Thursday, 31 January 2013

Facebook! Get thee to it.

My Facebook page needs some love. Please give it some?

Why I receive Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue

Well, it's actually extremely simple.

Because this:



And He = GOD!!!!

Ergo, I kneel humbly before the Eucharist, to receive my Saviour in a manner that reminds me Who He is, and who I am.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Looks like there might be a bit more blogging in the near future...

... as I have to have an operation.

I'm not going to tell you what it's for, precisely, as the details are rather gross, but essentially there's a lump that needs removing. :(

I've never had an operation, so I'm pretty scared, even though it's not a big one.

Also I'm troubled about missing work, which is only one day a week, but I enjoy it so much and I haven't been there long, and I feel like such a failure being all like, "so, can I just have a few weeks off even though we agreed to only 8?" But hopefully I'll be able to work from home, or something. Which I already am doing, in my own time.

ALSO I'm really not on keen on missing out on the whole last month of my holidays. I love holiday time, and the idea of being stuck in bed for any amount of time seems like such a waste. The fact that it's summer, and a very HOT one in Sydney at the moment, means that I'll miss out on the swimming fun times too.

Now for the positives!

I'll get HEAPS of reading time. YAY!! I prefer to read books by spending several solid hours on them in one go, which will be much easier to achieve if I can't move about much.

I'll also have heaps of blogging time! So maybe I'll finally get to writing some more interesting stuff.

This dreaded operation will finally be over, it's been put off for far too long, and has been hanging over my head.

And it will be done just in time for uni, no need to defer for a semester, hoot! I was concerned that might be a real possibility.

So, I am resigned to it. But that's not the right attitude, is it? We ought not to be merely resigned to God's will, but rather joyfully embrace it. So that's what I will do. Or try to, anyway.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Must-watch speech!

Dr Ryan Messmore is the new President of Campion College, Sydney. It's a Catholic Liberal Arts College.

Here he presents the stunning vision for what education could look like. Enjoy!

Now don't you just feel like you really must go study there? I do.

Sorry for the vanishing act...

Apologies my dear readers for the vanishing act!!

I have just been rather tremendously busy. I will write something of substance soon, I promise! Maybe even today!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sticking to my resolution

So today was the 2nd Sunday of 2013, which means it was the 2nd time I had to live out my resolution of doing Sundays well.

I started off my day by lying in bed for an hour and a half reading stuff on my phone... not exactly active leisure! Although tempted to then just while away the rest of the day lazily, I eventually convinced myself I was wasting my life and decided to bite the bullet and go for a run before I had breakfast. This took a good deal of willpower, as by this stage I was pretty hungry.

Then I did some reading about the Latin Mass, had lunch, fell a bit by going on my laptop for a while, but then cooked dinner, and went to Mass.

So overall, after a slow start, it was pretty good, considering I was in bed until 11.30; I managed to exercise, eat well, cook (this is something I'm working on), read, and go to Mass. (well at least that last one is normal.)

Hopefully soon I'll start organising more fun stuff, like actually get to a Latin Mass, take my family on a boating adventure, play some tennis, go for picnics.... oh, the possibilities! :)

Friday, 4 January 2013

More on how to integrate more Scripture in your life- go to DAILY Mass

Yesterday I had a post about how Catholics can become more familiar with Scripture.

Today I want to add something else to that list.

The first item on yesterday's list was to read Mass readings from a Bible, rather than a Missal. Now, that's great, even if you only go to Mass on Sundays. But, imagine the phenomenal amount of scripture you will hear if you go to daily Mass!!

I have been going to Mass every day since the beginning of Lent in 2011. I have never looked back. I have no idea how I even used to live without receiving Our Lord every day. I will go into how this decision came about another time, but for now just want to suggest it as an excellent idea.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

How Catholics can become more familiar with Scripture

So, apparently there's a bit of a problem with Catholics and the Bible. It seems that most of us don't read it much, the most we might hear are the readings each Sunday, but really, they often go in one ear and out the other.

On the other hand, our separated Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ, seem to enthusiastically absorb as much of the Word of God as they can! They often have weekly bible studies, Sunday church reading and sermon, listening to  recorded sermons, and private DAILY reading of Sacred Scripture, such that they regularly make their way through the whole thing (minus the missing 7 books of course!).

