Thursday, 28 August 2014

Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo

Sancte Augustine, ora pro nobis

Happy Feast!

Also my Birthday, so going to have something nice to eat (and probably also to drink) today.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Chasuble Shapes

I recently came across this rather interesting image while googling for a picture of a Roman vestment. It shows the development of chasubles (I assume the numbers in Roman numerals under each picture refer to the century from which it dates). This may be helpful to those readers not familiar with different forms of chasuble. Some of the regional variants of the 'fiddleback' shape are worth noting.

When you have finished your perusal, you might want to pop over to The Rad Trad's Liturgical Boutique with your wish list :-)

Saturday, 23 August 2014

More Irish Music

As I mentioned in an earlier post, there is some ongoing banter between myself, Zephy, and a priest acquaintance, over Irish songs.

I was going to send them the link to this little piece, but decided it was worthy of sharing with a wider audience. It seemed quite apt as this is a Bank Holiday weekend in England, considering what experiences of travel at these times are often like ;-)

The song was written by the great Irish singer-songwriter and artist of the early 20th. Century, Percy French, apparently as a response to being unable to get to one of his concerts due to delays on the West Clare Railway. The story goes on that the railway attempted to sue French for libel, so he responded with a countersuit for loss of earnings. I understand that both suits were dropped, and the song now remains as a delightful piece of Irishness (it has been said the Irish language has several words roughly equivalent in meaning to the Spanish manana, however none expresses quite the same sense of urgency :-) ).
Percy French

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Prayers for the Holy Father and his family

I have just read on Fr. Z's blog the sad news that the wife and children of Pope Francis' nephew have been killed in a road accident, and the nephew himself, Emanuel Bergoglio was seriously injured. Please remember the Holy Father in your prayers, and also pray for his family, and for the repose of the souls of those who died.

Interesting Interview with Michael Voris

For those who may not be familiar with Michael Voris, he is an American, traditional Catholic (for want of a better expression) televangelist and public speaker. I heard him speak in London a few years ago, and found his talk very interesting with much that inspired.

Michael Voris

Following a link on Father Z's blog, I have just read this personal interview that he gave to Supetraduum of the Etheldredasplace blog. He makes some interesting points, notably about vocations among the laity. It's well worth a read.

Michael's own online TV channel, ChurchMilitant, can be found here - you can sign up for a free subscription to watch his regular broadcasts.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Fr. Jean-Marie Charles-Roux, R.I.P.


Of your charity, please pray for the repose of the soul of the remarkable Rosminian priest, Father Jean-Marie Charles-Roux, who died in Rome a little over a week ago (the news has only just reached me).

Fr. Charles-Roux was for many years resident at St. Etheldreda's, Ely Place, and was a well-known London character. I recall, in the late '80's and early '90's there were only two priests who would routinely walk about London in cassock and saturno - Fr. Charles-Roux and Monsignor Alfred Gilbey - upon spotting the hat, the next step was to look at the shoes to identify which it was - Fr. Charles-Roux always sported footwear with silver buckles.

I have attended Mass celebrated by Fr. Charles-Roux at Ely Place. This was something you needed to plan for: always in the Usus Antiquior,  Father's Low Mass could take considerably longer than most Pontifical or High Masses, as he would enter a sort of ecstasy while celebrating, saying, and seemingly physically feeling, each individual word. The elevation of the Sanctissimum could take anything up to ten minutes. I also recall him once hearing my confession.

Father was also known as a champion of monarchy and aristocracy, reflecting his own aristocratic French roots, and for his distinctive, flamboyant and often outspoken style of preaching.

Please have a look at Damian Thompson's obituary for Father, and also the one written by Fr. Lucie-Smith. These gentlemen knew Fr. Charles-Roux far better than I.

The Latin Mass Society have a Requiem Mass for Fr. Charles-Roux at Spanish Place on 9th. September at 7p.m.

Requiem aeternum dona ei, Domine,
Et lux perpetua luceat ei:
Requiescat in pace. AMEN

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Divine Love

I have just read the very interesting post by Bones, concerning some of the recent celebrity 'comings out'. I urge you to read this post, which eloquently addresses the currently fashionable cliché that 'God loves me just as I am'.
I will not serve, because God will love me just as I am - sure about that???

