Monday, December 17, 2007

Every age is

the Age of Mary until the end of time.

And praised be to God the so-called Age of Aquarius, in the words of the famous song lasted just a few decades. Those that live by the stars, always seeking a new age, would do well to remember the haunting words of Pope Gregory the Great, "The world is grown old".

When an altar has to go, its got to go


Especially when there's a Saturday Night Blues Concert in Church.

Come Sunday morning, not much better.

The Chapel of the Foundlings, Paris

Foundlings were babies who were literally just "found". Orphans without parents.

For them, pre-revolutionary France built this glorious chapel.

"Charles-Joseph Natoire decorated the Foundlings' Chapel opposite Notre-Dame (Cathcon- could not be more appropriate)as an immense piece of Italianate trompe-l'oeil: flanking both sides of the representational niche in the middle, the arcades showed processions of the Wise Men; peasant figures appeared above, while a false ceiling depicted a ruined roof in the manner of traditional Nativity scenes (the work of Paolo and Giovanni Brunetti, specialists in trompe-l'oeil effects)."

The finest for those with nothing.

The Chapel was destroyed in the French Revolution.

Like the Reformation, the Revolution was the enemy of the corporal works of mercy which shows a society to be Christian in its most profound sense.

Someone once accused me, thinking that he could score a point in a debate, accused me of rejecting the principals of the French Revolution.

My answer then as now, you bet I do.

The Venerable Bede wept copiously when he heard "Ne derelinquas nos orphanos, Domine" the verse for the Ascension which was the day of his death in 735, as he himself was by account an orphan.

Sense of priorities

Catholic Hierarchy Backs Bishop’s Hunger Strike

Luke 12.
29 And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink: and be not lifted up on high.
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek. But your Father knoweth that you have need of these things.
31 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you.
32 Fear not, little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom.

If the Bishop dies, Pax Christi and such fellow-travellers will doubtless proclaim him a martyr. But to obtain this title, one has to die professing Christ the King.

The Bishop should study the life of the Gypsy Saint.

Ceferino Gimenez Malla, known as "El Pele" was born a Gypsy in Fraga, Huesca, Spain, probably on 26 August 1861, and a Gypsy he remained. He chose Teresa Gimenez Castro a Gypsy from Lerida as his wife and settled with her in Barbastro. In 1912 he regularized this Gypsy-style union and became a model Christian. He had no children but adopted one of his wife's nieces, whose descendants are still living. He was a flourishing horse dealer with a respectable position in society and ever ready to give generously to the poor. Unjustly accused of theft and imprisoned, he was finally declared innocent: the lawyer for his defence announced: "El Pele is not a thief, he is San Ceferino, patron of Gypsies". In his dealings, he never cheated anyone.

Held in great esteem, El Pele was frequently sought by Gypsies to help them solve the conflicts which sometimes flared up between them. His reputation for charity and piety was widespread and although he was illiterate, educated people esteemed him for his honesty and his wisdom. He was a member of several religious groups. At the start of the Spanish Civil war, at the end of July 1938, he was arrested for trying to defend a priest who was being dragged through the streets of Barbastro, and for keeping a rosary in his pocket. He was offered freedom if he would stop reciting the Rosary. He preferred to stay in prison and face martyrdom. He was shot at dawn on 8 August 1936, against the walls of Barbastro cemetery. He died clutching his Rosary and crying: "Long live Christ the King!".

And thereby did El Pele become San Ceferino, Patron of Gypsies.

Witches vs. Baby Jesus

As Pope Benedict recently said, the measure of all things is the Baby Jesus.

"See, Baby Jesus ticks off witchcraft people. They're all about tolerance for themselves, but are pretty darned intolerant of others. That's how this whole diversity thing goes. Acceptance is demanded for everything — except the values, opinions, faith and culture of the majority. Multiculturalism is about the sanitizing of culture, about the eradication of the mainstream culture."