28 February 2014

Saint David of Wales

who didst call thy servant David
to be a faithful and wise steward of thy mysteries
for the people of Wales:
in thy mercy, grant that, following his purity of life
and zeal for the gospel of Christ,
and assisted by his prayers,
we may with him receive the crown of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost
be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

The Customary of Our Lady of Walsingham
Saint David, Bishop, Patron of Wales, Page 564

Saint David
Jesus College Chapel, Oxford
O GOD, who raised Blessed David to be an Apostle and patron for your people in Wales, grant, we implore, that through his prayers the people may be restored to the truth which he taught, and to attain to everlasting life. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

O DDUW a gyfododd y bendigedig Ddewi yn Apostol ac yn noddwr I’th bobl yng Nghymru, caniata, atolygwn arnat, trwy ei eiriolaeth edfryd y bobl hyn I’r gwirionedd a ddysgwyd ganddo ef, a chael ohonynt fywyd tragwyddol. Trwy Iesu Grist ein Harglwydd. Amen. 

Also do read Fr. Christopher G. Phillips fine post on St. David's Day Ddyd Gwyl Dewi Hapus complete with a recipe and beautiful image of the good saint.

Ac Dewi Sant!

The Month of St. Joseph

GOD, who resistest the proud, and givest grace to the humble: grant us the virtue of true humility, whereof Thine Only-begotten showed in Himself a pattern for Thy faithful; that we may never by our pride provoke Thine anger, but rather by our meekness receive the riches of Thy grace. Amen.

O GOD, who rejectest none that come unto Thee, but in loving-kindness art appeased even with the greatest sinners who repent: mercifully regard our prayers in our humiliation, and enlighten our hearts that we may be able to fulfil Thy commandments. Amen.

O GOD, who justifiest the ungodly, and willest not the death of a sinner: we humbly entreat Thy Majesty to protect Thy servants, who trust in Thy mercy, with Thy heavenly assistance, and preserve them by Thy continual protection; that they may constantly serve Thee, and by no temptation be separated from Thee. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and most Merciful God, who didst cause a fount of living water to spring out of a rock for Thy people in their thirst: draw forth tears of compunction from our stony hearts; that we may weep over our sins, and by Thy mercy deserve to obtain pardon for the same. Amen.

SAINT Joseph, defender and father of Virgins, unto whose faithful guardianship were committed Christ Jesus, very Innocence, and Mary, Virgin of virgins: I pray and beseech thee by Jesus and Mary, thy dearly beloved charge, that thou wouldst preserve me from all uncleanness; and make me with undefiled mind, and in purity of heart and boy, ever to serve Jesus and Mary in perfect chastity. Amen.

from The Saint Ambrose Prayer Book
The Very Revd Father John G. Winfrey, editor
First Edition, 2008

The "Polio-Like" Cases and the Vaccine

At the Health Ranger's website there is a provocative article about the recent outbreak of "polio-like" illness among Californian children.

The question not being asked in the mainstream press and media is whether or not the children involved are exhibiting an illness derived from the polio vaccine batch that they received.

The article raises general questions about the wisdom of vaccinating children that are usually dismissed but should not be.  The article may be read at this link, and an excerpt follows below:

India's polio vaccination experience 

After years of massive administration of polio vaccine, India was declared polio-free and the last reported incidence of polio in India was in January 2011. 

Although the reported milestone has been widely publicized, what has not been so widely reported is that there were an extra 47,500 new cases in 2011 of the rare illness known as Non-Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis (NPAFP). 

The incidence of NPAFP in India in 2011 was 12 times higher than expected and was found to be directly proportional to doses of oral polio received. 

Though it may be called "Non-Polio" the symptoms of NPAFP are clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis and the illness is twice as deadly.

Crimea and WWIII

It would seem that international banking concerns have their man in as prime minister of Ukraine.

At the same time it would appear that Russian special forces are busily taking over Crimea (Respublika Krym).  Since the forces are not wearing any national insignia, I would conjecture that Russia intends for Respublika Krym to become an independent pro-Russian nation. Yet it would not surprise me if the Russians simply take it.  Kruschëv gave the Crimea to the Ukraine, and if there is a 'pearl' in the Ukrainian oyster the Crimea is generally held to be it.

