Friday, 30 November 2007

Gosh an award!

White Stone Name Seeker has bestowed the Emmanuel Award on me. I'm flattered and it will reside in my sidebar till Candlemas! Now I've got to think who to award it to, Jackie Parkes, Autumn Rose and WSNS herself are all taken so it must be Mac and a virtual one to La Mamma, her blog may be down but she's still very much with us!

Incidentally the wonderful gargoyle is from the Roving Medievalist, who is back on form with a particularly hilarious post about us bloggers.

Friday, 23 November 2007

A self indulgent posting

I couldn't resist posting this sublime picture from the blog of Archistrategos.

Also, taking my lead from Andrew at Unam Sanctam, I too have decided to publish some very personal "thank yous".

Thank you, gentle grandparents, such incredible memories and lives and such an inspiration.

Thank you Sr M-C, for being there at the important moments of my life.

Thank you to the many memorable ladies who looked after me when I was young.

Thank you to the priests and religious who have guided and strengthened my faith.

Thank you Eric Laithwaite for inspiring my adventures in physics.

Thank you Godparents for the unconditional love and happy memories.

Thank you H Y for teaching me how to fight.

Thank you MCFC for making me appreciate the happiness that can be found in failure and the sadness attached to winning.

Thank you blogger world and you, dear bloggers for keeping me sane (and occasionally making me furious).

Thank you, dearest husband for being my soulmate and changing my life.

I also give thanks for my health, my strength and my patience.

Deo Gratias

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

You may find the photo distressing

Is it wrong to get nostalgic for the days when teeth had personality? In the 70s wasn't this man a bit of a freak for having a perfect set of tombstones? Now, everyone wants teeth like that.

Donny Osmond

Besides, I just don't find perfect teeth at all appealing.

English Teeth, English Teeth!
Shining in the sun
A part of British heritage
Aye, each and every one.
English Teeth, Happy Teeth!
Always having fun
Clamping down on bits of fish
And sausages half done.
English Teeth! HEROES' Teeth!
Hear them click! and clack!
Let's sing a song of praise to them -
Three Cheers for the Brown Grey and Black.

Spike Milligan

Besides, didn't our noble PM somehow become less convincing when his teeth got the Osmond treatment?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Random thoughts.....

I'm totally unsure who I am going to vote for and feel the only way I can participate in the democratic process, (something I feel I should do) is to spoil my ballot paper. I'll just have to hope they don't introduce electronic ballots.

Why have medical professionals decided a 90+ year old lady I know, who has always been a heavy drinker (she is certainly alcohol dependent), should be made to stop? This is a very risky business and the benefits of this intervention are a mystery to me.

The psychological effects of using the contraceptive pill are not discussed or even acknowledged by most of the medical profession. The following scenario, however is one I know many women relate to: on the pill, enter in to a stable relationship, marry, stay on pill, decide on having children, come off the pill, neither partner knows how to cope with the emotional rollercoaster of having the natural hormone cycle in charge again, much marital strife, arguments, distress, couples moving apart from each other, don't recognise the person they married.....

Those lovely frosty mornings have seen off the last of the roses that were quite happily blooming in the garden up till then. I hope the weather doesn't warm up again, it is so refreshing to witness the seasons move on, something that hasn't happened much in recent years.

Has anybody else seen the delicate way blackbirds eat windfall apples, it is in such contrast to their gross manners when eating the worms and slugs in the spring? They eat them the way children will pick at a Jaffa cake, systematically and symmetrically picking off the tastiest bits until there is nothing left.

If we have to have a national curriculum, surely the only thing that should be on it is Eschatology?

Sunday, 11 November 2007

At Calvary Near the Ancre

One ever hangs where shelled roads part.
In this war He too lost a limb,
But his disciples hide apart;
And now the soldiers bear with Him.

Near Golgotha strolls many a priest,
And in their faces there is pride
That they were flesh-marked by the Beast
By whom the gentle Christ's denied.

The scribes on all the people shove
And bawl allegiance to the state,
But those who love the greater love
Lay down their life; they do not hate.

