Christ stilling the waves

The Trumpeteer

  • A New Martyr every 5 Minutes

    I was looking at a news report about the Turin Shroud when I was diverted by a Fox News headline about Christians across America wearing orange.

    It is a movement - the Orange Jumpsuit Campaign - designed to raise awareness, to protest against, and most importantly to get people to pray about, the persecution against Christians in the Middle East. And of course also there are many Christian martyrs dyimg now in Africa, such as those young people killed in their college recently, and all those killed because they are Christians in Nigeria and the other central African States.

    This movement was started by an Evangelical Pastor with others, and is now spreading widely, and so it should. For if we do not try to stop this genocide it will continue, and it is showing all the signs of the start of a genocide. It is wonderful in one way that there are so many martyrs, but it is also tragic. Prayer is our most important weapon, for heavenly armies, the host of angels headed by St. Michael, have more power than all the earthly armies combined. And unlike human armies they can help people to have conversion of hearts and minds, and then there would be no need of martyrs.

    Would we, the Christians living a comfortable and often immoral life in the West be prepared to give up our lives for Christ? Or would we instead give up our Faith in order to live here on earth? Remember, the Islamic State, consistant with the Muslim tradition, and that of the first persecutions of Christians by the Roman Empire, asks their victims if they will convert before killing those who will not. Would we stand firm or like many people during the Roman persecutions of Christians apostasise and offer incense to Idols?

    Also simular to the stories of the martyrs of the early Christian Church is the story of how one of the 21 'Coptic' martyrs was not a Coptic Christian, indeed, he suffered willingly the Baptism of Blood for Christ. He was from Chad, you can see his black face clearly in the photos, his slayer is dressed in desert combats rather than the black of the others. He was also asked if he believed in God or Allah. He replied that the God of his fellow martyrs was also his God. And so he died, a Convert to Christianity and a Martyr in the same instant. May he be praying now in heaven for the end of this persecution and the conversion of all Muslims to Christ and the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

  • Divine Mercy

    Divine Mercy, that wonderful gift. The counterballance to Divine Wrath. Neither one complete without the other. For if our sins did not deserve Divine Wrath we would not need Divine Mercy.

    The workings of the World, the territories of Satan the prince of the world, however work in a completely inverted way. Evil is rewarded, goodness, including following one's informed conscience is punished.

    A small headline in google news caught my attention today: "Support for government push to withdraw welfare payments from anti vaccination parents". This is referring to the Australian Government's decision to refuse payment of both of the child-care benefits to families who do not have their child vaccinated unless they are medically excempted. The article, for those who wish to read it for themselves, was published in the Sydney Morning Herald. Concienscious objectors are not allowed, and that includes those who do not want to impose vaccinations using the cells descended from those of aborted babies.

    There is one exception for one religious group which has 'registered' with the government, but the Australian government are not saying who they are, because they do not want the members of this group knowing that they can refuse vaccinations! Talk about lack of government 'transparency'! The punishment for families in Australia who are vaccine concientous objectors - loss of up to $15,000 a child! Of course, this would not affect all families equally, as normal it would be the poor who would be affected, the rich are not dependent on Government grants.

    As readers will know, it is not only the ethical objection to the use of human tissue that makes people resistant to vaccinating their children. Also the increasing scientific evidence that there are health issues too, such as the long running debate as to whether autism can be a side effect of the injections, the possibility that auto-immune problems may be linked with them, and the historical evidence that cancers were rare before the start of vaccinations.

    However, at this site we are most concerned with the religious / moral aspects. So let us return to the problem of many vaccines being derived/grown in human cells which are decendants of one of two killed human beings (aborted human individuals).

    A short history of the most used 'cell line' known as the WI 38 cell line. In 1962 a Swedish mother had a 'legal' abortion because she simply did not want another child. There was nothing wrong with the child, no reason for the baby being killed that the mother did not want the child. The lungs of this child were removed and sent to Leonard Hayflick at the Institute of Anatomy, who minced them up and 'fed' the cells so that they would divide and increase in number, which they did so well that he had 800 batches of cells which he distributed around the world, he then left the Institute taking the remaining cells with him. There was even a dispute with the Institute as to who owned the cells, Hayflick or the Instute. The mother (who had not even given consent for the use of her aborted child) or even the dead child were never considered as 'owners' of the cell line.

    People have said that the cells, still living and used today, of that child killed in 1962, are not actually of the aborted foetus, although they are 'developed' from him or her. That is warped logic. Just because a cell has divided thousands of times does not mean that it does not belong to the original person. I was conceived in 1955, seven years longer ago than the person now known as 'cell line WI 38'. My cells have also divided thousands of times since I was the same age as that child was when he was killed. But nobody would deny that the cells that make up my body now are any the less part of me than those cells which were present when I was a few months old in my mother's womb. Both my cells and those of WI 38 contain the same individually specific DNA which they contained when we were only one cell big, let alone when we were big enough for WI 38's lungs to be 'harvested'. And it is that unique DNA that is, according to police records, our human identity.

    Pertinent to this discussion is the different treatment now given to the cells belonging to another dead person, in this case Henrietta Lacks, she was a poor black American woman who died from cervical cancer in 1951. Without obtaining her permission, or later that of her children, her cells were encouraged to multiply, given the name 'HeLa' and have been sold around the world and used for research, the most used cell line in history, making lots of money for various companies, none of which reached the still very poor family who only got to know what happened in 1979. In 2010 a book was published about the case, and now any research done on the cells has to give acknowledgment of the fact that the cells came from Henrietta Lacks and express thanks to the Lacks family. But there is no thanks to the little child who was killed in 1962 who's cells were taken and used for vaccine manufacturing.