The final possibility is that Russia will simply invade Ukraine.  Put that together with Russia's warship parked in Cuba at the moment and the Russian move to gain ports and military favours in Nicaragua, Venezuela ... and even Singapore...

Yes, "same as it ever was, same as it ever was, same as it ever was," to quote the Talking Heads.

Will this be seen as the beginning of World War III (or IV depending on how you count things)?  I do not know.  It seems more like an historical echo of many injustices in the region, ghosts marching across the stage.  But more likely it is simply part of Russian plans to return to Superpower status.

For example, once the USA has fully withdrawn from Afghanistan should the Russians decide to invade and take their place... sometimes the script is simply too easy to write.

One hopes that the world will have done with the banksters and the folks in the shadows who get their thrills by manipulating humanity and putting the torch to the world through wars upon wars.

May the Divine Son, glory to Him, restrain us from bloodshed by the outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon the world. Amen.

27 February 2014

Two Syriac Orthodox Prayers

Prior to Reception of the Holy Eucharist

O Bread coming down from heaven to feed and nourish everyone, grant that I may partake of Thee in all pure desire, adoration and godly fear. O happy Wine of Life, may I be intoxicated by Thy love. 

O Thou Who didst cry, saying: "Whosoever is athirst let him come to Me and drink," behold my soul in thirst hath come unto Thee to be satisfied by the Water of Life. 

O God, I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come into my heart. Speak a word to heal my soul which is athirst for Thee even more than the deer longeth for streams of water, O Cup of Blessing and Salvation. 

O Heavenly Manna and Bread of Life, dwell in me forevermore. Amen.

After the Reception 
of the Holy Eucharist

With what tongues shall I utter Thy praise, O God, most high and greatly to be praised, for this Thy wondrous grace. It passeth all telling; for Thou hast been pleased even to give of Thyself to Thy servant for nourishment; and hast rejoiced my heart with the wine of Thy sacrifice. Thou hast sanctified me by Thy Spirit, and hast satisfied my hunger from out of the bounty of Thy house. My heart is Thy perpetual dwelling-place that Thou mayest preside over all my faculties and my desires, controlling them as Thou wilt. 

And I beseech Thee grant that this my Communion shall increase my faith, strengthen my trust in Thee, and rekindle the fire of Thy love within me, causing me to grow in every virtue; and grant that it be a weapon to shield me from all the tricks of the enemy of my soul until I become one with Thee in that life above where Thou art with all saints, so that I may join in the chorus of adoration and praise unto Thee with Thy Father and Thy Holy Ghost forever and ever. Amen.

Sebastian Brock on Syriac Christianity

A very helpful and instructive video of Dr. Sebastian Brock speaking on the Syriac tradition in Christianity.

"Theology can be expressed in poetry just as validly as in prose."

Transfiguration & St. Jacob of Serugh

St. Jacob of Serugh

I am reading once again St. Jacob of Sarug's metrical (!) Homily on the Transfiguration of Our Lord.  

An excellent translation by Thomas Kollamparampil is available from Gorgias Press.  

All who study the Transfiguration would read this metrical homily if I were the magister of the discipuli.  It is a thin book containing both the English and the Aramaic, and I highly recommend it to all.

[The Syriac Orthodox Church has an Anaphora of St. Jacob of Sarug whose author is identified as the great saint himself.]  

Read this Article!

From Crisis Magazine:

The following is an excerpt from the article: 

As even President Obama states, we were founded by Christians seeking to escape religious intolerance. We now, however, live in a nation in which Christians, who maintain its basic truth and morality with philosophic reasons, must consider changing their principles or leaving their states, as Governor Cuomo in New York, himself a professed Catholic, has maintained, if they insist on believing and practicing their religion. The larger issue of coerced participation in the HHS mandate to support abortion and contraception funding only makes it clear that religious liberty is no longer allowed in the land, only “freedom to worship” in private.”


