In You


In You, O Woman full of Grace,
the angelic choirs, and the human race,
all creation rejoices.

O sanctified Temple,
mystical Paradise,
and glory of Virgins.

In You, O Woman full of Grace,
all creation rejoices.
all praise be to You.


Escaping the Meantime

We are all in a rush. A rush to grow up, to get through life, to fall guilty of complacency and absurdity in our practise and belief. The world presents itself a harsh friend; you try and die as quickly as possible. We kill each other quickly enough, due to the stress and personalized hegemony we try to place on ourselves and other people. We can’t control what we wish to keep reigns out, and therefore despair and anxiety upsets what ought to be our naturally cheerful, patient, or serene disposition.

Truly, the meantime becomes our enemy. Our enemy we cannot escape, but we are not God – we are not divine – contrary to our desire to be God. The desire to control. The desire to dominate. Only the spiritually mature can escape this, and it is through the universal call to holiness by which we loosen the shackles that keep us bound in depression, fear, and anger. You see: we are not of the world. Christians, by virtue of their baptism, break a bond with evil and death and the Church – the Mystical Body of the Saviour, nourishes and feeds us as we come to serve and possess knowledge of the Divine as we take part in Him, the lover and nourisher of our soul. The creator of all things, ‘visible and invisible.’ 

Keep that in mind. Life is not meaningless, it is not a waste of time, and we ought not to rush through it entirely. Remember your maker, who desired you in this world so dearly that He thought you up and put you down on earth. He created you because He loves you. He needs you to sow your roots, and groom your garden.

Jeremiah 1:5 states, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” This is the truth. Every day each and every one of us is awoken by the sun, and the memory of His unfailing, everlasting love.

And so therefore, waste not the meantime.

Beauty, Past Change

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

The famous Romantic poet, a contemporary of the illustrious Christina Rossetti, and convert received into the Church by Bl John Cardinal Henry Newman. This priest lead a troubled life, and fell into melancholy later on: but he never abandoned the faith nor fell into despair.


Medicine for the Young

What we need most in order to make progress is to be silent before this great God with our appetite and with our tongue, for the language he best hears is silent love.

Who said that? St John of the Cross, the counter-reformer whose writings many Catholics have come to love. I resign myself to complete humility before the sight and gaze of these greats, these treasures of our tradition. I, myself, have a heavy cross. I often meditate on the more sanctified souls – how great then do they bear the wood of the cross? I say this because we have forgotten the way, in this world, to understand how badly we need the mercy of God!

Look at the youth: look at our inheritance, our younger generations. Look at whom we have to bear our torch. The world is in complete misery, and young men and women who have been brought up either anti-theist or without any faith have no means of coping with the anxiety of this world. They have no reason, religious nor existential, to make a leap of faith. Instead, the rates of suicide go up – why not? They’ve no reason to be here. One switch of a blade and it’s all over. Binge-drinking? Why not? There’s no spiritual nature to the cleanliness of our body and soul, no consequence for our actions. All we must do is carry the stone of this existence until it’s over! Why not escape while we can? Do a few drugs, lift our brains to Ganja, metaphorically if not spiritually. Nihilism has crept in, taken over, and redefined existence in the modern eye.

So therefore, the human condition makes no progress but regresses into a primitive state, perhaps one before man became respondent. Did not our loving Creator form mankind out of clay, in His image? Is this not the greatest act of love? But we live under the conditions of the greatest act of disobedience, destroyed by Christ on the cross. We are each cleansed of the structure of original sin at our baptisms, yet as humans we recognise our weakness and susceptibility to giving in to that which we know is bad for us. When we lack faith, we self-medicate, and turn into robotic things freely choosing our poisons when we know there’s something better in the world. We are rowdy, bashful, loud.

Our ears are closed.

Our lips constantly apart.

We crave nothing but what satisfies our heart for the mean time, until when its over we crave another temporary satisfaction.

We end up hating ourself, unaware of infinite mercy and forgiveness that God extends to every creature on the face of His green Earth.

He forgives us for forgetting the sovereignty, He forgives us for rejection our dominion. He forgives us for all that we repent for, and He takes us and hides us deep within His wounds until we go kicking and and leap out. We can do this a thousand times, and He will forgive us because He never tires of forgiving.

Aren’t we lucky? Don’t we have a vast and immense privilege to be children of Love itself?

Equal to the Apostles

Today we honour St Lydia of Thyatira, a woman found in the Book of Acts.

And upon the sabbath day, we went forth without the gate by a river side, where it seemed that there was prayer; and sitting down, we spoke to the women that were assembled. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, one that worshipped God, did hear: whose heart the Lord opened to attend to those things which were said by Paul. And when she was baptised, and her household, she besought us, saying: If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.  Acts 13-15


She is known as the ‘seller of purpler’ or the ‘dyer of purple’ and the Church has graciously named her patron of cloth-dyers. Why do I find the story of St Lydia so provocative? Well, the eastern and oriental Churches (our twenty-three sui iuris particular churches, as well as the Orthodox) have a special title for her, being “Equal to the Apostles.” The effect of grace on a willing heart is miraculous, and we should pray to St Lydia that God will grant us that grace: to love God with an intensity that she did while on Earth, so that we could become saints like her and spend eternity in Heaven.

Frightened and Offended

Something about the Scottish Church (the actual Church, not the Presbyterian conglomerate) that amazes me is their immense devotion to orthodoxy, or at least an attempt to be. His Grace Philip Tartaglia has been published in the latest online edition of  First Things, which I highly recommend. It is one of the best treatises in support and protection of the priesthood. He writes,

…the Church’s transcendent orientation fascinates our culture. Holiness offends and frightens people. As an old translation of the New Testament put it, when the angel of the Lord came to them, the shepherds in their fields were “sore afraid.” Holiness also arrests and romances. We flee from God, yet we crave to come into his presence.

While I won’t delve into the priesthood yet in this point, something else raises in my mind. His Grace points out something interesting: ‘holiness offends and frightens people.’ 

Why does it? Now, I won’t go full on Zizek with you; any time we encounter the truth it offends and disturbs the illusion of our day-to-day lives. When we receive the Eucharist, some may break into tears or humble ourselves or some might not even understand what’s happening due to ill catechesis. But if we truly knew what was occurring, we would die on the spot of happiness and piety! Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen wrote something like that, and I can’t find the quote.

The “real” is shocking, and God is the highest love, truth, devotion. God is omniscient. Perhaps we ought to return to greater reverence, greater repentance, all in recognition of our sins and offences. God loves us so very much, and is closer than our very breath! His love is rapturing, and we see this in the saints – St Teresa flew into ecstasy, St Padre Pio bilocated, St Francis received the stigmata. We have to be saints! We need be frightened and offended, so that we might further the call to universal holiness.