Taking away what hasn’t been given

Happy St Peter and St Paul’s day, each and everyone of you.

A certain level of anxiety follows me today, as usual, but it’s nothing that cannot be overcome. Summer is coming to a start and there’s nothing to do, nowhere to go. Summer always begins this way in a state of luke-warm ability if I could call it that. Each day is warmer, however today we were blessed with the rain, drizzle and fog which is the default climate here, so I found it useless to stay inside and I had to be out walking around looking for things to do the entire day. That’s not what I did of course, instead I was invited to my grandmother’s for dinner and then after supper I went to another bonfire, something quite rare if you hadn’t caught on.

Spilling out the contents of my day as if they mattered is very important to me. I now realise it could’ve been better spent reading a book or going the Mall with friends, whatnot and who’s-what.

Stressing me out the the tenth degree is that in the past year, two of my first cousins on my father’s side have given birth to healthy, beautiful baby boys. The first to be born is now a year: Tom (not his real name, but his real name is a saint of the Dominican Order). The second was born two or three months ago and they named him Asher, because the mother has an interest in Pokemon, so she saw it fit to name the child after the protagonist (Ash) and add on the -er so as to allow people never to mistake him for a Wednesday.

I don’t have any problem with the name Asher. I do, however, have a problem that she named him after a boy in a Japanese cartoon that I’ve hardly ever watched/seen/played (whatever). Now, in the book of Genesis, we see the name “Asher” for the first time, and he is the son of Zilpah and Jacob. He is the origin of the “Tribe of Asher.” Upon learning this, my Grandmother dropped 95% of the opposition she felt against the name, but still does her best to never address him by his name. You’ve got to know her, it’s hilarious.

Both Tom and Asher are unbaptised. I would never say that side of my family is dysfunctional, irreligious, or whatever. Both mothers were raised as Catholics, went to Church and received all of the sacraments except marriage (another issue). Tom’s father was a Methodist but doesn’t believe in God and he calls the Church “a load of foolishness” (upon hearing this, my Grandmother told him where to go and gave him deadly details). His mother, however, is afraid to baptise Tom because of the father’s opinion.

Mother #2 fell away from the Church years ago, and is practically a pagan in her ways and beliefs. Reincarnations, occult, ouija boards, etc. She doesn’t think baptism is necessary.

They excuse that both of them gave to their mothers and my grandmother was that “they want HIM to chose what religion he wants to be.”

I don’t think it’s useful to attack them, say anything bad about them behind their back, or even have a spirit of spitefulness. It is much more useful for me to offer a sacrifice for them, say the Rosary, or remember them during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, for then God’s grace will be poured out on this family.

Perhaps I am getting too upset over this, but I thought it was common sense and that it was a parent’s Christian duty and the first act of love towards their child to have him baptised in the waters of the Holy Ghost. It is no trial, tribulation, harm nor sorrow to release your only flesh and blood from the chains of original sin that weigh down their souls and keep it from the light of Heaven. Second of all, if it is the child’s choice as to become a Catholic or an Apostolic Buddhist, how is that possible if there is no influence from his parents in regards to his decision, no example from those that brought him here, if no truth is revealed to him about the glory of God and the expectations of us to love one another and keep the commandments? The poor child will grow up without the faith of his Fathers.

I feel like the might be left in the barrens of a two-thousand mile hay field; one where no rain has fallen and the grass groweth pale. No map provided, neither compass nor guide, through absolutely through no fault of their own.

I hope I can help point to the Cross, to the truth of the Church. Not just myself, but my family will ensure they see the roses around the Blessed Virgin.

In a sense I can understand where they like to appear that they’re coming from. They want their son to have the freedom to do as he chooses with this life, but God knows in this world how often does that happen? True freedom is doing what on ought to do, when one ought to do it. Denying your child the life-giving waters of refreshment, that re-birth, the washing away of the sin of Adam and Eve, the restoration of purity to an innocent human being is in essence, denying him to freedom to enter into Heaven. He has been denied the freedom of God’s grace, though God will never abandon him, the catechism tells us that baptism is necessary to enter the kingdom of God.

