Wednesday, 30 January 2008


My place of work has blocked all blogs from blogger, but not posh blogs wordpress and the like, however I can still post and add comments....what a wierd filter!

What is a girl supposed to do in her lunchbreak when she can't see what you are all up to?

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Book meme

I thought I'd take up the reading meme of Jaimie and Tom in Vegas. Consider yourself tagged if you wish!

1) Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

"Eats Shoots and Leaves" by Lynne Truss, I know good grammar is important by I'm not sure I want to be told what to do by ol' Sally Jockstrap.

2) If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

A smoke infused afternoon tea with Sherlock Holmes, Don Camillo and Gandalf.

3) (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

I'm not bothered about the nice grave, but if I had to suffer a particular author before I could die, it would have to be Dickens; I don't like his characters (I find them all lacking in any real depth)and I don't like his pompous attitude (takes one to know one, I hear you say!). I'd probably struggle most with, Tale of Two Cities or Hard Times.

4) Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

I've sniffed at Hawking' Brief History of Time, but never read it. I've never been near the Da Vinci Code, but I'm very good at bluffing that I have!

5) You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP).

Assuming my VIP was somebody important, I'd get them to read The Prisoners Dilemma by William Poundstone. It is a biography of the colourful physicist John Von Neumann, an explanation of Game Theory and an overview of the development of post war political and economic thinking. It is a very important book wrapped up in a jolly good read. We live in a world that runs on the logic of Game Theory and it is slowly unraveling.

6) A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Finnish: So that I can read their national epic the Kalevala in its native tongue. It is a beautiful language to listen to and inspired Tolkien's elvish.

7) A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth

8) I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

G. K. Chesterton

9) That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leather bound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

Downstairs with french windows overlooking a large but scruffy garden containing two wise and thoughtful donkeys, ceiling to floor books (old, new, scruffy and weighty)and one of those sliding ladders to reach the top shelves, a multi-fuel stove, good chairs, room for my husband's books as well as my own and somewhere comfortable for my three bears to sit and think. My books would be technical physics books, popular science books, the complete works of Smollett and Trollope, poetry, sagas, art and architecture books, theology books and lives and writings of the saints, anarchocatholicism books, medieval history books and maps galore.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Every Child Matters?

The government in the UK has an ambitious programme of meddling in all aspects of child development to achieve the following aims for children.

(1) Be healthy
(2) Stay safe
(3) enjoy and achieve
(4) Make a positive contribution
(5) achieve economic well-being

Am I the only one who reads this list with anger? They obviously see children as little, isolated, emotionally shallow, consumers. Even in our totally secular society, there should be some mention of family/community, relationships with the elderly and people across the economic divide, awareness of their environment, literacy, emotional development, maturity and a growing sense of what adulthood entails. Not that I'm one for government meddling in such matters, though there should always be a safety net for the most vulnerable. I just find the document so horrifically bland and unloving of the very individuals they claim to be serving.

I'm also too cynical, I'm sure there are some in the corridors of power who will interpret the aims as follows:

(1) Be healthy (wear a condom)
(2) Stay safe (wear a condom)
(3) Enjoy and achieve (wear a condom- its all about pleasure isn't it?)
(4) Make a positive contribution (get your mates to wear condoms)
(5) Achieve economic well-being (wear a condom and make sure you don't have children)

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Painfully True

Some priggish little clerk will say, "I have reason to congratulate myself that I am a civilized person, and not so bloodthirsty as the Mad Mullah." Somebody ought to say to him, "A really good man would be less bloodthirsty than the Mullah. But you are less bloodthirsty, not because you are more of a good man, but because you are a great deal less of a man. You are not bloodthirsty, not because you would spare your enemy, but because you would run away from him."
-- G. K. Chesterton, All Things Considered

from Phatcatholic- Nicholas Hardesty

Virtual Holiday...

Just taking myself of a virtual holiday Where would you go...?

Isle of Mull

Loch na Keal, Mull
Loch na Keal

Ulva- Mull

Treshnish Isles -Mull

Rannoch Moor- My favourite place in the whole world!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Prayer for Church Unity

I composed this prayer a few years back. I like repetitious, rhythmic, prayer, so it suits me. I thought you may be interested. I am constantly inspired by the first 3 chapters of Revelation.

