But St. Agnes answered to him in this matter: Go from me thou fardel of sin, nourishing of evils and morsel of death, and depart, and know thou that I am prevented and am loved of another lover, which hath given to me many better jewels, which hath fianced me by his faith, and is much more noble of lineage than thou art, and of estate. He hath clad me with precious stones and with jewels of gold, he hath set in my visage a sign that I receive none other espouse but him, and hath showed me over-great treasures which he must give me if I abide with him. I will have none other spouse but him, I will seek none other, in no manner may I leave him…
Chapter 24 of the Golden Legend by Jacobus Voragine (1275), translated by William Caxton (1483) – Source Here
Today is the feast of St Agnes, the martyr of Rome, who instead of marriage devoted her life to the glory of God alone. Growing up, my grandmother had a devotion to St Agnes and taught me this wee prayer: Dear St Agnes, come to me, and keep me good, as God kept thee. I hope this helps you to keep yourself chaste and vigilant.
In celebration of this great saint, and in the spirit of general sharing the gospel as one ought, I received a small parcel in the post. Within the little box were three bundles of the Gospel of St John that came from the USA. They are published in the New International and New Living translations of the Bible in American English, however, it is good to note that Catholic editions of both translations are published in the whole canon if you with to pay. These little editions came to me for only a small donation of a few pennies (or more) and our parish priest and local TLM society were delighted to have them at the back of the church for the congregation to take home.
I also left a few copies hanging around the University. (Expect a protest in the name of discrimination against whatever happens to be in style in the name of social justice.)
Before you protest, “well this is just for the Evangelicals en masse,” hear me out. If you wish to distribute these copies of the gospel to a secular network, write the name of your local chapter of the Catholic Truth Society, FSSP, or SSPX on the interior to provoke proper interpretation. Speak with whomever you give these to and do it with charity. Click here to order, and please note that in no way am I sponsored by the Pocket Testament League, but grateful for so many wee copies of the Gospel of St John.
Many of us have enjoyed listening to Gavin Ashenden on Anglican Unscripted on YouTube. Here in episode #558 he explains why he left the Church of England to be ordained a Bishop of the Christian Episcopal Church and now why he is now entering the Catholic Church this coming Fourth Sunday of Advent. A contact in the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham tells me he does not believe Ashenden has contacted the ordinariate. In the discussion below, we hear the Roman Catholic Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury reached out and invited him.
Here is the video. As an aside, I have even been a keen viewer of Anglican TV and avid reader of Anglican.ink. Perhaps someday I will extrapolate my interest in Anglicanism as a whole, but alas, here is a great bishop coming home to the true Church of Christ.
The Right Reverend Dr Gavin Ashenden, by the request of the Bishop of Shrewsbury, and through personal prayer and meditation inspired by our patron the dear St John Henry Newman, has decided to return his gifts from God to God through His holy Church.
Because of this brave move, for a man who was consecrated a bishop in the Christian Episcopal church, former chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen, to give up his orders within Anglicanism, let us pray that he will be able to become a priest in God’s holy Church.
Therefore, let’s offer him a spiritual bouquet. Please leave your name and what prayer you’re willing to offer for his spiritual benefit. If you are willing to receive the Blessed Eucharist for his intentions, please also share that. If you do not want to share your real name, by all means use a moniker. God bless you.
All submissions will come directly to my e-mail, and from there, to Ashendon. May God Bless You. To Jesus, through Mary!
Many of you, my dear readers, may be aware of the new “Christmas” film premiering on Netflix called “A Primeira Tentação de Cristo.” The description of the film writes, “Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family.” (IMBD)
You know that I never comment on movies or popular culture, but I think this certain thing needs to be addressed. The premise is that Our Lord is mocked, being portrayed as a homosexual bringing “Orlando,” his new boyfriend, home for his thirtieth birthday party. Not even before the debut, the three magi, Melchior, Balthazar, and Caspar, are shown confused as to which star to follow leading to the birthday “party.”