Wilfred Owen

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

You may be interested

There is a delightful blog, by a lady called Chris Laning, devoted virtually entirely to medieval rosaries. It is a mine of useful information. She hasn't posted much recently, the reason being that she has been producing a monograph on the subject. I suggest you take a look at her blog, and her monograph (which I intend to buy).

I'm not really concerned about the "Catholicity" of her blog, but I do believe she loves the rosary and has done much to promote it, which can't be bad.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

To boldly state...

I quite like Star Trek (TOS and TNG), but it is only fiction.

A Muslim of my acquaintance who knew of both my scientific and religious backgrounds asked me why I couldn't state with certainty that aliens don't exist. He said his faith allowed him to state with certainty that aliens don't exist. He implied that as a Christian I should be stating with certainty that aliens don't exist, somehow in his eyes our Christian notion of redemption through our God in Three Persons relies on the uniqueness of creation on earth. I was disturbed by this and remain so, particularly when the matter is left open to speculation by the religious hierarchy. A member of the Vatican Observatory has even produced a pamphlet speculating about alien baptism. Guy Consolmango SJ (the author of this pamphlet)has written probably the best ever book for introducing people to astronomy, Turn Left at Orion, but his speculations about ETs leave me cold, I wish he hadn't bothered.

Facts have to be faced, there is NO scientific evidence for the existence of aliens. We know the sun is a star and there are plenty of other stars out there each with planets but our configuration of rocky and gassy planets appears to be unique. Life could not feasibly form on a gassy planet. However our rocky planet seem to need the presence of a large gas giant, Jupiter, to protect us from the majority of possible meteorite impacts. This sort of arrangement is not found elsewhere (yet). There are no alien broadcasts out there and no real evidence of alien contact, though it must be remembered that a radio broadcast from a fictitious planet orbiting say the north star (Polaris) would take 430 years to get to us. Most stars are considerably further away than that.

The earth is a very special, unique yet insignificant place and to paraphrase Wisdom 11: 23 to God the whole world is like the grain of sand that tips the balance or the drop of the morning dew that falls down upon the earth. Scripture points to the small and insignificant as being of the most importance to God. Is not the Magnificat Mary's song of realisation that she is just such a grain of sand to tip the balance?

To me the beauty of the cosmos becomes more awesome when we see how small, insignificant and unique we are as humans and as individuals created by God who hast ordered all things in measure, and number and weight. Even if we are not alone, God's love for us is beyond our understanding, quoting from Wisdom 11 again:

For thou lovest all things that are, and hatest none of the things which thou hast made: for thou didst not appoint or make anything , hating it. And how could any thing endure, if thou wouldst not, or be preserved, if not called by thee? But thou sparest all: because they are thine, O Lord, who lovest souls.

The Hubble Deep Field view, looking further into space than any other image.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Blessed Matt Talbot

WSNS asked if I had any good information on Matt Talbot for someone in AA. I have a very old (20p) CTS pamphlet "The Story of Venerable Matt Talbot" and an excellent book published by Veritas called "Remembering Matt Talbot" by Mary Purcell.

Blessed Matt Talbot is a great helper and I know he brings much support to relatives of alcoholics who pray to him, I can testify to this personally. I just wonder whether some recovering alcoholics don't get a little jealous of his success or perturbed by his mortifications. Alcoholics don't often relate well to each others' addictions "yes, but his problem isn't like mine", or "he can't really have had a drink problem if he was able to stop like that".

I'd personally suggest that you go "straight to the top" with this lady and tell her to place her whole life, not just her problems in the loving, open arms of the Sacred Heart. There is nothing more loving and Catholic than that!

Maxim of St Bonaventure from St Anthony's Treasury

I will take my rest in the Sacred Heart of my Saviour. I will there watch, read, play, eat, drink, and treat all my affairs. I will there speak to His Heart, and shall obtain from Him whatever I please.

WSNS: Reply in the combox with your details (I won't publish them) and I'll post you the CST pamphlet for a borrow, if you want.