Friday, 31 July 2015

Throne, Altar, Liberty: The Tory and the Individual

Throne, Altar, Liberty: The Tory and the Individual

'The Tory is an individualist, but his individualism concerns actual individuals, and not the abstract, generic, concept of the individual. These are real men and women, embodied souls, created in the image of God but marred by sin, thus possessing much potential for both good and evil. Their individuality is not a shared trait, but is different for each person, because it is the nature of individuality to make a person stand out as distinct and unique, whether for better or for worse. The Tory does not see individuals as being prior to their families, communities, and societies, but rather sees their families, communities, and societies as providing the necessary pre-existing context within which their individuality develops. The Tory believes in both the common good and freedom for individuals, but neither at the expense of the other. Whereas the classical liberal believes the individual to have possessed absolute freedom in a fictitious, pre-society, “state of nature”, the Tory recognizes that society is the state of nature for human individuals and that it is only in the context of a stable, societal, order that they can have and experience any real freedom.'

The Feast of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri

O God, who constantly raise up in your Church new examples of virtue, grant that we may follow so closely in the footsteps of the Bishop Saint Alphonsus in his zeal for souls as to attain the same rewards that are his in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Alphonsus, pray for us, that we may truly appreciate the glories of Blessed Mary Ever Virgin.

The Voice of One Crying Out in Suburbia: Headcovering: Now More Than Ever

The Voice of One Crying Out in Suburbia: Headcovering: Now More Than Ever

'A covering is more than just an external sign of a submissive heart, although it is not less than that, The covering is also a quiet act of subversion against the culture that tells us that gender, like race, is whatever you want it to be, whatever you feel like at that moment. The covering reminds us that God intentionally made man and He intentionally made woman, He made them in a specific way and order and He made them to be distinct, interdependent and complementary. The two genders and how God designed them to relate with one another is integral to God's design for humanity and even for His plan of salvation. When we read the opening of the Gospel according to Matthew we see the genealogy of Jesus Christ, generation after generation. When we see the curse in Genesis 3 we also see the promise that would be fulfilled in Christ Jesus through the seed of the woman. When we see the promise to Abraham we know that it is fulfilled in the children of the union between man and woman. The covering is a critical, external symbol of recognition of the pivotal place of gender. Absolutely the heart is even more critical in this equation but you simply cannot negate the external sign commanded in Scripture, just as Christians are called to actually be baptized in water as an external sign of an inward reality.'

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Angelina of Serbia

The image of God was truly perserved in you, O Mother, / for you took up the Cross and followed Christ. / By so doing you taught us to disregard the flesh for it passes away, / but to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal. / Therefore your spirit, O venerable Angelina, rejoices with the angels.

Saint Angelina, pray for us and for both Serbia and Albania.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Pocket Manual of Anglo-Catholic Devotion

Andrew Burnham, A Pocket Manual of Anglo-Catholic Devotion, 2004 Canterbury Press

I seem to like a lot of stuff that is published by Canterbury Press.

When it comes to prayer books, Anglicans seem to always come out on top. Not surprising, I suppose, when the Book of Common Prayer is so central to their tradition. This book is superior to the basic prayer manuals so common in Roman Catholicism, because it does not simply provide the reader with a set of ad hoc devotional prayers, but it moves them forward to a basic and easy to use daily office. In fact, A Pocket Manual contains two daily offices, one in traditional language that is taken directly from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, the other a modern language order for morning, midday, evening and night prayer that is largely based on Common Worship. Propers for the seasons are included and readers are encouraged to begin by saying the Angelus or Regina Caeli.

As well as these two daily offices, the book also includes ad hoc devotional prayers to say at morning and at night, as well as rosary devotions, sacramental prayers and plenty of Marian stuff. The presence of devotions to the Sacred Heart shows this is aimed at the more Baroque end of Anglo-Catholicism.

This is unfortunately a paperback. I really don't trust a paperback prayer book to be sturdy enough to last, though this is not a prayer book that I use all that regularly.

The Feast of Saint Martha

Saint Martha is one of my favorite saints. I am really devoted to her. I love the fact that the Bible records two memorable incidents about her. One in which she messed up; acting selfish and losing her temper. In the other incident, she showed her complete faith and trust in Jesus Christ and saw the reality of her faith vindicated in the raising of Lazarus.