Of course God loves us. It is through His Divine Love that we have our existence: while sufficient in Himself, He wished to share that abounding love that exists within the Blessed Trinity, and so He brought into being others whom He could love, first spiritual beings, the angels, and latterly the physical Universe, eventually giving rise to beings, ourselves, intelligent enough and capable of supporting an immortal soul, with all the gifts of God, including especially Free Will, for we cannot love truly unless that love is freely given, and so we must also have the option of rejecting the love God offers. We know that some of the Angels did this, and that humans also do - I was going to say 'many humans' but at least small ways, we all do this, it's called sin.

God loves us, but wants us to receive all His love, to grow in our love for Him, and to be perfect. While He recognise that we are frail humans, and prone to weakness and temptation, and is aware of our faults, He doesn't just accept these but wants us to overcome them, to touch our wisdom and understanding and impart His grace, and would like us to conform our wills to His, as He knows this is what is best for us. He does not love us 'just as we are': He recognises where we are, and, in love, wants us to become better.

Ven. Fulton Sheen - Ora pro nobis
I recall the Venerable Fulton Sheen giving an example of this in one of his talks to young people, drawing and analogy between what God does and what our parents do. The example he uses is parents 'potty training' their children. If they let their babies be 'just as they are' then, when these children grew up they would be social outcasts and would end up hating their parents because they did not give them even the most basic guidance as to what is acceptable to do. More subtly, we learn (hopefully) from our parents morality, manners, and ways in which to nurture our own talents for our own benefit and that of our neighbour. Somewhat more rewarding than being in nappies when you're forty, methinks.
Who cares if I still haven't worked this out when I'm 40 - everyone will love m just as I am - SURE!

And so it is with God, he loves us, but wants us to grow and develop, to become better people, so that we can achieve perfection ultimately (albeit often through the fires of Purgatory and the prayers of others) which is a requisite to enjoy our eternal reward with Him. Just as parents don't stop loving a child when he is naughty, but instead try to encourage him to do better next time, so Our Lord recognises our frailty, and, when we sin, wants us to return to Him and do better in the future.

Kyrie eleison,
Christe eleison,
Kyrie eleison.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Biretta for the Beach?

With Fr. Tim soon to relocate to the sunny Kent Coast, I have come across these rather fetching 'sunshade birettas' - just the thing for wants to relax in a deckchair and feels a knotted hankie on the head to be a bit infra dig.

Source - The Phillipi Collection blog - well worth a visit

As you will see these are the prelatial versions, which I understand have been prepared for the Vatican Cricket Team's upcoming tour (cricket caps are so last year!) :-)

As far as I can see, however, the rumour that the Fishwrap has enquired about a version featuring the wording 'Kiss Me Quick' is entire conjecture.

NCR on kissing
Nod to Bruvver Eccles for this

Now, I'd better go and extricate my tongue from my cheek ...

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Feast of the Transfiguration

Happy Feast!

The painting of the Transfiguration of Our Lord shown above is from the apse ceiling in one of the most beautiful of London suburban Catholic churches, St. Saviour's, Lewisham. I have included a wider view of the church interior below to give an impression of how it fits into the whole scheme - you will notice that the original Sanctuary is still intact and in situ.

The painting's history is quite interesting, having apparently been executed by Polish prisoners of war during WWI, so is currently quite topical.

I will try to post in more depth about this lovely church at a later date. Perhaps I will try to resume the series of posts I did last summer on London Catholic churches, and have a look at some of the more interesting ones in the suburbs.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Suffering or Complacency?

Father Ray Blake has again grabbed my attention by the interesting juxtaposition of two recent posts. In the first he discusses the role of martyrdom and suffering in the Church, referring to a post by Fr. Z., concerning crucifixions of Christians being carried out by ISIS (I would recommend following these links, and praying for those being persecuted and murdered for the Faith at this time, but would also caution you about following the thread right back to the original article, complete with extremely grim photos unless you are well prepared for these), and to the traditional incorporation of red elements (eg shoes) into the Pope's dress as a mark of following in the bloody footsteps of Our Lord. The second post shows a list of Pope Francis' 10 suggestions for being happy. The juxtaposition does, I'm sorry to say, emphasise the effeteness of the some of the Holy Father's comments.