Now, to be honest, this is really bizarre, for several reasons.

    1. The Bible is the Catholic Church's book. The New Testament authors were all Catholic, and the       Church, with her authentic divinely-given authority, discerned the canon.

    2. Catholics are in full communion with the Church Christ founded. It's, quite frankly, embarrassing that  people outside the Church seem to be better at treasuring and appreciating the precious gift that is God's  written Word.

    3. Catholics (should) love Christ with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. Love grows with knowledge. Our primary source of knowledge about the Person of Jesus Christ is Sacred Scripture. As St Jerome puts it, "ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ". OUCH. Many Catholics, in my experience, are fairly ignorant of Scripture.

(Obviously we Catholics do also have the amazing privilege of being able to intimately encounter Christ in the Eucharist, but that's another story.)

So, what is to be done? If you feel you would like to become more familiar with the Bible, get ready. I'm going to list the ways that I have integrated Scripture into my life, which have borne tremendous fruit. Don't attempt all of them at once- pick one or two, and see how you go. It takes a bit of time to see the benefits, but when you start to absorb parts of Scripture, and make them part of yourself and your prayer, the Holy Spirit works to let you see connections you never even dreamed of! These are possible because the Bible is an organic whole, even though it is composed of many different books from various contexts.

  1. Read the Mass readings from the Bible itself, rather than a Missal.Get some little sticky tab things. Look up the references for the readings, and mark the places with tabs, so you can flick to them quickly during Mass. Obviously you will need a fairly small bible, you don't want to be lugging around some massive thing.

    This has been the best thing I started doing, I think. It allows you to see the reading in their original context, and helps you remember where you read it-which book, and whereabouts in the book. Otherwise, you simply forget, as in Mass you only get a quick "A reading from the Letter of St Paul to the so-and-sos", or whatever the case may be. It's there in the Missal but seeing things in their proper context really really does help. This happens a lot with the Gospels too. I'll be having a discussion with a Protestant, and I can think vaguely of something I've heard that might shed some light on whatever the topic is, but all I'll know is, "I'm pretty sure Jesus said it, it's somewhere in the Gospels... no idea where, but it's there! I swear!"
  2. Pray the Rosary with Scripture.
    When you pray the Rosary, instead of just reflecting on the mysteries using your memory and imagination, open up the relevant passages! It's really helpful for concentrating on the meditation too. Most of the time these will be Gospel passages, as these are the most obvious. However, with a bit of research, you can find plenty of other passages from both the Old and the New Testaments that are either foreshadowing or explaining events in Our Lord's life. Food for thought here is rich.
  3. Pray the Liturgy of the Hours.
    If you don't know what this is, it's basically praying three psalms, three times a day, plus a few other small prayers and readings. It is the public prayer of the Church, and when you pray it, you pray it with the whole Body of the Christ, for the Body of Christ, and the whole world. It's a ridiculously beautiful practice.

    You might be thinking, "but that's just for priests and religious, right?" WRONG.
    Sure, their lives might be structured best for it, and they have the time to say all of it, and they actually HAVE to say it. However, a fact that I think is little known is the following:

    In Canon Law, it actually states that the laity are earnestly encouraged to pray the Liturgy of the Hours (aka the Divine Office). This phrase is also used to describe the degree to which priests are encouraged to say daily Mass!!! (I can look up the references for you if you want.
  4. Join/ start a Catholic bible study.
    These are seriously great. I have attended an Anglican one for the past year (more on this another time), and can only imagine how much better it would be if it were Catholic!
    I won't go into the ins and outs of how you should go about starting one up, that has been treated elsewhere, but I will say this:
    you should definitely work with the idea that we don't read Scripture in isolation. We read it with the mind of the Church, in the Church. Have a solid commentary with you (eg, the Navarre series), the Catechism (the Biblical references index at the back is awesome), some commentaries from the Church Fathers, or St Thomas Aquinas. There are plenty of resources out there to help you see what God is saying without falling into heresy. ;)
I'm sure I had more, but I can't think of them right now. If I do, I'll be sure to update!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Ordain a Lady?

If you haven't seen this, watch it. Heresy and error abound, but it's so goofy and ridiculous, it's highly entertaining.

