Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blessing of an Automobile

Now that Berty has explained the disappointing car situation, it will be self explanatory why we had to get a new car. So once purchased, we could then take advantage of a special Latin blessing from the Roman Ritual, yesterday after the Mass for Ss Peter & Paul. Here is a translation:


P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R: Who made heaven and earth.
P: The Lord be with you.
R: May He also be with you.

Let us pray.
Lord God, be well disposed to our prayers, and bless + this vehicle with your holy hand. Appoint your holy angels as an escort over it, who will always shield its passengers and keep them safe from accidents. And as once by your deacon, Philip, you bestowed faith and grace upon the Ethiopian seated in his carriage and reading Holy Writ, so also now show the way of salvation to your servants, in order that, strengthened by your grace and ever intent upon good works, they may attain, after all the successes and failures of this life, the certain happiness of everlasting life; through Christ our Lord.
R: Amen.

It is sprinkled with holy water.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Don't Laugh

72%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?Well, I'm not saying anything. Except it's late and I better get to bed.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Motu Mania!

I'm sorry for winding everyone up with that last post.

But how about some real juicy info? Well, Cardinal Bertone revealed today the much anticipated Motu Proprio to 30 bishops. So, soon the old 1962 Mass (so called "Tridentine Rite") is to be known as the "Extraordinary Roman Rite". Which I find to be poetic justice!

Which Mass would you rather attend?
An ordinary Mass,
or an extraordinary one?
(Please don't answer that)

So there is now an official release date!! (excuse the sponsored advert below)

Did anyone ever doubt it?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Motu Proprio Released!!!

Imagine my joy at seeing the Holy Father has finally released a Motu Proprio!

Here is a link to the Latin version on the Holy See's website.

But what does the English say? Well, since this a 'Traditionalist' agenda, I don't see why we should be concerned about the vernacular. Lets just celebrate anyway!!


June 15th 2007: Motu Proprio "imminent"

Sunday, June 24, 2007


The altar of the LORD you cover with tears, weeping and groaning, because He no longer regards your sacrifice nor accepts it favourably from your hand; And you say, "Why is it?"-- Because the LORD is witness between you and the wife of your youth, with whom you have broken faith though she is your companion, your betrothed wife. Did He not make one being, with flesh and spirit: and what does that one require but godly offspring? You must then safeguard life that is your own, and not break faith with the wife of your youth. For I hate divorce, says the LORD, the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with injustice, says the LORD of hosts; You must then safeguard life that is your own, and not break faith.
(Malachi 2:13-16)

These words were spoken about 400 years before Our Lord Jesus Christ was born; a great prophecy of God’s true intention of marriage. When Jesus had to answer his opponents about the widespread use of divorce, he did not look to the Fathers of the Faith, to Moses or the Law. These were given because of their “hardness of heart” and did not represent the true nature of Marriage which God’s New Covenant in Christ was restoring. Jesus looked back further to the model of Marriage found in the book of Genesis. The first union of Man and Woman (Adam and Eve) carries this very important insight into Marriage, before sin had entered the world:
This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh...Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh.
(Genesis 2:23-24)

Jesus then explained to us that what God has joined together, therefore, no man can put asunder. The married couple are no longer two, but one flesh. Marriage was instituted, not by men, but by God. It is a true and real sacrament which Christ restored to its original dignity through his salvific action in his life, death and resurrection. The marriage bond, united by Christ himself, grants abundant graces to the married couple which allow them to fulfill their duties of this magnificent covenant.

Marriage, in this religious context from where we can draw full meaning, is an inviolable bond between the spouses which cannot be broken. It mirrors the Most Holy Trinity with the fact that it is a perfect love which forms the bond, instituted by the spouses through their vows made on their wedding day. It is important in all marriages to refer back to this initial institution constantly. Marriage is not merely a state which two people have casually found themselves in, a lifestyle which can dispensed with when it is no longer convenient: Marriage is a promise made by both parties, freely and with love, that they will serve each other until their dying day. Therefore it is imperative to place ‘love’ in the proper context. Many people will argue that people fall in and out of love. This implies that love is merely a feeling which comes and goes. Love is actually more based on the will, and in reality is a wellspring of God’s own Love for humanity. When seen in this context, Love is a constant desire, yearning, and will to serve. This kind of Love cannot merely die, unless it is through sin (sloth, pride, etc).