Because of this bad decision, these spiritually misguided but otherwise loving and caring parents, two innocent youths have still been denied that indelible mark on their soul that shows their belonging to Christ. God has treasured these precious souls but I know that we cannot stand by and look with scorn. Our Lord, the saints, and the good Christians of ages gone by would have never of stood there and talked amongst themselves “my God, that’s shockin’, poor things not even Christened, tututut.” The saints would’ve prayed, using themselves as examples, taking the children by their hands and leading them towards the throne of God saying “Look, there is the one who made you and who loves you.”

Do not shame the parents. Pray for them. They will know that this was the wrong decision to make, but what use is it to talk without engaging them in conversation! We will discuss the importance of baptism and the sacraments with them. Through Our Lord, the hearts of these men and women will be opened and I know that they will hear the whispers of Almighty God in their souls. I am accountable for my actions, so they are as well.

The Devil is well at work in the world. Lift up your sword and proclaim the victor, who is Christ with his Queen at his side, who is Our Lady. The saints ever guarding.

I don’t know what to call this, whether it be a rant of some sort or just a long-drawn thought. However, please pray that these two may be baptised so that God’s will may be fulfilled. The Blessed Mother will ensure that His will is done: reach the heart of Jesus through Mary.

 

Differences

I find it amusing how those of my age will intentionally set aside their own rules to follow, in order to be noticed as a different individual in society. Of course we are all created in the image of our Creator, however we are also all different as He has given us our personality through His divine wisdom. That does not mean we dress in an indecent display of our “true selves” as if we weren’t happy with what we were to begin with.

Perhaps I’m a bit arrogant when I say that some people need to sit back and watch themselves as if it were a reality show, so they can examine their actions to realise how foolish they are for doing what was done. I, myself, am included in this.

Little rant, but I’m finished now.

On nerves and excuses

We will either accuse ourselves or excuse ourselves. – St John Marie Vianney

I woke up today a bag of nerves; today was my practical exam for driving. According to the instructor, I “nudged” a pole and so I failed my test automatically. Next one is on Monday, please say a prayer for me and do yourself a courtesy and keep off the roads.

I’ve got it all down pat but if it wasn’t for backing-up into a parking space, I’d be licensed as we speak. I specifically made sure nobody knew I was doing this today, other than two close friends, because if I didn’t get my licence there’d be no “awe, I’m sorry, you’ll do better next time!” or sympathetic ooh’s and ahh’s.

I’m still nervous and I was nervous the full day yesterday. How often, in states of panic, can I be mean to those much superior to myself. The quote above is something I need to memorise, for I’m but a sinner who has forgotten his empathy and sympathy. I’m that nervous that I can’t even think of much to say, all day I’ve been stuttering and talking overly fast and emphasising words that shouldn’t ever be emphasised.

Conditor alme Siderum

Were you ever young enough to remember believing the moon followed you around? I hope you were, for when I was younger and night fell, did I happen to be in a car or on a boat or whatever, I used to look up and count the stars. I noticed the stars would change here and there, at least I thought since the number of them appeared infinite and it was never known to me if I counted the same star thrice or left it out completely. However, the moon was always in the same spot at every angle and every new location. Sometimes the one I was with would, in his own way, point out that this was the great creation of God and it was there for us. Indeed this is one fond memory of my childhood I have, discovering and being told about the creator of the stars at night; conditor alme siderum.

ImageStars serve both a practical and spiritual purpose. Mary is the Star of the Sea, the ocean star. In particular my village has always had a strong devotion to Our Lady under this title and many communites in Newfoundland and Ireland, as well as a few sea-side villages in Wales, Scotland, and England have a similar patronage or devotion to the Queen of Heaven, the ocean Star. She has been called the “guide of the wanderer” and is the refuge of the sailors and sea-men who must brave the most tempest storms and winds.

Whatever the purpose, the night sky still looks as beautiful and lovely as it did when I was young and the more you realise how fortunate you are to be in a position where you can appreciate the common and small things, the more you WILL appreciate and notice the small things. That’s why I’m not going to fret over my math mark, which tomorrow I’ll find out. I’m not going to worry….I at least I’m saying that now haha.