Almighty ever-living God,
whose Son was pleased to be welcomed
in Saint Martha’s house as a guest,
grant, we pray,
that through her intercession,
serving Christ faithfully in our brothers and sisters,
we may merit to be received by you
in the halls of heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Martha,
I resort to thy aid and protection.
Comfort me in all my difficulties
and through the great favors thou didst enjoy
when the Savior was lodged in thy house,
intercede for my family,
that we be provided for in our neccessities.
I ask of thee, Saint Martha,
to overcome all difficulties
as thou didst overcome the dragon
which thou hadst at thy feet.
In the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


Saint Martha, hostess of the Lord and woman of faith, pray for us, that we may have complete confidence and trust in Jesus Christ Our Saviour

Sunday, 26 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Anne

O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Good St. Anne, you were especially favored by God to be the mother of the most holy Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Savior. By your power with your most pure daughter and with her divine Son, kindly obtain for us the grace and the favor we now seek. Please secure for us also forgiveness of our past sins, the strength to perform faithfully our daily duties and the help we need to persevere in the love of Jesus and Mary. Amen.

Litany of Saint Anne
For private use only.

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Angels and Saints
Pray for us.
St. Anne, instrument of the Holy Ghost,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, faithful spouse of St. Joachim,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mirror of the married,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, example of widows,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, miracle of patience,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of confidence,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of constancy,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of prayer,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, mother of blessing,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, vessel of sanctity,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, merciful mother,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, comfortress of the afflicted,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, help of the poor,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, protectress of virgins,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, support of the oppressed,
Pray for us.
St. Anne, refuge of thy clients,
Pray for us.
We sinners,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy love for Jesus and Mary,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy virtues and merits,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy goodness and mercy,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through thy compassion and charity,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the graces bestowed on thee by God,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the joys thou didst experience with Jesus and Mary,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the happiness thou dost enjoy for all eternity,
We beseech thee, hear us.
Through the honor given thee by the Saints in Heaven,
We beseech thee, hear us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, St. Anne,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to endow blessed Anne with grace so that she might be worthy to become the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we who devoutly venerate her memory may also be helped by her powerful intercession. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Anne, pray for us, and for all mothers.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Pope Francis and Evangelicals

Catholic Herald: The Pope’s great Evangelical gamble

An interesting article, but it rather misses the elephant in the room. That is the fact that the Pope Francis' constant emphasis on social justice is not going to excite or interest the majority of Evangelicals all that much. No matter how warmly His Holiness feels toward Evangelicals, he is speaking a different language to them.

I suspect that the Holy Father simply does not understand Evangelicals. I rather imagine that he thinks that because a lot of converts to Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism in Latin America are poor, they appreciate his talking about poverty every five minutes. However, the poor do not always wish to be politicized. The reason that Evangelicalism and Pentecostalism are growing in Latin America is because the Latin American Catholic churches have become obsessed with social justice and have forgotten the heart of the Catholic faith. People in Latin America convert to Evangelicalism because it offers them a spiritual direction and moral leadership which they no longer find in the Catholic Church. They don't become Pentecostals because Pentecostals constantly call for justice for the poor. I don't see any sign that Pope Francis has learned this lesson. With the greatest respect to the Holy Father, I see very little spirituality in his message and the same overemphasis on social concerns.

There are many Evangelicals who will applaud Pope Francis message of social justice. I was attending a church with a strong social interest until I became a Catholic. But such concerns
are always secondary with Evangelicals to a call for spiritual conversion and transformation. If Pope Francis persists in making poverty and social justice central to his message, he will inevitably come across as closer to a Liberal Protestant than an Evangelical.

The Feast of Saint James the Great

GRANT, O merciful God, that as thine holy Apostle Saint James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay was obedient unto the calling of thy Son Jesus Christ, and followed him; so we, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow thy holy commandments; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. James, pray for us and for Spain.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

O God, whose Only Begotten Son entrusted Mary Magdalene before all others with announcing the great joy of the Resurrection, grant, we pray, that through her intercession and example we may proclaim the living Christ and come to see him reigning in your glory. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us, that we may be protected from demonic oppression.

