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Showing posts from October, 2015

A 12 year old murder victim teaches us how to forgive. A note on how to avoid 'the bitterness trap'

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Presently America has the honour of having the relics of St Maria Goretti tour from church to church, the virgin-martyr born 125 years ago this month. 125 years ago this month, Maria Goretti was born in Italy. Poverty had a vice-like grip on her family. When she was six, her parents lost their farm and had to up sticks and earn a meagre living working for other farmers. Following the untimely death of her father, Maria, her mother and siblings moved again, and not begin able to afford a house of their own, had to share with the Serenelli family, which is where little Maria Goretti got to know their son, Alessandro. Three years later, the 18 year old Alessandro started lusting after 12 year old Maria. One afternoon while her mother was working in the fields, Alessandro sexually harassed little Maria. She stood up to him, warned him his salvation would be in jeopardy if he defiled her, and cried out, “No! It is a sin! God does not want it!” Enraged by her refusal to submit to him (and …

Surviving ISIS: "At night they would torture me, during the day I was giving these young men advice on their marriage problems"

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At my parish of the London Oratory, Fr Douglas Bazi gave a talk in St Wilfrid's hall, the long drawing room with dazzlingly high ceilings.  Aid to the Church in Need have brought Fr Bazi from Iraq. He gave one of the most fascinating talks I've ever heard; it was both inspiring and heartbreaking.  He says that if a young Catholic man in Iraq decides to become a priest, he knows he will be martyred, 'to be a priest in Iraq is a one way mission; you will be killed.'

Fr Bazi knows this viscerally; ISIS terrorists kidnapped him for nine days. He was driving in traffic, when two cars sidled up and blocked him. Chaining his hands, they took him to a toilet where he was kept for several days with the instruction, 'if you open your eyes, we will shoot you.' They starved him and gave him no water for four days.  When he thought things were at their worst, Fr Bazi tried off-beat humour to show them they were not getting to him, and thus make them





doubt their efforts to hur…

Such truth in parody: let's re-name Amnesty, Shamnesty

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Liam Neeson lent his voice to the Amnesty International video calling for the repeal of the Eight Amendment of the Irish Constitution.   A most patronising piece, it puts forth that Irish women are in 'chains' because the Eight Amendment introduced a constitutional ban on abortion, and that people who are against the mutilation of the unborn are locked in the past.  

Manipulative in that it attempts to evoke the stigma that many Irish people feel when they think of 'poor Catholic Ireland'. I find it very offensive that they think Irish people will be so easily manipulated, apparently the only way Ireland can prove it has gotten over its past, is if abortion is legalised.

The most infuriatingly derisive statement is, 'it is the shadow of the country we'd hoped we'd left behind.'  Working on the assumption that we or all of us share their driving ambition to allow the legalised destruction of babies, evades acknowledging that there are Irish pro-life people…

Guest post from John Carmichael on how YOU can discover the secret of the Rosary

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The Secret of the Rosary
When my dear friend and editor, Mary O’Regan, asked me to contribute a guest post on the subject of the Rosary, the first thing that came to mind was the old line that, “writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” What I wish I could say about the Rosary seems so often to be beyond language.
Many disciples of Jesus Christ much more advanced than me have had their comment on this great prayer of the Church, but I have found them all wanting.
Take one for example: Saint Louis de Montfort, a glorious writer on our Blessed Mother. His True Devotion to Mary is for me a transcendent and exhilarating read. So, after having experienced my own startling encounter with the Rosary, I was very much looking forward to reading Saint de Montfort’s The Secret of the Rosary to find out why the Rosary was so powerful.   
Unfortunately I tried several times but could not get through it. There it sits, The Secret of the Rosary does, silently mocking me for my lack of d…

'The author gives credit to grace...'

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A reader has given Drunks and Monks a five star rating, and has written that, ‘the vulnerability and honesty of this conversion story give us a profound example of every human's experience to some degree...’
The second part of the review called to my mind, St Thérèse of Lisieux’s truism that everything is grace, ‘the author gives credit to grace and the grace received through the sacraments for his ability to see Truth. Great read.’
It was St Thérèse’s feast day yesterday, and I would like to wish everyone a belated happy feast.