The perfect example of Love can be seen through God’s action of sending his only Son, Jesus, into the world to love and die at the service and for the salvation of humanity. St Paul tells us (Ephesians 5:21-32) that Marriage is a reflection of Christ’s love for the Church. This suggests a Marriage which consists of two complementary parties with different responsibilities towards each other and different qualities. What they have in common is their vow to serve each other perfectly, in a completely selfless and noble way. They both draw their strength from God, and neither is concerned solely for their own benefit.

We can see why, therefore, it is only death which can sever the Marriage union. This is because it is based on a promise, made at the wedding, to serve each other for ever. This may not always be easy, but as long as the couple strive for the Love of Christ in their lives, difficulties will be overcome and any suffering will be transformed into joy.

Friday, June 15, 2007

One Last Appeal...

This is one last appeal for one person in particular. I don't need to mention names, but he knows who he is.

Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He lavishes upon us Love; a Love so pure it is completely sacrificial and all-consuming. Anyone who has experienced this selfless Love will know that all other love stems from this infinite well. God may at first seem distant and 'unknowable'; but a devotion to His Sacred Heart makes us realise that God became Man to show us His Heart, burning with Love for us. It is through the Son that we can see the face of the Father. Without this source of Love we become self-centred and lost in our own desires.

Jesus has left us with a sure way of experiencing this Love. The Sacraments. As Catholics, we are invited to share in His healing kindness in the Confessional. The Priest listens and absolves with the authority of Christ Himself. It is Jesus who acts in a supernatural way to wash us clean of guilt and bitterness. Our humility is rewarded with endless compassion and strength. All we have to do is go.

Once cleansed from our sin, we are fully prepared to receive the most wonderful of Sacraments: Communion with Him in the Blessed Sacrament, the Mass, the sharing of His Body and Blood. When we orientate ourselves towards God, He fills us with all heavenly blessings. All we need do is ask. God will do the rest. Nothing is beyond Him, everything will be healed.

So now I come down to the nitty-gritty; Where and How:

1 Sansome Place, Worcester WR1 1UG
Confessions: Saturday 10.30am - 11.45am; 5pm - 5.45pm
Sunday Mass: 6pm (sat), 9.30am, 11am, 7pm
Weekday Mass:
12 noon (Mon-Sat)

Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen
330a Burnt Oak Lane, near Sidcup, Kent DA15 8LW
Confessions: Saturday 11am - 12 noon; 5pm - 5.30pm
Sunday Mass: 6pm (sat), 9am, 10.30am, 6pm
Weekday Mass: 10am (Mon-Fri), 10.30am (Sat)
Fr. Tim's Blog

I really pray that this person can do the right thing and avail to these special Sacraments. What hope is there if we trust only in ourselves?


In view of the most fantastic wonderful news since the birth of my baby girl, I am taking a bit off time off blogging. I'm sure if you tune in next weekend you will find something new here, but until then don't count on it!

It was very nice to receive so many congratulations messages. I didn't like to think what would have happened if I hadn't passed my degree, so it was a joy to share this good news with you all. May God bless you and keep you from all evil, and bring you all to everlasting life!

I hope to reflect on the Hippocratic Oath soon. Our Medical School doesn't have 'oaths' as far as I know, so I will perhaps have to arrange a suitable time and setting to truly consecrate my qualification to God, so that my skills may only be used for His Greater Glory. Personally, I never saw what all the fuss was about with old Hippocrates; all the invocation of Greek gods and the forbidding of sharing secret medical knowledge with lesser mortals seemed a bit outdated to me. Anyway, let me know what you all think!

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Have Mercy on Us
Make Our Hearts More Like Yours

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Worcester Cathedral

Further to my post on Edward Elgar (memorial stained glass window, left, based on his composition of Newman's Dream of Gerontius) I thought I would elaborate on this great Anglican Cathedral in Worcester. There was first a Cathedral here, on the banks of the river Severn, as early as 680 when Bosel was consecrated as first Archbishop. Since then the great St Oswald (925-992) built a second larger Abbey Church with a Monastery. Another noteworthy Saint was Wulfstan (1009-1095) who was prior of the Monastery before becoming Bishop in 1062. The crypt is all that remains of St Wulfstan's Cathedral, which was started in 1082. The current building dates from the 12th and 13th Centuries.