The Mad Monarchist: Mad Rant: Calling the British Royals Nazis

The Mad Monarchist: Mad Rant: Calling the British Royals Nazis

'No, this was not a planned article as part of the “Year of World War II” at The Mad Monarchist but a reaction to a story that recently appeared in the news that has all of the monarchy-bashers salivating like Pavlov’s dog. There recently came to light a “home video” of the British Royal Family showing King Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Princess Elizabeth (the Queen) and Princess Margaret playing around and -brace yourselves- giving the “Nazi salute”. I first saw it in The Sun (that bastion of journalistic integrity -he said sarcastically) and the media has run with it. Taken in 1933 when the current monarch was a mere child, it has drawn out that crowd which has long tried to convince people that the British Royal Family were all a bunch of Nazi sympathizers deep down. Since it has surfaced there have also been new calls for the Royal Family to open the archives relating to the period in question to show every last detail of what the royals had to do with Nazi Germany or anyone affiliated with the regime. For the monarchy-bashers this was like an early Christmas present since the Nazis are the one group that practically everyone on earth agrees were evil and the one group these days that it is not only okay to openly hate but absolutely mandatory to do so.'

Monday, 20 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Margaret of Antioch

O Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Margaret of Antioch, boldness to confess the Name of our Saviour Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of the same our Lord Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

O God, grant us through the intercession of Your holy virgin and martyr Margaret, the graces necessary to undauntedly confess the Faith, carefully observe chastity in our state of life, and overcome the temptations of the world, the devil, and the flesh, and thereby escape the punishments of eternal damnation. Amen.

St. Margaret, holy virgin and martyr, faithfully did you preserve the robe of holy innocence and purity, valiantly resisting all the flattery and allurements of the world for the love of your Divine Spouse, Jesus Christ. Help me to overcome all temptations against the choicest of all virtues, holy purity. Help me to remain steadfast in the love of Christ, in order to preserve this great gift of God. Implore for me the grace of perseverance in prayer, distrust of myself, and flight from the occasions of sin. Finally, I beg that you obtain for me the grace of a good death, so that in Heaven I may "follow the Lamb wherever He goes." Amen.

Saint Margaret of Antioch, pray for us, that we may be faithful unto death.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Biblical Cosmos, by Robin Parry

Robin A. Parry, The Biblical Cosmos: A Pilgrim's Guide to the Weird and Wonderful World of the Bible, 2014 Cascade Books

Many years ago, before Robin Parry got his PhD, he taught me A-Level Religion and Philosophy. He also used to preach regularly at the Charismatic Evangelical church my family attended. His preaching had a theological depth that set it apart from most preaching that you are likely to hear.

This book, beautifully illustrated by his daughter, Hannah, takes the reader on a tour through the universe as the writers of the Old Testament understood it.

While many Evangelicals, whether Old or Young Earth assume a concordist view of the Bible and science, Parry argues persuasively that the ancient Hebrews had a fundamentally pre-scientific cosmology that cannot be harmonised with our scientific cosmology in a literal way. They held to a department store view of the universe with Sheol in the basement, the surface of the Earth surrounded by water on the ground floor, the air on the next floor, a solid sky dome with attached stars holding up the water on the next level and on the top floor, God's throne room, where He holds court with his heavenly council. There are Christians who will challenge this thesis on the Ancient Near East cosmology, though I think it is grounded in what we know of Ancient Near Eastern thought. I think it raises difficult questions for those like me who maintain the Inerrancy of Scripture, but these are questions that must be addressed. Back in my fundamentalist days, I was aware of some of them, such as the waters above being situated above the 'sky dome.' My solution then was that there is some kind of watery barrier separating our universe from God's heaven. Who knows, maybe there is.

Rejecting Biblical literalism, Parry argues that we can go beyond divine accommodationism and find metaphorical truth in the differences between the ancient cosmology and our own. He takes us through the idea of the cosmos as God's temple, an idea that will be familiar to those who have read John Walton or GK Beale. His thoughts on the the Biblical idea of the stars as minor deities in Yahweh's court are interesting. He argues that we would do well to look beyond material reality to spiritual dimensions behind it. The proposition that the stars are living beings was condemned under Pope Vigilius in the Canons against Origen. Perhaps the stars, while not themselves living, are fundamentally connected to the angels. I imagine the stars are to angels like the tubes of a polycrates worm or the barnacles created by a tiny a crustacean. Parry seems keen to revive a some form of Christian Plantonism as a more fruitful understanding of the cosmos than our materialism that prevails. He suggests some very helpful reading material on this subject.