    Now, as people who read our site will be aware, we are living in Britain. So why am I as concerned about this new leglislation in Australia, half a world away? Because quite simply it is wrong in itself, and it will not stay limited to Australia. People in America already lose their jobs if they refuse the Flu vaccination, and the UK press was ranting on about parents who refused to have their child immunised in the UK last year when there was an outbreak of an infectious disease in Wales last year. I am not against immunisation as such, but every parent is responsible for trying to do the right thing for their children, so they must take all the facts into consideration, not just the temporarily politically correct ones. But just wait awhile, Big Brother will force us to do things that challenge our consciences more and more. We have to think logically, examining every descision we make, to see if we are living our Christian life or if we are following the crowd into a lax moral life, forgeting about the Law of God and substituting it with the law of comfort. Allowing the State to be the arbiter of what is right and wrong rather than the God who made us.

    This is the season for Mercy, the time to try to put our lives to right with the help of God. If we but try to follow Christ on the hard and narrow way he will help us, lift us up when we fall, and in his Mercy he will wipe every tear away when he brings us to his heavenly kingdom.

  • Holy Saturday, a Day for the Laity!

    To me Holy Saturday was always rather an empty day; Jesus Christ had died, and the Resurrection was a day away. No Mass, no church services, an empty day.

    However, meditating on it led me to realize that it is the day for the non-clerical Christians to come to the fore, just as they did on the original hiatus between Christ's death and Resurrection.

    The Apostles are the original clerics, but besides John who took the Blessed Virgin Mary to his home, where were they during this time? They were hiding in the upper room. They did not show themselves, it was Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, and the woman, who are active and visible.

    Timid Joseph of Arimathea, who was too scared of his fellow Jewish Pharises to be a disciple of Jesus except by night, suddenly got the courage to go to Pilate and ask for the body of Jesus in order to give him a decent burial, Nicodemus, another night-time follower, gathered his courage and his myrrh and aloes to help Joseph, both risking exclusion from their positions in the Sanhadrin, and the women, who never deserted their Lord and Master, were around to see where He was buried, and then came back intending to annoint his body in the early hours of Easter Sunday.

    What is the difference between the behaviour of the Apolstles and the others due to? Basically fear, disappointment, and a lack of understanding of what Jesus had been telling them about his Death and Resurrection. Both groups were affected by these feelings, but the acute disappointment over the death of the one who they hoped would be the Messiah overwhelmed the Apostles to the point that they could do nothing, they did not understand when He said he would rise on the third day, in their fear and bewilderment they withdrew into themselves, and isolated themselves even from the remains of their dead Lord. Whereas the others, although they also did not understand Christ's foretelling of his Resurrection, did not let their grief at his death paralyse them. They cared for Christ's body, they loved him in his humanity, they did not let their (temporarily) crushed hopes interfere with their love for the man Jesus, even though they did not realize they were also physically caring for God made man.

    And what was the immediate reward for the faithful love and public witness of this group? We do not know about what consolation was given to the men, besides the feeling of rightness of burying Christ's body with as much care and respect they could muster. But we do know the reward given to the faithful women, it was nothing less than to be the first to see the Risen Christ. To know that the Jesus they loved and served so well, was also the God they loved and served. And to Mary Magdalene was given the ultimate honour of being the 'Apostle to the Apostles', of taking news of Christ's Resurrection to the Apostles hiding in the upper room. Their first reaction was to think her mad! But at least Peter and John still had their hope alive and ran down to the tomb to check out Mary's story.

    So what is the message for us in the 'Holy Saturday' story. It must be to be constant, even when we do not grasp the mystery of God's message. To keep hoping, to keep loving, to keep serving.

    And that sometimes, maybe often, it is the non-clerical people who are the most faithful in continuing to serve God even during the darkness of not understanding God's actions, when not being able to see how the future will develop, of not having any hope outside of God.

    At present there is, as you will all know by looking at the media, turmoil in the clerical world. But there is no turmoil in God's world, the Holy Trinity is, as always, in perfect harmony. There is also an atmosphere of censure against Christians who display their beliefs in public. This has recently been confirmed by a report by the Equality and Human rights Commission. This survey of 2,483 people in Britain has found that Christians are increasingly afraid to express their beliefs in the workplace, that any expression of belief of Christian moral stance would be mocked or thought of as an expression of bigotry. And as you would have heard it has led to people losing their jobs. The link to an article about the Commission's Report is here.

    But there is also good news. It is possible, if you are brave, to challenge the system. Br. Damon's leaflets, which are certainly hard hitting in their upholding of God's moral law, have now all been passed as not being illegal by the Crown Prosection Service, and despite the CPS trying for 3 months to find a way to prosecute him for his Christmas leaflet they were unable to do so, as they did not contain any hate for the sinners, just for the sins, and in the words of one Police Detective - the amount of religion in the leaflets gave the CPS a lot of difficulty! Possibly in the future they will find a way to take Br. Damon to Court, he would welcome the chance to proclaim publicly, but although willing, he doesn't look forward to the possibility of prison - he would miss his cats!

    But, I do realize it is easier for us. We have no dependants. As vowed hermits we do not have responsibilities to spouses or children. But there are other people who do not have dependants who would suffer if the State persecuted them, single people, widowed, or separated. It would be wonderful if Christian people arose to proclaim the Lord's message of salvation, of repentance of sins, of conversion of hearts, of the neccessity of following Christ on the narrow way - as the wide road leads to destruction. But it does take courage, a foolishness for God. Because even if the 'thought laws' of hate etc can be avoided, people, even people you thought were friends, may desert you, just as they deserted Christ. Even people in your church - both clergy and some of the 'faithful' may disown you, as you will not be following the 'liberal agenda' of political correctness.

    It is neccessary to keep in one's mind the words of St. Augustine: "We are pilgims in this world, do not mistake the Inn for our Home, which is in Heaven".

  • A Night Like No Other

    The night of Holy Thursday leading into the early hours of Good Friday is a night like no other. It is unlike the night of the Passover when the destroying angel passes through the houses of the Egyptians killing all the first born, and also destroying the first born of all the animals. That was a night of horror, desolation and despair for the Egyptians, but of tremendous excitement for the Israelites. However they must have wondered in awe at this God of theirs whose power was so devastating, and his love might have appeared to them severe.