It is striking on entering this building; the vastness of the roof vault, the great gothic arches, the sheer distance from one end to the other. Indeed, there is a darkness and mystery to the Cathedral, which must have seemed quite overwhelming as Mass was being said at the distant High Altar (right). It is important to remember that High Masses would have been enriched with music, several ministers, choir members in copes, incense etc etc which all serve to engage the senses. The distance from laity to clergy would have not been a major issue, especially as Low Masses would have been at people's altars where views were unobstructed. One can see where Pugin would have got his great gothic inspiration; the Rood Screen is beautiful!

The long history of the Cathedral once attracted a great many pilgrims, to the shrines of Ss Oswald and Wulfstan, throughout the middle ages. Our own pilgrimage led us to Wulfstan's crypt (left), there being nowhere else to pay our veneration. By the time of the English 'Reformation' the Cathedral was actually a Benedictine Priory, and it was only the monastery which was torn down by Henry VIII (the ruins are still visible by the river). The Abbey Church was preserved and converted into a Cathedral for Secular Clergy, although the Tomb Shrines of Oswald and Wulfstan were destroyed. Between them still lies the tomb and effigy of King John (1167-1216), who is surely most famous from the fables of Robin Hood!? (Which reminds me - I really should write a rant about the ridiculous Islamic portrayal of my Nottingham hero in recent years, resulting in the great Catholic Friar Tuck being eradicated from the story in the latest BBC dramatisation!!!) It is likely that this royal connection, along with Prince Arthur's Chantry (who was Henry VIII's older brother, and first husband of Catherine of Aragon) were the features which preserved the Cathedral from destruction.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


O Divine Redeemer, Who in Thy infinite goodness hast been pleased to leave us Thy precious body and blood in the Blessed Eucharist, we adore Thee with the most profound respect, and return Thee our most humble thanks for all the favours Thou hast bestowed upon us, especially for the institution of this most holy sacrament. As Thou art the source of every blessing, we entreat Thee to pour upon us and our relations, and upon all those for whom we offer our prayers. And that nothing may interrupt the course of Thy blessing, take from our hearts whatever is displeasing to Thee. Pardon our sins, O my God, which, for the love of Thee, we sincerely detest; purify our hearts, sanctify our souls and bestow a blessing on us like that which Thou didst grant to Thy disciples at Thy ascension into heaven; grant us a blessing that may change us, consecrate us, unite us perfectly to Thee, fill us with Thy spirit, and be to us in this life a foretaste of those blessings which Thou hast prepared for Thy elect in Thy heavenly kingdom. Amen.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Corpus Christi Procession

It was quite an exciting day today, with the Oratory children receiving their first Holy Communion (including Jackie's very pious little Andrew Jr) coinciding with the Corpus Christi Mass. Some good could be said for this transferral of the Great Feast; our regular Sunday's Solemn Vespers became Vespers for this Solemn Feast, composed by St. Thomas Aquinas, which was a real treat we wouldn't have otherwise had. It was lovely to notice that so many of these prayers and hymns are repeated every time we have Benediction (the Responsory, Collect, Salutaris Hostia and Tantum Ergo). Then we had the annual outdoor Blessed Sacrament Procession, which is always the following Sunday, but now this year fell on the feast day itself. It is a venerable tradition to take the Blessed Sacrament out into the streets, reminding us that the natural fruit of adoration and the Mass is to evangelise and bear witness to the Truth we set our Hope in. Without further commentary on this wonderful celebration of Our Faith, enjoy the photos!

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
Quae sub his figuris vere latitas:
Tibi se cor meum totum subiicit,
Quia te contemplans totum deficit.

Godhead here in hiding, whom I do adore,
Masked by these bare shadows, shape and nothing more,
See, Lord, at thy service low lies here a heart
Lost, all lost in wonder at the God thou art.
Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
Sed auditu solo tuto creditur.
Credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius:
Nil hoc verbo Veritatis verius.

Seeing, touching, tasting are in thee deceived:
How says trusty hearing? that shall be believed;
What God's Son has told me, take for truth I do;
Truth himself speaks truly or there's nothing true.
In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
At hic latet simul et humanitas;
Ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
Peto quod petivit latro paenitens.

On the cross thy godhead made no sign to men,
Here thy very manhood steals from human ken:
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And I pray the prayer of the dying thief.
Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor;
Deum tamen meum te confiteor.
Fac me tibi semper magis credere,
In te spem habere, te diligere.

I am not like Thomas, wounds I cannot see,
But can plainly call thee Lord and God as he;
Let me to a deeper faith daily nearer move,
Daily make me harder hope and dearer love.
O memoriale mortis Domini!
Panis vivus, vitam praestans homini!
Praesta meae menti de te vivere
Et te illi semper dulce sapere.