St John the Baptist, St John the Preacher

I hope you don’t mind that I changed the look of this a little bit. My prior theme had a little bar that would appear when you scrolled down to a certain point and it annoyed me so it had to go.

Today is the feast of St John, specifically the nativity of St John. Interesting for you to know that it is a holiday in St John’s, Newfoundland, as it’s both “St John Day” and “Discovery Day” since the city was founded on this very day though the actual holiday is moved to the Monday preceding the date. St George’s and St Patrick’s day follow the same pattern.

Image

You might already know that the Church celebrates only two nativities other than that of Our Lord. The Blessed Mother of God is the first and then it’s himself, St John the Baptist. It never occurred to me until I read today over at Catholicism Pure and Simple that it could be because only Our Lady and St John were ever born without original sin.

The painting above is of the Infant Jesus with the infant John, painted by Bartolomé Esteban Perez Murillo, a prolific artist in his time. The conception of John in the womb of St Elizabeth was foretold by the angel who appeared to the Blessed Mother, announcing that she was to conceive of the Holy Ghost a son, who saved us from our sin. When it came that Our Lady travelled to meet Elizabeth (her cousin) the gospel of St Luke says

No sooner had Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, than the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth herself was filled with the Holy Ghost; so that she cried out with a loud voice “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. How have I deserved to be thus visited by the mother of my Lord? Why, as soon as ever the voice of thy greeting sounded in my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy.”

The man who baptised Jesus was known as the “beloved disciple”, for such was the glory of this saint. We can find in St John and perfect model for true love of God and the desire to preach unto others the truth that is there to preach. I wish you all a happy St John’s day, don’t forget to say a Rosary for the souls in Purgatory!

Done

As of today, I’m finished my exams and I couldn’t be happier to celebrate tonight with my third bonfire this week. Third time’s the charm I suppose. Upcoming will be my last year, then I’ll branch off into University. I will do a year of general studies, as well as discern my possible vocation, but all in all I need to pass maths first and foremost.

Since the beginning, it’s been just uphill with regards to math and all the involved counterparts. Calculus, pre-calculus, algebra, geometry and trigonometry. It’s all Chinese to me, and Chinese I speak not.

I hope my merciful teacher will just push my grade up to a centre-on 50%. That’s all I need. I’ve retained an 80-85% average the whole year, which isn’t much I understand but it’s enough to keep me on good terms with university.

Keep in mind that I still think math is pointless. I’ll never use a quadratic equation, but I know I’ll use long division and multiplication. Depending on my vocation, I’ll need trigonometry and geometry. It depends on what I do afterwards, but is it not like asking a fish to climb a tree and judging it on the same scale as if a human was commanded the same?

History, English, Literature, Religion. I do well in all of these. Rarely do I struggle with these enjoyable subjects, yet it’ll be my inherent dyscalculia that holds me back. Please say a prayer for me, and I’ll be back later on.

St Dominic Savio, Ora pro Nobis!

 

In the order of Melchizedek

Our parish priest was recently on the radio calling for “women priests, and progressive reform.” I don’t mean to jump into the shark’s mouth, so I’m choosing to keep quiet when I’m around him. I’ll ask you all to say a prayer for him, he needs it. I will say something to him and I’ll strike up conversation over why his vivid imagination manages to take over his public representation of the Church and the people of his own parish.

At my church, I am the on/off organist. Myself and my aunt are the main “choir” along with the congregants, never failing to join in. My church serves a community of 700 of which 300 attend Mass regularly. We all know each other, we’re all of the same “breed” so to speak. Our new parish priest, God love him, was appointed here not two years ago under self-appointed orders to “renew and refresh the Church.” The only thing he has done so far is to confuse the faithful and give a mixed and uncertain doctrine as to what is to be believed and what is to be thrown out. My struggles with the good Vicar began back in April, when I was filling in for the organist at the next parish over. At the time I was only sixteen; he wasn’t particularly nice or mean-spirited.