    Christ gathered in the cenacle with his apostles pours out his love in torrent, not only in giving them his body and blood, but opening to them the secrets of his relationship with his Father, and with the Holy Spirit. He washes his Apostles feet, the job of a slave, and tells these his beloved disciples that, if they are to follow him, they must do the same. He tells them that in his Father’s house there are many mansions which he has prepared for each of them; the New Jerusalem Bible has reduced these great mansions to merely living spaces. How prosaic 20th century man is, even when he is religious.

    The Last Supper, however, is no place for the pedant. It is a place of pure romance, a place of wonder, where the child, the apostle and the warrior would be equally at home. Jesus tells the apostles that the Father abides in him and he in the Father. The Spirit of truth that the world cannot receive will come and dwell in them, and then Jesus reveals to his devoted friends a great mystery: “if any one love me, he will keep my word. And my Father will love him; and we will make our abode with him.” (John 14: v.23) What a magnificent juxtaposition of ideas. There are many mansions in the Father’s house, but perhaps the favourite abode of the Father and the Son is not in mansion but in the heart of a human being; one who does the will of the Father. The whole discourse builds up into something so beautiful and solemn. “Holy Father, keep them in thy name, whom thou hast given me; that they may be one, as we are one” (John 17: 11) and then finally we come to the crescendo:

    “That they may all be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one with us; that they world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one, I in them, and thou in me; that they may be perfect in one; and the world may know that thou hast sent me and has loved them, as thou has loved me.” (John 17:vv 21-23)

    From this extraordinary discourse where intimacy is exalted by glory into something so profound, and which illuminates the humility of the Trinity, Jesus goes to his great agony in the Garden, where the consummate evil of Hell is poured out on him and Satan and his minions make deadly sport of him. Christ’s friends sleep through his ordeal, and abandon him to his fate when he is arrested. Caiaphas and the religious leaders who are meant to serve him, condemn him for being a blasphemer. They condemn God for blasphemy. Jesus is beaten up, and humiliated and cast into a dungeon. God is made a prisoner and counted as a criminal. The Father and the Holy Spirit look on, and the angels cover their faces. Can religious people be so evil? Yes they can. It is precisely because we fail to allow the Trinity to come and dwell in us, and it is precisely because we have a weak understanding of this, the greatest mystery of our Faith, that we find ourselves in the Christian West in such a terrible mess and are so confused. If we only read chapters 14 to 17 of John’s Gospel for the rest of our lives and little else we would have a programme for our Christian life, and would not need this spirituality or that one, for we would be dwelling constantly in the endless love of the Trinity.

    When we live as true brothers and sisters then the world will wake up to the glories of the Triune God, and that his dwelling should be in hearts of all those who call themselves Christians.

  • And It Was Night

    In that wonderful Last Supper scene in The Gospel of John we see Jesus dipping his morsel in the dish and in giving it to Judas thus revealing to John and Peter, that the betrayer is Judas, and let us listen to John as he takes up the narrative from that point:

    ‘Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said to this to him. Some thought that because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give some assistance to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out: and it was night.’

    The darkness that Judas enters into is not the beautiful night that so captivates the Shakespearean characters Hero and Ursula in Berlioz’s ravishing duet in Beatrice and Benedict (Berlioz’ operatic rendition of Much Ado About Nothing), nor is it the ravishing starlit night that Pinkerton and Madam Butterfly are enveloped in as they sing their great love duet, no this is the darkness of betrayal and deceit. Betrayal, lies, treachery are all done in secret and very often in darkness.

    The wonder of the Last Supper, the marvellously stirring words of Jesus, and his teaching on the Father and the Holy Spirit give way to the darkest night in which Judas leads the Temple Guard to the Garden of Gethsemane where they arrest Jesus. The priests and the leaders of the people can only dare to arrest Jesus under the cover of night, for if they try to do it during the day, there will be uproar in Jerusalem, and Jesus will elude them. When Jesus is arrested the Apostles flee in fear under cover of night. The Sanhedrin meet under cover of night, and it is all done improperly and not according to law. The whole Sanhedrin most probably was not there for the trial. Night covers all, the good and the evil. The weak and the strong melt into the shadows, and the truth is obscured.

    Christ is tried and then put into a dungeon or cell. He is hidden from the World. When he appears in the full glare of the public gaze on Friday midday, though it is the brightest point of the day, he is unrecognizable. The light of Good Friday does not show Jesus in all his glory, it shows him tortured, reviled, and hideous. Our sins, our evil is etched on the features of his face and on his body. Our sins obscure his beauty and his divinity, as the blackest night hides the beauty of nature, and the beauty of Jerusalem and the sparkling of the millions of the stars in the heavens.

    However the Light of the World, he who is The Way the Truth and the Life, cannot be obscured forever. On Easter Sunday the Light of the World in all his glory will rise from the dead, and will never be extinguished.

    However dreadful these times appear, and they are truly dreadful, the light of Christ will search into the deepest recesses of Men and Women’s souls, and reveal the truth. The only road to Heaven is humility, which is perfectly exemplified in Christ’s Passion and death. Let us over the next few days accompany Our Lord and God with great love, as we relive the greatest few days in the history of the World, namely Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Day. Let our hearts beat with Christ’s as Mary’s did, and let us do our part in the salvation of souls.

  • The Annunciation: The Light in the Darkness

    This is one of the most wonderful feasts in the Church’s calendar. Why is it so wonderful? It is wonderful simply because it is a feast about wonder, acceptance of God’s will, and total surrender, which is more than simple acceptance. And this on the part of a young girl who may have been as young as 14, but was anything between that and 16 years of age.

    On this innocent young girl hung the fate of the Human Race. God through the agency of the Archangel Gabriel asks Mary will she be the mother of the Messiah, the Redeemer, and God. For someone who was the very epitome of humility such an extraordinary thing as an Archangel appearing to you and asking you to be the Mother of the Messiah would be overwhelming enough, but when the realization that you were called, not only to be the Mother of the Messiah, but that the Messiah was to be the Redeemer of the human race, and also the Son of God, must have been absolutely crushing. It is not for nothing that Holman Hunt’s painting of the Annunciation shows Mary almost retreating from Gabriel in holy fear. This is possibly nearer the truth than the exquisite paintings of Fra Angelico which capture the heavenly quality of the encounter. To hear the words of the Angel must have been something akin to a vast explosion of light, terrifying and electrifying. Mary would have felt the Fear of God, but because she was without sin, it would not veer off into terror on the one hand or pride on the other.