Prayer for the Church

To be said on a Franciscan Crown rosary (if you have one handy)and based on Rev1:9 – 3:22

Our Father...

Hail Mary...


The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp-stands are the seven churches themselves.

“I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite” Isaiah 57:15

We pray for the Church, we pray that love is always at the forefront of all the actions of the Church. We pray that its members are an outward sign of this love in a world grown tired.
Our Father… (x1)
Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (10 times)

“I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite”
Glory be…

We pray for the persecuted Church. We pray for our brothers and sisters who suffer greatly on account of their faith. We pray with humility to be united with them in prayer and thanksgiving for the Mercy of God.

Our Father…(x1)
Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (10 times)

“I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite”
Glory be…

We pray for those whose faith may be known only to God. We pray also for those who live in the midst of the filth of the “cities without God”, but who yearn to do His will. We pray they find true consolation and the courage of true conviction. May they resist all idolatry.

Our Father…(x1)
Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (10 times)

“I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite”
Glory be…

We pray for the tolerant Church. We pray for those who try to find compromise and reconciliation amongst great differences within and without the communion. May those healing the wounds of division not be drawn away from the narrow path of truth towards moral relativism and worse.

Our Father…(x1)
Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (10 times)

“I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite”
Glory be…

We pray for the sleeping Church. May our brothers and sisters “make the best of the present time, for it is a wicked age”. May we never shamefully pray for more priests without first praying for our own deepening involvement in the Church and the Word of God.

Wake up, sleeper
rise from the dead
and Christ will shine on you.
Ephesians 5:14-17

Our Father…(x1)
Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (10 times)

“I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite”
Glory be…

We pray for those who live quietly and unassumingly by the Law. We pray that our love of the Law does not cause us to be judgemental of those who do not live by it. May we live in such a way that we can not be accused of hypocrisy.

Our Father…(x1)
Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (10 times)

“I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite”
Glory be…

We pray for the lukewarm Church. The Church grown materially wealthy by the fruits of its labours. May they not deaden it to the spiritual fruits of its forefathers and martyrs for the faith. May we have the courage to challenge this lack of conviction in ourselves and in those around us. May we use this material wealth wisely and in solidarity with the poor and oppressed.

Our Father…(x1)
Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches (10 times)

“I live in the holy heights, but I am with the contrite and humble, to revive the spirit of the humble and revive the heart of the contrite”
Glory be…

Prayer for the Pope (from ACN)

Jesus, only way to the Father
Truth and Life of man,
You promised to guide your Church
until the end of time.
Now you have chosen our Holy Father Benedict
as a sure rock and universal pastor.
Grant him the fullness of your Holy Spirit;
may he confirm us in our Faith
and lead us together in love and hope.
Through the intercession of Mary,
Virgin and Mother,
unite us with the successor of Peter
and renew us in each Eucharist,
so that we may console the persecuted,
live in solidarity with the poor and suffering,
and proclaim your death and resurrection
to all nations on earth.


This is funny!

What Tigerish Waters Means

You are a seeker. You often find yourself restless - and you have a lot of questions about life.
You tend to travel often, to fairly random locations. You're most comfortable when you're far away from home.
You are quite passionate and easily tempted. Your impulses sometimes get you into trouble.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are deeply philosophical and thoughtful. You tend to analyze every aspect of your life.
You are intuitive, brilliant, and quite introverted. You value your time alone.
Often times, you are grumpy with other people. You don't appreciate them trying to interfere in your affairs.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are the total package - suave, sexy, smart, and strong.
You have the whole world under your spell, and you can influence almost everyone you know.
You don't always resist your urges to crush the weak. Just remember, they don't have as much going for them as you do.

You are truly an original person. You have amazing ideas, and the power to carry them out.
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.

You are very charming... dangerously so. You have the potential to break a lot of hearts.
You know how what you want, how to get it, and that you will get it.
You have the power to rule the world. Let's hope you're a benevolent dictator!

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

Watch out world, I always saw myself as a benign but ruthless dictator anyhow!

