Monday, July 07, 2014

Happy anniversary of Summorum Pontificum

It was 7th July 2007 when Pope Benedict XVI signed his motu proprio; freeing the Traditional Latin Mass from the restrictions it had placed upon it for the previous 37 years.

Since then, we have exceptionally more sung masses; including a weekly high mass at the Birmingham Oratory, a high mass at Birmingham's St Chad's Cathedral, and sung masses at the beautiful Spetchley Park Gardens, in Worcestershire.

Thank you Holy Father, for Summorum Pontificum: who will not now hear me, but will someday, when he passes to his eternal reward.

Sadly, since Benedict stepped down, there have been restrictions made upon the Mass again; long after any initial teething issues. For example, the Franciscans of the Immaculate have been subject to visitation and the widespread ban on the mass of ages.

But still, it's been an interesting seven years... On the seventh day of the seventh month.

The Motu Proprio came into effect on 14th September 2007,the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

G. K. Chesterton

Fr Schofield:

"As we offer this Mass, we think of Chesterton becoming a Catholic at last in 1922, ninety years ago almost exactly to the day, at the Railway Hotel in Beaconsfield (which was then being used as a temporary Mass centre for local Catholics).

"As Mgr Ronald Knox said shortly after his death, his conversion followed the law that ‘if you look at a thing nine hundred and ninety-nine times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it the thousandth time, you are in frightful danger of seeing it for the first time! That was all that happened when Chesterton was converted. He had looked for the thousandth time at the Catholic faith and for the first time he saw it.

"Nothing in the Church was new to him, and yet everything was new to him; he was like the man in his own story who had wandered round the world in order to see, with fresh eyes, his own home."

Read more here.

Latest St Patrick's Mass Schedule

Courtesy of Fr Talbot;

Date Time
Mon 23rd July 8 am
Tues 24th July 8 am
Wed 25th July 9 am
Sat 28th July 11 am
Mon 30th July 8 am
Tues 31st July 8 am
Wed 1st August 9 am
Sat 4th August 11 am
Sat 11th August 11 am

- English Lesson/Epistle and Gospel
- Parking Northbrook Street over railway bridge

Friday, February 10, 2012

St Jerome and the Pater Noster

St Jerome, when translating the Greek manuscripts of the Gospels into the Latin Vulgate, chose two versions differing in only one word.

The Lord's Prayer 4th Petition:

"panem nostrum COTIDIANUM da nobis hodie" (Give us this day our DAILY bread)

Epi-ousia (Gk) translated to Latin in two different ways:
1) Cotidianum (Lat in Mk Lk Jn and Sung Pater noster) "daily"
2) Supersubstantialem (Lt Vulgate; Mt only) "Supersubstantial" coined by St Jerome.


1) Origen/Chrystostom/Jerome: necessary for existence (epi-ousia which is a combination of two established Gk words, see below) ie. supersubstantial

2) Or daily, in the more established Latin use. Is it a time frame? Eg supposedly seen on items in a grocery list on an ancient papyrus which then coincidentally went missing!

The Spiritual/physical interpretation is important for our understanding of what Jesus meant in this prayer. Even if it is just time frame- for today only? To last us tomorrow? Or impending finality and necessity to take all daily needs NOW! (the latter is a silly eschatological interpretation which takes modern root in opposition of America to reducing CO2 & fossil fuels)

This Greek word is ONLY used by Christians, as coined by the Holy Evangelists (Hapax Legomenan - Gk "only used once" / neologism) to capture a unique vernacular meaning from Christ. It isn't found anywhere else, but the Pater. No other context exists in literature. It is the ONLY adjective in the Lords Prayer. It cannot merely be a repetition of day (day after day) as cotidianum would imply.

Is Epiousi Sacramental, in describing the bread? Is it derived from Epi and Ousia? Or something else?
Epi = Super = above or beyond
Ousios as used in Homousios = con-substantialem (of one/same substance) something relating to the very existence of something beyond mere externals.

So this newer word given us by Jerome, Super-substantialem, places an interesting relationship of an overarching/ higher (epi) substance (ousia) with bread

?"Supernatural" another way of saying this

St Jerome was saying, a substance above anything else. Why? Perhaps because he marked St Matthew's Gospel out (put first in chronological order for a reason which is tradition) as an earlier use or meaning of the word, intended by the Gospel authors, for this uniquely Christian phrase.

Perhaps cotidianum was a poor initial translation of a difficult Greek word, one which had a greater meaning, and St Jerome sought to amend it, but wanted to continue a tradition of saying "cotidianum" which began later in Christian worship. If so, what an ingenious way of showing this evolution to modern readers! Amend only St Matthew's Gospel, because it is the first, most authentic recording of Christ's words from the ear of an Apostle himself!