    By saying “Yes!” Mary accepts the crushing vocation of, being not only the Mother of the God Man, but the Mother of the whole human race, because she is the New Eve, who comes to begin the great return of the Human Race to God. Eve was tempted by Satan to want more knowledge than was good for a human being and, in colluding with her, Adam caused the Fall of the Human Race. Gabriel comes, not with a temptation but with an invitation, something more extraordinary and so dazzlingly joyful, namely the vocation of being the Mother of God. We are not told that Mary saw a vast array of all the Heavenly Court with Gabriel singing “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will” which is what the shepherds at Bethlehem saw. However what she experienced must have been far more amazing. How can we puny mortals, and sinners imagine, in our wildest dreams, what Mary felt; something quite beyond ecstasy? Thus a veil of silence rightly falls over this part of the conversation with the Angel.

    Mary, in accepting to be the Mother of God, accepts all the joys and sorrows, the suffering, and humiliations and passion of her Son. She becomes the Mother of every child, and she will suffer with every child. She will see her beloved children making mistakes. Some will become great saints, many will be simply good Christians, who will enter the halls of Heaven, but there will be many, whom she will not be able to save by her prayers, for like her Son, Jesus, she can never force her children into Heaven. They must enter through their own wishing to do so.

    It is as if Mary is given the key to Heaven when she says her “Fiat” to Gabriel. That key she will treasure as Jesus is conceived in her womb. That Key she will place in her heart. It will remain there until the moment when the spear pierces Jesus’ Heart on the Cross, and the sword is driven into her own heart at that same moment. Then she will hand the Key to her Son for only he can open the gates of Heaven.

    Mary’s Motherhood, so intimately linked to her virginity, enables her to bring to perfection both innocence, purity, wisdom, and a great sacrificial love. These are gifts that are so needed today. Where is the innocence, the purity, the wisdom, and the sacrificial love. Everywhere in the West, and in such non-Christian countries as Thailand innocence has fled. And in Moslem lands where is the truly sacrificial love. There may be warriors willing to go on Jihad and slay the infidel, but that is not sacrificial love, that is Holy War, something of a contradiction in terms, and sadly there is little holy about it. Wisdom too has disappeared from the face of the Earth. It has been sacrificed on the altar of what is called science and technology. It’s acolytes are a science, which knows no ethical constraints, genetic engineering, eugenics, the changing of sex. Of course truly changing sex is impossible, as everyone who is a child of God is either male and female, and true hermaphrodites are very rare, and may be alluded to, when Jesus mentions people born as eunuchs; who knows there are so many mysteries that we cannot understand, and we should not pry into them? We should remember the words of God in Genesis, “Let us make man to our own image and likeness” (Genesis 1: v.26). Before we are female and male, we are in the image of God. In the image of the Trinity. Man must not usurp God’s omnipotence and say whether a man can become a woman, or whether two men can marry, or two women do the same. This is a terrible evil. It is like spitting in God’s face. This is what the West is doing. Like some violent teenager, the West is defying his Father, not only with bad language but also with evil deeds. There were only two teenagers, to use that term anachronistically, who were perfectly obedient, and they were Jesus and Mary. It is there total obedience that brings about the return of Man to God, and the ability to become more and more like the image of God. One sees this in the life of those great saints, who have the shining face of Tabor, who are truly transfigured by their obedience.

    This transfiguration began with Mary’s “Fiat”, and it is spreading throughout the darkest parts of Human history since the Incarnation, and the darker it becomes, a deep and brilliant light begins to emerge. It may be like flashing lightening, or it may be like the molten lava erupting through the darkness which reminds us of the Pillar of Fire and the Pillar of Cloud which guided the people of Israel through the desert. It may be like the star studded night sky, or have all the lustrous beauty of a full Moon, or it may be like the Sun in all her phases, or it may simply be tiny candles in the dark; “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:v. 5) or even more telling is the Vulgate of St. Jerome, who translates the verse as “And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

    The Isis executioners who killed St. Milad Saber Adly Saad and his 20 companions, the Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya just under a month ago, could not comprehend the light in the dark, and the stars in the darkest of nights. What their Islamic executioners did not see when they cruelly decapitated these noble and simple Christians was Christ and his Mother, who took them by the hand and led them to Heaven. It was because of Mary’s “Fiat” that this could happen in this way, and though foreordained from all Eternity, Mary was free to say “No.”, but she did not, and for all eternity we will thank her for that perfect “Yes!” that was made by that most perfect of creatures, who was human and Immaculate.

  • The myth of Gender Theory and the Emperor's New Clothes

    We, in the educated civilized West, are a gullible people.

    We believe scientists and other 'experts'.

    But not all the scientists and experts. Just the ones accepted by the media and the Government.

    In my 'past life' I was a scientist, or to be precise a surgeon.

    If I had believed every scientific paper I studied, I would have believed opposing views on every subject. Hardly a safe way to operate on patients!

    Instead, we were taught to read every research paper with a critical mind, going to the sources, reading the opposing views, considering thoughtfully the findings, musing on them, analysing them, in religious terms meditating on them; until one came to a decision about what to believe, and how much weight to put on the validity of the findings. Then, and only then, did one put one's practice, and therefore other people's safety, into the hands of the new theory or method. And even then, accepted scientific 'facts' would be overtaken by new evidence, and the critical evaluation would have to be repeated.

    As any scientist would tell you, scientific 'facts' are not actually facts at all, they are theories which are very probably true. Every 'fact' is measured by its probability. No scientific theory is given a probability factor of 100% true or a zero chance of it being false, to do so simply wouldn't be scientific! And they are right. Because real Truth is only in God.