I think Parry agonizes unnecessarily about the ascension of Our Lord into heaven. He toys with the idea of Christ's ascension as his translation into the eschatological future. It is something of a modern orthodoxy across all denominations to insist that heaven is not a place, but a state. Call me a fundamentalist, but I have never undestood what the problem is with the idea of heaven as physical place that one could hypothetically reach in a spaceship actually is. I still own my Dake's Reference Bible that tells me that heaven is a 'planet on the north side of the universe.'

The Feast of Saint Macrina

The sister of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory of Nyssa.

The image of God was truly preserved in you, O Mother,
For you took up the Cross and followed Christ.
By so doing, you taught us to disregard the flesh, for it passes away,
But to care instead for the soul, since it is immortal.
Therefore your spirit, O Holy Mother Macrina, rejoices with the Angels!

Since the light of righteousness shone brightly in thee,
thou wast an example of the life of piety for all,
teaching the virtues to them that cry:
Rejoice, Macrina, thou boast of virginity.

Saint Macrina, pray for us, that we may inspire and guide our family members with our faith.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

A Guide to Morning and Evening Prayer, by Fr Robert Taylerson

Fr Robert Taylerson, A Guide to Morning, Evening and Night Prayer: How to Pray the Prayer of the Church, 2008 Catholic Truth Society, £1.95

It is remarkable how few Catholics are aware, let alone participate in the Liturgy of the Hours. I find it amazing that many devout Catholics are not even aware of the existence of the Liturgy of the Hours. Thankfully, the Catholic Truth Society published this helpful booklet explaining how to say the Divine Office.

This is a practical booklet, offering guidance as to how the offices are said. It does not send much time talking about why they are important, which might be needed in encouraging more Catholics to say the Liturgy of the Hours.

The insructions here might come across as a little complicated and intimidating if one has no prior experience of trying to say the Liturgy. I think I would advise Catholics to buy some version of the Divine Office and to try saying it daily before buying this book or some other guidebook.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Daily Telegraph: Does Britain want to fight Isil or be internationally irrelevant?

Daily Telegraph: Does Britain want to fight Isil or be internationally irrelevant?

Article by John McTernan

'And this is the third and crucial point – are we serious? Do we want to defeat Isil without killing them? If so, just withdraw our forces and pass a law making everyone in the UK call Isil Daesh. If you think that outrage and gentle mockery will win a war then please vote for that. Be my guest. If, however, you think that Britain is not Belgium and that what we do counts for something in the world then follow the logic through. We can be pacifists and not lift a finger to save the innocent. A perfectly logical moral position – though not mine. Or we can act to fight evil. There is no halfway house.'

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All Russians

Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns;
Wise Nicholas and blest Alexandra, we praise you,
Acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith, and humility,
Whereby ye attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God,
With your five renowned and godly children of blessed fame.
O passion–bearers decked in purple, intercede for us.

Royalty and martyrdom were joined together, O blessed ones,
In your death for righteousness and right belief, O wise Sovereigns,
Nicholas and Alexandra, with your five children.
Hence, Christ our God counted you worthy of thrones in Heaven;
And with twofold crowns of glory,
You reign forever, adorned with grace divine.

Saint Nicholas, pray for us, for Russia and all kings and queens.

Mary in the Liturgy, by David W. Fagerberg

David W. Fagerberg, Mary in the Liturgy, 2012 Catholic Truth Society, £2.50

This is a booklet published by the Catholic Truth Society. It explains the connection between the liturgy of the Mass and the Blessed Mother of God. Not only does it do that, but it provides, along the way, an introduction into liturgy, explaining what it is that is so important that we do at mass. Fagerberg explains how in the mass, we participate in the life of our Triune God.

