He that was called Judas

Yesterday as I was walking down the road, a man came over to me, related to me as if he were an uncle that was always there yet pays no blood relation to me, was particularly ossified and came over and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. As if he bathed in it, the smell of strong illegal whiskey surrounded him, something we aren’t quite unfamiliar with. The ocean waves washed over the shore and the salt air blew in, filtering out the inebriation. I talked to him for a bit and he flicked a few rocks over the hill, frightening a chorus of birds, laughed, and walked back to his house. I soon figured it out: this was purely symbolic.

Of course the act wasn’t random, why today was I getting a kiss on the cheek from a man who usually didn’t go in ten inches of your personal space let alone grab on to you?

As he was yet speaking, behold a multitude; and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus, for to kiss him. And Jesus said to him: Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss?

The passage above is from the gospel of St Luke, of the twenty second chapter. I’m not, most certainly, the Son of Man, nor a saint, nor any pious subject of the devoted author’s pen. But why did this happen to me just days after a great slap in the face from nature was given to me? Last weekend proved difficult to me, and it really broke me down emotionally. Yesterday, my closest friend also fell asleep at the wheel and drove into a hill by the post office, and yet is afraid to still drive. An ongoing conflict is still advancing here in my own house, of which my part is minor but I’m caught in the middle of. Seldom comes the peace I’ve been so bloody used to. Was that the betrayal? Or was that God giving me, as he does to each one of us, a cross to bear? Or is it, on the other hand, myself going crackers!? It feels as if the world looked at me and said “HA! You idjit! Enough of the foolish happiness, to Hell you go!” then twisted itself out of proportion.

Maybe I am just losing it.

Confusing the Confused

Certain moments cloud our judgement: the weather, our emotional state, whatever it is, we know it happens. Sometimes it last a minute, a second, other times a lifetime. We all know these people, or we’re one of them ourself: scattered bits of mind everywhere, rather than collected in one brain. I’m like this. I forget everything, misplace everything, don’t hear certain things I’m supposed to. Now imagine how dangerous this can be, spiritually.

If we forget to pray, we also forget humility. If we forget to pray, we do more than forget humility, also missing the great graces that come from prayer and the intercession of the saints, the help of the angels. It’s said the God protects and provides regardless of our faithfulness, and whilst this is a little bit true since He is all love: “Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave” (1 Kings 8:56).

Prayer is the expression of our believe, the Rosary is our faith in the Blessed Mother, the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the faith of our Blessed Saviour’s Divine Mercy. So too are our offerings to the saints and our little prayers to St Anthony and St Therese, these are the words of assurance and love towards the great ones that stand before the throne of the Lamb. Now, with this little charismatic paragraph coming to an end, give me a chance to throw the sway back to where I began.

Confusion, often times if not most, really leads us off the track and into a deeper pool of misery, but often enough we never realise we’re there. Confusion doesn’t discriminate, it hits every age and physical appearance. An example of this is maths, where you go in understanding that x+x=x^2 but come out without a clue of how x=5(3-7x)/3m-12(45+4m). You start at the x+x easily enough, and naturally that’s x^2, but within ten minutes you’re in a foreign land without any recollection of how you got there nor the local language, yet we play along and pretend to understand then fail the exam (fingers pointing at me).

Faith works very similarly. We start with waking up at five in the morning, saying our prayers and getting breakfast. By “elevenses” you’re caffeine wasted and ready to lay down for an hour or two, then you forget all about the only Mass your parish offers that Saturday vigil, or you forget about Sunday and drink an ungodly sum of liquor the night before. It’s simple, yet these examples all include the wilful submission and that’s not usually clear when one is confused.

I talk about this today because I’m genuinely concerned about two things, one being the discussion around the re-admittance of the divorced to Holy Communion, and the nature of marriage itself. You know the details, and if you don’t please see here and here.

We need to pray, pray for Cardinal Kasper and for His Holiness the Pope. There’s the number one priority. Prayer.