    So 'gender theory' is only that, a theory. And theories always have counter theories. But we in Britain, and in the rest of the Western world, are not allowed to hold the opposing theory that gender is given by God through his creative genius via our chromosomes. In fact there are many scientists who do believe this, who have writen papers and articles on this, but will we find these views in our papers or on the mainstrean media? - No. Because if the papers printed them the papers would be prosecuted, or persecuted, for 'hate language'.

    And it is not just the 'gender theory' that is given protected status in this country. Evolution, global warming, and the necessity for children as young as five needing sex education in schools are all theories which are not allowed to be questioned. What has happened to informed debate? Who decides which theories are not to be questioned, and what opinions are tolerated and which opinions are persecuted?

    But now, at last, Pope Francis has started to make statements about the gender question and homosexualism. Or, to be more accurate, now the statements he has made earlier are being collected and published. At last!

    The following quotes are taken from today's Life Site News article:

    Speaking Sunday with young people on his voyage to Naples, Italy, Pope Francis spoke of the “ideological colonization” of families seen throughout Europe and the West.

    “Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion," he said. “So the family is under attack.” As to how to deal with the “secularization” or the “ideological colonization,” the pope said he does not have the answer.

    The comments echo those made in an in-flight interview Pope Francis gave while returning from Manila in the Philippines on January 19, 2015. Francis lamented the Western practice of imposing a homosexual agenda on other nations through foreign aid, which he called a form of “ideological colonization” and compared it to the Nazi propaganda machine.

    Asked by a reporter to explain the phrase “ideological colonization,” the pope gave an example from 1995 when, he says, a minister of education in a poor area was told she could have a loan for building schools so long as the schools used a book that taught “gender theory.”

    "This is ideological colonization,” he said. “It colonizes the people with an idea that wants to change a mentality or a structure." This ideological colonization, he added, “is not new, the dictators of the last century did the same.” "They came with their own doctrine. Think of the BalilLa (The Fascist Youth under Mussolini), think of the Hitler youth."

    The first comments from Francis along these lines were in an October 2014 interview that was only published in January 2015 in the book “Papa Francesco: questa economia uccide” (‘Pope Francis: this economy kills’).

    In it the pope speaks of modern-day "Herods" that "destroy, that plot designs of death, that disfigure the face of man and woman, destroying creation." Giving examples of these, he says: "Let's think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings. Let's think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation."

    "With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator. … God has placed man and woman and the summit of creation and has entrusted them with the earth. … The design of the Creator is written in nature."

    The full article may be found here.

    And here is a link to just one of the articles quoting the research you don't find in the mainstream media about gender identity disorder in children: "Will Jack be happier if we all pretend he's Jill".

  • Where are the Warriors

    I wrote this article, if my memory serves mer correctly, when our community was living on the Isle of Mull back in 2005

    The tremendous success of the Film epic of Lord of the Rings could not simply be put down to a remarkably faithful adaptation of the story for the screen, but to something else; the need for heroes and indeed heroines. In fact the women who acted the roles of Galadriel, namely Kate Blanchett, and Liv Tyler who acted Arwen Even Star, did not seem put out at the lack of action in their roles. Having constantly returned to this great Saga, for that really is what it is, since the age of 11 and I am now 54, I am struck not only by the vastness of the work, the extraordinary realism of a fanstasy world, which is really no more fantastic than the Arthurian Romances, but also by the heroic qualities exhibited by the hobbits, in particular by the two ring bearers Frodo, and his ever faithful Sam. Without wishing to be facile the world of the Lord of the Rings is a world where men are men and women are women. This sounds politically incorrect, but that is no bad thing. Surely we should all wish to be politically incorrect. Politics has really little place in the heroic world, which is a place where courage has convictions, and those convictions are worth dying for. The sheer flamboyance of courage could never be politically correct for if politics is the art of the possible, then heroism is indeed the art of the impossible.

    Our heroic hobbits Frodo, Sam, and their enthusiastic fellow hobbits Pippin and Merry would like nothing better than to stay at home and enjoy what hobbits enjoy best, eating, drinking and smoking their pipes (the latter is so politically incorrect that the films might end up getting banned!). However it is impressed upon Frodo by Gandalf that if the ring of which he, Frodo, is the reluctant possessor, is not destroyed, there will be no eating, drinking, smoking or lazing about; there will be simply a world made terrible beyond belief by Sauron, the Dark Lord, who is already beginning his conquest of Middle Earth, in which the Shire is no longer a small forgotten part.

    Frodo who is the Ring Bearer really wants to make the journey to Mount Doom and destroy the ring by himself. However his gardener, Sam, has overheard the story of the Ring, while Gandalf has been recounting it to Frodo. Gandalf having discovered the eavesdropping Sam hauls him through the window, and decides that Sam should accompany Frodo on his epic journey. Sam’s faithfulness, which is total, displays great heroism, especially towards the end of the arduous journey. However the two hobbits do not go alone, but are assisted by others who make up what comes to be known as the Fellowship of the Ring.

    For those who do not know the book, or the film, and there can’t be many, the fellowship is made up of Aragorn, and Boromir, the former the returning King, the latter a failed hero, but hero nevertheless (They make up the human dimension of the Fellowship) along with Merry and Pippin, the elf, Legolas, the dwarf Gimli, and finally Gandalf, who is the leader of the group. This group “The Fellowship of the Ring” braves terrible odds, get broken up, and finally is, unbelievably reunited at the end of the book, with the exception of Boromir, after Frodo has destroyed the ring, almost reluctantly and only with the aid of the pitiful Gollum, Gollum of course was once, before he was captivated by the Ring, a hobbit like Frodo.

    The sheer scale of the battles, brilliantly transferred to the Screen show men, elves and dwarves fighting heroically to save a world from evil whatever the cost. The last time that such heroism was displayed to such an astonishing degree was in the Second World War, where on every side heroism was shown in all its magnificence, as was cruelty was in all its malice. People were willing to die for their beliefs, and it is encouraging that even in the incomprehensible wars in the Balkans and the Gulf, heroism is not dead.

    Many people try to read into the Lord of The Rings their view point. The New Agers, the Neo Pagans, Rock musicians, and finally Catholics; the last category is eminently explicable because Tolkien was a Catholic, but did not see his saga as a Christian allegory, unlike C.S. Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles, which apparently were Christian allegories.

