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Thursday 12 July 2012

Voices are gone from the Strand

Gone is the BBC from Bush House. The last people moved out this week.

The cutbacks happened last year, when 30 million listeners were dropped from the Beeb World Service. One sixth of the world listeners no longer have access to the BBC World News Service.

I stood in front of Bush House about three weeks ago, and that eerie feeling one gets in front of an abandoned house was already settling on this great monument of communication. It is a passing of an era, and like so many of the communication hubs of that part of the City, including the old newspaper buildings, a sadness lingers. Voices are gone forever from the Strand.

I remember listening to the BBC World News as a young person in the Midwest. The world opened up for me and it was exciting. I also think the passing of the old technology, of the old ways of radio, is sad. A commentator sent me this link for the video, which I could not get to work on this post.

I was a friend of Harmon Grisewood, who died many years ago, and this video reminded me that he described having to wear formal wear for his position at the BEEB. Mr. Grisewood was a Catholic and a gentleman. He was a lovely man and had many friends. It is hard to imagine someone being gone so long.

Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin

Today in the Novus Order is the feast day of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, St. Therese's great and humble parents. They are among the patrons of this blog. July 13th was the day of their marriage. So, this would have been a preparation day. They were married at midnight in the local church without hardly anyone there, just the witnesses and a few. How wonderful! How private and how sacred! Brides and grooms could take a lesson from this humble couple.

May God raise up other men and women who are married to create saints among us. May the intercession of Louis and Zelie lead us into our vocations and help us to trust in God at all times.

May Zelie comfort those women who have had or have breast cancer, and may she allow those who do not to refrain from judging those who do.

Updates: Here is the link for their joint miracle, which is all that is required for a married couple, as the two are one.  One commentator here, James Ignatius, (and thanks, James), sent me this Collect, which I heard today, but of which I did not have a copy:

you have given to Blessed Louis and Marie ZĂ©lie
the grace to lead a life of holiness as Christian spouses and parents.
Grant that through their intercession and example
each of us may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

On judging by fruit

Some Catholics want to judge apparitions or visionaries by the fruit of the ministries which pop up around such places. Fruit, by itself, is not sufficient for judging whether a vision or elocution is from God. I have an example which I share when I get into these types of discussions.

A young person I know came to Christ on the dance floor of a club. She was a clubber and a dancer. She may even had a red dress on. So, do we enshrine a club where she was converted?

Another person I know was converted at Niagra Falls. All of the sudden, he knew God was real and he became a strong Christian. Do we have a shrine there?

Because a person became closer to God through a visit to a seer does not mean that those apparitions are true. In logic, we call this "non sequitur" as to cause and effect. 

God can use anything, including Balaam's donkey in the Old Testament, to speak truth or lead someone to Him. 

One of my friends was converted when she went to receive communion at a Protestant service and realized, then and there, it was not the Body of Christ, but bread. The Spirit blows where He will.

Give Cures--John Paul Il Stem Cell Research Institute

I could not get the video to work on this post. Please take a moment and go to the linked site.
Rick Santorum supports this charity. Please consider giving, if you can. (Some good Iowa people here in this video).

Mary, Malta, and Freedom--Can It Happen Again?

I have a special devotion to Our Lady of Carafa, whose beautiful icon, one of the most lovely in the world, is on the right side-bar of this blog. Here are two amazing histories relating to Malta and Our Lady. The war goes on, but it is spiritual warfare. May Our Lady of Carafa save Malta again. Here is her chapel in Valletta. 

