The very best company

See the full article here: http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2015/04/major-interview-with-abbot-of.html

Wise words from a man of prayer!

Of course one cannot copy former times absolutely, but one should try to recover precious treasures, one of which is the Liturgy, with its clear Godward direction, which is so important in the contemplative life! Many people do not realize, that it is also a question of the fullness of Faith, where we may not pick and choose. The Faith must be respected and cherished in its entirety. There are many topics of discussion in the Catholic Church, but something of great urgency is basic catechesis, which covers the Creed and everything which constitutes our Faith. We neglect what belonged to it from the beginning, and therefore belongs to it now and will belong to it in the future. The revival of Tradition can help to put an end to this threat. It can gain acceptance for the Faith in its fullness. In all this, I am encouraged by what I discover in the Scriptures: it is a matter of nothing less than the Truth, of Reality, which does not depend on majority opinion. I am reminded of Moses. He was often in dire straits, indeed, they wanted to stone him. And sometimes, I think of this or that prophet in ancient Israel, who was similarly treated. It gives one comfort and confidence, just to consider their steadfastness. The truth does not have an easy time, but it comes from God, indeed, God Himself is Truth, not in the abstract, but in a highly concrete personal form: Christ Himself. Let me say it once again: Truth does not depend on majority opinion. And we see this in Christ Himself, in Our Lord. He Himself was not moved by majority opinion. So we find ourselves in the very best company!

Guest post on March for Life UK’s blog

The March for Life UK organisers asked me to write a post for their blog, where they are inviting people to attend the 2015 March for Life in Birmingham on the 16th of May. Please come to the march, which is a great witness for life. The theme for the march this year is ‘life from conception – no exception’, which, as John Smeaton said, is the only realistic stance you can take on the subject!

Have a look at my post :)

http://marchforlife.co.uk/?p=23122I am the prolife generation

The servant is not greater than his master

Today I had that uncomfortable experience where someone I barely know seems to have taken against me. I don’t know what I’ve done to them or what they’ve heard about me, but I get the impression that they find me quite unpleasant. Naturally, I want to be liked, so it’s not particularly nice.

I thought of this story that I read about Fr Hugh Thwaites and luckily, I was able to find it very quickly today, so I can reproduce it for you to read. One day, maybe in the very distant future, I hope I can be like Fr Thwaites. I hope this helps someone reading it to realise that you can’t please everyone.

Enjoy!

“When I think of Fr Hugh Thwaites, the word that comes most readily to mind is ‘simple’. Not in the sense of stupidity, not at all, but in the sense of uncomplicated directness. In this he was a true son of St Ignatius; for Fr Hugh, there never seemed to be any shades of grey. Instead he worked out in his own mind what needed to be done, and simply did it without regret, without considering how that might affect his own dignity or position. His decisions were easily made and steadfastly adhered to. His opinions likewise were simply arrived at and adhered to with ardour.

He was, I think, the most humble man I have ever known, and inspired by that I am going, for once, to fess up myself. Once, on board a ship bound overnight for France, I and a priest friend, having parted for the night from Fr Hugh and another priest friend, they being bound for another cabin corridors away, spent a pleasant hour or so in our bunks cheerfully lampooning the characteristics of Fr Hugh. In the morning, the friend who had shared with Fr Hugh was tight-lipped and furious with us. By some strange quirk of the ship’s construction, the corridors that had taken them off into the bowels of the ship had returned them to the cabin that was back-to-back with ours, separated by only the very thinnest of walls. In other words, everything had been heard by him and Fr Hugh himself. My friend reassured me ‘and he has the very keenest hearing. I have never been so embarrassed’. Well, I was horrified, as you would imagine. But Fr Hugh never failed throughout our trip (we were actually going on retreat together) to treat me with the greatest kindness as ever. He gave no sign of resentment, and eventually I thought that the only thing to do was to go to confession to him and acknowledge it there. Even then there was no reproach or even allusion to the incident, but, on afterwards me talking to him about my difficulties with mental prayer, he simply said ‘oh gosh; I’m no good at praying at all.'”

Taken from: http://valleadurni.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/fr-hugh-thwaites-sj-personal-memoir.html

SAD

A conversation with my flatmate yesterday:

Me: I feel so down at the moment. I really believe in that thing, what it’s called, the thing when the weather changes?

Flatmate: SAD.

Me: *Stare blankly for a second* Oh yes, sad. What does it stand for again?

Flatmate: Dunno. Just sad.

Both stare out the window. Cat stares at us.

What a pathetic conversation! Who else is feeling like this right now? I usually get this in October, which is the month I hate, but I think because the weather has been fairly mild, it’s only just hitting me now.

