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Showing posts from February, 2016

Dear Donald Trump, don't you mean Enda-Life Kenny?

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Donald Trump wrote Eamon Kenny when I think he meant Enda-Life Kenny, the taoiseach / Irish PM who legislated for abortion in 2013.

We can give a gift of joy to Mother Angelica

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In December, I wrote a piece asking for prayers for Mother Angelica, this time round I wrote a piece on Mother Angelica's favourite devotion... 

Raymond Arroyo’s riveting biography of Mother Angelicahas vivid accounts of Mother’s all-time favourite devotion: praying to the Divine Infant. Her personal room in Alabama is reportedly full of statues of Baby Jesus and models of the Christ Child.
In 2000, when Mother Angelica was gearing up for a Vatican investigation of her cloistered order, she ordered a statue of the Divine Child seated in a chair. The day before the Visitation was to begin, Arroyo’s biography quotes Mother as saying to a statue of the Divine Infant: “You’re going to fix this, aren’t You?” Mother Angelica put the future of her order into the hands of the Christ Child just as the Vatican investigator Archbishop Gonzalez was about to arrive. His excellency was tasked with investigating the life at the monastery with Mother Angelica as abbess, which included reviewing th…

Pope Francis did not 'lose his cool' in Mexico

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I have a problem with the assertion that Pope Francis ‘lost his temper’ with one of his fans during his trip to Mexico. There is a piece of footage doing the rounds – showing His Holiness being pulled so violently by someone (we don’t know if it was a man or woman) that he lurched forward and fell onto a child in a wheelchair. The quick action of aides and security men prevented the Pope from falling to the ground and may have saved him from being injured. Thank God the Vicar of Christ was not dashed to the floor where he may have been badly bruised! The Pope’s Guardian Angel was on active duty. Saying the Pope ‘lost his cool’ is not fair – His Holiness was in control of the situation. He may have lost his balance but his reaction was balanced, he promptly told the person who was manhandling him, “don’t be selfish”. Speaking objectively, the person who grabbed him was acting in a self-centred fashion, trying to aggressively drag the Pope towards themselves, showing no concern for the …

On the intercession of St Apollonia: a post you can really get your teeth into...

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I've seen fellow Catholics dramatically tremble when they hear that St Apollonia had her teeth crushed and torn out. Such is the fear of having one's teeth ripped out that friends of mine say they think they would 'much prefer' the other torments visited upon the martyrs.
St Apollonia is hailed as the patron saint of dentistry.  In 249 AD everyone in the Roman Empire was ordered to perform a sacrifice to the gods. You couldn't fudge and say you had carried out the sacrifice behind closed doors - there was an edict put in force and you had to perform the sacrifice in front of a Roman magistrate. Christians faced defying the authorities or death. 
When she refused to offer the sacrifice to the gods, Apollonia was seized by the mob who shattered her teeth. Then before her eyes they collected faggots and built a tall pyre. They said they would fling her on the flames if she did not deny Christ and worship idols. Knowing she would not lower herself before their fake gods,…

Pain and suffering may not be God punishing someone - just look at the life of St Bernadette of Lourdes

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'Her painful cancer was God’s way of punishing her because she went against the Church’s teachings and didn’t pray enough!’ wrote one angry young woman in a group email that was forwarded to my email inbox. Judging by the dozens of times the email was passed on and and by the enthusiastic encouragement (‘you are right – suffering like that is God’s way of showing people He is not happy with them’) there was agreement among a group of young people who enjoyed good health as to the mind of God: why He allowed some of their less prayerful friends and acquaintances to get horrible diseases. The reason the email was sent to me was because many years ago I had been having tests in hospital (it turned out I didn’t have anything) and the sender of the email was ‘concerned’ that God didn’t like me much. Well, He may not. But I think it is arrogant and wrong to presume God’s intentions for a person and pronounce that the reason they have illnesses, poor health or even a disability is becau…

"I would rather he died than become a priest"

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A friend of mine was in touch with a true account (which I found chilling) from the life of St John Bosco. They were prompted to tell me this because of my post on St John Bosco and the meaning of dreams

St John Bosco was known in the Italy of his day as Don Bosco. A well-heeled society lady asked him to visit and enquired of him as to the future of her four sons. Don Bosco said that the eldest tree would be extremely successful in their chosen fields.  Then he looked at the youngest boy, only 9 years old, and said, "this one will become a priest."

So shocked and disappointed was the wealthy lady on hearing this that she exclaimed, “I would rather he died than become a priest!”  This seems an inordinately rude thing for the boy's mother to say - after all she had invited Don Bosco who was a controversial priest - into her home so that he might tell her what would become of her sons. 

Don Bosco gave her a deathly serious look and walked out. A few days later he was called …