O thou our reminder of Christ crucified,
Living Bread, the life of us for whom he died,
Lend this life to me then: feed and feast my mind,
There be thou the sweetness man was meant to find.
Pie pellicane, Iesu Domine,
Me immundum munda tuo sanguine.
Cuius una stilla salvum facere
Totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

Bring the tender tale true of the Pelican;
Bathe me, Jesu Lord, in what thy bosom ran---
Blood whereof a single drop has power to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin.
Iesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
Oro fiat illud quod tam sitio;
Ut te revelata cernens facie,
Visu sim beatus tuae gloriae. Amen.

Jesu, whom I look at shrouded here below,
I beseech thee send me what I thirst for so,
Some day to gaze on thee face to face in light
And be blest for ever with thy glory's sight. Amen.

Maddy loves it when I sing her this song to send her to sleep in my arms. She has built up several associations to specific songs, and I hope this is one which will always call to her mind love and contentment (and not necessarily sleepiness!)

Friday, June 08, 2007

Riding along on the Crest of a Wave!

Fridays are "Nana's Days"! This video speaks for itself: Maddy really enjoys the special times she has seeing her Nana (my mum)

This song is particularly appropriate as Maddy looks forward to her first seaside holiday very soon!!

Corpus Christi

This feast was a spectacular treat. Not only was it the Solemn High Mass practised for centuries to nourish the Saints, but was concluded with Solemn Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, and a procession around the church singing Pange Lingua to which we are familiar from its closing verses, Tantum Ergo, sung at regular Benediction. St Thomas Aquinas provided us with such wonderful hymns, including the sequence Lauda Sion also sung as part of today's Mass.

The purpose of today is clear; to celebrate the wonderful gift of our salvation, present under the simple appearance of bread and wine. This is a similar mystery to that of our own life; our simple flesh and bones, and our humble works and labours, are divinised by God and transformed into beautiful channels of grace and charity. Wendy was particularly moved by reading, again and again, the translation of the words of consecration said by the Priest over the chalice:

This 'mystery of faith', the transubstantiation, has been carefully safeguarded and expounded throughout the centuries in the vehicle Christ established: The One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The mystery of the Mass, the partaking of Christ's Body and Blood, is one of the hardest mysteries to grasp and believe by others. In fact, when sects break away from the Church it is often this tenet of the Faith which is disregarded and cast away. During the English 'Reformation', the whole practice of the faith, particularly the Missal, was rewritten to eradicate this overarching influence. It is not surprising then, that one of the most controversial things Jesus said was concerning his identity as the Bread of Life (St. John 6:56-67):
"For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever."
Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: "This saying is hard, and who can hear it?"
But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: "Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life. But there are some of you that believe not."
After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him.
The Church joyfully proclaims this teaching of Christ on this feast day. It is set on a Thursday to recall the day of its institution, during Our Lord's Last Supper. Free from the purple robes of mourning present on Maundy Thursday, this day the Oratory was resplendent with candles, organ music, and golden vestments. The Choir treated us with Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli, which struck me as a wonderful balance between the more symphonic, operatic Mass settings of its period, and the noble simplicity of Gregorian Chant.

The Epistle is well worth a mention (Corinthians 11:23-29), since the Novus Ordo lectionary only has it once every 3 years (correct me if I'm wrong), and cuts it distinctly short before St. Paul's stronger admonition:
Brethren, I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread. And giving thanks, broke, and said: Take ye, and eat: this is my body, which shall be delivered for you: this do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come. Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.
Quite why the last portion is left out of the new lectionary I will leave to the imagination. But surely this is an important part to note? With regards to apologetics, St. Paul would never have spoken this strongly about a merely symbolic act. He is implying sacrilege, which is a worthy consideration in offering fitting worship to the True God, present Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. In the wider context of what St. Paul was writing to the Corinthian church; their degradation of the Lord's Supper into a common feast put them in a dangerous position before God, resulting in curses such as weakness, infirmity and even death.

Fr Paul Chavasse, celebrant, touched thoughtfully on this during his sermon. We should be grateful that we live in an age of the Church where we have the privilege of regular and frequent reception of Holy Communion (I think Pope St Pius X did a lot to encourage this during his pontificate at the beginning of last century). But that should not mean that we do so carelessly: we should have frequent recourse also to the sacrament of confession, where we reconcile ourselves to Christ through forgiveness of our sins and receive the special graces we need to reform our lives.