This is a short book at 68 pages, but it is very theologically rich. This is a wonderful introduction to the field of Mariology, demonstrating just why Mary is so central to our Catholic faith and the life of the Church.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Bonaventure

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, just as we celebrate the heavenly birthday of the Bishop Saint Bonaventure, we may benefit from his great learning and constantly imitate the ardor of his charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Bonaventure, pray for us, for all Franciscans and for theologians.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Negating the Void: Theses on Monarchy

Negating the Void: Theses on Monarchy

'Augustine teaches us (Civ. Dei, Book 19) that a people must be united around common objects of love. Historically, this has either been the liturgy/Faith or the monarch. This doesn't immediately rule out some forms of Republicanism, to be sure, but it does put it on a tight squeeze. Republicanism as a general rule'

Monday, 13 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Henry II

O God, whose abundant grace prepared Saint Henry to be raised by you in a wonderful way from the cares of earthly rule to heavenly realms, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that amid the uncertainties of this world we may hasten towards you with minds made pure. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Henry II, pray for us, for Germany and for all kings and queens.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Cordial Catholic: So You Think You’re Smarter than the Church Fathers?

The Cordial Catholic: So You Think You’re Smarter than the Church Fathers?

'There are lots of reasons why I decided, as an otherwise happy Evangelical Protestant, to become a Roman Catholic. Among these reasons were aesthetic and spiritual appeals—the beauty of the liturgy and the plethora of centuries old spiritual practices—and these were, indeed, powerful motivators.
But alongside the sometimes esoteric motivations were some fundamentally, concretely intellectual reasons to join the ranks of the ancient Catholic Church.

Chief among the intellectual appeals stand the towering figures of the Early Church Fathers.

Christians who lived, and wrote, some of them contemporary with the writings of the New Testament.

Many of them, in the earliest Fathers known as the Ante-Nicene Fathers, were taught themselves by the apostles.

It was the strong appeal and clear theology of these, some of the earliest and most foundational Christians, that contributed strongly to my intellectual conversion to Catholicism. To do anything otherwise, I’ll argue, would be utterly foolish.'

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Daily Telegraph: The 'Living Wage' is economically useless and intellectually empty

Daily Telegraph: The 'Living Wage' is economically useless and intellectually empty

Article by Ryan Bourne

Something strange has been occurring in Conservative circles in recent months. Otherwise sensible people who believe in free markets, and who denounced Miliband’s proposed price and wage controls just two months ago, started claiming that the labour market simply didn’t work for wages between £6.50 an hour (the National Minimum Wage) and £7.85 (the so-called "Living Wage"). It was vital, they said, that we introduced a statutory Living Wage.

Totally agree. George Osborne just threw away all his free-market credentials. The Conservative Party should know better than to buy into this 'Living Wage' nonsense.

This smacks of the worst side of the Conservative Party under Cameron; being totally focused on wrong-footing the Opposition and gaining short-term popularity.

Daily Telegraph: Greece is a victim of its own cronyism and corruption

Daily Telegraph: Greece is a victim of its own cronyism and corruption

Article by Pavlos Eleftheriadis

The crisis of 2010 meant that Greece could not remain a member of the eurozone without opening up its economy and fixing its deep social injustices. Such reforms required trust, but there was none to be had. The governments of PaSoK and New Democracy largely balanced the books, but refused to destroy the privileges of the special interests that kept them in power. The government of Syriza also resists reform, ostensibly because of hostility to “capitalism”, but in reality because most special interests have switched their allegiance to Syriza as the real anti-reform party and the vehicle of a new cronyism. Hence, Syriza has done nothing to regulate the media oligarchs, open up the economy, or introduce meritocracy in the civil service. It even refused to introduce a universal unemployment benefit by way of a “minimum guaranteed income” as proposed by the EU.

Countries need to spend money on the right things. Going without an effective welfare state brings its own problems. Yeah, I know, we all link to articles that confirm our worldview and ideology. My own ideology is free-market capitalism plus a welfare state.

The Daily Office SSF

The Daily Office SSF, 2010 Mowbray, London

This breviary is an adaptation of Common Worship: Daily Prayer for Anglican Franciscans. It thus represents a more Anglo-Catholic version of the Common Worship breviary. It therefore brings that element which is so lacking in the Anglican liturgy, namely Marian elements. It includes the Angelus to say before beginning the office and the Marian antiphons to say after compline.

The great advantage of Daily Prayer is its user-friendliness and this adapted version is even more user-friendly. The daily office for each day of the week also double up as seasonal offices, hence the office for Friday forms the daily office for Lent and the office for Sunday forms the office for Eastertide. This makes for a lighter volume, as well as ease of use. It also contains a more comprehensive table of Psalms than Daily Prayer.

