Thursday, 27 March 2008

Blog Gap

Just to let you know that there might be a blog gap of a day or so whilst I get everything moved down to Suffolk... Please pray for me and for my work here.

Oremus pro Invicem!

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A word from a Father

I had some spare time this evening and I thought I'd use it wisely by having a look at what the Pope has been saying over easter.
I'm a real fan of the Pope... Not just because he's the Pope, as a Catholic I would always have a special reverance to those God chooses in the Petrine Ministry; no i'm a fan because the Pope is such a Father and he writes in a way which moves me in my inner most being.
I have most of his works in my collection and at times I'm moved to tears because of the way he describes Jesus. He brings the Word of God alive in his theology and you can clearly see why our Holy Father values beauty in the liturgy... He certainly gives us beautiful theology.
So in the words of Fr Stan, if you've not got it, get it... If you've not read it, read it... And if you've read it, then read it again!
Here is just a little taster!
We must not allow this light of truth, that shows us the path, to be extinguished. We must protect it from all the forces that seek to eliminate it so as to cast us back into darkness regarding God and ourselves. Darkness, at times, can seem comfortable. I can hide, and spend my life asleep. Yet we are not called to darkness, but to light. In our baptismal promises, we rekindle this light, so to speak, year by year. Yes, I believe that the world and my life are not the product of chance, but of eternal Reason and eternal Love, they are created by Almighty God. Yes, I believe that in Jesus Christ, in his incarnation, in his Cross and resurrection, the face of God has been revealed; that in him, God is present in our midst, he unites us and leads us towards our goal, towards eternal Love.

The HFE Bill

The picture you are looking at is a human embryo. What is this thing? Is it a cell? Is it a fried egg as my 3 year old niece thought? Or is it something worth looking after?
Lord David Alton said back in the 1990's:
'The embryo is not merely a potential human being, but a human being with potential'.
Lord Alton is well known for his personal convictions and courage in terms of his political goals. He resigned from the Liberal Democrats because of their decision to make Abortion party policy, whilst on the same day voting to protect Gold Fish in fair grounds.
It's worth considering what Alton says. Not simply because for most of you reading this, it's what you agree with, however it sums up easily what is now a scientific reality; it is an empirical fact that the embryo is a human being with potential.
Dr Jerome Lejeune, the world renowned biologist who discovered the extra chromosome for those who have downsyndrome, wrote an excellent piece a while ago. You can find that here:
'To accept the fact that, after fertilization has taken place, a new human has come into being is no longer a matter of taste or of opinion. The human nature of the human being from conception to old age is not a metaphysical contention. It is plain experimental evidence.'

What we are dealing with is human life. That's why people are upset at the HFE Bill; it's not because we are anti scientific, no, far from it. It's because we don't believe that you can treat man simply as a means to an end, but rather always as an end in himself.

We know that the human embryo may contain the key to so many diseases, even though some of the coverage by some newspapers and news channells have made outlandish claims putting disabled children on the camera whilst mothers are saying we don't have time, we need this research for our children. It's a well known fact that this research won't produce results in terms of cures for at least 50 years. Even on the stem cell debate, there is not one single cure from embryonic stem cells, despite 80% of all stem cell funding going towards this, whereas adult stem cells have produced over 65 cures.

There are alternatives, Dr Shinya Yamanaka for example who has found a way to use adult skin cells and manipulate these so they become like an embryo, and thus bear all the potential as any embryo would. The good thing is you don't need to use a real embryo, and you don't need to destroy human life.

Like it or not, you were once an embryo. That was when for you the clock started ticking. From a biblical point of view we can defend the embryo through the visitation. You will recall how the baby lept inside Elizabeth's womb, when Mary came to visit. John the foetus recognised Jesus the embryo at that moment. Mary wasn't just carrying divine cells, no she was carrying a person, the Son of Man.

Let's pray for those politicians who have to now decide how to vote. Write to them, go into their office and speak to them. Write to newspapers, and E-Mail the news stations. Let them know how you feel. Gordon Brown's concession yesterday whilst not all that we asked for was a pretty huge achievement on behalf of the Church and on behalf of all the pressure from the pro-life movement. All this is by the grace of God. Let's now stand up and be heard and remember that in saying No, we are saying Yes to God and Yes to the sanctity and dignity of human life.

The Judas Question

I just wanted to draw your attention to this excellent blog from a friend of mines, especially this post:

The most important point Adam makes is something which needs to be addressed in our culture today and indeed in our own hearts and minds:

'Judas therefore provides us with an invaluable lesson that when we sin, we can't find our consolation in ourselves, trying to earn our forgiveness and salvation, as that will only lead to our self-destruction, as it did with Judas. We must find that forgiveness and salvation in the other tree, the tree that is our focus this Good Friday, from which grace, mercy, love and redemption flow freely to all who approach it.'