    People got very excited and said Lord of The Rings was the greatest novel of the 20th Century, which seems to have somewhat missed the point. It is rather like saying that The Illiad, Odyssey, or Aeneid were the greatest novels of their time. We are not in the world of the novel, we are in the world of epics, sagas, and above all we are in the world of the hero, and the warrior, albeit reluctant warriors, like Frodo, and Sam, who are forced into their unwanted roles.

    Aragorn, the King Warrior par excellence, spends most of his life being, not a warrior, but a ranger, protecting the little world of the Shire and trying to outwit Sauron, who is determined to retrieve the terrible ring that he forged, and with which he can wield world domination. Aragorn fights because he has to, not because he wants to. He owes more to Medieval Christian chivalry, than to the Norse Sagas, or Greek Epics. He is more an Alfred, than an Achilles. Both he and Frodo have distinctly Christ like qualities, the hidden Kingship of the former, and the via Crucis of the latter.

    Where then are the warriors of today, the spiritual warriors in the Church, and in the World? If as some say the 20th Century is the Left Wing Century (You might make a similar case for the 18th Century) then it is instructive to find that the great Left Wing Icons, with the exception of Mao, were not brave soldiers. Lenin was, apparently a coward, Stalin a bureaucrat, and Trotsky an intellectual. Whatever one may think of Hitler, he was a brave soldier in the First World War, and however much the left might detest Franco, there is no doubt as to his bravery, and brilliant qualities as a general. Mussolini also was noted for his bravery, and pace his critics made a very brave death.

    Why are we no longer soldiers of Christ? Forty years ago any child being prepared for confirmation was told that this is what they would become, this applied to both sexes. The sacrament shorn of such symbolism seems to lurch from a charismatic theology, that appears weak, and then heads for nowhere. This is not helped by Bishops’ conferences administering it at different times, namely either before or after communion. However let us return to the soldiers of Christ. We children of yesteryear knew instinctively that we were in a battle with the devil, but Karl Rahner’s anonymous Christianity, unwittingly or even perhaps wittingly, began to destroy the missionary zeal of the Church. Missionaries didn’t really have to bother about saving souls, because pagans could save their souls by doing good works and following their consciences. So Catholics became easy going Pelagians. The argument runs rather like this “God is so merciful, so loving, that he cannot refuse anyone Heaven; therefore we all, Catholic, Christian, heretic, and pagan will have no difficulty”. The problem with this argument and few ever think it through, is those who are damned have reached such a state, when they die, that damnation however dreadful, is infinitely preferable to being with an all loving God, whose very presence for all eternity would make their own evil unutterably painful. Hell would be better.

    The Catholic, who is happy to disregard the hard sayings of Christ about Hell is like someone who has thrown away the instruction manual for a plane, and thinks that through sheer good will he can make the plane fly; at this point we find ourselves in a world of unreality. Christ informs us that there is a Hell and we must do our best to avoid it and it requires heroism. Christ says very definitely the following: “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life and those are few who find it.” (Mt. 7: 13-14) If we accept that Hell is a horrific reality, then if one has an ounce of compassion one will do as much to prevent a single person from going to Hell as is possible. The saints, great or small, see themselves as being on a mission to save souls and this requires all the heroism of self renunciation, compassion and a recklessness that would be worthy of any hero in any of the great sagas.

    What then are the implications for the Catholic and Christian? Well one could say the answer to all this is that the New Catechism must be taught comprehensively at an early age and then we will be alright. Unfortunately the old penny Catechism was taught comprehensively until about 1966, and many of those who taught it lost their faith. Why was this? It would appear that after two dreadful World Wars a world weariness and cynicism enveloped many Catholics and then they were ambushed by the delights of new technologies, better medicine, an amazingly high standard of living and the ease and vast choices of the consumer society. Against such comfort the Church looked paltry, Man was fast becoming his own Saviour.

    However the conversion experience that many a Charismatic, and Evangelical will undergo would render the Catechism somewhat dry, which of necessity it is. It is hardly like reading and exhilarating novel. However we cannot do without it. It is like the manual for flying the plane and is the tradition of the Church in miniature. Returning to our allegory of life in Lord of The Rings; the Conversion experience is something joyful and wonderful, like our friends setting off from the Shire. It may have its ups and downs. You see our four hobbit friends avoiding the Black Riders with difficulty at the Brandywine River, being almost eaten by carnivorous trees, and being attacked by the Black Riders on Whethertop. However when the party arrive in Rivendell things seem much easier.

    In the 21st Century Catholic Church we find parallels in of all places our Churches and Chapels, religious houses and retreat centres. Comfortable chairs in our Churches and Chapels encourage spiritual sloth and slumber rather than worship. When we go to Church, we are coming into the presence of the Living God, we are not going for a cosy chat in someone’s lounge, sitting room, or worse drawing room.

    The Chapel or Church is not a venue for a drinks party, some coffee morning or Church Bazaar; at times one could be forgiven for thinking so. It is a momentous encounter with the Great King and his friends at The Last Supper, it is the gazing upon his crucified and agonized body on the Cross, and it is the overwhelming presence of his Resurrection, and it is the adoration of The Lamb in Heaven. It far surpasses the glory and the grandeur of Lord of The Rings. However the epic does tell us something about the kind of heroism we must possess.

    At Rivendell Frodo heroically says that he will go to Mordor alone; an impossible task for a tiny hobbit. He is not allowed to do so, and he is given a company to go with him. So too at Mass we would be far better to imagine that we were in the hall of some great Lord, being sent out into the world to do great things for him. “The Mass is ended, go in peace” should paradoxically be a battle cry, rather than an excuse to start talking loudly while indulging in unwarranted jocularity.

