Today is, as you all know, St Valentine's Day.
However, this obvious reference – albeit largely forgotten from the secular world – to Catholicism is clearly intolerable to the atheist, anti-Christian hordes now ravaging the West.
Therefore, St Valentine's Day is now (as heard twice on the radio) the International Day Of Love.
Can't wait for those evil people at the BBC to pick this up and give us another dose of soppy sentimentalism of the “gay marriage” type.
As I have often remarked, language shapes thinking. Those who want to subvert your thinking will first try to change your language: “gay” instead of “sodomite”, “dreamer” instead of “illegal”, “irregular family” instead of “concubinage”, and so on.
I'll stick to St Valentine's Day, thank you very much. May he pray for us in heaven.
And by the by, today is Ash Wednesday.
No mention of that on those radio channels.
And it came to pass yours truly directed his unworthy person toward the local church at lunchtime, in order to attend the Ash Wednesday Mass.
A huge queue (up to the end of the block) had formed itself outside of the building. As I went in, I noticed another huge queue had formed the other side of the entrance.
The Church had not one, but three masses at lunchtime, plus morning and evening. Obviously all packed.
At the end of my mass, we were made to go out from the fire exit to facilitate the entrance of the “huge crowd waiting outside” for the next one (so the priest, verbatim).
If it had not been for the Mass (which was reverent, but strictly NO) I would have fancied myself in 1957.
Those attending – working in a busy business district – were exactly the kind of people Francis bashes all the time: the well employed, going about their busy lives, almost all in suit and tie. They had nothing of “periphery” in them, nor was any sheep stink to be detected. They are the one supposed to be tepid, bashing in their own securities, and all that Francis rubbish we all know.
The interesting thing is that I attended the same Ash Wednesday mass in the same church some years ago, and there was absolutely nothing of the sort. Absolutely.Nothing.Of.The.Sort.
Now, let us make a little analysis here: is this the Francis Effect?
Clearly not. If Francis had such an effect on the crowds p, they would flock to Rome in droves before, during and after any Holy Year you can or cannot imagine. But they don't, and they actually seem to carefully avoid the place (the smoke of Satan stinks a lot after all).
What might, then, be happening? If you ask me, and unless this is an isolated episode, what is happening might be simply Providence. More and more people, of the more educated – and therefore informed – class, receive an echo of the controversies surrounding Francis; and this gives them a warm feeling of persistence of good values, a consoling, cosy sensation of “good things that won't go away”; and in time, this teanlates – with God's grace – in curiosity, and then interest, and then trial, and then regular practice.
Your humble correspondent could not hide a triumphant feeling, a total exhilaration at being out in the cold, queueing, and reminded of the packed churches of his early, blessed childhood in a Country where the Only Church was the State Religion. One tear, or three, of the purest joy might have escaped his old and tired, far too emotional eyes.
Today I was so proud of being a Catholic. So proud, that for forty minutes I almost forgot the Evil Clown and his band of thieves. It was exhilarating.
Bad Popes may come and go. They can inflict much damage.
But boy: the Church is – without a shadow of a doubt, and in a very visible way – the toughest shop on Earth.
Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
With my congratulations to the happy few who today had or will have the possibility of being reminded of the sobering truth mentioned above, in the proper language.
It is now with great pleasure that I can inform those who don’t know already that it has been now decided (for the UK) that Friday penance (actually never abolished, though its existence has been carefully hidden from your sight by the western Catholic clergy) is going to be reintriduced in full style, that is: by making clear that the standard way of making friday penance is by abstaining from meat.
The new rule will get in force starting with the 16th September. This basically means – if the new rules are made known and explained to the faithful – the return to the good old days in just a couple of years.
Also interesting are the motivation the bishops have given for this – semel in anno – very laudable initiative: 1) the recovery of Catholic identity and practice, and 2) the common celebration of friday penance.
As to 1), one thinks that the old sixty-eighter generation must be rather bewildered at the concept of Catholic practices being reintroduced because they are specifically Catholic. This really doesn’t square with the ecu-maniacal soup they have been eating for too many decades. I doubt that even a joint will be enough for them to forget the crude reality of the irresistible return of traditional Catholic practices. I do hope they’ll enjoy the salmon, though.
As to 2), this is interesting in its social relevance. If this practice is made known and the faithful regularly reminded about its observance, in just a few years you’ll have every biggish office, association etc. where Catholics are clearly recognisable. This is a bit like Ash Wednesday, where you see in the underground the people with the ashes on their forefront and you either know, or are curious…. In time, those standing out for this strange behaviour will become more and more, one question will lead to another and, no doubt, many a soul will be saved as a result.
I warmly welcome this development and didn’t want to miss one of the very rare occasions when our bishops act in a decisive, laudable and even slightly uncomfortable way.
Beautiful blog post from Domine, Da Mihi Hanc Aquam.
As Lent is the main “confession time” and the only time of the year many Catholics will approach the confessional (and they are already clearly in front of the very many who will not do it because they believe – possibly with the complicity or, worse, acquiescence of their priest – that they can be their own confessors), it is very fitting to lead your attention to this beautifully written, very open, very encouraging piece of sound catholic advice.
I found the one about the “excuse, explanation or decoration” rather funny (once at the Oratory there was an entire homily on the matter, it tells you who cares for the sacraments and who doesn’t) and the one about “thine own sins ans no one else’s” outright amusing, but the entire piece is enjoyable and edifying at the same time.
Now that we are in the midst of Lent, perhaps this will help the one or the other “undecided” or lapsed catholic on the brink of coming back to sacramental life to take the plunge.
To my knowledge, people don’t die on the confessional and if they do, well I suppose it is because of a heart attack; but even so, I’d rather die of a heart attack just after the absolution than discover after death that I really, really needed one.