I prefer liturgy in traditional language, but I nevertheless think this is a fantastic breviary. It manages to combine the spiritual richness of CW: Daily Prayer with Anglo-Catholic devotion and Franciscan spirituality, as well as making a user-friendly prayer book even more user-friendly. Catholic publishers could learn so much from this prayer book.

The Feast of Saint Benedict

O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict an outstanding master in the school of divine service, grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you, we may hasten with a loving heart in the way of your commands. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

O exalted Father St. Benedict, guide and patriarch of the monastic life, thou art the hope and consolation of all who cry to thee from their inmost heart. To thy holy patronage I humbly recommend myself. To thee do I pray, to thee do I cry, O benign Father, O sweetest Master! With the utmost fervor of my heart, and with the vehement desires of my soul, I supplicate thee: graciously intercede with God for me, a poor sinner, that He may mercifully grant the forgiveness of my sins and perseverance in good. O loving Father, I most ardently beseech thee, never permit me to be separated from God, but pray that I may attain to the communion of saints, to the happy vision of my Lord, that with thee and the numerous choirs of they spiritual sons and daughters, I may rejoice forever and ever. This grant me, O Lord Jesus Christ, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Saint Benedict, pray for us, for Europe and for all monks and nuns.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Mad Monarchist: Monarch Profile: King Saul of Israel

The Mad Monarchist: Monarch Profile: King Saul of Israel

Although there has been some debate over the correct translation of titles such as king, chief or prince, the man recognized as the first King of Israel was Saul who ruled, roughly, from 1020 to 1000 BC. Due to the immense space of time that has elapsed since the reign of King Saul, much about him remains a mystery. We do not know exactly when he was born or even where exactly he was from. All we know is that he was from an unnamed town in the lands of the tribe of Benjamin. The primary source for information on his life is the First Book of Samuel. Saul was considered a Judge of Israel and was most known for being a great and accomplished warrior. He is portrayed as being somewhat similar to past Judges of Israel who also had a bit of the Prophet about him in that he was moved by God to do certain things. When the Ammonites attacked Jabesh-gilead in the Trans-Jordan, Saul felt compelled by God to take action and gathered together an army of Israelite warriors to defeat the Ammonites, one of his many military accomplishments. When the people of Israel began to demand a king to lead them, someone like Saul would have been a natural choice.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Priscilla and Saint Aquila

Almighty God, you gave to your servants Priscilla and Aquila special gifts of grace to understand and teach the truth as it is in Christ Jesus: Grant that by this teaching we may know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saints Priscilla and Aquila, pray for us and for all Christian marriages.

Monday, 6 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Maria Goretti

O God, author if innocence and lover of chastity, who bestowed the grace of martyrdom on your handmaid, the Virgin Saint Maria Goretti, in her youth, grant, we pray, through her intercession, that, as you gave her a crown for her steadfastness, so we, too, may be firm in obeying your commandments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us, for the victims of sexual violence and for all young people.

Friday, 3 July 2015

The Feast of Saint Thomas

Grant, almighty God, that we may glory in the Feast of the blessed Apostle Thomas, so that we may always be sustained by his intercession and, believing, may have life in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, whom Thomas acknowledged as the Lord. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Thomas, pray for us, that we may always have faith in Christ, and for India.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Guardian: Britain’s disdain for eastern European migrants is a betrayal of memory

Guardian: Britain’s disdain for eastern European migrants is a betrayal of memory

Article by Jonathan Jones

'The sheer altruism and European solidarity of Britain’s bravery in the second world war has been tragically forgotten. So, apparently, has the almost unimaginable suffering of the people of eastern Europe not only in the war, but afterwards under Stalin’s iron heel. A wall of narrow ignorance has descended. It is plain that many Britons have no idea of the massacres and cruelties inflicted in the killing fields of Hitler’s and Stalin’s empires, the terrible scars on so much of our continent.

Wherever these “East Europeans” come from, you can bet it was somewhere that saw horrors Britons would find hard to imagine, even in the murderous 20th century. We cared about that in 1939. We should remember it now. But we choose our memories carefully. We edit out the altruism of our own past and the suffering of others. We are offended at this apparent slur on memory, but forget the history that should make us proud to be generous and welcoming.'