Showing posts from January, 2010

The Lesser Loved Lewis

Best quote from the book: The Pilgrim's Regress

'...the human soul was made to enjoy some object that is never fully given--nay, cannot even be imagined as given--in our present mode of spatiotemporal experience. This desire was, in the soul, as the Seige Perilous in Aruthur's castle, the chair in which only one could sit. And if nature makes nothing in vain, the One who sits in the chair must exist.'

The Lesser Loved Lewis

CS Lewis’ The Pilgrim’s Regress

If it doesn’t sound that familiar – fret not – I hadn’t heard of it before last week.

The book had been the sole copy in the second hand book shop on Bell Street. There was no Narnia to be had, but this copy of Pilgrim’s Regress had been on the shelf for quite some time.
‘This book’s been around for a while’ my friendly book seller remarked.
‘To be blunt, why didn’t ya give it away when it didn’t sell? You give so many other books that don’t sell to charities...’
‘But it’s CS Lewis, always good to have as many of his titles in stock. Better him on the shelves than Dan Browne eh?.’

I love my copy of The Pilgrim’s Regress and have inscribed my looped, curly signature on the title page. It’s never to be sold or put in the charity shop bag. And if I’m unable to pay my rent in SW7 then it’ll be a handy pillow for the bench-bed in Hyde Park!

The Pilgrim’s Regress is Lewis’ first novel as a Christian, and thereby as a Christian writer. It’s written as an alle…

‘you’re terrible, how can you think such a thing...Jesus as’re absolutely terrible.’

I do not dispute that for many people the integral Jewish setting in which Christianity was founded has become fantastical. A real-life Bible story that has no importance for our lives now, or for our future after death. People of all rank, from school kids who think that Jesus was a stone-age figure, to the nobility of this country.

I spoke with Baroness Warnock last year after she gave a lecture at University College Cork. The baroness, a former favourite of Mrs. Thatcher, was there to argue a case for experiments on human embryos. After her speech in defence of laboratory splicing of embryos, I asked her some questions about her Christian faith.

Baroness Warnock

'Hello Baroness'. Customary shaking of hands. Dreadfully false toothey smiling from yours truly. The baroness smiled at me in return.
'May I ask Baroness Warnock, you are a member of a Christian denomination.'
'Oh yes, indeed I am a Christian'
‘So, you unreservedly call yourself a member of the Ch…

The King's Mother; Our Queen; The Blessed Virgin Mary

Well done Emer for your great comment! You should be writing this blog, not me!
For the benefit of everyone, here is Emer’s comment.

‘Golly. I've always called Our Lady 'queen' out of habit. Didn't realise that it has its origins in Old Testament Jewish law. That she's the queen of Heaven because she's Jesus/kings of king's mother. Maybe it's not pc to say this, but it could be why Protestants don't get Our Lady's queenship. Protestantism is usually very tied to English/German tradition where the queen is the king's wife. Wouldn't it be interesting to do a survey where we find out how many Protestants know that Our Lady is a Queen because she's the king's mother?’

Unfortunately Emer, we probably know the survey results already. The majority of Christians would not know why Our Lady is royalty. Not only should she be called a queen, but she is one. For now and forever. An eternal queen. Her sovereignty is as permanent as Christ t…

“The Christian rediscovery of the Jewishness of Jesus" Rediscovery? Really?

I must take issue with the above statement in quotation marks, that is being bandied about so much these days.

This announcement is articulated as if Jesus' Jewishness has been buried and made apocryphal by His followers. When I write 'apocryphal', I do mean both 'hidden' and 'ficticious'. As if Jesus' Yiddishkeit is not almost wholly relevant to our prayerlife, and reception of the Sacraments. This is neither fair or true to the active followers of Our Lord. Allow one example of how meditating on the life of Jesus is integral to the faith life of many Catholics.