Because I’m a bag of nerves at my best and a frayed wire at my worst, I need to practise at least an hour before Mass begins. I started off with Franck’s Pie Jesu, a few hymns, then the beginning lines of the Pie Jesu. It was Lent of course, and as villagers filled the pews I started playing the Immaculate Mary, Ave Maria, and a few other Marian hymns. Like a fish thrust forth from the water into a dry path of air, our parish Priest came running down the aisle and he came over and said a few words to the choir. Then he turned to me and said “This is Lent, do not play Marian hymns.” He left, and I played “Hail Holy Queen, Enthroned Above.” After five minutes or so when I was on another hymn, he came back and knocked over my binder and said “Marian hymns are NOT for the Lenten season” to which I replied “But the Blessed Mother is for all year-round.” He turned red, but he continued on “No. Hymns are meant for May, maybe October. You’re going to play only Lenten music”

I wasn’t going to continue in that childish display of “my way or hit the highway” and I stopped playing until Mass began. What amuses me most (and excuse my self praise here) is that on the way out, several people complimented me on the hymns they heard before Mass. They “don’t hear things like that these days” and “these are the hymns they miss.”

Fast forward a few weeks, and Fr J (we’ll call him for anonymity) revises his plan to “renew and refresh”

  • removes the icon of the Mother of Perpetual Help from the sanctuary of the neighbouring Church
  • puts in storage the statues of Our Lady and St Joseph
  • Converts the Lady Chapel into a conference room
  • At our Parish, insists we play contemporary more “hip” songs and hymns
  • Is the “nice, loving” guy when he refers to his battles with the Archbishop
  • Tells us there’s no need for confession, makes himself unavailable to hear confessions
  • Told the congregation that if they have children who won’t go to Mass, don’t complain. They don’t have to go to Mass.
  • Leaves the prayers for the Pope and the archbishop out of the Eucharistic prayer

After this a good amount of people began travelling half-an-hour to the city so they can attend Mass without distraction. My intent isn’t to criticise this priest, however questionable his actions are. My intent is to prove the effect of all this confusion, mixed doctrine, and outright denial of the basic tenants of the Catholic faith which I, my family, and all my relatives grew up knowing and learning. This man, this consecrated, ordained man, needs prayer upon prayer. It is no good for me to sit here with my little blog and complain “oh he did this, he did this, he’s not Catholic.” That’s not the way to accomplish anything. I’m only young, I haven’t the experience that the nearest pine tree has in my back garden.

Could it be, that Fr J has in some way become dissatisfied with the Church, disenchanted by it’s beauty and splendour? Perhaps he feels the world is more wise, and that to resonate with a younger generation he must conform to that generation’s beliefs. To the contrary, what this generation needs more than anything is the truth: plain and simple. A lot of my friends have chosen atheism, whether it’s to be purposefully different or if it’s genuine, I won’t be able to tell you. (Most likely it’s a phase and I hope to almighty God that it is.) I’ll ask you to pray for them as well. These displays, the “contemporary ideals”, will not get them back. How often have I heard “I want Church to be Church, not what I saw last time.”

It’s easy for me to sit here and write all this; but have I any idea whatsoever what it’s like to be a priest in the modern Church? Who am I to judge the shepherd of so many, and one who has been at it for well over 30 years? I don’t wish to judge him, that is for the Blessed Trinity alone to do. What I wish to do is point out these attempts to “modernise” only proves to “de-Catholicise” what needs to be “re-Catholicised.”

So forgive me if I’ve said anything incorrect, and I ask you all to please say a prayer for the kind but somewhat confusing priest. You know, always remember to say a prayer and do penance for our priests. Thousands of souls are in their charge, and let us pray that they use their gifts wisely, piously, and in accord with God’s will.

And so, oremus

Keep them; I pray Thee, dearest Lord.
Keep them, for they are Thine
The priests whose lives burn out before
Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world,
Though from the world apart.
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure —
Shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them and comfort them in hours
Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice
For souls seems but in vain.
Keep them and  remember, Lord,
they have no one but Thee.
Yet, they have only human hearts,
With human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host,
That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed,
Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.

 

I have been blessed to have been in the presence of so many brave and holy priests. Let not a day pass without praying for the Church’s ministers, it’s consecrated and religious brothers and sisters, and all the souls in purgatory. God Bless you!

ImageBenedictum nomen Jesu

Benedictum Cor eius sacratissimum

Benedictus Sanguis eius pretiosissimus