From Fr. Ray's post

While Joy and Peace are fruits of the Holy Spirit, and I hope we will all experience many pleasant times in our lives, the role of the Church Militant is to fight against the Devil, the World and the Flesh, until they are finally conquered. It was to this end that Christ suffered, and this suffering continues through His Mystical Body, the Church. The Christian life on Earth is, therefore, not supposed to be something pollyannish, where everything is wonderful and jolly (eternal happiness is the reward of the Church Triumphant): it always has the characteristic of a battle, and is, at times, extremely hard. It is about working and fighting to save our own soul, and to help in the salvation of as many other souls as we are able, for this is the ultimate mission of the Church. Fortunately, most of us will not be called to give up our lives in bloody martyrdom for the Faith, but, we should, nonetheless ask ourselves often if we would do so if the occasion arose.

The Holy Father says that he aims to follow a Franciscan charism in his pontificate. I would therefore draw attention to the following verses from the hymn to St. Francis, which clearly don't adopt an 'I'm OK, you're OK' stance:-

In thine own beloved Assisi
Thou disdst stir mens hearts to love,
Teaching them that holy penance
Is the road to Heaven above.
Make us love the priceless virtue
By our hidden God esteemed;
Make it valued, Holy Francis,
By the souls of the Redeemed.
Teach us also, dear Saint Francis,
How to mourn for every sin.
Make us walk in thy dear footsteps
'Till the crown of life we win.
Bless thy children, Holy Francis,
With those wounded hands of thine,
From thy glorious throne in Heaven
Where resplendently they shine.
Sancte Francisce, ora pro nobis.
St. Francis receiving the stigmata

Monday, 4 August 2014

Remembering the Fallen

This morning, I spent a short while in the company of the Anglican community close to my father's home, while they conducted a short memorial service on  the occasion of the 100th. anniversary of the First World War. The war memorial stands in the churchyard.

The service consisted of a few prayers, a scriptural reading, and reading of the names of the known war dead of the parish (considerably more names than those that appear on the memorial). For their souls and those of all who died in the World Wars:-
Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine,
Et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Requiescant in pace.

Liturgical Boutiques

My attention has recently been drawn to some discussion on The Rad Trad blog, concerning 'liturgical fetishes' and 'liturgical boutiques'. Please see this link for a direct route to the boutique.

For the benefit of those among us who are connoisseurs of liturgical apparel, rescuers of period vestments, and similar, here are a few links.

If you want to get ahead, get a biretta at Domus Birettarum (a small selection shown below - please note the rather fetching pink, tartan and camouflage versions on the right :-) ).

Those with a recent lottery win, or similar windfall (but not quite enough for the purchase of a Minor Basilica), might like to visit Luzar Vestments - or just to admire some of the stuff he has in stock.

A man who wasn't averse to wearing lace
Finally, the more avant garde  followers of fashion might like to look here - just think carefully before appearing in public. :-)
Another man who wasn't too bothered by lace, rose vestment, etc.


Friday, 1 August 2014

Men in the Church

Fr. Ray Blake has recently posted a thought-provoking piece about the appeal of the Old Mass to men, and more generally about current attitudes in the Church and how these relate to a masculine viewpoint. I recommend Father's article to you.

I agree with Father's views in that, as a bloke, I like things that are clear, well-organised, functional and, quite often, guided by strict rules. This is part of the appeal of the Old Mass, which is very structured, quite business-like, and allows me to focus on God and worship without forcing me to interact unduly with the rest of the congregation. This fits well with what much of current psychology says about gender differences in thought. Men tend to focus on single things, and, when in a group, tend to want to do things; when the talk, it is often about discussing a topic of common interest, problem-solving, or 'putting things to rights'. Women by contrast, tend to do multiple tasks, and set much score by relationships; their conversation is often about feelings and social interaction. Please accept my apologies for what I know is a drastic over-simplification ... before I provoke a great backlash from the ladies who may read this.

St. Ignatius -
 just giving the impression that you would want to pick a fight with him

It is interesting that Father posted this on the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola. His experience as an ex-soldier are clear in his vision for the Society of Jesus, with elements of  'strong arm Christianity', extensive and structured training, and Spiritual Exercises to prepare the soul for spiritual battle. It seems that former military men often make good priests, possibly because they are used to enduring privations, have developed a belief in the strength of their own character, and have no trouble with a disciplined way of life and obedience, while still being able to show and use their own initiative.

Mass on a battlefield
Prayer for Generosity (St. Ignatius of Loyola)
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labour and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.

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