Catholics were called to pray the Rosary everyday by Our Lady of Fatima. Our Lady asked for the daily recitation of the Rosary on 6 occasions on the hill top at Fatima. When one reflects on Mystery One of the Rosary (the Annunciation), there is the necessary respect that our Lady had 'no knowledge of man' yet conceived by the Holy Spirit. If not the fulfillment, then this surely is the …

Postcards from Heaven

A lively debate is being facilitated by Daily Telegraph Blogs on the subject of whether those who do not believe in multi-culturalism may take their pupils out of 'citizenship'/tolerating multi-culturalism classes.

Cue fuzzy lighting and distant violin playing for a personal memoir that most of you will find very self-righteous, and personal. The policies of the politically correct elite in education do back-fire.

On the whole, most of my teachers were wonderfully gifted and great educationalists. A few of my teachers, however were slavishly leftie, championing population control, inclusion of even vile 'cultural' practices and, of course in Celtic Tiger Ireland the obligatory anti-Catholic rhetoric.

One such 'teacher' (forgive the snotty quotation marks but really I learned nada from her) gave …

An illegal crucifix?

A November news story, that still leaves a putrefied taste in our mouths, concerns the European Court of Human Rights ruling, that Italy would have to eradicate ALL crosses from Italian classrooms. Forgive me for my choleric capitalising of ‘ALL’, subtlety was never my forte. But the arrogance of the Court in delivering a judgment based on the campaigning of one Finnish mother, Soile Lautsi, which she did on behalf of her two kids, that will could impact on the lives of all Italian school children. Ms Soile Lautsi is the dame célèbre of the atheist movement; they see Soile Lautsi as the lady who took Italy’s soiled linen to the European Court. A quick search of the atheist sites and societies reveals their glee at the European Court decision.

The European Court of Human Rights did not actually order a specific body of people, such as school teachers or police to confiscate crosses in classrooms. So, no specific group of Italian state employees have it as their set responsibility t…

Where Crucifixes are Verboten!

Should there come a truly despotic age when crucifixes are banned from all classrooms across Europe because of a precedent made by the European Court of Human Rights/Strasbourg Court ruling in November 2009, you may look at this picture of the 'Strasbourg Court' and regard it as the place where the defining symbol of Catholicism was made illegal.

I write of a 'despotic age' as though it's looming ahead. Did Hitler not order the complete removal and destruction of all crucifixes from all public buildings?
The Bavarians were the plucky ones. They defied Hitler, and when a school principal did remove a crucifix, they instructed their children to replace the crucifix.
So we now face the same debacle that the Bavarians faced...all the while these Strasbourg Court judges think themselves so 'progressive'. Regressive is the more apt word.

How about putting this flying spaceship building on a dart board? Apologies. You may not want to sully your dart board. My other…

From phone box to phone box across London...

I had a rather thrilling time last week, when a male friend and I went from phone box to phone box in SW7 ripping down the porn and binning it. Simple strategy; my tall, dark friend gave me ‘cover’ while I nipped into the phone box tore down the porn postcards (who says long nails aren’t useful?) and binned them. We were as giddy as kids released from school.

In my neck of West London, there are telephone boxes lined with lusty lacy pics of girls advertising themselves. Each time I go past them, I think, thank God I don’t have a child of my own who would see these porno postcards in the phone-box just by walking down the street outside our house. So, much as I Love living near Hyde Park and the Oratory, I don’t think I’ll be raising kids here.

And I’m still waiting for Boris Johnson (who I find endearing) to honour his promise to stop the posting of porn and prostitute adverts, and bring ‘those’ who put up the postcards to justice…

Just so long as it’s not my daughter! Substitute ‘daughter’ with ‘sister’, ‘friend’, ‘wife’ or even ‘mother’

Certainly, it’s ‘alright’ and even ‘acceptable’ for more and more pubescent girls, teenagers and twenty-somethings to be involved in an ever growing ‘sex industry’ be it strip joints, competitions to see who can be on the cover of Nuts, old-fashioned pornography or anything from the legally cosseted ‘massage’ parlours to being an ‘escort’. ‘Gentlemen’s Clubs’ are fast replacing pubs, as Ed West describes on his Daily Telegraph blog.