Our Lady is shown as a closet smoker, having invited “Uncle Vittorio” to the party unbeknownst to St Joseph, who is portrayed as a fool and an incompetent craftsman at odds with Uncle Vittorio which is the portrayal of the first person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Father, whom Jesus is unaware is his own father. Amidst the collection of heresies and blasphemy, the Holy Ghost spared, Jesus is written as a moody youth unaware of his divinity or rather, having ‘assumed’ divinity upon the revelation of his father.
I watched this film on Netflix, thinking it was a proper biblical story (one of my favourite genres) but was sadly disappointed and appalled. Dear readers, Roman and Anglican, Eastern and Oriental, Protestant and even Mormon, stay away from this mockery of our shared faith. Can you imagine if such a production was cast around Mohammed? And this production didn’t spare just us Christians, it didn’t mock only the truth of God – it also mocked other faiths like Hinduism and Buddhism so not only do we deserve to stand in shock. The scene, the meeting of the other “gods,” equates Jesus to just a God amongst many: the ultimate heresy. Our Father is also portrayed as a vindictive and manipulative character of finite power. Jesus’s “lover” in this film turns out to be Lucifer. The forty-day-fast in the desert intends to be Jesus “finding himself.” Our Lord is also shown as a reluctant child, wanting to be a juggler and completely unaware of his destiny.
There is nothing, absolutely nothing more repulsive than a mockery of the Holy Family, the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, and the fatherhood of dear St Joseph, especially the glory and honour of Almighty God: the Blessed and Holy Trinity.
Happily, I have found a petition. Although it is a Brazilian one I doubt they would behove an English name to sign it. It has well over a million signatures and I URGE you to add your own. I have.
Pela proibição da veiculação do filme de Natal do “Porta dos fundos”, que tem como título “A primeira tentação de Cristo”. Pela remoção do filme do catálogo da Netflix e para que o Porta dos fundos seja responsabilizado pelo crime de vilipêndio à fé. Também desejamos uma retratação pública, pois ofenderam gravemente os cristãos.
-from the main page of the petition.
To ban the Christmas movie from the “Back Door,” (the production company) which is titled “The First Temptation of Christ.” For removing the film from the Netflix catalogue and for the Backdoor to be held responsible for this villainous crime of faith. We also want public retraction, as they have seriously offended Christians.
an English translation.
In Akita, Japan, Our Lady revealed that “Many men in this world afflict the Lord. I desire souls to console Him to soften the anger of the Heavenly Father.” Let us pray. Oremus.
O Jesus, my Saviour and Redeemer, Son of the living God, behold, we kneel before Thee and offer Thee our reparation; we would make amends for all the blasphemies uttered against Thy holy name, for all the injuries done to Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, for all the irreverence shown toward Thine Immaculate Virgin Mother, for all the calumnies and slanders spoken against Thy spouse, the holy Catholic and Roman Church. O Jesus, who hast said: “If you ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it to you”, we pray and beseech Thee for all our brethren who are in danger of sin; shield them from every temptation to fall away from the true faith; save those who are even now standing on the brink of the abyss; to all of them give light and knowledge of the truth, courage and strength for the conflict with evil, perseverance in faith and active charity! For this do we pray, most merciful Jesus, in Thy name, unto God the Father, with whom Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the Holy Spirit world without end. Amen. (Act of Reparation for Blasphemy)
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, who at this evening hour didst rest in the sepulchre, and didst thereby sanctify the grave to be a bed of hope to thy people: make us so to abound in sorrow for our sins, which were the cause of thy passion, that when our bodies lie in the dust, our souls may live with thee: who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God world without end. Amen. (Book of Common Prayer, Order for Compline)
As it is now the beginning of Advent and our fasting has begun, let me share with you this recipe I use to keep productive and avoid lagging. It’s just water.
Take your cup, and cut five red, five green, and five white grapes. Cut them four ways so the flavour is better. Once squeeze of lemon and lime, two sprigs of mint, and two or three cubes of watermelon. Throw in some ice and just add the water. You’ll feel refreshed and it will also cut your appetite.
My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the living God
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my meat day and night
while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?
Why art thou so full of heaviness, O my soul
and why art thou so disquieted within me?
Put thy trust in God
for I will yet give Him thanks for the help of his countenance.
Psalm 41, though listed as 42 in the Coverdale Psalter from the Book of Common Prayer as quoted here.