My wonderful friend, Mary, prayed for me yesterday and today and I really felt her prayers boosting me all day today. I thought today was going to be horrible (for no special reason), but it was alright and alright is good enough for me.

My flatmate was telling me yesterday about a friend she has who has had a bit of a rough life, and she would be on her own at Christmas, were it not for my flatmate and her boyfriend who will go to her house on Christmas day. That is so sad. No wonder so many people kill themselves around this time of year.

I’m going to make a special effort to pray for people who feel ‘down’ at the moment, because it can take over if you’re not careful. Will you do the same?

A minute’s silence

Save the storksCalling all pro-lifers: this Monday, the 27th of October 2014, marks the 47th anniversary of Royal Assent given to the Abortion Act. Royal Assent is approval of a law passed by a nation’s parliament, given by the constitutional monarch.

So far, around 8 million babies have died as a result of this legislation – a tragedy almost beyond comprehension.

SPUC headquarters will be holding a minute’s silence at 11.04am (the time at which Royal Assent was given) on Monday to commemorate the unborn children who will never know what it is to love and be loved in this life, the mothers and fathers damaged and those parents who have withstood tremendous pressure in order to give their children the right to be born.

Will you join us in this moment of silence to remember our unborn brothers and sisters?

Remember: 11.04am, this Monday the 27th of October 2014. 1 minute’s silence for the unborn.

Just to be clear

I don’t want you to think that my last post was a cry for help or something like that. I’m actually fine, I promise :)

I am not saying that I, or someone who has a similar experience, will flip out and out and eat every French Fancy in sight if you make a negative comment. I’m just pointing out that having an unhealthy obsession with food is pretty run of the mill nowadays, but that’s not how it should be.

I think that these things need to be corrected; we need to know what is a normal amount to eat, and since many people have temporarily  lost the natural ability to gauge this (and since our perception of what is a normal body is totally skewed), it has to be re-learnt, and that’s a gradual process, but it’s good and it requires patience from those around these people too. So, thanks for putting up with fitness-related posts :)

I am not a basket-case, I swear! No need to tread on egg shells.

God bless!

Being consistently sensible

I know you know that I like to post about fitness. Yes, we all know this and I also know that some people find it very annoying (by the way, you’re not obliged to be friends with me on facebook or to read what I write here if you don’t like what I post :) I am not holding a gun to your head). I’m sure lots of people think I do it because I love myself or because I have this amazing body or some such nonsense. Actually, neither of those things are true. I do it because I have had a ‘complicated’ relationship with food and exercise in the past and guess what….lots of girls and women do and it’s not healthy or normal or acceptable. Actually, it’s very sad and, for the most part, it’s kept hidden because it’s not very attractive to talk about how you hate how you look.

The reason why I post about doing exercise and eating right, is because I have all but ruined my metabolism through starving myself and then eating badly, exercising on next to no food and over-eating (I don’t believe I’ve ever properly binged as in a tub of ice-cream, packet of biscuits, 3 burgers etc. Some girls do this…in secret, of course). I don’t do these things anymore and I would like whoever stumbles across this blog to know that there is a way of ‘healing’ from this vicious cycle, but that it won’t necessarily mean that you finally end up with your dream body. You just come to accept that you are a work in progress.

Women in my family have struggled with their weight and it rubs off on younger children. If I ever have children, I would like to be so careful in this regard. It’s not anyone’s fault but it’s very easy to damage a little girl’s perception of what is healthy and normal and what she should/should not be eating.

I would like people to acknowledge, and to be sensitive to the fact, that there are a lot of girls and women who obsess about food and who feel trapped in a cycle of restricting their diets and then binging from the pressure of eating so little. You wouldn’t believe how widespread this is. There are a lot of women who have wrecked their metabolisms and they have to recover from that. Please don’t dismiss them when they try to hold themselves accountable by posting on social media about their new healthy and reasonable eating habits. Personally, it’s a great help for me to do it because it helps me to be consistent (I am also part of a private group where I can do this and be in a little community. It helps a lot!). If the world of facebook knows I am going to go to the gym and not just skip breakfast and eat cookies for lunch, then I will do it and I will keep on doing this.

If I were posting about the cake I baked and ate all to myself this morning, I don’t think anyone would object (in fact, it would probably get a lot of ‘likes’), but if I say that I’m happy because I managed to do X exercise in the gym, I’m told to calm down. Which is the better option for me, physically and mentally? Can we please encourage each other to have a sensible lifestyle?

RIP Richard Collins

Richard Collins, the author of the Linen on the Hedgerow, died this morning.

I think he was an amazing man. Anyone who has read his blog can testify that he was devout, loyal to the Church, and Her teachings, and he had a great sense of humour, even with the knowledge that we are knee-deep in a crisis in the Church today.

Please pray for the repose of his eternal soul and for his family.