26 February 2014

GMO Nightmare in the Philippines


This is an YouTube video in Tagalog with English subtitles.  It is worth watching to understand the heartache, damage, and ongoing problems with GMO maize (GM corn) during the last 10 years of growing it in The Philippines.

I think in part it underlines good reasons why these crops should not be grown anywhere beyond the simple truth of the incredibly bad science behind the genetic manipulation of species by Monsanto, BASF, and others.

What Lent Should Be

As is often revealed in the preaching method of the Caroline Divines, we behold the deep and powerful way in which lectio divina transforms the mind and method of speech. Words learnt by heart become prayers of the heart. 

From the Anglican divine Mark Frank's Sermon for the First Sunday in Lent, we find a strong admonition enjoining us to the proper keeping of an holy Lent which also underlines for us now what must be undertaken from being shriven on Shrove Tuesday and commencing the Fast on Ash Wednesday: 

NOW is the very time we must begin our reconcilement, look to our salvation; that though the name of Lent should be distasteful yet, however, we may not slip our time. 

It is the only sure part of time we have, the present the only 'day of salvation;' for, peradventure, ere the next moment we are gone, and clearly cast without the confines of it. 

Not only then 'to-day, whilst it is called to-day,' 
but even 'now,' whilst it is called 'now,' 
is the sure 'now of salvation.'

Nor is it time to dally now. Time is a flitting past; day runs into night ere we are aware: this 'now' is gone as soon as spoken; and no certainty beyond it, and no salvation if not 'accepted' ere we go hence. 

THERE is 'a time to be born' in, and 'a time to die' in. 

Lent, a time to die unto the world, and to be born and live to Christ.

 It is 'a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;' to plant virtue, and to pluck up vice.

 It is 'a time to kill, and a time to heal;' to kill and mortify our earthly members, and to heal the sores and ulcers that sin hath made, by a diet of fasting and abstinence.

 It is 'a time to break down, and a time to build;' to break down the walls of Babylon, the fortresses of sin and Satan, and to build up the walls of the New Jerusalem within us.

 It is 'a time to weep, and a time to laugh;' to weep and bewail the years we have spent in vanities, and yet rejoice that we have yet time left to escape from them.

 It is 'a time to mourn, and a time to dance;' to manifest our repentance by some outward expressions, and thereby dispose ourselves every day more and more for Easter joys.

 It is 'a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;' to remove every stone of offence, and, as 'lively stones, to be built up,' as St. Peter speaks, 'into a spiritual house.'

 It is 'a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from all wanton and loose embraces, and pour out ourselves wholly into the arms of our blessed Jesus.

 It is 'a time to get, and a time to lose;' to get heaven by violence, and lose earth, our worldly goods upon alms and charities; to cast away earth to purchase heaven.

 It is 'a time to keep, and a time to cast away;' to keep all good resolutions, and cast away the bad ones.

 It is 'a time to rend, and a time to sew;' to rent and tear off all ill habits, and to begin good ones.

 It is 'a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;' to keep silence from bad words, all idle and wanton and scurrilous language, and give ourselves to good discourses.

 It is 'a time of love, and a time of hate;' to love God, and hate ourselves; or love our souls, and hate our sins.

 It is, in a word, 'a time of war, and a time of peace;' to make war against all our ghostly enemies, the flesh, the devil, and the world, and reconcile ourselves to God, our neighbour, and the Church. 

To all these purposes serves the time of Lent; for them it was instituted at first, and for them it is continued.
Mark Frank
pray for us.

Mark Frank: O blessèd Jesu

A wonderful quote from a Candlemas sermon by Anglican divine Mark Frank – perfect for both prayer and contemplation as we approach the great and holy season of Lent:

O blessèd Jesu, how little hast thou made thyself for us! - of how little value! 

How can we sufficiently value thee, for thy thus undervaluing thyself! 

And why should we now, my belovèd, so overvalue ourselves as to think no honour sufficient for us, nothing too good for us, no riches enough, no respect answerable to our deserts? 