 In 1942, during one single month, in an attempt to stem out the attacks on their supply lines to Africa, the Luftwaffe dropped 6,500,000 Kilos of bombs upon the Maltese Islands. If the Maltese Islands were to serve as a British base, food supplies were badly needed for the survival of the starving population. On August 15, 1942, the American Texaco Tanker ‘Ohio’ entered the port of Malta, the event was seen as a grace obtained by Our Lady and the starvation on the Islands was averted. ‘Operation Pedastal’ referred to by the Maltese as ‘Il-Convoy ta Santa Maria’ or ‘Saint Mary’s Convoy,’ initially consisted of two battleships, four aircraft carriers, seven cruisers, sixteen destroyers, and fourteen Merchant ships. By the time this convoy reached the Islands of Malta, off Southern Sicily, fifteen ships were destroyed; many were damaged and left for Gibraltar. Into the Maltese port entered the Tanker SS-Ohio, HMS Penn, HMS Ledbury, HMS Branham, MV Melbourne Star, MV Brisbane Star, Aircraft Carrier Furious, MV Port Chalmers and MV Rochester Castle. The SS-Ohio was towed into port; the convoy brought fifty-five tonnes of supplies, including ammunition and aviation oil. The significance and success of this Allied mission was greater than initially observed. Apart from restocking the garrison of Malta and disrupting the usual supply lines to Africa, the spitfire fighters from the aircraft carrier ‘Furious,’ were transferred onto the Island. These planes were instrumental at blocking Axis supplies to Africa before the second Battle of El Alamein (October 23 – November 3, 1942) which success was a turning point for the Allied forces in the Western Desert Campaign. During the first centuries of Christianity, November 3, was one of the calendar dates reserved for the commemoration of Saint George of Lydda, (Georgian writer George Zosimo also indicates April 23 and November 23 as dedicated to this saint). On September 19, 1946, the SS-Ohio was towed ten miles from shore and sunk by gunfire, Captain Dudley Mason of the Ohio was later awarded the George Cross. So was Malta awarded the George Cross, which is proudly incorporated within the Maltese flag. 
On December 7, 1943, President D. Roosevelt in Malta commemorated the second anniversary of the entry in the war of the American People: “In the name of the people of the United States of America I salute the Island of Malta, its People and defenders, who in the cause of freedom and justice and decency throughout the world have rendered valorous services far above and beyond the call of duty. Under repeated fire from the skies, Malta stood alone but unafraid in the center of the sea, one tiny bright flame in the darkness, a beacon of hope for the clearer days which have come. Malta’s bright story of human fortitude and courage will be read by posterity with wonder and gratitude throughout all the ages. What was done in this Island maintains all highest traditions of gallant men and women who from the beginning of time have lived and died to preserve civilization for all mankind.”(5) The following day on December 8, 1943, the Feast commemorating the Immaculate Conception was celebrated throughout the Christian world. A votive procession of the Icon of Our Lady of Carafa was organized in Malta; the procession exited Saint John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta and passed through the city streets. The Archbishop and Bishop of Malta solemnly read the Act of Consecration by His Holiness Pope Pius XII (October 30, 1942). The telegrams exchanged between the Vatican and the Maltese Curia read as follows: “Cardinal Maglione – Vatican City – Occasion Consecration of Malta and Gozo Immaculate Heart Mary we beg assure HH filial devotion Clergy and Laity two Dioceses fervent prayers His August Person and Peace He desires – Archbishop Caruana, Bishop Gonzi.” The reply, “Archbishop Caruana – Malta – Holy Father acknowledging kind message paternally blesses Pastors Clergy Faithful Dioceses Malta and Gozo – Cardinal Maglione."
Text from:

Do you have a nickname? Silly, summer question....

Do you have a nickname? My family never gave nicknames, but of course, children and friends have.

I shall share some interesting nicknames in my life, besides "Supertradmum".

One of my brothers could not say my name, so he called me "Dee-Dee". That did not last long, after he learned to speak correctly.

My grandmother from the Czech side called me "Princess" most of my life. She had many grandchildren, but that was my nickname. There was a abundance of boys, so that may be the reason. My second real boyfriend called me "Pinkie", because I looked like and dressed like this painting above by Lawrence. My next real boyfriend called me "Moley" as in "Good Old Mole" as I was reliable and sensible. 

Then, my next name was given to me by my head at a school where I taught; "Pet". Not sure why...I was the only woman on an all male staff, so that could have been the reason. A true feminist would have hated that, but I thought it was sweet. 

