Thursday, 26 February 2015

Me a cowboy

Eh, gringo! Me a cowboy, me a cowboy, me a MEXICAN cowboy!

Pope Benedict, ee likes ze Mexicans!

Thees new Pope, ee no like us, eh? Whot we gonnna do? Eez no good!

Enough of this terrible stereotyping, I feel justified in it simply because it is an ironic comment, and, apparently you can do ANYTHING if it is ironic, and even more if it is social comment.

Poor Pope Francis says something in a "strictly private and informal" email, to avoid Mexicanisation, and then suddenly it gets reported everywhere. And then VIS have to try to reinterpret it (here), and say that there was no offence meant.

St John Paul II, ee likes ze Mexicans too!
Now I'm sure that no offence was actually meant. But as someone once said "If you live by the sword, you die by the sword". The problem is that if you live on the oxygen of publicity, then whenever anything is publicity worthy, then it will be reported. I'm afraid it is just one of those things.

This is completely the WRONG hat!
And if I remember correctly, wasn't one of the things that hurt Pope Benedict XVI so much that he could not rely on those around his to protect him? Well, Pope Francis, welcome to the club...

How is he supposed to protect you, when he's shaking your hand?
Remember to shake the hand of your surgeon when he's taking out your appendix.
And please, now is not the time to annoy the Swiss guards, not with Mexican Banditos on you case!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015


In reading Pascendi Dominici Gregis (1907), of Pope St Pius X, I came across the following quote

Far, far from the clergy be the love of novelty!

And I think that this is a wonderful thing to live life by. Of course we have to differentiate novelty and novelty. And here already you can see the theologians little knives out, picking and poking at definitions to make them more palatable.

But I think the novelty of anesthetics is a good thing. Especially when it comes to toothache. But is that really novelty? Novelty does not mean 'new things'. When I replace a pair of shoes with another pair of shoes which are the same (be quiet, oh ye philosophers!) then this is not novelty.

So telling the clergy to flee from new shoes is not the thing at all.

How about a novelty thing, such as you get on websites such as these? they are things that you can do without, things which are there just for the 'novelty' value.

How droll to have a a novelty mug with a cow on it that goes "Mooooooooooooo" when you pick it up. And how soon it stops being a novelty and becomes deeply annoying. (Please note, however, that backwards clocks never, ever become boring.)

So perhaps a novelty is something that is new for the sake of it. And as such soon becomes old, and needs to be relegated to the back of a cupboard, and never seen again (I'm thinking about the cow mug).

I'm not sure Pope Pius X was talking about cow mugs, but had they been around I am sure he would agree with me, and so in the matter of novelty theology and thought, I shall agree with him wholeheartedly.

Fie, away with you, novel things!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

The Lectionary is at Last Bearing Fruit

This is the comment of Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith at the Catholic Herald. Link here.

I cannot get open the link he has for the Directory so I cannot assess it yet. I am pleased that there is an increased awareness of the importance of preaching. It will be interesting to see if the distinction between homilies and sermons is brought out.

All of us priests think that we are the cat's pajamas when it comes to preaching. Everyone else preaches too long or too short. They are too highbrow or too populist. They are too dry or they milk the crowd for all it is worth.

I myself, yea even I, have been criticised by a fellow priest for waving an Ikea Dragon about during a homily. But look, you just get to a point where you need a visual prompt when explaining the connection between internal Trinitarian perichoresis and salvation history. I used a stuffed dragon. Hey get over it.

But I am not at all sure that this can be put down to the Lectionary. If you think that it is hard to listen to this stuff of a Sunday morning, then just think what we have to go through to come up with it.

In my experience, and so of course I acknowledge that this is not universally the case and your own priest may be too wonderful for words, but the Old Testament is seldom preached on. And sometimes for good reason.

For example, last Sunday's first reading was a piece utter depression from the book of Job. There was no obvious link to the other readings. It came from nowhere. There had been no sustained reading of Job to put it in context.

It is like holding a party when Marjory, who is usually the life and soul, turns up with a face like a slapped thing, bursts into tears and then runs to her room, sobbing and slamming the door behind her.

Only a brute would ignore the situation. You would go and see what was going on, with words of comfort and sympathy on your lips.

Job turned up, said everything was ghastly, and then the reader said "The Word of the Lord." Did your priest mention it? Was it explained? Was it preached about? Contextualised? Or.... ignored.

I'm not criticising the priest, often is the time I have thought "I have no idea what you are going on about St Paul, let's just go with Deuteronomy."

I do not want to get into an Old Mass / New Mass debate. I just want to say that the Lectionary REALLY needs revising. Or else the fruits that does bear will be skewed and strangely un-nice.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Our Lady's Vestment

There is something on this, but it is faint, so you have to click on it to see it.
I have decided that I want to make a vestment for Our Lady. And I have decided that I want it to be ready by December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

This seems a long way off, but from past experience I know that these things take a long time. See the angel vestment here, and the Chavagnes altar cloths here, and here.

And as the back is going to be embroidered it will not be finished by next week.

One of the images of Our Lady
So I am going to do a 'first of the month vestment update'. That way I can make sure that I make progress, if not, then I shall have to hang my head in shame.

Shame, I tell you.


Monday, 2 February 2015

Saying goodbye to the Crib

Today is the end of the Christmas period, so it is time to say goodbye, farewell, to the Rowe Family Crib.

The poor angels are exhausted form singing Gloria continually (I assume in heaven they do it in a supernatural way, here on earth they have to make the air vibrate, and that must be tiring).

This year saw the arrival of a rather natty camel to carry the Kings. There is only one camel (I cannot persuade my mum to knit another one - "Never again, I've thrown the pattern away. It was a nightmare" apparently).

As it is now Septuagesima (cue the weird liturgical moment of banishing the All**#!a only to have it proclaimed in the New Mass!) our eyes turn to the purifying season of Lent.


Happy Feast Day to my first institute of Higher Education!

The House of Mary the Blessed Virgin in Oxford.

Floreat Oriel.

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