And we embrace where we love, we take into our arms whom we love; so that love Jesus and embrace Jesus - love Jesus and take Jesus - love Jesus and take him into our hands, and into our arms, and into our mouths, and into our hearts.

Mark Frank
pray for us.

A Prayer of Lancelot Andrewes

There are a number of former Anglicans who count Lancelot Andrewes as their spiritual father on their journey into the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Oriental Orthodox Churches.  For many others his theological frame of thought continues to undergird their lives as Anglicans within and without the Anglican Communion.  

This prayer of Confession by the Anglican divine Lancelot Andrewes is very helpful and is especially well suited to Pre-Lent as well as Lent:

Essence beyond essence, Nature increate,
Framer of the world,
I set Thee, Lord, before my face,
and I lift up my soul unto Thee.
I worship Thee on my knees,
and humble myself under Thy mighty hand.
I stretch forth my hands unto Thee,
my soul gaspeth unto Thee as a thirsty land.
I smite on my breast and say with the Publican,
God be merciful to me a sinner, the chief of sinners;
to the sinner above the Publican,
be merciful as to the Publican.

Father of mercies,
I beseech Thy fatherly affection,
despise me not an unclean worm,
a dead dog, a putrid corpse,
despise not Thou the work of Thine own hands,
despise not Thine own image
though branded by sin.

Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean,
Lord, only say the word, and I shall be cleansed.
And Thou, my Saviour Christ,
Christ my Saviour,
Saviour of sinners, of whom I am chief,
despise me not, despise me not, 0 Lord,
despise not the cost of Thy blood,
who am called by Thy Name;
but look on me with those eyes
with which Thou didst look upon
Magdalene at the feast,
Peter in the hall,
the thief on the wood ;
that with the thief I may entreat Thee humbly.

Remember me, Lord, in Thy kingdom;
that with Peter I may bitterly weep and say,
0 that mine eyes were a fountain of tears
that I might weep day and night;
that with Magdalene I may hear Thee say,
Thy sins be forgiven thee,
and with her may love much, for many sins yea manifold
have been forgiven me.
And Thou, All-holy, Good, and Life-giving Spirit,
despise me not, Thy breath,
despise not Thine own holy things;
but turn Thee again, 0 Lord, at the last,
and be gracious unto Thy servant.

Lancelot Andrewes
pray for us.

To Bitcoin or Not to Bitcoin

Several friends of my vintage have written or spoken with me about Bitcoin and how they simply do not understand it. I find that I do not explain such concepts without a great deal of unnecessary political and religious commentary, so I have referred friends to several YouTube videos hoping they would help. Here is a link that some of you may wish to view on YouTube to explain the "Bitcoin thingy" from a freedom and liberty point of view with a wee bit of foul language, so be forewarned: click here.

With the apparent vanishing of MtGox, many will believe that this means Bitcoin is dead.  No. Bitcoin is no more dead than the U.S. dollar is dead if a bank or a savings & loan goes under.  Bitcoin will continue, and who knows... MtGox may reemerge.  

The problem with MtGox is/was that it appealed to those who did not grasp the idea of Bitcoin and still maintained a bank and banking mentality.  Keep your own Bitcoins... Only a fool would place their jewels and gold in a bank these days, and it is even more foolish to store Bitcoins with others when it is not necessary. This is part of the radical nature of the crypto-currency ... and it is why banks, banksters, and parasitic governments hate it so much.

Self-disclosure:  I have no bitcoins at this time.  

25 February 2014

Prayer of St. Symeon Metaphrastes

O my Creator, who have freely given me Your Flesh as food, O Fire which consumes the unworthy, consume me not. Enter, rather, into my members, into every part of me, into my very heart and soul. 

Burn up the thorns of all my sinning; cleanse my soul, sanctify my imagination; bind firmly together my joints and bones; illumine the five senses of my body; fix my entire being in the fear of You. Guard, protect and shelter me always from every deed and word which stains the soul.  

Cleanse, wash, adorn me; set me on the right path, give me understanding and enlightenment.  