H/T Episcopollyanna

Saturday, 19 January 2008

What a feeling.....

I can't get Lent out of my head this year. Maybe it is because I'm ordered to work till 8pm on Ash Wednesday and I'll have no opportunity to get to Mass that day, I'll be lucky if I get a 30 min break all day (whose work ethic is this anyway!). This has made me even more determined to have a good Lent.

Lent must be meaningfully penitential and reflective. It is a time for frightening honesty and vulnerability. It is a time when the loneliness of Faith is at its most prominent.

Why I feel all this more keenly this year rather than any other year, I do not know. I feel ashamed of past Lents when little more than lip service was paid to the promises made on Ash Wednesday. I feel a real sense of urgency and I must pray to discern if this is real.

Find below my pre-Lent pictoral meditation. I am not being morbid and I certainly don't agree with Hobbes that the natural state of man's existence is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"; however, unless we meditate on death, judgment, heaven and hell how can we ever hope to even begin to comprehend God's mercy, how can we ever even begin to call ourselves the Easter people?

It looks like a still life but it can't have been painted as one. The flowers all come from different seasons so they can't all be in bloom at the same time: illusion and reality. What is the significance of the mouse eating the seeds from the flowers in the bottom left of the painting? What is the significance of the sturdy looking watch and its delicate ribbon?

Pretty obvious really!
However, aren't skulls amazing? They absolutely refuse to give anything away about the personality and character of their former occupier, be they sinner or saint. Just who is having the last laugh here?

Good ol'St Francis being nicey nicey and surrounded by furry and feathered friends NOT! This Fool for Christ always leaves me feeling very uncomfortable.

Dulle Griet (Mad Meg): The Horror of Conflict. All the characters are slowly drifting towards the mouth of Hell, you don't see hell's head in the left of the picture first time you look at it. Notice how the natural order has been disturbed, the mutant horrors and horrific anthropomorphism. Notice the women on the bridge valiantly fighting the soldiers with their kitchen implements. You can't miss their leader, the tragi-comic heroine of the painting. They'll never win on their own.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Precious Blood Chaplet

Inspired by Terry Nelson (see the litany of the Precious Blood in the side bar opposite), I looked through my Mum's old St Anthony's Treasury and found the Precious Blood Chaplet. It is a devotion that has simply smacked me across the face and demanded I pay it some attention. It seems to implore that we face up to our own sinfulness in order to get closer to Our Lord, therefore it couldn't be more timely. I thought you too may be interested, dear reader.

This devotion consists of 7 mysteries in which we meditate on the 7 principal sheddings of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. The 'Our Father' is said 5 times after each mystery, except after the last (7th mystery), when it is recited only 3 times; (in all, 33 times in honor of the 33 years of Our Lord's life on earth). The 'Glory Be to the Father' is said 1 time after each set of Our Father's, followed by the Invocation to the Precious Blood. )

Opening Prayer

V. Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord make hast to help me.

V. Glory be to the Father.... Amen

First Mystery

Jesus shed His Blood in the Circumcision. Let us ask for chastity of soul and body.

Our Father (x5)Glory be to the Father (x1)

Second Mystery

Jesus shed His Blood in the Agony, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let us ask for a spirit of prayer and grace to be faithful to holy inspiration.

Our Father (x 5)Glory be to the Father (x 1)

Third Mystery

Jesus shed His Blood in the scourging at the pillar. Let us ask for patience and self-control.

Our Father (x 5)Glory be to the Father (x 1)

Fourth Mystery

Jesus shed His Blood in the crowning with thorns. Let us ask for humility to atone for pride.

Our Father (x 5)Glory be to the Father (x 1)

Fifth Mystery

Jesus shed His Blood while carrying His heavy Cross to Calvary. Let us ask for resignation in carrying our daily cross.

Our Father (x 5)Glory be to the Father (x 1)

Sixth Mystery

Jesus shed His Blood in the terrible Crucifixion. Let us ask for perfect contrition..

Our Father (x 5)Glory be to the Father (x 1)

Seventh Mystery

Jesus shed His Blood and Water from His pierced side, opened by a lance. Let us ask for perseverance.

