Thursday, 30 May 2013

Happy feast day!

Happy feast day to all my readers! And a even happier one if you live in a country where this great feast hasn't been transferred to a Sunday! Today has two of the most beautiful office hymns, the Verbum supernum and the Pange lingua... I can't decide what I like more, the Pange lingua, the Verbum supernum, the Creator alme siderum, or the Veni Creator Spiritus... Just for good mesuare here are videos of all four!!!

The Veni Creator Spiritus (There may or may not be an advert before it, but the chant makes it worth it!) I think that this might be my favourite...
The Creator alme siderum. Again there may be an advert, and I think it uses a slightly different version of the hymn (Pre Urban VII or whatever,) but is incredibly beautiful...
The Pange Lingua... Again there may be an advert... Or mabe this one is my favourite... Go here for the Verbum supernum, and go to 26:40 of Laudes, unless you want to listen to the whole of it... If you do listen to the whole of it, remember that it is the Monastic office, so there are some changes like Ps. 66 at the start, Ps. 148, 149 and 150 at the end...
Please vote in the poll in the sidebar and say which you like most! If you prefer another one, please leave a comment. You have until the Octave day of Corpus Christi to vote!
Oh, and there will be a solemn High Mass at the Birmingham Oratory, followed by a prossesion of the Blessed Sacrement around Church at 7pm.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Small chance of Success, certain death...what are we waiting for?

My favourite line from Lord of the Rings is not actually in the books but(yes, sadly),  in the film. It's given to Gimli as the 'fellowship' approach the Gates of Mordor and are about to distract Sauron and apparently zillions of computer animated orcs from Frodo and Sam who are nearing their destination with the Ring.

"Small chance of success, certain death...what are we waiting for?"

It seems to sum up something of the spiritual battle and the attitude we should adopt to engage in it.
The Bill to redefine marriage is moving a week on Monday to the House of Lords, June 3rd ...which just happens to be the feast day of my patron saint, Charles Lwanga......
His bravery against all odds and his willingness to sacrifice everything for his charges and for Christ remind me of Gimli's line.
I thought I'd offer a novena to him beginning on Sunday, 26th May....feast day of another great saint, Philip protect marriage and especially to protect all children who would be the innocent victims of any change in the legal definition of marriage. I think St Charles takes protecting children very seriously....

"Small chance of success, certain death....what are we waiting for?"

If anyone would like to join me, maybe our small chance of success would be less small....

O God, by whose providence the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church: Grant that we who remember before you the blessed martyrs of Uganda, may, like them, be steadfast in our faith in Jesus Christ, to whom they gave obedience even unto death, and by their sacrifice brought forth a plentiful harvest; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end, Amen




O Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer, through your passion and death, we adore and thank Thee.
Holy Mary, Mother and Queen of Martyrs, Obtain for us sanctification through our sufferings.
Holy Martyrs, followers of the suffering Christ, obtain for us the grace to imitate Him.
St. Joseph Balikuddembe, first Martyr of Uganda, who inspired and encouraged Nephytes, obtain for us a spirit of truth and justice.
St. Charles Lwanga, patron of the Youth and Catholic Action, obtain for us a firm and zealous faith.
St. Matthias Mulumba, ideal Chief and follower of Christ meek and humble, obtain for us a Christian gentleness.
St. Dionysius Sebuggwawo, zealous for the Christian Faith and renowned for your modesty, obtain for us the virture of modesty.
St. Andrew Kaggwa, model Catechist and teacher, obtain for us a love of the teaching of Christ.
St. Kizito, child resplendent in purity and Christian joy, obtain for us the gift of joy in our Lord.
St. Gyaviira, shining example of how to forgive and forget injuries, obtain for us the grace to forgive those who injure us.
St. Mukasa, fervent catechumen rewarded with the Baptism of your blood, obtain for us perseverance unto the death.
St. Adolfus Ludigo, conspicuous by your following of our Lord's spirit of service to others; obtain for us a love of unselfish service.
St. Anatoli Kiriggwajjo, humble servant preferring a devout life to wordly honours; obtain for us to love piety more than earthly things.
St. Ambrosius Kibuuka, young man full of joy and love of your neighbour; obtain for us fraternal charity.
St. Achilles Kiwanuka, who for the sake of Christ detested vain superstitious practices; obtain for us holy hatred of superstitious practices.
St. John Muzeeyi, prudent councilor, renowned for the practice of works of mercy; obtain for us a love of those works of mercy.
Blessed Jildo Irwa and Blessed Daudi Okello who gave up your lives for the spread of the Catholic Faith; obtain for us the zeal of spreading the Catholic Faith.
St. Pontaianus Ngondwe, faithful soldier, longing for the martyr's crown; obtain for us the grace to be always faithful to our duty.
St. Athanasius Bazzekuketta, faithful steward of the royal treasury; obtain for us a spirit of responsibility.
St. Mbaaga, who preferred death to the persuasions of your parents; obtain for us to follow generously divine grace.
St. Gonzaga Gonza, full of sympathy for prisoners, and all who were in trouble; obtain for us the spirit of mercy.
St. Noe Mawaggali, humble worker and lover of evangelical poverty; obtain for us love of evangelical poverty.
St. Luke Baanabakintu, who ardently desired to imitate the suffering Christ by Martyrdom; obtain for us a love of our motherland.
St. Bruno Serunkuuma, soldier who gave an example of repentance and temperance; obtain for us the virture to repentance and temperance.
St. Mugagga, young man renowned for your heroic chastity; obtain for us perserverance in chastity.
Holy Martyrs, firm in your fidelity to the true Church of Christ; help us to be always faithful to the true Church of Christ.
Let us pray
O Lord Jesus Christ, who wonderfully strengthened the Holy Martyrs of Uganda St. Charles Lwanga, Matthias Mulumba, Blessed Jildo Irwa, Blessed Daudi Okello and their Companions; and gave them to us as examples of faith and fortitude, chastity, charity, and fidelity; grant, we beseech you, that by their Intercession, the same virtues may increase in us, and that we may deserve to become propagators of the true faith. Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen

St. Charles Lwanga and the Martyrs of Uganda, we come to you asking your prayers of intercession on behalf of all who suffer from the unjust exercise of authority. May you who were so cruelly persecuted for your faith in Jesus Christ intercede for all who are oppressed, that they might be comforted by the Divine Mercy and empowered by the gift and grace of fortitude. May justice be the goal of all people and may all who are called by the name Christian join together in works of redemption directed at the sins and the structures of sin that afflict our communities. Amen.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Veni Sancte Spiritus...


Go here for all photos of Pentecost at the Birmingham Oratory... Unfortunately I wasn't able to be there as one of my friends was making his first Holy Communion at the ICKSP in New Brighton... The Oratory is having an EF Mass everyday at 6pm during the octave of Pentecost, followed by Benediction, and devotions to St. Philip... Do come, it is so beautiful!! They are using some of the most beautiful Chasubles they have... The one that was used last night had the coat of arms of some obscure king on... And did I mention that is was beautiful?

Thursday, 16 May 2013

A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

Thanks to Br. Andrew C.O. (Yet again!) for these beautiful photos of the Chasuble used for Mass on the feast of Saints Philip and James, on Saturday May the 11th.

Oh, and while I'm on the topic of red vestments, there will be a Missa Cantata for the vigil of Pentecost at the Birmingham Oratory at 9am on Saturday the 18th of May... Do come if you possibly can, it will be "the most beautiful thing this side of Heaven"!! (I know it starts off in violet vestments... Or it used to, anyway!)

Friday, 10 May 2013

When the Jehovah's witnesses dare to knock

This post is inspired by a Jehovah's witness who knocked on our door early this morning... We were slightly busy, so he didn't come in... I think the large Crucifix directly opposite the front door might have scared him off!

Anyway here is what I would have done if he had come in!