This psalm is the most relatable to my prayer life. Perhaps it is false humility, or an honest profession. We all struggle with doubt; the great doubt of our own mortality and the question of where is He who sustains it?
Yet that same psalm answers my very question: put my trust in God, because though I might not hear His voice now it does not mean He speaks not to me but rather than I am not listening, and the day will come when I will hear His voice, just put my trust and faith in His providence and divine countenance. I hope you repeat those words in your heart as we face the difficulties our Church has faced and continues to: the perversion of God’s holy words and Sacraments. You might as well say to me: Cameron, why then use an Anglican translation of such a beautiful psalm?
Don’t worry. I am not going anywhere. Being the recent canonization of St John Henry Newman brought about, I wish to entrust this blog henceforth to his holy protection and intercession against the smoke of Satan which has entered our blessed Communion. That it be in this day and age that a group of our Christian brethren returned to their Mother, the Church, in such a large fashion so as to be granted the protection of their beautiful tradition – our beautiful tradition, with the remission of error and restoration of truth, perhaps it be so – I know it be so, with the rest of our world.
When I was young, my Granda made it his habit to pick me up from school or meet me at the bus every day. The minute he laid eyes on me, he would always say “is í an eorna nua tú a fheiceáil!” Roughly, this means “I’m as happy to see you as I am to see the new barley!” Barley, being an ancient means of sustenance, meant that he was always happy to see my face because he loved me. In my heart, I was always as happy to see him and would repeat it. We’d then go to the shop and buy a Caramilk, or he’d teach me a new song on the walk home. I miss him. In 2011 a bad heart disease took his life, but I hope and pray that he is up singing with the blessed angels and saints before the throne of God.
As yesterday was St Valentine’s, I was provoked to ‘think a few thoughts.’ Ultimate Christianity is laying down our will before that very throne of God, ordering our lives around His command and teaching, and loving each other for the sake of God. As this is a confusing time in the world with dissension amongst clergy and liberality (ahem, heresy) protruding from clerics and bishops and cardinals like a cordyceps, perhaps before all else we have forgotten the sense of true love? We ought to embrace truth like a constant surprise and hope that the barley will spring anew, not look at it and try and twist it to our own whim. The truth is the road we walk upon in safety, though we might face a storm. Why ignore it? Why twist it to please our inferior understanding? Great saints are made for being subjected to God. We are all capable of being saints. That’s why we have the Church. I will not speak critically of any specific cardinal, bishop, priest, or pope right now in this post. Rather, I urge you to pray hard for the good cardinal, priest, layman, knight, politician, etc… and all those who climb the ladder to participate with Christ to redeem the latter.
I have written about suicide before. Many friends have tried, many friends have succeeded, but for this past month, that mortal choice has been closer to home.
A while ago my dear cousin, raised as my brother, attempted twice. His first attempt failed him: his weight hanging by the noose broke the branch. The second time, the branch also broke but he fell unconscious to the ground. We called the guards, the police, and the ambulance. That dark night the fog filled the forest and we couldn’t find him, but his six-page letter gave an answer as to “where is he?” Eventually one of the police dogs found him, and we all transported him to hospital. As he was not of age he was admitted to the children’s psychiatric ward.
It was upsetting because he had been one of my rocks throughout my course of anxiety and depression and we told each other everything, every intimate thought, all of our deeds, all of our troubles. I knew he was troubled. His parents were abusive and I often protected him to my own detriment, and he did the same for me. There were days where I’d receive fourteen to twenty calls from him, and I would answer only when able, and the guilt weighs upon me like a boulder. His faith has died, his will to go on has been snuffed out. I am his only allowed visiter at hospital: today he told me that it was selfish for us to want him to keep living. This handsome, intelligent, Dean’s list young man has been crucified to the point where he wishes to take his own life. Without thinking I went to the hospital with a set of Rosary beads, something to grant him grace – they were promptly taken from him as they were considered dangerous to his health. The vicar was up to see him and he refused to speak.
Can you please, my dear readers, take a moment to pray for him? I have not slept in about a month, and I don’t feel bad asking also for your prayers as I struggle to keep my closest family member, whom I love dearly, alive. Please pray he will cooperate with the doctors – something he refuses.