Office of Matins for today, is a homily by St Leo the Great titled “The Special Obligations Of Our Ministry”. In it St Leo says, “Although the universal Church of God is constituted of distinct orders of members, still, in spite of the many parts of its holy body, the Church subsists as an integral whole, just as the Apostle says: We are all one in Christ. No difference in office is so great that anyone can be separated, through lowliness, from the head. In the unity of faith and baptism, therefore, our community is undivided.[1]

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The Health of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI is reported to have arthrosis and, for this reason, asked to use the mobile platform once used by Pope John Paul II in the last years of his life.

Introducing Awestruck

St John Lateran Basilica

Today is the Feast Day of the St John Lateran Basilica in Rome. It was one of the first churches built by Christians following the early persecutions. It is the oldest of the four papal basilicas in Rome.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Alpha and The Sacrament Of Penance

Pope John Paul II - Hearing Confession

This weekend I attended a meeting in the Bryanston Parish. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the Alpha Course to the parishes of the Archdiocese of Johannesburg. There was a great deal of talk and emphasis, during the meeting, on “conversion”.

Monday, 7 November 2011

England Kills ± 2000 babies for Every 1 Adopted

It has been revealed in the House of Lords, by Lord Howe, that in England, during 2010, there were 180,942 babies aborted. During the same period, only 95 babies, under the age of one, were adopted. Therefore, for every one baby adopted, England killed 1,904 babies.

Letter To Baby Number 7 Billion

This letter, by Fr. Lombardi, which is written to the 7 billionth baby, is truly beautiful. I just had to share it. You can read it at source or read it below.

Dear baby number seven billion

Sunday, 6 November 2011

What Can Lay Eucharistic Ministers Do?

A friend suggested I write a post to explain what Lay Eucharistic Ministers may do. He felt it might be helpful for some. I have often heard these lay people being referred to as “Lay Eucharistic Ministers” or “Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist” or even just “Eucharistic Ministers”. I agreed, so here I go. Question: What may “Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist” or “Lay Eucharistic Ministers” do? Answer: Nothing. (I am done with the post!)

Friday, 4 November 2011

Do Jesuits Promote Intellect Ahead Of Truth?

The Doctrinal Committee of the U.S. Catholic Church has censored the book, "In search of the living God", written by Sr. Elizabeth Johnson. Under the guidance of Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl the U.S. Episcopate referred to her work as “seriously deficient in terms of the Catholic conception of God” and stated that, “the theology of Sr. Elizabeth separates itself from the doctrine of the Church in many aspects.