Showing posts from June, 2012


Many pink baby clothes have been purchased...

3 out of 4 rooms have been decorated and carpeted.

Furniture has been purchased and assembled...

Said furniture has been tested and found to be satisfactory...
1 Car seats have been unwrapped

Things are starting to seem a little more real! Only 3 weeks to go!!

The Best Proof For The Existence of God?

I had the honour of reading at Mass this morning, a powerful reading from 2nd Kings 19:9b-11, 14-21, 31-36. One of those passages that had me reaching for my study Bible as soon as I got home because it mentions a couple of things that always fascinate me. One is 'the Ban', the ancient custom of slaughtering every man woman and child of a people in order to avoid retribution. The other is the survival of an Israel loyal the to the Covenant despite overwhelming odds. The Assyrians suffer the loss of one hundred and eighty-five thousand men and struck camp without firing an arrow. Wow! My analytical mind immediately wonders what is the history behind this passage? Did this really happen? Psalm 91 seems to say that the Assyrians were struck by plague and thus decimated. The theological ramifications are serious. Think about it in this context:

Today, more than half of the six billion people alive in the world trace their spiritual descent from Abraham. In all honesty, how probab…

A Truly Extraordinary Mass

On Saturday it was my great pleasure to take part in a very special Mass. It was Father Kevin's 28th anniversary of ordination. He was travelling to France for someone else's ordination and had asked me if I would drop him off at the airport.

As he wouldn't get another chance to say Mass that day, he suggested we meet at the Church at 7am for Mass and leave after that. I love Mass, I think there's no better way to start the day, and God knows, I have lots to pray about. So, of course I jumped at the opportunity.

Clearly this was an opportunity for Father to, liturgically speaking, please himself, and in doing so, please God, by offering the most perfect Mass he could. He used the altar in the Lady chapel, which necessitates ad orientum, and said the Novus Ordo in Latin. This presented somewhat of a challenge to me as the only respondent! I am, by now, fairly conversant with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, and where all the parts are. I am less familiar with Novus O…

Approaching God

The manner in which Catholics receive the Blessed Sacrament seems to be a particular battle ground at the present time. It is understandable that devout Catholics may feel intimidated and indeed, affronted, by the suggestion that their regular practice in terms of the reception of the Eucharist is less than perfect. I want to make it clear from the start that this is not my intention here. Certainly I would hesitate to polarise the debate as being between good and bad Catholics in any way, I do not think it is a matter of traditionalists versus liberals, or devout versus, let us say, those with a more laissez-faire attitude toward faith. I have no doubt that many devout Catholics today receive in the hand. Rather, I would tend to portray the argument as one of personal devotion and understanding, which certainly describes my own journey from the hand to the tongue. It's one I would share and open up for honest discussion here, if I can.

Why? The main reason is that I think those …

Nuns on the Run

An excellent article here by the always insightful Colleen Carroll Campbell that sets the record straight about the media misrepresentation of the Vatican’s comments on the dissident nuns in America (with my comments in red). Sorry about the American spellings by the way!

Catholic religious sisters as a group are rightly revered for their faith and good works. If the Vatican were bullying them, or criticizing their organizations without cause, such moves would and should backfire.

But that’s not what’s going on. Contrary to the prevailing news media narrative about do-gooder nuns persecuted by mean old grumps in Rome, [which, let’s face it, is nothing more than the usual media bias] the Vatican’s recent moves to discipline dissident religious sisters are not groundless reprimands or patriarchal power grabs. Nor are they intended to paint all American religious sisters with the same broad brush. Catholic officials are free to object when certain writings or actions misrepresent or contra…

Liturgical Reflections

This long, self indulgent post is inspired by a conversation I had a number of weeks ago on Twitter with a self-confessed atheist. 

I started writing this at Easter: I thought, at this time, just after the annual celebration of the most sacred Triduum of the crucified, buried and risen Lord; the liturgical, theological and spiritual centre of the Church's life and the culmination of the entire liturgical year, it would be worth reflecting a little on liturgy.