Let me prove to be the dwelling-place of Your Spirit alone, and in no way  the dwelling-place of sin. Let every passion and every evil deed take flight, as from a fire, from this house of Yours, when what I have received enters in. 

I set before You the prayers of all the saints: of the leaders of the angelic hosts, of Your forerunner, of the wise Apostles and, above all, of Your pure and spotless Mother.  

In Your compassion, accept their prayers, O my Christ, and make Your servant a child of light. It is You alone, O Blessed One, who bring holiness and light to our souls, and each day we give You the glory which befits You as God and Master.

The Byzantine Liturgy, p. 80-81
3rd Revised Edition
The Russian Center
Fordham University
New York,  NY

An Inspiring Holy Mass Video

Being in need of a beautiful Mass today, I turned to the YouTube video of Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller celebrating Holy Confirmation and First Communion within the context of the Liturgy of the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite at Our Lady of the Atonement Church in San Antonio, Texas.  I find it most inspiring and hope that viewing it will likewise inspire and bless you this day:


O Septuagesima


A brief instruction on the Septuagesima Season also called Pre-Lent.

24 February 2014

Sub-Carpathian Rus and the Rusyns in Ukraine


I hope that the cause of the Rusyn people and their right to their own language, identity, and homeland is not swept under the rug by pro-Western pro-Ukrainian euphoria over the toppling of the Ukrainian 'president' or dictator if you prefer.

You may not know who the Rusyn people are.  In the USA the Byzantine Catholic Church is Rusyn (Ruthenian).  Many of the Orthodox Church of America are also of ethnic Rusyn background.  

The Ukrainian government since independence from the Soviet Union has treated the Rusyn people very poorly claiming that Rusyn is a dead language of a small ethnographic group of no significance. That the Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, and Romanians all recognise the Rusyns as a legitimate ethnic minority has had no impact at all upon the Ukrainian governments -- regardless of whether or not they leaned West or East.

There is a great deal of talk about the territorial integrity of the Ukraine, but Ukraine's national boundaries are the work of the Soviet Empire. And it seems likely that Ukraine will be partitioned into several different nations if a workable solution cannot be found.  

I propose a model based on the Swiss Confoederation. We could call it the Confederation of the Ukraine.  A canton of Sub-Carpathian Rus would be self-governing and part of the larger confederation. This would be the same as a canton of Crimea with the reorganisation of administrative districts into cantons of co-equal authority.   

A canton of Lviv could be as ferociously pro-ethnic Ukrainian and Greek Catholic as it would want, and a canton of Crimea could be as ferociously pro-ethnic Russian and Russian Orthodox as it cared to be, and they could all be conjoined in a Confoederation of mutuality and co-equal benefit just as the Swiss have so wisely designed and developed over time. 

The following is a story broadcast on RT (Russia Today) regarding the Rusyns. RT has a bias against the nationalist ethnic Ukrainians, so one should bear that in mind.  Nonetheless, they prove an extraordinary ally for Ruthenians (Rusyns) in their quest to have their own homeland or at the least the recognition they deserve by the government of Ukraine.  I pray you will take time to view the following report:


Ukrainian Great Litany

The Great Litany sung by the Kyiv Chamber Choir (Kyev, Ukraine) from an album entitled in English The Ukrainian Mass and in a later edition as The Ukrainian Liturgy.

Let us pray for the peoples of the Ukraine.

While it appears that the current Ukraine is likely a failed state, a Confederation of the Ukraine could prove successful if reorganised along the lines of the Swiss Helvetic Confoederation. Let's put that hopeful thought out there into cyberspace.

Kyrie eleison imas.+

Beauty via Cyberspace


Every now and then something beautiful comes your way, and you wish to share it.  So it is with the following animated image.  

This is a little .GIF file — a wonderful combination of human ingenuity, the Natural World, and more than a little of the gracious Hand of God. Enjoy:

Vox Patris Caelestis +

Joy and Weeping

Drakensburg Boys' Choir has been one of South Africa's jewels for some years.  In thinking about the current difficulties of the nation of Ukraine, I thought this performance would provide some beauty for a moment whilst we pray with those who rejoice and weep for those who have died in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

May the Peace of the Lord Jesus Christ descend upon all nations of the Earth.