So it means, then, a unique and timeless nourishment provided by God. Almost unspeakable in amazingness, "Super substantial!"

More than we could ever need ! Essential (á la Grocery list?!) and timeless or eternal in nature.

Fancy applying such an amazing term to bread!

Oremus (let us pray:)

Grant us, Father, your Supernatural bread that is eternally satisfying, apart from which we could never hope or need anything. May it please you to nourish us, in our time, with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, as we unite our lives to his in anticipation of seeing you in our heavenly home, with the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jesse Tree Begins

First Sunday of Advent

Today's Gospel (1st Sunday of Advent)

Gospel According to St Luke: Jesus said:

25. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

26. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

ST BEDE; The events which were to follow the fulfillment of the times of the Gentiles He explains in regular order, saying, There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars.

ST AMBROSE; All which signs are more clearly described in Matthew, Then shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven.

EUSEB. For at that time when the end of this perishing life shall be accomplished, and, as the Apostle says, The fashion of this world passes away, then shall succeed a new world in which instead of sensible light, Christ Himself shall shine as a sunbeam, and as the King of the new world, and so mighty and glorious will be His light, that the sun which now dazzles so brightly, and the moon and all the stars, shall be hidden by the coming of a far greater light.

ST CHRYS For as in this world the moon and the stars are soon dimmed by the rising of the sun, so at the glorious appearance of Christ shall the sun become dark, and the moon not shed her ray, and the stars shall fall from heaven, stripped of their former attire, that they may put on the robe of a better light.

EUSEB. What things shall befall the world after the darkening of the orbs of light, and whence shall arise the straitening of nations, He next explains as follows, And of the earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roaring of the sea. Wherein He seems to teach, that the beginning of the universal change will be owing to the failing of the watery substance. For this being first absorbed or congealed, so that no longer is heard the roaring of the sea, nor do the waves reach the shore because of the exceeding drought, the other parts of the world, ceasing to obtain the usual vapor which came forth from the watery matter, shall undergo a revolution. Accordingly since the appearance of Christ must put down the prodigies which resist God, namely, those of Antichrist, the beginnings of wrath shall take their rise from droughts, such as that neither storm nor roaring of the sea be any more heard.

And this event shall be succeeded by the distress of the men who survive; as it follows, Men's hearts being dried up for fear, and looking after those things which shall come upon the whole world. But the things that shall then come upon the world He proceeds to declare, adding, For the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

THEOPHYL. Or else, When the higher world shall be changed, then also the lower elements shall suffer loss; whence it follows, And on the earth distress of nations, &c. As if He said, the sea shall roar terribly, and its shores shall be shaken with the tempest, so that of the people and nations of the earth there shall be distress, that is, a universal misery, so that they shall pine away from fear and expectation of the evils which are coming upon the world.

ST AUG. But you will say, your punishment compels you to confess that the end is now approaching, seeing the fulfillment of that which was foretold. For it is certain there is no country, no place in our time, which is not affected or troubled. But if those evils which mankind now suffer are sure signs that our Lord is now about to come, what means that which the Apostle says, For when they shall say peace and safety. Let us see then if it be not perhaps better to understand the words of prophecy to be not so fulfilled, but rather that they will come to pass when the tribulation of the whole world shall be such that it shall belong to the Church, which shall be troubled by the whole world, not to those who shall trouble it. For they are those who shall say, Peace and safety. But now these evils which are counted the greatest and most immoderate, we see to be common to both the kingdoms of Christ and the Devil. For the good and the evil are alike afflicted with them, and among these great evils is the yet universal resort to licentious feasts. Is not this the being dried up from fear, or rather the being burnt up from lust?

But not only shall men be tossed about when the world shall be changed, but angels even shall stand amazed at the terrible revolutions of the universe. Hence it follows, And the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

ST GREG. For whom does He call the powers of heaven, but the angels, dominions, principalities, and powers? which at the coming of the strict Judge shall then appear visibly to our eyes, that they may strictly exact judgment of us, seeing that now our invisible Creator patiently bears with us.

EUSEB. When also the Son of God shall come in glory, and shall crush the proud empire of the son of sin, the angels of heaven attending Him, the doors of heaven which have been shut from the foundation of the world shall be opened, that the things that are on high may be witnessed.

ST CHRYS. Or the heavenly powers shall be shaken, although themselves know it not. For when they see the innumerable multitudes condemned, they shall not stand there without trembling.

ST BEDE; Thus it is said in Job, the pillars of heaven tremble and are afraid at his reproof. What then do the boards do, when the pillars tremble? what does the shrub of the desert suffer, when the cedar of Paradise is shaken?

EUSEB. Or the powers of heaven are those which preside over the sensible parts of the universe, which indeed shall then be shaken that they may attain to a better state. For they shall be discharged from the ministry with which they serve God toward the sensible bodies in their perishing condition.