    We should leave Mass with a firm resolution to do whatever God wants of us. This is neither an excuse to lead a devotional life, devoid of substance and as a conduit for an emotional exercise in sentimentality, nor is it about feeling wonderful and spiritually self regarding on a Directed Retreat ( These retreats seem to have more to do with counselling techniques than anything else), and it is definitely not about politicized Justice and Peace Groups that have little to do with the Church’s social teachings. No it is first and foremost a terrifying battle with self. It is Antony of Egypt struggling in the Desert with his own demons, and the real thing, namely the devils themselves. It is Stephen Langton, and the early Cistercians labouring under terrible hardships. It is Francis terrified out of his wits by the devil in the cave near Assisi, and it is Ignatius nearly going mad in the cave at Manresa. It is a Gethsemane experience.

    In Gethsemane Christ was appalled at our sins and the price he had to pay for them. With us it is the enormity of our ingratitude and selfishness which must, if we wish to be his disciples, shock us into a discipleship that must cost us everything. The Thérèse’s and the Margaret of Costello’s are heroic but on one level the Francis’, Augustine’s, Ignatius’s and Xavier’s are the norm, when it comes to what one might call masculine spirituality; namely the very obvious spirituality of battle; and of course both Francis and Ignatius were soldiers, the former pretty useless, the latter very competent.

    To be a warrior for Christ above all means profound humility; not a word that one hears often in seminaries or religious houses these days. In fact it seems very often that male religious houses of formation, and seminaries have more of the air of a university student community, or worse a boarding school, and there is no real intellectual discipline or discipline for that matter. The post World War 2 era has seduced our religious and priestly life, in the West, at any rate with an embarrassment of material riches, and made it a sort of parody of Eden in which we are subjected to a life of ease on the one hand, and bureaucracy on the other.

    How can one be a spiritual warrior if one is prepared for such an adventure by being a recipient or teacher at endless seminars, or conferences? If Encyclicals and major Church Documents were discussed, but so often they are not, it would be alright. For the most part priests and religious who should be (perish the thought in our bland egalitarian world) the leaders in the Church, instead subject each other to sociological, psychological, and redefined spiritualities of a dubious nature, and wonder why everyone is still abandoning their vocation. Perhaps the reason is this, that unlike our mythical friends in the Lord of The Rings, we will not lay down our lives either metaphorically or physically for Our Lord and King. Cushioned with comfort, our senses satiated either with food, drink, or the media, we collapse into a profound spiritual doze, and we slumber happily on until suddenly a voice in the night cry is heard “Behold the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.”(Mt 24:6). Will not this call at least frighten our leaders in Church into action? Will they not realize the one thing necessary of Mary of Bethany, that we must sit at the Lord’s feet and ask how we might best serve him? For it seems to me that we have not girded our “loins with truth” we have ungirded them with lies about self fulfilment and self affirmation and about feeling good. We have not put on “the breast plate of righteousness”, but have hawked about dubious ideas in moral theology especially in the area of sexual ethics. We have not shod our “Feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace” but talked loudly about Liberation Theology, and produced a missiology which is not about spreading the gospel, but more about a social gospel, which has little to do with redemption. The “shield of faith” has been discarded for every philosophy that has come out of a secular stable, and the Fathers, especially Augustine are little understood, as sceptics tear the Bible to pieces and ignore the tradition of the Church who is the interpreter of Scripture. The “darts of the evil one” have achieved their purpose and have made many a priest and religious a de facto agnostic, and so the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit” are nowhere to be found for the darkness is profound.

    And so it is hoped that the new movements, which are by no means perfect, will produce, through their challenging life styles, heroes, heroines, and warriors for the Faith. This will hopefully revive the older religious congregations that have sunk into a morass of respectability and comfort, not to mention heterodoxy and will from the apparent dying embers of the Church produce wonders.

    It will happen on the Battle field of the Liturgy, not as it is being fought out at present by ICEL, and bishops and Cardinals, but on the Battle field of Calvary and in the Liturgy of the Apocalypse:

    “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself. He is cald in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.” (Rev. 20: 11-13)

  • St. Joseph model for Men

    The great crisis that is afflicting us is twofold. It is a crisis about what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman, and whether we have a right to change this meaning either legally, morally, of physically. The second part of this crisis is that at some of the highest levels in the Church, cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, theologians and philosophers seem to be colluding with the present humanist/atheistic vision of man, which is corrupting in the extreme.

    God made Man in his image. We do not have the right to change that image. We cannot turn Man and Woman into a caricature of God. Such action is evil, and the progeny of pride. However much the exegetes try, with cunning, to explain away the creation of Eve, they must either accept Eve’s birth from the side of Adam, or they must dismiss all of the Creation story in Genesis as a myth. This is based on the fallacious view, that evolution, and the pseudo science that supports it, is true. Neither are true, and Michael Behe, one of the Intelligent design school scientists, says that the making of the eye cannot be produced by evolution:

    Now that the black box of vision has been opened, it is no longer enough for an evolutionary explanation of that power to consider only the anatomical structures of whole eyes, as Darwin did in the nineteenth century (and as popularizers of evolution continue to do today). Each of the anatomical steps and structures that Darwin thought were so simple actually involves staggeringly complicated biochemical processes that cannot be papered over with rhetoric. (Darwin’s Black Box, p.22)

    Genesis is not a myth as the Fathers of the Church realized, and Woman was given to Man to be his helper, but so that there would be a true equality and complimentarity Genesis says:

    Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed. (Genesis 2: vv.24-25). It is only with the Fall that Eve becomes subordinate to Adam. God tells Satan what the relationship between woman and himself will be.

    I will put enmity between you and the woman,

    and between your seed and her seed;

    he shall bruise your head,

    and you shall bruise his heel.(Genesis 3:v.15)

    Then God tells Eve what her relationship to Adam will be.

    To the woman he said,

    I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing;

    in pain you shall bring forth your children,

    yet your desire shall be for your husband,

    and he shall rule over you.(Genesis 3: v.16)

    This shows that woman’s submission to man was as a result of the Fall.