"Ordain a Lady"

Might post a response to it soon, but Marc Barnes over at Bad Catholic already has a brilliant one.

But seriously, major alarm bells with "don't listen to St Paul". I mean, REALLY?!

Patron Saint for 2013

Well-known fellow Catholic blogger Jennifer Fulwiler over at Conversion Diary has created a cool little tool. It's a Patron Saint of the Year Generator! (Duh.)

She explains the idea in more detail, but it's pretty simple.

Just click on the link above, and follow the instructions, and get your Saint who is to be your inspiration, help and friend for 2013! Celebrate their feast day, learn about them, and pray to them.

Mine is beloved St Joseph. (ok, I cheated a bit, I didn't really click with my first two.)

Carpenter, foster father of Our Lord and Saviour, Spouse of our Blessed Mother, and a man of great faith.

Well, ACTUALLY, now having gone and read the articles again, I've decided I'm gonna give my original one a go. Apparently the saint should choose you, not you the saint. So hello, St Honorius!! Will have to do a bit of research on you.

Now go! Go wild!

Tell me who you got!

Pro-Life Walk from Brisbane to Melbourne!

That's right, you read that correctly... a crazy (awesome) bunch of Aussies are walking from Brisbane to Melbourne in the name of defenceless unborn babies!! It's called Crossroads, an initiative first begun in America and now in Australia for the very first time!

One of the girls is actually a dear friend of mine. She's pretty much a legend, as you'd have to be to commit to this month-long walking venture.

A brief summary, from the Crossroads Australia website:

Crossroads at a Glance:
  • Who: Young people, men and women, who are between 18-30, from all over Australia are welcome to participate.
  • What: An annual pro-life walk across Australia lasting four weeks and over 1,600 km. Taking place each summer from mid-December to mid-January.
  • When: The 2012-2013 “Pro-Life Walk Across Australia” starts on December 14 and ends January 13.
  • Where: The walk begins in Brisbane and follows the eastern coast of Australia, stopping through major cities and towns along the way, and ends in Melbourne.
  • Why: We walk to witness to the dignity and sanctity of every human life, especially the unborn. Crossroads is a peaceful, prayerful organization dedicated to helping bring about a “Culture of Life.”

I believe they just passed through Sydney. Please keep them in your prayers! From what I've heard things are constantly hectic. (For instance, on the first day they had a heap of stuff stolen!)

God bless you guys!

Looking for something to read? Review of "The Last Superstition- A Refutation of the New Atheism"

Today, after about a month's worth of reading (usually books don't take me that long, but it's been busy!), I finally finished Edward Feser's excellent book, "The Last Superstition".

Feser is a Thomistic philosopher, who philosophised his way from atheism to Catholicism. Go check out his amazing (albeit somewhat long) story The Road from Atheism

I absolutely loved this book. It tracks philosophical thought from the first Ancient Greeks, through to Plato and Aristotle, then Aquinas and the Scholastics, and concludes by examining the incoherent mess that is Modern Philosophy. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read, and tied together some of the ideas I had covered in my History of Ancient Philosophy class last semester. I'll delve more deeply into some of the specific arguments in later posts, so get excited!

Some of the Great Minds to get a mention: Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant and Nietzsche.
One caveat, however: I would be so keen to give this book to some of my atheist friends to read, to see what they think, so that they may at least grasp how a reasonable person may believe in God, even if they are not convinced. Unfortunately though, as others have remarked, Feser seems to have felt the need to spice things up a bit with polemical language. He says himself that he does this because it seems that the religious folk among us have been too mild in our responses to the aggressive attacks of the New Atheism, and so he is simply dishing out the same back. Also perhaps he felt the average reader would need something to enliven the lengthy abstract discussions. Finally, since he was once an atheist himself, he may have felt a certain licence to take liberty with insulting Dawkins and his ilk. 

Whatever the reasons, it means I am hesitant to give the book to any friends, as they may not be able to distinguish between the polemics and the actual arguments, and will then end up dismissing the wonderful substance of what Aristotle and Aquinas actually have to say. 

But there is (a new) hope! Apparently he has another book called "Aquinas", which has similar content. Hooray! Adding it to the list...

Finally, if you haven't seen this, you really ought to:

I give you, the Dawkins Delusion!