The Immaculate Conception of Mary

The Immaculate Conception
Image by Murillo (1678) via wikipedia, CCO Public Domain

December 8 is the glorious solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. It is a day that all Catholics should celebrate
with joy and thanksgiving because this amazing gift to Mary is also a gift for us!

What is the purpose of the Solemnity?…(continue reading)

Our Lady of the Window-A Vision

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The declining sun lit up her sweet-sad smile, the folds of her blue mantle glowed softly. Below, the stone-flagged nave was dappled with multi-coloured shadows. For over a thousand years her delicate, fragile eyes had looked benignly on the people who passed backward and forward through her Son’s cathedral.

 

Many of these had scurried across the shaded space ignoring her. Others, half-aware of her presence and of her beauty had snatched hasty glances at her. Occasionally one or two individuals had stopped as if transfixed and had drunk their fill of the gifts of light which flowed through her and into the hearts of each woman or man who would accept them.

 

There was no one upon whom she did not smile; the empty headed and the wise, the ambitious and the contented, children of the pharisees, heirs of the Apostles. If the smile did not benefit each equally the fault lay not with the giver but with the recipient. People who will not be smiled upon will walk in a gloom of their own making.

 

Over that same thousand years too she had gazed upon the altar at the Eastern end of the nave. There the life, death and resurrection of her beloved Son had daily been made present in the midst of a mostly indifferent world. A spiritual truth become visible, like herself, under the veil of material forms. She did not weep at the sight, her weeping was done. Now her eyes were forever fixed on Him and would be though altar, window and cathedral should pass away into destruction….click here to read more

Don’t Blame Hell on God. It was Satan’s Idea.

Devil GargoyleOne frequently asked question is: “Why would an all-loving God create Hell, let alone, send souls there?” God did not make us to suffer. True, in the Garden of Eden, there did exist temptation, represented by the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve succumbed to temptation, spurred on by Satan’s lies. Having the freedom to love means having the freedom to reject love and the source of love, God. But evil, sin and Hell are Satan’s doing not God’s

In answering the above question, we revisit an interview by the Italian blog Stanze Vaticane, with the Vatican’s Chief Exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, in which he discussed his soon to be beatified mentor, Father Candido Amantini C.P., a Master Exorcist. Fr. Amantini was Rome’s chief exorcist for thirty-six years — often seeing 60 to 80 people per day. As such, Fr. Amantini witnessed demonic possession and interacted with the devil thousands of times.  Read more …

Stop the Bishop Bashing: An Open Letter to my Fellow Catholic Bloggers

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ who blog about the Catholic faith.

During Lent of this year, I wrote a post about the problems with attitudes in Catholic blogging. It was one I was afraid to post because I did not like the idea of being confrontational. It turned out to be one of the farthest reaching posts I made. However, since I am seeing certain blogs that I once admired slip into a nasty mindset, perhaps it is time to write again on the topic. I do not write this article with the intent of singling out a particular article or blogger. Rather, I write this to alert my fellow Catholic bloggers to an attitude we should watch out for and, if necessary, correct.

I’ve seen the posts shared on Facebook. Some have impressed me enough that I follow the Facebook page, Twitter, or RSS feed. So long as one defends the Catholic faith and show love for the Church established by Our Lord, all is well. Sometimes that defense of the faith involves speaking about misrepresentations of the faith from members of the Church. That is understandable. That is permissible—provided the correction is done in love and with the due respect for the office the person holds and gives obedience to those in persons of authority.

But some of these blogs have gone from showing love and charity for our fellow Catholics to the old and wearisome sport of “Bishop bashing.”

(Continued HERE)

Sonnet for the Assumption

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Far, far from us you do seem to fly
No more can we share a loving meal
Your vision is now banished from the eye
That kind, soft touch of yours we cannot feel

Are we always to be so sore bereft?
Abandoned here below weeping alone .
Unconsoled. ever in grief to be left
To be dark, in that place where light has shone

But it is not really so, my love
Gone in seeming you only seem to go .
On great ardour’s wings you soar high sweet dove
Then plunging in my heart your torrents flow.

We assumed you had left us mother divine
But, ah dear Mary, forever you are mine.

Click here to see my blog Catholic Scot

The Journey & Other Poems

The Journey

You’re in front of me
And I don’t see you. Beside
Me and I don’t know.
Fill my emptiness with you.
Touch my darkness with your light

With longing I search
For you. In hope I travel.
Towards or Away?
How can I know or be sure?
I long for your hidden smile.

Will I find you, see
You, know you? Elusive love,
Yet faithful lover.
Journey’s end and beginning
Pilgrim heartsease and hearts wound.

Of this I am sure,
The anchor to which I cling,
That which sustains me,
If I fail, when I fail, you
Will find me. And we will kiss.

Colijn de Coter The Mourning Mary Magdalene

Pacing the Cloister

Pacing the cloister
A thousand years of silence
Dust motes in the sun

Click here to read more

Becoming Whole

wholenss

We never really like to think about how our actions affect others.  We tend to think that in most situations we are calm, cool, collected and right!  We are, after all; human!

In my last reflection, I talked about how to detach from the Judas’s in our lives from the perspective of how these relationships affected us.

Today, we will reflect on how our behaviors may be Judas’s for someone else.  I would like to point out, that these types of relationships offer something for each person involved.  So the relationships that we feel are disordered are also cause for disorder in the other person’s life too.

We often do not think about it in this way, as relationships are rarely healthy.  If they were then we would have world peace. Continue Reading

Moral Abyss: The Limits of #LoveWins

Carlos McKnight, 17, of Washington, left, and Katherine Nicole Struck, 25, of Frederick, Md., hold flags in support of gay marriage outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday June 26, 2015. A major opinion on gay marriage is among the remaining to be released before the term ends at the end of June. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Since the 1960’s the West has increasingly become gripped by a new zeitgeist which might be summarised as ‘everyone should be free to do whatever they want so long as it doesn’t directly harm anyone else.‘ Some might add ‘without their consent‘ on the grounds that if people wish to be harmed why should anyone else stop that? However that might be the shorter form has all the force of an apparent truism. What reasonable person would unnecessarily restrict the freedom of another? Surely only the authoritarian or the bigot could oppose such an obviously fair proposition.

On closer examination though the idea can be seen to contain fatal flaws. It proceeds from an extreme individualism which holds that the individual has absolute priority over the family or society such that indirect harm to these things is considered to be less important than the frustration experienced by an individual prevented from fulfilling her or his desires. Moreover it assumes that the meaning of the word ‘harm’ is self-evident but that is far from being true as debates around issues like abortion, euthanasia or the compulsory wearing of motorbike helmets testify. The combination of these two errors is toxic and capable of producing great harm before the zeitgeist runs its course.

To take the second point first. In the West pluralism is normative, a thousand flowers bloom a thousand schools of thought contend. What this means is that there is no unified moral consensus nor is there an agreed basis upon which one can be formulated. The previous era was united around the propositions of Christianity a religion which is increasingly being rejected and attacked by Westerners. Nonetheless nothing has emerged which can both replace its moral formulae and command near universal support. Definitions of ‘harm’ produced by that system remain the default ones but non-Christians do not necessarily have any coherent arguments to defend these definitions which seem to persist merely by force of habit. Against this individuals and groups whose desires or appetites were suppressed or disapproved of under the  Ancien Régime can advance their case, fine-tuned to speak the language of the zeitgeist, and those forces that feel uncomfortable about the demands can command no intellectually respectable arguments to counter them….click here to read more