Exultet

Thank God for good tea and good friends. Where would our culture be were it not for tea? “Come in luv, siddown for a cuppa tea!”, or “com’ovah for a cuppa tea and cake.” They’re the most comforting words in the human language to me. Unrelated but it’s a statement.

It’s the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross tomorrow, today, naturally, being the vigil. I’d like to offer you a reflection or a meditation of the Holy Cross, not through the insufferable words of my mouth but from the eloquent words of St Ignatius

If God gives you an abundant harvest of trials, it is a sign of great holiness which He desires you to attain. Do you want to become a great saint? Ask God to send you many sufferings. The flame of Divine Love never rises higher than when fed with the wood of the Cross, which the infinite charity of the Saviour used to finish His sacrifice. All the pleasures of the world are nothing compared with the sweetness found in the gall and vinegar offered to Jesus Christ. That is, hard and painful things endured for Jesus Christ and with Jesus Christ.

trinitas

Thank you, Resistance

On the sidebar, you’ll find a link to Rorate Caeli, one of the most in-depth news blogs in regards to the goings-on inside and outside the Church. Their latest post reads:

Rorate is able to confirm that Cardinal Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will receive in the offices of his Congregation in Rome the superior-general of the Society of Saint Pius X (FSSPX / SSPX), Bp. Bernard Fellay, later this month (or on another day in early fall, the date is uncertain).
 
The way this high-level meeting became public is unusual and incomprehensible as a media operation: there is a discussion forum founded and led by a Frenchwoman (pseudonym “Gentiloup”) who is a regular mass-goer in SSPX chapels – it is a forum dedicated to those who call themselves the “Resistance” (that is, those inside or outside the SSPX who are against all or most contacts with the Holy See). On Sunday, August 31, 2014, in the SSPX priory of Fabrègues (in the Languedoc, southern France), Fr. Louis-Marie Carlhian announced to the faithful that such a meeting would take place on September 21, and “Gentiloup” rushed to announce it in the “Resistance” Forum. The specific date was later modified to an “uncertain” day. Days later, it was posted at Tradinews, a French traditional news blog. From then on, it became widespread.
 
What will happen? Who knows? Maybe it’s just a first cordial meeting (the first official one) between the two men since Müller was named Prefect. Maybe it includes additional talks. Maybe more. Maybe all details are set beforehand. Or not. Maybe it will eventually include a meeting with someone else higher. Maybe not. 
 
So maybe this is big news. Or maybe not… 
123jtbSo, my dear readers, it’s time to get out the Rosaries and novenas and pray, pray, pray hard. Don’t get excited, don’t define your expectations, but pray that God’s will may be done.

Support the Mission

I meant to do this earlier!

You might be familiar with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a Society of Apostolic Life dedicated to of course, Our Lady and Our Lord. They have a mission in Gabon, as well as in other parts of Africa. As soon as I found this out, it has been my mission to support them and spread the word.

Click that photo, and it’ll bring you to their Twitter. I was surprised to find out they even had missions in Africa, and I think it’s something grand. These priests go down, evangelise and assist in helping those who need it, excluding no one. The ICRSS offers education and a beautiful Mass, as well as clothing and food. I urge you today, out of the kindness of your heart, to go over and donate to help in this Divine Assistance.

Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae!

The Angelus of the Most Blessed Mother for the Persecuted Christians in the Middle East, for the Anglican Ordinariate, and for the Faith in Japan and Korea.

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen.

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt amongst us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of
our death. Amen.

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen.

 

Social Justice post

With news from good ol’ county Armagh ta-day. A certain high school, known with renown for it’s love of the marginalised – the persecuted LGBT people in our society, has decided to take the courageous step and meet at the Pride parade, as if it were the very thing they should do to promote Catholic values and commitments.

Sponsa. Capite nobis vulpes parvulas quæ demoliuntur vineas: nam vinea nostra floruit.

Now, call me stupid, please go ahead and do it, but gay pride has not a single thing to do with Catholic values.

Pride in oneself, in ones abilities, are. To support against the marginalisation of LGBT people, is as well. The affirmation of the sin of pre-marital, same-sex sexual acts of any time, isn’t. You can argue that Pride isn’t about that. I’d listen to that argument too, and I wouldn’t say anything because I haven’t got a clue about what Pride is to begin with. I only know what I’ve experienced first-hand.