Another friend of mine calls me "Diana" at this point in time, and again, not sure why...None of these have stuck, thank God. I was also called "Xena", after the warrior princess by some of my students, although I never dressed like her (I saw one episode and it was idiotic). They put up a picture of her on the door in my classroom, which I had to take down. There might be a Diana connection. There seems to be a warrior and princess theme brewing, along with reliability

My son calls me Mum. His nickname, which I did not give him, is Kavi, which is Poet, in Sanskrit. However, I am the poet in the family, while he is the expert in prose.
I suppose if one had to trace characteristics through nicknames, one would have to see mine as a combination of traits. Ah well, why do you not share your nicknames on this silly, summer day?

At least I have, for the most part, literary or artistic names, not counting "Xena"...Needless to say, I do not look like any of these personages, except, maybe, "Good Old Mole"; that is, short and near-sighted. However, I am not black and I do not wear trousers or waistcoats.

Prayer of St. Alphonsus before the Blessed Sacrament

A friend of mine brought this to my attention. It is in most TLM Missals. 
Ask your Guardian Angel for inspirations and help in prayer.

O most lovely, most sweet, 
and dearest Jesus! 
Life, hope, treasure, 
and only love of my soul! 
Oh, how much has it not cost Thee to remain with us in this Sacrament. 
It was necessary for Thee to die 
in order to remain afterwards upon our altars; 
and how many injuries hast Thou not been made to suffer, 
in consequence of this presence among us! 
But Thy love, and Thy desire to be loved by us, 
have surmounted all. 
Come then, Lord, 
come and occupy my heart, 
and afterwards close the gate to it for ever, 
so that no creature may ever enter again 
to take away a part of this love which belongs entirely to Thee, 
and which I am unwilling to give to any other. 
Do Thou alone, my dear Redeemer, reign over me! 
Do Thou alone possess me entirely, 
and if at any time I should not obey Thee perfectly, 
punish me severely, 
that for the future I may be more careful to please Thee, 
according to Thy desire. 
Let me no more desire nor seek 
for any other pleasure than to please Thee, 
to visit Thee often at Thine altar, 
to converse with Thee, 
and to receive Thee in Holy Communion. 
Let them look for other goods who will! 
For me, I love only, 
I desire only the treasure of Thy love. 
The only favour I ask at the foot of this altar is, 
that I may forget myself altogether, 
to remember only Thy goodness. 
Blessed Seraphs, I do not envy you your glory! 
But by the love which you bear to your God and mine, 
oh, teach me what I must do to love Him 
and please Him like you!
O my Lord and King, 
hidden in this Sacrament, 
since Thou dost invite me to converse with Thee, 
I will open my heart with confidence, and speak. 
O my Jesus, ardent Lover of souls, 
I know to well the injustice and ingratitude of men towards Thee. 
Thou lovest them, and they do not love Thee; 
Thou dost confer benefits on them, 
and they return Thee with insults; 
Thou wouldst have them hear Thy voice, 
and they will not listen; 
Thou dost offer them graces, 
and they refuse them.
Ah! my Jesus, I, too,
was once among the number of these ungrateful souls.
O my God, it is only too true.
But I desire to amend,
and I wish to compensate for the injuries I have done Thee,
by doing all I can to please Thee for the remainder of my life.
Tell me, O Lord, what Thou dost require of me.
I will do it without the least reserve.
Make known to me Thy will by the way of holy obedience,
and I hope to accomplish it.
My God, I firmly promise never to leave undone any act
which I know to be agreeable to Thee,
although the performance of it should cost me the loss of all things
– of relations, friends, character, health,
and even life itself.
Let me loose all,
if only I may do Thy will!
Happy loss, when all is sacrificed to content Thy heart,
O God of my soul!
I love Thee, O Sovereign Good,
above all goods worthy of my love,
and in loving Thee I unite my feeble heart
with the hearts of all the Seraphim.
I unite it with the Heart of Mary
and with the Heart of Jesus.
I love Thee with my whole soul;
I wish to love Thee alone,
now and for ever.