Monday, July 28, 2014

Horror...

..was expressed by a Sunday newspaper last weekend. The newspaper revealed that a Member of Parliament had links with a group that sought to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Outrage was expressed. The Christian group involved has apparently been quite blatant about its opinions, acting as though it had a right to speak openly on this and related subjects.

I wrote to the newspaper, but the letter hasn't been printed. Here it is:

Dear Sir

Your reporter (Sunday Tel. July 20th 2014)  writing about the Member of Parliament linked to a Christian group that "actively supports and encourages marriage between a man and a woman" seems appalled that politicians should uphold such support, especially as it is opposed to current official policy.

There are precedents for taking firm action. A former prominent Member of Parliament was deemed to have committed treason for refusing to adapt his views on marriage: his last words were before execution were that he remained "the king's good servant, but God's first". 

What punishment is the Sunday Telegraph proposing for the current Member of Parliament, denounced by this newspaper for having "failed to distance" himself from Christian teachings on marriage?

Incidentally, I think you should also know that there are a number of centres around Britain where "marriage between a man and a woman"  is frequently publicly taught and affirmed. There is one near me attended by over 1,000 people each week.  Should politicians be penalised for attending such places? Should the ban be extended to others who hold public office? Should such places be subjected to police investigation, or simply closed down? I really would be most interested to know your newspaper's stance on this.




Filling the shelves...

...through God's bountiful generosity at this time of year.

While in the kitchen on such tasks, it's useful to think  about large things, otherwise one finds the brain is asking "Why am I standing in the kitchen washing rose petals?"

The shelves are filling up with jams and jellies that will go to various fetes and fairs and Harvest Festival gift tables and so on...and the prayers are for peace in the Middle East, in line with Papa Francis' anguished plea at his Sunday Angelus...

Incidentally, I came across this website, which I found of interest...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Prayers for the persecuted Christians in Iraq...

...at Mass this evening (Oxford Oratory). Today people were gathering in London to stand in solidarity with the Christians suffering under militant Moslem-Caliphate rule. How fearsome it is to write those words.

I am in Oxford to lead a group of visiting Americans to places associated with Bl John Henry Newman. Oriel College, and the University Church...history, beauty...packed streets, noise, searing heat... and then calm prayers of a parish Mass, and supper by the river, and much to talk about...

Do read this...

...review about the plight of the Jews in Rome in World War II in L'Osservatore Romano.

The Australian ambassador to the Holy See has written a review of Auntie's book Courage and Conviction.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Auntie on travels...

...to America, as part of the EWTN FAMILY FESTIVAL later this month. Info here...

American readers of this blog...I look forward to seeing you there!

BERRIES AND PLANS...

...always the stuff of summer.  Picking blackberries in the summer heat, the great thick fruit making the brambles hang down with their weight.  And blackcurrants in a generous friend's garden, plump and juicy and ready to turn into fabulous jam. And - for the most delicate and lovely jam of all - rose petals, fresh and enchanting, gathered swiftly and hurried into the kitchen, to cook up gently and very very slowly with water and lots of sugar and then - magic moment - a tablespoon of lemon juice added and the sudden transformation of greyish mush into beautiful rose-coloured syrup to be poured into jars...

And plans. Busy with plans. The TOWARDS ADVENT Festival, Saturday November 22nd. PUT THE DATE IN YOUR DIARY NOW!!   Westminster Cathedral Hall: stalls and displays from a great range of Catholic groups and organisations from across Britain, books, DVDs, music, craft goods and more on sale. Glorious music, top speakers: it is not to be missed.  Summer sees the posters arriving from the printer and much emailing back and forth making plans for the great day...

And the "TWO CATHEDRALS" great Blessed Sacrament Procession through London. DON'T MISS THIS DATE!!! Saturday October 18th, starts 1pm for 1.30pm at Westminster Cathedral. Come and swell the crowd to make this a great procession of witness as it crosses the Thames...

In this hot and stifling weather...

...spare a prayer for prisoners.  If you are a prison-visitor,  you will know what it is like in a heatwave, even in a modern, clean and well organised establishment.

Monday, July 21, 2014

What's London like...

...at the moment?  For a snapshot of it all,  with a Catholic slant, try here...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tea...

..an absolutely glorious Tea, with sandwiches-with-the-crusts-cut-off, and scones with jam and cream, and a towering four-layered  lemon drizzle cake...all organised and hosted by Frances Scarr and a team of Catholic ladies to welcome ladies from the Ordinariate. A wonderful and happy afternoon - and a useful one, as we sat overlooking Westminster Cathedral and talked of a great many things, ranging from the recent "Our Father"  prayer project for schools (entries from children across Greater London), to pilgrimages and processions and prison work, and craftwork and confession, and Sunday Schools, and singing at stations, and enthusiasm and evangelisation.

We drank cups and cups of fragrant tea, we planned activities and pilgrimages, we swapped jokes and stories: the perils of a procession ducking under railway arches and trailing down The Borough High Street,  the howlers in children's careful writing out of prayers ("MY will be done on earth...").  The Cathedral Bell rang for the Angelus and we stopped to pray it all together. Teatime morphed gently into evening, and we finished with glasses of cold white wine, and then goodbyes and lots of good plans for the future.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

..and in the stifling summer heat...

...our Parliament is debating whether or not we should make it possible for sad and gravely ill people to be killed...and the Church of England has slammed the door on ecumenical possibilities and invented female bishops...and there is turmoil in the Holy Land, and death in the skies over Ukraine...

...and a sense of things ending, and a tired feeling, and now the Government is going to penalise people for having proper families - they've apparently announced that anyone with more than four children will be denied taxation benefits.  It sometimes seems as though our officialdom doesn't really want our country to have a future, and believes that in a dark and worrying world we should try to encourage as little hope as possible.

And so to Sunday...and Mass, and there is hope for all.
...

A sad day...

A fine Catholic writer and a good friend, Stratford Caldecott, has died. He will be hugely missed: he leaves a lovely family, and a legacy of good work done with great love.  All who use the beautiful monthly Magnificat  journal are in his debt. God will reward him...pray for his soul and for the consolation of his dear family.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

YOU SIMPLY MUST READ....

...this excellent and inspiring call to us all on the subject of the gruesome legislation being planned for our Parliament this week.

Please read. Please pray.