Showing posts from April, 2012

Chocolate dresses on a rainy day...

I got a lovely present of some chocolate dresses from my friend Helen. Not to be worn, you understand, but for eating. Chocolate always tastes best on cold, blustery and rainy days. I have never experienced a wetter week in London; the sky is like a giant shower head that someone forgot to turn off... If you venture outside the door for a few minutes, then you can be soaked to the skin.

I have been walking to Mass looking like a refugee who is wearing all their items of clothing, one on top of the other. I don a layer of leggings, tracksuit bottoms and trousers; when the rain drenches the trousers, then the tracksuit bottoms might absorb the damp and I won’t catch a chill. It’s a trick that I learned from growing up in Ireland where it rains for weeks on end. I have a huge hood that hangs over my forehead to protect my hair – it makes me look like Darth Vader with a fringe. After Mass and then dinner today, I’m promising myself a chocolate dress as a little indulgence.

At least m…

Manuel: "I am English...oh hullo Major..." A treat on St George's Day

Happy St George's Day to everyone! A tiny bit of the best of English comedy to put you in a good mood on this feast.

St Anthony, my printer-paper white skin and the blusher


Blazing Saddles on and Easter egg in hand...

Ah, the joys of a Bank Holiday! I have been saving Blazing Saddles for a rainy night such as this one where rain runs down my window and the wind makes the trees in the garden dance in a waltz. But shall I watch A Man for all Seasons instead? My choice in movies is very bathetic; from the sublime drama of Paul Scofield's finest hour in the role of St Thomas More ("I was the King's good servant, but the Lord's first") to the comic-tastic Gene Wilder slumping against a prison wall murmuring, "my name is Jim, but most people call me...Jim." Blazing Saddles came number 6 among the American Film Institute's Top-100 Comedies. A Man for All Seasons won 6 Oscars, and don't have to be religious or 'a Roman' to enjoy it, as the trailer will attest.

I still have a few shards of Easter egg left...  A movie night is like the intermission in 'real life'.

Dear Readers – which blog design do you prefer?

To convey the sorrow of Good Friday, I changed the blog to a solemn black background. And now in honour of Our Lord’s resurrection, I have changed the blog to a green-grass template because green represents new life and a fresh start. It’s not written in the Catechism that our blog colours and backgrounds must reflect Church holidays. But, which  background do you like best? The green background is appropriate for us in London, now that we are leaving a cold winter and enjoying the first glimpses of spring. Even in the middle of busy London, the air does taste of a certain spring sweetness; peppered with pollen and gently warmed by a shy sun.The concrete coloured sky is now giving way to a china blue spring horizon. But the black template was a good ‘frame’ for my multi-coloured pictures. Like the way jewellers use black velvet to highlight their diamonds and gems, a dark background can bring out the best in photos and pictures.

Seeing Jesus on your wall...


HAPPY EASTER! He is Risen!

Wishing everyone heartfelt Easter blessings. May you have a wonderful Easter Sunday.

Lent is over! I’ve just had two delicious cups of coffee this morning. As many of you might know, if you abstain from high-octane caffeine for a while, coffee has an extra kick. After my milky coffee, I now feel like a three year old who has had three red bulls! Much as I love coffee, it has a tendency to give me headaches; it’s a type of unrequited love; I love coffee, but it doesn’t love me back! Having a coffee was my way of celebrating Easter. And didn’t I hear somewhere that it’s a sin to fast on a feast day?

Padre Pio and the mother of five who came out of a coma at Easter

Padre Pio is a saint – but he has a reputation as having been a tough priest who spent all his time telling people how they had sinned.  But a lesser known fact is that Padre Pio pronounced Paolina, who was a local woman in San Giovanni Rotondo, to be such a good person that she had no faults in her soul. In other words, she was fit for heaven. One Lent, the saintly Paolina suddenly became seriously ill with pneumonia. It was 1925: and the fact that there was no penicillin available meant that Paolina’s infection was life-threatening.
The doctors despaired and said that Paolina would die soon. 
Paolina’s husband and their five kids went to Padre Pio. Two of Paolina’s children wept and tugged at Padre Pio’s brown habit. He was aggrieved by the children’s sorrow. He promised to pray for their mother – and for them – and he said, “tell Paolina to have no fear - since she will be resurrected with Our Lord.”
On Good Friday, however, Paolina fell into a coma. This made people question what Pad…

Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me...

1. Just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me, and that thou bidst me come to thee, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 2. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 3. Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 4. Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind, yea, all I need in thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 5. Just as I am, thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve; because thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 6. Just as I am, thy love unknown hath broken every barrier down; now, to be thine, yea thine alone, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

'And now there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.' Change of blog colour and design in honour of Our Lord's Passion


The Donkey by GK Chesterton


Ireland needs a papal visit - to begin healing

Once upon a time, Irish villages and towns with roadside statues of Our Lady were seedbeds of missionary vocations. Young priests and nuns from Gougane Barra, Knock and Navan were so passionate about giving the faith to others that they travelled to the ends of the earth to spread the Gospel. Until recent times, Irish politicians fawned over parish priests and Vatican officials.
The days of old seem like a fairytale.

In today’s Ireland, there is an annihilating absence of young people in the pews. The reports into clerical abuse have shown that in the past there was great loyalty to the Church, but that much was hidden. I was reduced to angry tears by the part of the Cloyne Report into the Church’s handling of abuse allegations that described the situation in East Cork was such that in most cases the clergy and the families of the victims failed to bring knowledge of the crime to the authorities. Many of these families have since lapsed; they have lost their trust in Mother Church.  The…