Fr Paul also spoke eloquently about this feast's position in the calender just after Pentecost, when we think carefully about the way the Holy Spirit works not just in our immediate lives but over the course of many centuries in the Church's life. I would say that we cannot expect the Holy Spirit to create a sudden reform of the Church as seen by the pentecostals: such sudden, thoughtless impulses may bring about far worse and open up disastrous consequences. We must trust in prayer, integrity and self sacrifice. Only by living our lives through a child-like faith in the Church can we hope to be led by the Spirit to reform ourselves and others. Such is the example of the Saints and Apostles. When Our Lord asked them "Will you also go away?" Simon-Peter answered "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God." Let us be one with St. Peter, the Rock on which we build our Faith, and humbly trust that even in those things we do not understand, we can be led to all Truth.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Corpus Christi Traditional High Mass

Traditional Feast of Corpus Christi
The Most Holy Body of Christ
Solemn High Mass in the Classical Roman ('Tridentine') Rite
Birmingham Oratory
(at the High Altar)
8pm - Thursday, June 7th 2007

Mass Setting:
Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli

The Oratory Fathers will once again celebrate a traditional High Mass, appropriate on this day which is the traditional date of Corpus Christi rather than the transferred Sunday.

This exceptional feast was applied to Western Christendom by Urban IV in 1264, to combat the ceaseless attacks of heresy and reawaken the faithful towards the holy Eucharist; ever more important in this day and age. It is desirable to be on a Thursday as originally intended by the bishop of LiƩge, who instituted the feast
in 1246 after a vision by Blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon in 1208, to reflect the Maundy Thursday on which our Lord instituted the Sacrament. It applies the full solemnity to this event, which is not quite possible on Maundy Thursday itself. This, I feel, is certainly a very fitting feast to be celebrated with the full solemnity of the Traditional Roman Rite.

Tailored Mass books and full translations are provided, which will make it perfect for newcomers to the Tridentine Rite.

View Map

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Attack on Popemobile

BBC News has covered a worrying attack by a crazed man in a pink T-shirt upon Pope Benedict XVI's open top jeep during his Wednesday audience today. To watch the video using Windows Media Player, click here.

She's a Star!

(and she's wearing some stars too...)

Yesterday we bought Maddy some new re-usable nappies - Bambino Mio. We really enjoy using cotton nappies; it is good for the environment, comfortable for Maddy, and we prefer using them to disposables. They are great! Look at these wonderful designs:

There are lots of different varieties of re-usable nappies; Pre-folded ones, traditional terry squares, etc. All the information is on the Nappy Lady (in the Resources on the side-bar!) Here is a video showing how we fold ours:

Its Happy Nappy Time!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Edward Elgar

Today is the 150th anniversary of English Romantic Composer Edward Elgar. He died 23 February 1934 leaving a legacy of music, best known of which are his Pomp and Circumstance Marches. Now, I am no expert in classical music; I have only recently acquired an interest through my listening to sacred religious works by well known European composers. However, I have been aware of Elgar for a long time because he was a Midlander born and bred. His mother converted to Catholicism shortly before his birth, so he was also a baptised and raised in the Faith. He is buried in Little Malvern, amongst the great Worcestershire countryside where I proposed to Wendy (a native herself) on the first anniversary of our relationship.

In the year 1900 he produced a choral setting to Cardinal Newman's poem The Dream of Gerontius, which was performed in Birmingham. It has been speculated that the early failure of this work led to a crisis in his faith, which was supposedly never that strong. He played the organ at St George's Catholic Church in Worcester (which we visited, left, for Mass some time ago, on the Feast of the Transfiguration; a treat given the huge replica of Raphael's painting against the back wall of the sanctuary), although so did his father William, who was a protestant. William actually converted to Catholicism on his deathbed in 1906, and similarly Edward reaffirmed his Faith whilst dying of cancer in 1934, receiving the Last Rites. There are many other Worcester memorials to him, including a statue at the end of the high street (pictured above right) and a memorial window in the Worcester Cathedral (pictured below), where he attended many services (despite it being an Anglican Cathedral).

He will perhaps be best remembered for the patriotic enthusiasm aroused in our hearts whenever Land of Hope and Glory is played at the Proms. Whether that is what he wanted or not, is a question best left to the historians.