ST AUG. But that the Lord may not seem to have foretold as extraordinary those things concerning His second coming, which were wont to happen to this world even before His first coming, and that we may not be laughed at by those who have read more and greater events than these in the history of nations, I think what has been said may be better understood to apply to the Church. For the Church is the sun, the moon, and the stars, to whom it was said, Fair as the moon, elect as the sun. And she will then not be seen for the unbounded rage of the persecutors.

ST AMBROSE; While many also fall away from religion, clear faith will be obscured by the cloud of unbelief, for to me that Sun of righteousness is either diminished or increased according to my faith; and as the moon in its monthly wanings, or when it is opposite the sun by the interposition of the earth, suffers eclipse, so also the holy Church when the sins of the flesh oppose the heavenly light, cannot borrow the brightness of divine light from Christ's rays. For in persecutions, the love of this world generally shuts out the light of the divine Sun; the stars also fall, that is, men who shine in glory fall when the bitterness of persecution waxes sharp and prevails. And this must be until the multitude of the Church be gathered in, for thus are the good tried and the weak made manifest.

ST AUG. But in the words, And upon the earth distress of nations, He would understand by nations, not those which shall be blessed in the seed of Abraham, but those which shall stand on the left hand.

ST AMBROSE; So severe then will be the manifold fires of our souls, that with consciences depraved through the multitude of crimes, by reason of our fear of the coming judgment, the dew of the sacred fountain will be dried upon us. But as the Lord's coming is looked for, in order that His presence may dwell in the whole circle of mankind or the world, which now dwells in each individual who has embraced Christ with his whole heart, so the powers of heaven shall at our Lord's coming obtain an increase of grace, and shall be moved by the fullness of the Divine nature more closely infusing itself. There are also heavenly powers which proclaim the glory of God, which shall be stirred by a fuller infusion of Christ, that they may see Christ.

ST AUG. Or the powers of heaven shall be stirred, because when the ungodly persecute, some of the most stout-hearted believers shall be troubled.

THEOPHYL. It follows, And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds. Both the believers and unbelievers shall see Him, for He Himself as well as His cross shall glisten brighter than the sun, and so shall be observed of all.

ST AUG. But the words, coming in the clouds, may be taken in two ways. Either coming in His Church as it were in a cloud, as He now ceases not to come. But then it shall be with great power and majesty, for far greater will His power and might appear to His saints, to whom He will give great virtue, that they may not be overcome in such a fearful persecution. Or in His body in which He sits at His Father's right hand He must rightly be supposed to come, and not only in His body, but also in a cloud, for He will come even as He went away, And a cloud received him out of their sight.

ST CHRYS. For God ever appears in a cloud, according to the Psalms, clouds and darkness are round about him. Therefore shall the Son of man come in the clouds as God, and the Lord, not secretly, but in glory worthy of God. Therefore He adds, with great power and majesty.

ST CYRIL; Great must be understood in like manner. For His first appearance He made in our weakness and lowliness, the second He shall celebrate in all His own power.

ST GREG. For in power and majesty will men see Him, whom in lowly stations they refused to hear, that so much the more acutely they may feel His power, as they are now the less willing to bow the necks of their hearts to His sufferings.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Catholic Schools

I have been reading about how the Bishops Conference of England & Wales met this week about the standards of Catholic schools nationwide. It reads much like any committee who are in charge of an educational structure under the wider monitoring of a centralised secular state. It firstly praises itself, whilst acknowledging some schools are underperforming.

The Catholic Education Service of England & Wales are developing a strategy which states that a good Catholic school is united in both "ethos and standards" and that as well as "prayer life and liturgy" it it achieves academic success.

I ask, why must the two be divided? Granted, there is always going to be variety in academic achievements depending of the area of the school, and it's socio-economic make-up. But I think good academic standards can be achieved through, and not independent of, Catholic ethos.

Thinking for a moment about my secondary education (half in State Education and half in Independent Catholic) I come to the conclusion that success (and failure) are due to the degree of two important factors: the strength of the pupil's family and upbringing, as well as genetics; and the extent to which the pupil rebels or goes off the rails. By the latter I mean sex, drugs and rock & roll (succumbing to extreme secular influences). I strongly recommend traditional Catholic moral teaching to optimise these things (well, except genetics!)

It is when pupils are strongly taught and led by Catholic social values that they have the stability to work hard, achieve their potential, and produce a school with good academic results and a strong attractive ethos.

We therefore need stronger rational arguments presented to our young, on sexual morals and social ethics; by genuinely Catholic and upright teachers who inspire admiration and emulation.