19 February 2014

Peace Activists Sentenced

From an AP news story:
Sister Megan Rice was sentenced to just under three years in prison, while Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli each received sentences of just over five years. The sentence appeared to be a compromise, less than what the government sought but more than what defense attorneys had hoped for. 
During a hearing that lasted for hours, Rice and her co-defendants said they believe it was a miracle from God that let them penetrate the complex and arrive at the most secure portion of the facility before being detected. 
"I was acting upon my God-given obligation as a follower of Jesus Christ," Walli, 65, said. "I make no apology. I have no sense of remorse or shame. I would do it again."
The full article may be read after clicking upon this link.

A Little Common Sense


17 February 2014

A Quote from an Exorcist

“A Christology that ignores Satan is crippled and will never understand the magnitude of Redemption… 
It is impossible to understand the salvific action of Christ if we ignore the destructive action of Satan. ”

Fr. Gabriele Amorth

15 February 2014

Се, Жених грядет в полунощи

Be sure your lamps are filled full and burning bright.

"Се, Жених грядет в полунощи" 
Behold, the Bridegroom cometh at Midnight 
Ιδού ο Νυμφίος έρχεται
Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir


One Lone Voice for Jesus

This video is one that must be watched.


14 February 2014

Chaldean Prayer

Opening Prayer from the Rite of Preparation

Glory to you, O Most High who descended, put on the flesh of our humanity, fulfilled his plan for our salvation, in whose holy Passover broke his Body and mingled his Blood and gave us, who handed himself over to the passion and endured the shameful cross, and, by the Blood and water that poured forth from his side, absolved our sins and washed and cleansed our scars in his grace and mercy, Lord of all forever, amen.

from the Chaldean Catholic Holy Mass

Catherine Engelbrecht

Speaking the Truth to Power: Catherine Engelbrecht, citizen of the USA


Glenn Greenwald's 'The Intercept'

Now that Glenn Greenwald has parted ways from The Guardian (and The Guardian has become just another news org. touting the establishment line of the controlling elites), Greenwald has started a new newsblog which may be worth reading: https://firstlook.org/theintercept.

Certainly, the news story on the NSA on the new blog is eye-opening (and mind-boggling): click here.

12 February 2014

O God of Earth and Altar

O God of Earth and Altar
Tune: King's Lynn
Songs of Faith • Saint Mary's, Primrose

Shocking DJI Stock Chart

Some claim this chart is showing history repeating itself... albeit more of an echo of the great Stock Market Crash.  Whatever this chart may be, it certainly gives one pause.


11 February 2014

Prayer for the Church's Mission

by Dr. Charles Henry Brent

ORD JESUS Christ, who didst stretch out thine arms of love upon the hard wood of the Cross, that all men everywhere might come within the reach of thy saving embrace: So clothe us with thy Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know thee to the knowledge and love of thee; for the honour of thy Name. Amen.

A Hymn of Invitation


Rejoice in the Lord, O friends of God's Son.
The feast is prepared, the waiting is done.
The banquet is spread with warm welcome for all.
O do not delay, but respond to God's call!

How gracious is God, how mighty and just.
His mercies are sure and worthy of trust.
Come, broken and weary. Come, burdened and torn.
With crowns of salvation Christ shall you adorn.

The Spirit and Bride bid all of us come.
The thirsty shall drink from our Father's love.
The hungry shall feed on the joys of the Lord,
And Jesus the Christ will be ever adored.

Words: Copyright © 2002 Vincent Uher
Suggested Tune: Laudate Dominum 
Metre: 10 10 11 11


Да молчит всяка плоть


"Да молчит всяка плоть" sung by 
The Moscow Sretensky Monastery Choir:


Congressman Pike

If you are of my vintage then you probably well remember Congressman Pike and Senator Church using the Legislative Branch's hammer to go after the abuses of the intelligence agencies. News comes that Congressman Pike has passed away at age 92. May he rest in peace.