Catholic awareness

On Holy Saturday evening, the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI baptized into the faith Madgi Allam. Allam is a deputy editor of “Corriere della Sera” (“Evening Courier”), Italy’s largest-circulation newspaper, which is based in Milan and takes a center-right political stance.Allam, 55, was born in Egypt and writes on Islam and on Arab politics and culture. He has been a supporter of Israel, has condemned Muslim fanatics, and has defended the Pope’s Regensburg speech. After Allam criticized Palestinian suicide bombings in 2003, threats were made on his life, and the Italian government provided him with a police guard, which he still has. He will need it all the more now that he has renounced Islam and become a Catholic. Allam had been a nominal Muslim. He did not perform the customary five-times-a-day prayers facing Mecca, and he did not undertake the Ramadan fast. (above courtesy of Karl Keating)
On Easter Sunday “Corriere della Sera” published Allam’s open letter to the editor. Addressed to Paolo Mieli, the letter is a moving proclamation of faith. Let me quote a few passages from it.
Allam said, “Yesterday evening I converted to the Catholic Christian religion, renouncing my previous Islamic faith. I finally saw the light, through divine grace, the healthy and ripe fruit of a long gestation lived in suffering and in joy ...

“I am particularly grateful to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who has imparted to me the sacraments of initiation--baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist--in the Basilica of St. Peter in the course of the solemn celebration of the Easter vigil.”
Then the new convert showed that he had no intention of playing down his adherence to his new faith. Referring to his baptismal name, he wrote:

“I have assumed the most simple and explicit Christian name: ‘Christian.’ Since yesterday, therefore, my name is ‘Magdi Christian Allam.’” He continued this way:
“For me [this is] the most beautiful day of my life. To acquire the gift of the Christian faith on the memorial of the Resurrection of Christ from the hand of the Holy Father is, for a believer, an incomparable privilege and an inestimable good. ...
“[This is the] authentic religion of Truth, of Life, and of Liberty. In my first Easter as a Christian I not only have discovered Jesus but have discovered for the first time the true and unique God, who is the God of Faith and Reason.”
What Allam says is truly beautiful. His heroic witness to the faith is also something which is inspirational. He talks in his letter about his almost certain death sentence from his own community because of his conversion to Catholicism saying:
“I will face my fate with head high, with back straight, and with interior sureness of one who has the certainty of his faith.”
How many Catholics in this country appreciate this or even acknowledge the fact that conversion to Catholicism actually makes a personal demand on us, and for some that demand is the complete sacrifice of our lives. Jesus isn't some nice man in the clouds waiting with his raindbow stole and his wooden cup.
The lamb, who died and gave Himself for us is the One, True God of Faith and Reason. If Jesus died for our sins, then why would he not want us to change our lives and turn away from sin as some members of the Church suggest? In that case would the cross be necessary?
What Allam has done has not only been shocking to his community and to the world, it should be a spiritual shock to us too. We need to start asking what demands God is making of us and be prepared to face that demand with that simple and herioc faith that Allam is showing. Back Straight, head held high and the and interior sureness of one who has the certainty of faith.


Well, I'm moving with work and it's not just to another city - it's an entirely new country (England). I thought just a few weeks ago, that the move itself would was very doubtful as I couldn't find a flat, and I couldn't ensure a decent Parish in the area's that seemed most affordable, but thanks to a lot of time in Adoration at a Y2K retreat in Harrogate, I came back and within a week it was all sorted. You have to love God, if only we would trust in Him more.

I ask for your prayers for me at this time!

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Our Culture and Us

A woman assaulted at a subway stop in New York City several years ago later recalled the image that will be etched in her mind forever. As she struggled against her assailant, she saw a man on a bench about 100 yards away wearing headphones and happily moving to the sound of a beat — utterly oblivious to the harm she was enduring. (cf

This is one of those stories you hear and it touches you at quite a profound level. Imagine the helplessness of such an experience; being in such need of help, desperately crying out, and yet nobody being able to hear you.

Today, in our culture, we have things going on, which simply shouldn't be going on.

Now imagine being in the situation of a crisis pregnancy. Imagine being gripped by fear because people might not approve of the pregnancy.

The unborn are crying out for help, 200,000 women a year are crying out for help; yet despite being there, like the guy on the bench listening to his music, we are in our culture and we can't hear them.

I don't mean to offend anyone, but it's time we faced up to reality.