These incidentally are also the principles of a thriving homeschooling family.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Holy Spirit

Part of the essential message of the Gospel over existing Spiritual Methods, including the old Law of Judaism, was the promise of the Holy Spirit for the Church; it's leaders and laity alike.

When Jesus spoke of the necessity of Baptism, he promised that in addition to John's Baptism of desire, and the symbol of water cleansing the penitent, they would also be "Baptised by fire and the Holy Spirit". He also exhorted His Disciples to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit after His Ascension into Heaven, so that He, as God, would continue to be with them. It is this Trinitarian transformation of God's relationship with His people that salvation is possible: Having become incarnate and conquered Death, God is able to live in His Creation in a much more profound and atoning way. The last words Jesus gave His Disciples was to "Baptise all Nations in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".

This shows Christians that the Holy Spirit is a powerful, purifying and Godly force which has the power to transform the believer. The idea of Sacraments is based on this: that a physical action like Baptising can be imbued with God to change the soul of the believer.

Rather than making a concerted effort in acquiring secret knowledge and experiencing transcendence (like in Gnosticism), or in following a ritually prescribed Law of physical purity (like in Judaism); the gifts of the Holy Spirit really are that: Gifts. Freely given.

This Gift was prophecised by Isaiah many centuries before Christ came into the world:

“There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise up out of his root. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: the Spirit of wisdom, and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel, and of fortitude, the Spirit of knowledge, and of godliness. And He shall be filled with the Spirit of the fear of the Lord. He shall not judge according to the sight of the eyes, nor reprove according to the hearing of the ears. But He shall judge the poor with justice, and shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips He shall slay the wicked. And justice shall be the girdle of His loins: and faith the girdle of His reins.” (Isaiah 11:1-5)

Although this Prophecy is applied to Christ; we can assume from what He told us, as well as the teaching of St Paul, that this Gift applied to all believers through Baptism. A gift which will lead to the total fulfilment of the Law, and truly Holy Fruit overcoming all the evils of the world:
I say then, walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the spirit: and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another: so that you do not the things that you would. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, immodesty, luxury, idolatry, witchcrafts, enmities, contentions, emulations, wraths, quarrels, dissensions, sects, envies, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like. Of the which I foretell you, as I have foretold to you, that they who do such things shall not obtain the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is, charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. Against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's, have crucified their flesh, with the vices and concupiscences. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be made desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:16-26)

Let us pray on this Feast of the Four Holy Martyrs, that we may be granted the Gift of the Holy Spirit, acquired through our Baptism, and that this may be present and fruitful in the world.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, September 23, 2011

CMA UK Midlands/ Worcs 2011

Catholic Medical Association Meeting Thurs 20 Oct ‘11

‘Induced Abortion: Its effect on Mental Health’

Speakers: Drs Pravin Thevasathan (CMA Worcs Branch Secretary, Cons Psychiatrist LD) & Greg Gardner (Birmingham GP and protestant ethicist for Midlands Ethics Group)

Chair: Dr Tony Cole
Venue: Newman House Catholic Chaplaincy, 29 Harrisons Rd, Edgbaston, Birmingham

19:30: Mass
20:10: Meeting Followed By Discussion & Light Buffet

To assist with catering, would those wishing to attend please notify (email) John Kelly ( by 12 Oct.

There is no charge for Buffet

Friday, September 16, 2011

Return of Friday Meat Abstinence

I am not eating meat today, by order of the Bishops Conference of England & Wales.

Today the Bishops are reviving this ancient custom and obligation of Abstince from Meat every Friday, in commemoration of 'Good Friday' the day Our Lord was crucified.

After 26 years of 'optional' acts of charity, this requirement is returned, to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Pope Benedict's visit to the UK.

Abstinence, or 'self denial,' are little acts of penance and sacrifice which are to be offered up by us people in union with Christ's ultimate sacrifice. Partaking in this is, and always has been, an essential part of Christianity. Even in the times of ancient Israel, sacrifice, especially when done communally, was offered to appease God's wrath. In the New Testament it is more indicative of ultimate love & life giving sacrifice, in imitation of the God-man. The Bishops particularly feel, by witnessing this in common, it will help Christ shine through into our society.

In the Western Church, fasting, which is going without food for a similar reason as abstinence, was relaxed. The strict Lenten fasting seemed to change its significance during the rationing of food in the Wars of 20th Century Europe, and was therefore all but abolished by Rome.

A cursory glance at current practice in the Eastern Church, reveals that not eating meat is the very least we can do. During Lent they abstain from Meat, fish, alcohol and dairy products. Sometimes really zealous Christians will only eat nuts for example.

In the Western Church the requirement is only to fast on 2 days a year (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, which commemorate either end of Jesus' 40 days in the desert).

The change today in UK Catholic Law just put into context the continued and prevailing English tradition of Fish & Chips on a Friday!

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