There is a knock at the door.
I open the door.
Me: Hello!
JW: Hello, I am just giving out some magazines.
Me: Do you want to come in?
JW: Yes please.
The JW gives me a magazine, and we go into into the main room.
Me: So, what religion are you?
JW: I am a Jehovah's Witness. What about you?
Me: I'm a Roman Catholic. Anyway, I believe that you use the New Word translation of the bible.
JW: Yes that's right.
Me: So how many Gods do you believe in?
JW: The same as you, one.
Me: Ok then, do you mind if I use the Knox translation of the Bible? You may not have heard of it before, but it was translated single-handedly by a priest in the 1940s, and in my opinion it is one of the best translations. Of course, if you would rather, I could use the older Douay-Rehmis translation or the Latin Vulgate? If my Greek where a lot better, I could use the Greek Septuagint.
JW: Looks a little shocked. The Knox translation will be fine.
Me: Ok, if we could have a little look at chapter 1 verse 1 of Saint John's gospel.
We both get our bibles out.
Me: So in the Knox translation, it goes like this: "At the beginning of time the Word already was; and God had the Word abiding with him, and the Word was God." A more traditional translation goes like this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." But I believe that your translation goes like this: "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god." Is that right?
JW: Yes that is right.
Me: Right then, that is all fine except for the last 6 words, "and the Word was a god." You said yourself that you believe in only 1 God. But here your translation says that Our Lord Jesus is not true God, as he is, but rather a different god.
JW: Looks puzzled. Err, well...
Me: And also, calling God Jehovah is incorrect. Some scholars made the mistake of inserting the vowels of the word Adonai, used by the Jews to refer to God, between the consonants of the word YHWH, which resulted in the error.
JW: Gets up and makes toward the door. Well I really must be going now. Thank you. Goes out of the door slamming it behind him, and shakes the dust off his shoes as he leaves our drive!!!

May be continued...

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

40 Days

At the moment, in England and Wales, we have the awesome privilege of being able to celebrate the great feast of Christ's Ascension into Heaven not once, but Twice!
First, with the Universal Church tomorrow, 40 days after Easter Sunday, and then, out of holy obedience to our Bishops here in Mary's Dowry, on Sunday.
All of this basically means not one, but two Solemn High Masses in the Extraordinary Form at the Birmingham Oratory.And if you've ever wondered what ascending into heaven might feel like, why don't you just come along and find out?!!
7pm Thursday May 9th
10.30am Sunday May12th

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Rogation Days, the blood of the Martyrs and Harvest time

At Mass today, Father described the ancient tradition of the minor Rogation days leading up to Ascension mark tomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday on your calendars!
As Father so eloquently put it, before the over enthusiastic liturgical pruning that occurred in the 1960s, these days were set aside traditionally to ask God to bless the harvest; a need we have lost sight of in a post industrial world. In the same way that the practice of Friday abstinence was dropped by the majority of Catholics as soon as it was no longer mandatory, so the loss of the Rogation days from the official liturgical calendar led inevitably to them becoming pretty much obsolete.
Yesterday, we travelled to Downside Abbey where an annual Solemn High Mass is celebrated. The relics of St John Roberts in this beautiful Minor Basilica are a powerful reminder that the seeds sown with his martydom have borne great fruit. A Benedictine monk, he established a community at Douai in France, which years later would flee the Revolution to re-establish itself in England, eventually at Downside. In the dark times in which he lived, could he ever have imagined that the harvest would be so great?
The word rogation comes from the Latin ask. In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us whatever we ask the Father in his name will be given to us. We might not be able to imagine the harvest God has in mind for each of our lives...the results of our efforts might not be something we ever see, but "those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap". Bishop Fulton Sheen had a great quote about being in the Church when times seemed tough. He said it' s easy to be a Catholic when the culture around is in step with the Church, it's much harder to stand up and be counted when being Catholic goes against the prevailing secular values. He said"even dead bodies can float downstream"..... It's easy to go along when times are not challenging the Faith.
The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church and it was definitely spring time at Downside yesterday...time to get sowing and use the Rogation days to ask God with fasting and prayer to abundantly bless our harvest.