Our Father (x 3)Glory be to the Father (x 1)

Thanks also to

Sunday, 13 January 2008


I was attending a baptism today, which was a joyous and appropriate thing to do. Please pray for all those who were baptised today.

It did however remind me of the 101 excuses I've heard regarding procrastination and this sacrament. Please pray for all those who have used the following excuses...

(1) Can't afford to "put on a do" afterwards, so will wait until we can.
(2) I want him to outgrow the Christening gown that my mother-in-law wants him to wear, I want as little to do with his side of the family as possible.
(3) I think we'll get her baptised in the Methodist church, apparently you don't need godparents there, but there's no rush.
(4) Wait until they are old enough to make up their own minds.
(5) His grandmother sprinkled her head with holy water, won't that do?
(6) We'd only be doing it to please the grandparents.....

Sunday, 6 January 2008

For Tom in Vegas


From the address "Un'ora" delivered by His Holiness Pope Pius XII to the Pontifical Academy of Science, November 2, 1951.

The knowledge of God as Creator, now shared by many modern scientists, is indeed the extreme limit to which human reason can attain. Nevertheless, as you are well aware, it does not constitute the last frontier of truth. In harmonious co-operation, because all three are instruments of Truth, like rays of the same sun, science, philosophy and with still greater reason Revelation, contemplate the subsatnce of this Creator Whom science has met along its path, unveil His outlines and point out His features. Revelation, above all, makes His presence of which either the simple faithful or the scientist is aware in his inmost being when he recites simply the concise terms of the Apostles' Creed; "I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth."

Happy Epiphany All!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

A short story...

Factory gates- Villiers Company Ltd (Wolverhampton)

In a distant land, not unlike our own, there was a successful business man who was in charge of a large company. He had four sons, the two elder sons were adults and worked with the father, their job within the company was to drum up as much trade as possible. The products made were expensive but of the highest quality, there were no "easy terms", the products involved serious investment. These two adult sons, Alphonsus and Steve, set about doing the work their father had assigned to them.

Alphonsus had a great love for the history of the company and he took great delight in showing prospective clients around the factory, enthusing over the beautiful machinery and the happy workforce. He had a vast knowledge of the business transactions of the company dating way back to its foundation. He was a gentle, shy man and won many prospective clients over because of his devotion to the company and to his father.

Steve preferred to be out and about, on the surface he seemed the more extrovert of the two. He would travel far and wide, drumming up support and clients from far flung areas. He had a gift for speaking to people and treating them like equals. He too won over many new customers with his sincerity.

Best of all was when the two brothers worked together, no one could beat them, none of the competition came near.

The two younger sons were twins and still teenagers. In truth, they had been spoiled by their father, who had showered riches on them from an early age, they were both highly educated and enthusiastic. The father asked them to start work alongside their elder brothers. One attached himself to Alphonsus and one to Steve. Things started to go wrong. One twin had a vision for the future of the company that would be modeled solely on the way Alphonsus did business. The other had a vision based on Steve's methods. Because of the way the twins squabbled, it became difficult for the elder brothers to work together. Whilst new clients were still forthcoming, vision and future plans invented by the twins were clouding the unity of the firm. Each twin firmly believed the company would be less successful if his vision was not implemented.

The father called time on the teenagers' working. He called them into his office and said: "You are foolish, arrogant boys. I gave you one remit only, to bring me more clients. You have been developing action plans for the future. How dare you do this. You know nothing about the future. I am the boss, how this company develops is my job. Yes, you have brought me new clients, but they are confused and some think there are two companies at work here under the one roof. You have made the job of your elder brothers very difficult. You have never consulted me about your plans. This is an ego trip on both your parts. Please learn boys, that there are only two things certain, the "here and now" and the fact that at some time you will die. Think about yourselves and the job I gave you to do. Live in the "here and now" like both your brothers do. Do not live in the past or the future and trust me to take care of the rest. Use your talents to do the job I gave you to do and stop trying to do my job. You can always leave and set up your own companies if you want, but be warned; we'll wipe the floor with you!"

Can we all get rid of the teenager within us and grow up! Please!