Thursday, 30 May 2013

The Eucharist and the Word

Mass is always a battle; a spiritual battle to concentrate, to be worthy to receive, to make sure that one's wandering thoughts, though a sign of our frailty are not actually a sign of our sinfulness.  It is a battle we always lose, that is why we say Domine, non sum dignus.  It is a battle we can't win.  Christ's is the fight, Christ's is the victory.  We are just asked to be there and love Him and submit to Him, such that even our inadequacy glorifies Him. I personally rarely feel any spiritual blessing in attending Mass, it is even physically hard work just being there, I can feel the strength leave my body and can get quite ill.  But this isn't about feelings.  Love is an act of the will.

However, in receiving the Eucharist, we know something is happening even when we can't feel it.  We know that it really is our only food.

Receiving the Word through Sacred Scripture is somehow different, well it is for me.  It has an instant effect of revitalising my physical being and my intellect.  It is like I am in  a dream until I find the Word in Scripture, then I feel alive and real.  None of this would be possible without "worthy" reception of the Sacraments, I know that.

I attend a scripture group at a Catholic church and I really "need" to be there.  It strengthens me.  It helps me live, I feel so much better for going.  BUT, oh dear, it is so very hard to not be distracted by the other people there.  People who love the sound of their own voice.  People with ignorant or even heretical views that are painful to listen to and who it is so difficult to bring round to the truth. It becomes so very nearly an occasion for the sin of pride to run rampant.

Basically we are all just like pigs in the trough.  Some fat pig (just like yourself) muscles in and prevents you troughing so that they can.  We all have a hunger, yet we can't all satisfy it at the same time or in the same way.  We become jealous of our relationship with the trough and want to guard our patch, rather than realising that the food will never run out, is given to all gratuitously provided we desire it.


Ah, Catholicism would be so much easier without other Catholics getting in the way.....

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Syria

We here in the UK have a government that nobody actually voted for (such is the nature of this coalition), therefore how does it have the right to interfere in the goings on of another country? I accept its right to govern the UK, because it has gone through due process, but surely it is not legitimate for it to interfere in the affairs of somewhere else, unless that other place was actually aggressively hostile towards us. In particular, what gives them the right arm rebels in Syria? Whilst the regime there is far from perfect, what gives us the right to try to escalate a conflict that will undoubtedly cause even more suffering to countless innocent people, and radicalise countless more. We went ape over America's Noraid funding the IRA. But if we use our own twisted logic on ourselves, then the IRA had a right to be armed. Why not allow the English Defence League to be armed? Why not allow every radicalised Islamist cleric in the country to set up his own militia?

The language of peace is missing from the European strategy, because the language of Christianity has been lost We have some serious praying to do. We have some serious Christian witness to make.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

It was very good of the Bishop of Portsmouth to provide a pastoral letter for the Feast of the Holy Trinity. Priests so often feel pressured by this feast, it was a very pastoral thing to do. That the letter is excellent is a real bonus. If you have 9 minutes to spare, I ask you to listen to His Grace reading his own letter.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

The Impossible and the Hopeless

Funny old days, these. 

It is a good time of year. Impossible, seemingly hopeless situations dissolve and joy bubbles up in most unexpected ways and all for the greater glory of God. And even when we don't have clue what is going on, often through the mundane and the seemingly normal routine of everyday life, miracles are being worked.

God rules in the midst of His enemies (Ps 109).  Never forget that.  Then get on with offering your sacrifice of praise...

My patrons have feast days coming up. What St Rita and St Philip say especially, which seem so relevant to the craziness around us, are the following things:

  • be generous hearted and have time for all people
  • seek peace in your own life and in your own affairs
  •  mortify your sense of reason, don't be always trying to think too hard about stuff
  • desire the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
  • give yourself a spiritual healthcheck and meditate on how the Fruits of the Holy Spirit are manifesting themselves in your own life.
  • Don't give the devil any wriggleroom.
  •  Abhor sin and strive for virtue
  • pray generously and lightheartedly.
  • persevere
  • Trust God.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints! 

Must get back to my ironing.  Doing the mundane and seemingly innocuous things of life are actually very powerful weapons for us against the darkness, provided they are done prayerfully.  My lack of blogging has been due to my crazy job and my ironing endeavours.... My mother has started calling me Mrs Tiggy-Winkle, however I wish to assure my reader that I am in good shape spiritually and of very good cheer and that my prayers for you continue.