You can hear the cries of ‘it’s liberation!’, ‘it’s a good career move!’, ‘those girls are having fun’, and ‘they are doing what they want with their bodies!’ from the social engineers.

Really? Right, enough with the blaze, ‘open minded’ guff about ‘liberation’.
Forgive me for being unsophisticated but how many fathers, of any race and any age, do you know that opine ‘oh yes, when Kate, our little princess grows up, she’ll work at Stringfellows’?

How many mothers openly delight in saying ‘and when Amy is fourteen she’ll have her naked picture up in the ph…

A victim of eco-laws in Australia

To learn why this man is stationed here, and why he is on hunger strike, follow this link.

The truth shall set you free.

Here's the 'In Good Faith Blog', which brings the 'is Obama a charlatan Christian?' debate to bear on whether it is truly 'honest' or if it shows 'integrity' to parade religous virtue for the sake of getting votes.

Brace yourself! Get a helmet to protect your ears, like that worn by riot police. Anyone who critiques Obama's religious swindling will be called the insult-of-choice 'right wing extremist'. Your head may be bitten off with the snarls and shouts of 'right wing nutter!' That was the offensive stereotype used to gag anyone who dared provoke debate on Obama’s inconsistent religious practices. 'Right-wing extremist' and 'gun-toting Bible reader' is learned-off lines of the Obama-obsessed to hurl at anyone who would say a word against their president.

Anyone who seeks a direct, candid answer on Obama’s confusing Christian…

All the world’s a stage, and Politicians merely Players

Did Obama ‘mislead’ the American public on his religious practices? This is a question being asked more and more in American political and social life, with the answers getting more and more simple, but hard-to-bear. It's especially glaring that Obama and his family did not attend one Christmas service during the entirety of Christmas 2009 and 2008. OK - so the White House had a Christmas tree. Mr. Obama insisted that this tree (was it carbon neutral I ask?) NOT have any religious ornaments; it did, however, have an ornament with a picture of Chinese dictator, Mao Zedong, a leader who oversaw the deaths of over 50,000,000 million (this figure staggers me) of his own people. I suppose that's appropriate when Mr. Obama refused to meet the Dali Lama to develop dialogue on human rights.

Let’s refresh ourselves with Obama’s pre-election interview on CNN when he said spoke of ‘the Christian community of which I am apart of’.

Before the election everyone knew that Obama attended Jer…

St Mel’s – the burning of Ireland’s reputation?

I’m a Catholic – albeit not a good one – but I am saddened by the blaze in St. Mel’s, which will cost a minimum of 2 million. But what far exceeds the financial damage is the irreparable destruction done to both our national reputation and international cultural standing. The burning of this building that was a top pilgrim destination throughout the ages, and housed priceless artefacts of saints such as St. Mel, St. Patrick’s nephew. The reasons bandied about for the suspected arson are that it was ‘revenge’ and ‘justifiable because of the abuse cases’. But revenge on whom? Not one abused child will be better off because St. Mel’s was gutted. What formerly abused adult will get healing because a place of worship was destroyed? All it has done is to further a stereotype of Irish people as spiteful begrudgers, a sort of ‘a priceless church ruined as pay-back for the abuse victims’. But is it really a stereotype? There’s a very real attitude of ‘well they got what they deserve’. Thi…

Living well is the best revenge

With so much empty-mutterings of ‘it was justified revenge’ being given as the assumed reason for the blaze in St. Mel’s, it may do well for us to ponder George Herbert’s words ‘living well is the best revenge’.

PS - George Herbert may have shuttled off his mortal coil in 1633, but some of us, the Irish people who are feeling 'satisfied' that St. Mel's burned to the ground, should really ask ourselves; 'how exactly are we living better since a priceless cathedral was burned?' This wouLd be better than the national sermonising of 'oh, the Catholic Church with all those abuse cases, they had it coming!'