To be quite honest, one of my closest friends is homosexual. I’d support him in anything he did, help him along in school, take him in were he ever out of the house for some reason. However, he knows I will not be on board with, in any circumstances, a same-sex relationship, and he understands why. Education breeds understanding, as the progressive crowd likes to say.

What the group of students did here was approach the issue of LGBT rights from the modern, progressive, “common” angle. As Catholics, it’s quite important that we are familiar with our own faith and dis ain’t how it’s done.

It’s true that we live in a sex-obsessed culture, and on all sides of every political spectrum, it is the main choice of conversation as of these past few months. The pride parades that I’ve witnessed were a show of a few different things. The biggest aspect was the promotion of sex-based love, that however you choose to have a relationship, the most important thing was good sex and common sexual interests. I know for a damn sure fact that just like heterosexuals, homosexuals are no different: they need to be loved, and to love, and sex isn’t the main priority. I also know for sure that we can’t group people into two groups as homo/hetero-sexuals. This is the reductionist terminology that the Church warns us against.

L – lesbian, G – gay, B – bi, T – trans, and the rest of the LGBT alphabet of people have been denied the opportunity to be treated as individuals. A boy that is attracted to other boys is seen as a “gay”, and likewise the girl that is attracted to other girls as a “lesbian”, and a boy or girl that has an attraction to both sexes as a “bisexual.” From what I’ve seen first hand, especially in my age group, we are defined by our sexuality alone. What Tristian does is so gay, because he’s gay. What Aisleen does is even gayer, because she’s such a lesbian. It’s no longer about the beauty of Tristian’s personality, or Aisleen’s sense of humour.

That is the first error that I’ve seen at these parades. The reduction of men and women into three, two, or seven letter words. Their souls and individual personality are completely neglected. As Catholics, it is our duty and our joy to “love one another, as we love ourselves.” We wouldn’t want to be kicked out of our homes and thrown out into the streets for professing to be a Catholic by our parents, and in like manner, nor do boys and girls who are attracted to the same sex.

We must always remember that we are our own people, we all are created unique in the likeness and image of God. There is no “a” breed, “b” breed, “c” breed. We are different, yet united in faith and in humanity. What’s more amazing is that we are united in that Christ himself died so that we would sin no more – his sacrifice for our debts, because God loved us so very much. Yet here we are, going against His will in the name of “promoting Catholic values.”

The choice made by this high school to allow their Catholic school to be represented here is counter-productive, because it doesn’t promote the authentic message of Christianity. How? I just explained that to you. The authentic message is that God is love, and the Lord himself has said:

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and thy whole soul and thy whole mind. This is the greatest of the commandments, and the first. And the second is this: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

The regular idea of a Catholic school is to foster a great love of God, and love of neighbour, and knowledge of our faith. The catechism reads:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfil God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

I know I might be preaching to the choir, but it’s important to talk about this from my perspective. I’m going into my last year of high school. If we loved our neighbour as ourself, it would pain us to see them fall into sin. If my friend, who I love as the best friend I have EVER had, were to fall into this sin I wouldn’t be seven seconds out the door to give him a hug and ask him to reconsider – talk to him genuinely, truthfully, ask him to help me understand, and for him to understand me. I’d do anything for to make him happy as he could be, and that trap of false happiness is an easy one. I’ve fallen into it, and do, on a regular basis.

I’m not sure who is to be blamed – the administration or the students. It’s the teacher who is supposed to promote a moral education – this isn’t happening. We need to say a big prayer for this High School – a daily, nightly, afternoonly prayer for the students and teachers of this otherwise exemplary institution. Have you seen their A-grades? I’m jealous!

Dear Lady of Knock, Queen of all Ireland, pray for us that have recourse to Thee – and pray for St Paul’s. We should offer up a sacrifice for all of Ireland both Northern and the republic. We cannot pray too much, it’s impossible so ya know.