Sadly today few remember or know of Congressman Pike and his epic battle with the NSA to produce its "TOP SECRET" charter. When you think of it, it is very strange that no news broadcaster has made any mention of Rep. Otis Pike as they covered Edward Snowden and the NSA scandalthon.  Most odd, don't you think?

The Pando.com website has a thought provoking (and hair raising) article about him that is worth reading and digesting: "The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead. No one noticed, no one cares"

10 February 2014

Pray for the Nuns of Maaloula

Be sure to continue to pray for the safekeeping and the immediate release of the Orthodox nuns who were kidnapped and are being held by "Syrian rebels".  The nuns' convent is in the Aramaic-speaking city of Maaloula, Syria.

Zenit.org reports:
Monastery of St. Thekla, Maaloula

DAMASCUS, February 10, 2014 (Zenit.org) - A group of Greek Orthodox nuns taken captive from their convent in the historic Syrian town of Maaloula have appeared in a new video. 
The video of the nuns, who were taken at gunpoint by rebel forces from Mar Takla convent in early December, is reported to have been filmed on Feb. 5. It was shown on the television channel Al Jazeera on Sunday. 
The clip has no sound, but a commentator said "they say they are in good health, haven't been mistreated... and they are waiting for their release to return to the convent".   

Also, remember to pray for the kidnapped Orthodox bishops to be kept safe and released as soon as possible:
Aleppo’s Greek Orthodox Archbishop Paul Yazigi and Syriac Orthodox Archbishop Yohanna Ibrahim were abducted in April by armed men near Aleppo while en route to the northern Syrian city from the Turkish border. They were reportedly on their way to negotiate the release of three priests who are also missing.

Lourdes in the Business Mirror

Ste Bernadette Soubirous
This morning I was delighted to read  a lovely article in The Business Mirror entitled "Lady of Lourdes: Revelation of God's goodness" which would serve as a good introduction or a refresher to the story of the Apparition and the Shrine in France:

'I BELIEVE Lourdes to be a genuine revelation of the goodness of God to a world which every day stands more and more in need of it.” This was the conclusion of John Oxenham, a non-Catholic in his book The Wonder of Lourdes. Lourdes in 1857 was a town of 5,000 inhabitants, mostly agricultural or quarry workers. It was known as a garrison town because in the place once stood a castle fortress.

Please click the link to read the entire article.  God bless us one and all.

09 February 2014

The 10 Dogmas

Rupert Sheldrake's banned TEDx talk:

Barbara Nicolosi tells it like it is

From an interview with Barbara Nicolosi in AvVenire, Nicolosi unveils the truth: 

What has happened in the Church is that we have sacrificed the search for “new epiphanies of beauty” in the words of Bl. John Paul II, to egalitarianism, cheapness and politics. 

We don’t care anymore if a hymn is lovely and haunting, we just need it to be singable by the assembly without any musical training or practice. This means we have had to dumb down our music to the level of pre-school ditties. 

Our movies and television are not flowing out of the mysterious impulse to create and connect, which is the hallmark of art, but rather out of the desire to preach and distract. 

Secondly, in productions created by Christians for Christians, there is nothing so unappreciated – and I would argue, resented – as God-given talent. In the Church today, the emphasis on talent seems to people to be elitist, as if God has very bad form in giving one person the ability to do something that another can not. How dare God be so unequal in His favors?! 

Barbara Nicolosi 

Also, be sure to read Fr. Dwight Longnecker's post 
relating to his book: click here.

08 February 2014

A Hymn for Christmas, Epiphany, and Candlemass



Now light your lamps, ye Christians wise 
and gather 'neath Christ's Star. 
The Light of lights, the Prince of Peace 
has come here from afar. 
No warrior he, the Word made flesh, 
the Servant of us all, 
the Child whose breathing brings us peace, 
whose heartbeat saves us all. 