    Joseph who is, in some ways, the New Adam, as I have said on numerous occasions before, recapitulates in himself, Adam’s service and authority. He is the least worthy to be head of the Holy Family. Both Jesus and Mary realize this, as does Joseph himself, but he has learnt that great lesson.; it is humility. He is strong because he is humble, he wields authority correctly because he is humble, he guides because he is humble. Joseph, like his foster son Jesus, immerses himself totally in the Father’s will, and in doing so participates in the Father’s authority, and because Mary, the New Eve, is also totally humble, and also Immaculately conceived, she is happy to be under Joseph’s authority, as she sees in it the Father’s authority, which is the authority of Mercy, the authority of Charity.

    Feminism, more than any other ideology, resembles Eve’s thirst for the knowledge of good and evil, a false wisdom, because what God wanted from Man and from Woman was their love, for the simple reason that he wanted to pour out his love totally upon them. Eve wanted to know what it was to be like God, to know how he operates. She was interested in God’s activity, not his love. She was interested in his power, what he could do. Eve was the first person to treat God as an object. From then on men and women have fallen into the trap of seeing people as things, not as persons capable of love. Thus with the Fall manipulation entered the World.

    Joseph is the great foe of feminism, and the great model of what men should be. He protects the infant Son of God, he protects the Mother of God. He protects the Church, and ultimately all those people who want to protect the family, which is the core of civilization. It is time that the Feminists realized this. It is time that Catholic feminists realize that their quest is useless, and what they should be looking at is the Love of God, and his desire to share intimately in our lives. It is time for all those in the LGBT to admit that what they so often lack is a true father, and that their only Father is God, and their only foster father is St. Joseph. This lesson must be learned by all macho men as well, namely that brawn is not what it is all about, but unremitting service, and unending love. If men begin to imitate Joseph, they will change the World, if they do not the present crisis in the World will become terrible and the destruction will be great . There is still time, but it is running out. St. Joseph terror of demons, and protector of Holy Church pray for us.

  • The Spirit of St. Patrick

    The French say of the English that “They are trivial about the serious and serious about the trivial”. No doubt Timothy Cardinal Dolan thinks that it is quite right for him to be the Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick’s day parade in New York, even though at this late date and with a few hours to go before the parade begins, sincere Catholics are asking him not to lead the march. I fear that procrastination is the thief of time with the somewhat embattled Cardinal .

    Quite what St. Patrick would have made of this would be hard to know, but yet again the Church in the West appears to inhabit an unreal world. It is a world of slogans like the famous “Make Poverty History” several years ago, when we saw the bishops of Scotland stand behind the banner looking both pleased and slightly uncomfortable. How can one make poverty history until the End of the World. Certainly the prophecies regarding the Grand Monarch would indicate that when he comes to bring a period of peace to the World, which seems to be the era of peace prophesied by Our Lady of Fatima. De Blasio, the Mayor of New York said he would not attend the march because of the fact that the LGBT group could only have one banner. Does anyone think of what St. Patrick would have to say about this? So many supposed practising Catholics, and some will be Cardinals, bishops , priests, and religious, have become silly and sentimental. It is one of the greatest tragedies that the wonderful Irish monasticism inaugurated by St. Patrick’s great mission to the Irish began to wane with the coming of the Viking invasions at the end of the 8th century AD, and had all but disappeared by the time of the English invasion under Henry II in the 12th.

    Certainly there was a wonderful resurgence of Irish religious life in the 19th century, but it was nothing compared to golden age of Irish monasticism, which along with Anglo Saxon monasticism was able to convert Europe. It simply did not have that great contemplative quality that was the power house of Irish Christianity from the age of Patrick until the coming of the Danes. The Irish monks, along with their English and Welsh counterparts were extremely penitential, and now are the Irish religious, the English, the Scots, the Welsh, or any of the European religious particularly penitential;? For the most part they are not. Do we have a terrible sense of the evil of sin? No, we do not. Do we feel that we are all going to Heaven? Well apparently we do, if that very orthodox and fine Cardinal, Cardinal Pell is to be trusted on this. He said “We Catholics generally believe that there is a hell. I hope that nobody is there.” Well such a hope is in stark conflict with the hard sayings of Christ. Also from a classic Catholic point of view, you cannot be a Catholic and not believe in Hell; if you do, you simply cease to be a Catholic and become a heretic. The problem now in the Church is that there are, in the West at any rate, a vast amount of Catholics, who are de facto heretics.

    As Cardinal Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Dolan cannot afford to be trivial about the serious. The members of the LGBT who take part in the St. Patrick’s day parade have nothing in common with St. Patrick who would have been appalled at what their life styles stood for. Cardinal Dolan is in grave danger of falling into the English way of being trivial about the serious.

    Now if one looks at St. Patrick’s Breastplate in its original form rather than in the stirring version arranged by Charles Villiers Stanford one is given a very rude awakening. Let us look at verses 6 and 7. We will find that we are in for a shock.

    Against the snares of demons,

    Against the seductions of vices,

    Against the lusts of nature,

    Against everyone who meditates injury to me,

    Whether far or near,

    Whether few or with many

    I invoke today all these virtues,

    Against every hostile merciless power

    Which may assail my body and soul,

    Against the incantations of false prophets,

    Against the black laws of heathenism,

    Against the laws of heresy,

    Against the deceits of idolatry,

    Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,

    Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

    For all the charm, and sparkling quality of the Irish, for all their poetry, profoundly nostalgic music, for all their zest for dancing, singing, and fighting, there is this side of them bequeathed to them by Patrick, whose capture at the hands of pagan Irish pirates, and his subsequent enslavement for six years in that strange and terrible servitude, was the crucible in which the Irish were born anew in Christ. In many ways Patrick gives birth to the Ireland of Celtic monasticism, though he was not a monk himself. And perhaps the loss of this great monasticism to the less passionate Benedictine monasticism has been a loss for the Catholic Church. If the Irish had not come under the English boot, then their monasticism would have re-emerged and profoundly converted their Viking invaders.

    For it is their intense idiosyncratic monasticism that links them with the Desert Fathers, and with the Orthodox East. That passionate monasticism is what the West needs today, and which a St. Patrick’s day parade in New York is simply a parody of all that Patrick stood for and what the Irish people are. St Patrick, bring your sons and daughters to the truth of who they are and what they can be, namely true apostles of Christ to the darkened and depraved West.


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