What is Liturgy?

Within the Roman Catholic Tradition, liturgy designates the public worship (that is, prayer) of the Church which takes place in communion with the local bishop according to the norms approved by the Roman See. To call it public designates it an activity of an assembly of believers visibly gathered.
The word 'liturgy' derives from the Greek leitourgia, a word compounded from laos (people) and ergon (work).

When studying my B.A. Divinity at Maryvale, I found it strange that Liturgy was not covered in more de…

Would a loving God send anyone to hell?

A very thorough video from Jimmy Akin provides us with detailed discussion on the subject:

Illiberal Liberalism

For some time I have found myself increasingly disconcerted with regard to modern so-called 'liberal' politics. I say so-called, because there seems to be a fundamental dichotomy between my reading of what philosophically led to liberalism and the way supposed liberal principles actually lead to dictatorial pontification in modern politics. There seems to be a growing trend for liberals to seen as the sole guardians of common sense and reason in this country.

I must admit to being a bit left of centre politically myself, concerned about less well-off members of our community, social justice, the dignity of the human person, etc. Over the last ten or twenty years, however, I have found that some of these issues seem to have been hijacked and amalgamated with an increasingly  formulated ideology of forward thinking, development and freedom, which is then stuffed down people's throats as the only reasonable option. This seems, in essence, deeply illiberal. There has been a cr…

D-Day, or B-Day, Rapidly Approaches

So here she is; a lovely profile shot of our little lady who is nicely positioned for her arrival sometime around the middle of July. Lou is nesting like nobody's business, which inevitably means that I have been nesting like nobody's business, painting, moving furniture and getting ready for a new member of the family.

It is really starting to hit home that this is a reality, that we will have a new small person living with us soon. Lou has acquired some pink tester pots for baby's bedroom. This is a sign. We have never indulged the pink thing with Ruth, Ruth however had her own ideas about being a girl and did pink BIG TIME! She also did sparkles and frills and all those cheesy things. So under the circumstances, Lou is going to indulge every pink whim she feels the need to indulge, and frankly, I say "go for it!"

I can't help but wonder how much she will be like Ruth and how much she will be different, and I am desperately trying not to think like that...…

Conversations with God about Homosexuality

You can't help who you fall in love with, but you can decide to afford them dignity proper to their created reality. Are we missing the point when we discuss homosexuality? Is it, in fact, a question about authentic love?

What constitutes 'love' between two people? What is the most authentic expression of love you have experienced? Does true, deep, meaningful love necessarily require a genital expression? Has that genital expression become so conflated with what modern society calls 'love', that we've forgotten what real love is? For example, isn't real love sacrificial?

I think this has been one of the longest running conversations I have had with God. The concepts involved have puzzled me since I was a child. I have felt confused about what the Bible says about homosexual acts, and I have felt an equal amount of confusion about what society says about them. Over the last few years I have began to understand the issue a bit more I think, though I have defin…

Porkgate—On Islam, Christianity & Pork.

Last weekend I ended up having a protracted argument with Mohammed Ansar about, of all things, pork! The discussion was instigated by Mo, a Muslim, when he Tweeted: “Never could understand how Christians eat swine when Jesus did not; he forbade it and hated pigs, even killing 2,000 of them.‪#SwineMeat” This is an allusion to Christ’s exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac, which, to the best of my understanding, demonstrates nothing about Jesus’ feelings towards the humble Sus domesticus. Also, nowhere does Jesus forbid the eating of pork, although as a devout Jew, it seems highly unlikely He would have ever eaten it Himself.

Mo went on to assert that eating pork is “the same as eating the flesh of one’s dead brother”, that pork “tastes like human flesh" (to which one has to wonder; how does he know what pork-or human flesh for that matter-tastes like?) and that he is “...astounded that Christ, so pivotal in Islam and Christianity; is disregarded by so many Christians so easily. #picka…