God's mother's face reveals his light 
as moon shines by the sun, 
And Joseph's eyes filled full with joy 
gleam bright with God's own Son. 
O Christ our God, true face of God 
now cradled in their arms, 
O please accept what gifts we bring: 
our hearts, our minds, our love. 

Child Jesus, hear our fervent prayer 
for peace to reign on earth;
for great and small, for rich and poor, 
for each to know their worth. 
Though fallen be the human race 
and sin and hate abound,
give peace to all for in each face 
thy image still is found. 

O sing, you blessèd company 
of faithful people. Sing 
for God the Child whose very light 
demands the darkness flee. 
O Trinity of endless light, 
with love our praise we bring 
where Wisdom found a cave for house 
to bring forth earth's true king. 

 Copyright © 2007 Vincent Uher 
 Suggested tune: Forest Green 

Richeldis de Faverches

Richeldis de Faverches, pray to the Lord for us.


Sundays after Epiphany


LMIGHTY and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and in our time grant us thy peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Suffolk treasure in Woolpit


Nettuno, Our Lady of Grace

Our Lady of Ipswich, pray for us.


Suicide or Suicided

A horrible death. Link here. God have mercy on his soul.

07 February 2014

Bishop Grafton's Insight

In Plain Suggestions for a Reverent Celebration of the Holy Communion (Ch. 9 'The Mystical Meaning of the Liturgy') the late Anglo-Catholic Bishop Grafton dealt with a remarkable peculiarity of the Anglican liturgy that the unconsumed portions of the Eucharist were not left upon the Altar or upon a table to be dealt with later after the liturgy but are intentionally left upon the Altar to form the real climax of the liturgy with priest and congregation standing in the Real Presence of the Lord of All united with Him by their Communion with Him and by His Divine Majesty in their midst upon the Holy Altar.  Bishop Grafton writes:

... It is full of the spirit of the risen and ascended Christ. As the first two portions of the Liturgy set forth His prophetical and priestly work, here He is brought before us as our risen and ascended King. The Roman mass practically ends with the priest's communion, and then he consumes the elements.

Is it not something worse than disloyalty for an Anglican priest to imitate this in the face of our rubric, which enforces the reservation of the sacrament until after the benediction? If it was for communion only that the sacrament was instituted, we might conceive that as soon as the communions were made the sacrament should be consumed. But the Prayer-Book orders its reservation and that the Benediction shall be given in its presence.

 Like the apostles, we assemble about our risen Lord, and are with Him, like them, in the sacred enclosure of the closed doors. He is in the midst of us, and we have received Him, and He is in us and we in Him. We rejoice in Him and adore Him as our King.

We are incorporated into His mystical body, and are ready to do all such good works as He has prepared for us to walk in. We gather about Him as when the disciples took their last walk with Him in the glorious sunlight of His resurrection, and He led them out as far as Bethany.

Not unfittingly does our Liturgy reserve the Gloria in Excelsis for this place. It is the triumphantly filled-out response made by the Church to the angels’ song at Bethlehem. We have been raised up and made to sit in heavenly places.

We gaze not up into a material heaven, but into the heaven whereof we form a part and wherein we are one with the apostles, as when they gathered beneath the benediction of the uplifted hands, and worshipped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 

And then, after the blessing, the priest immediately and reverently consumes the sacred gifts, and can we but think of the saying: "He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

I doubt many in the Anglican Church were catechised with this understanding in the last fifty years, but when rightly celebrated such a mystical meaning is both potent and faith-enhancing when one participates with the Church standing and praising God who is eucharistically present upon the Altar, singing the Hymn of the Angels, and receiving the final Benediction of the Blessed Trinity whilst in His divine Presence.  Following the Benediction, the priest would consume all that was left of the Body and Blood of the Lord, and for the Church on earth 'The Lord would pass from out their sight.'

This entire liturgical order and direction of movement is now lost in almost all Anglican and Episcopalian liturgical orders and is not to be found in the Ordinariates' new Mass provisions.  But perhaps some day someone will reclaim this remarkable vision of the Church on earth united with the Church Triumphant worshipping the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world. 

St. Mary's, Redcliffe