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Monday 30 June 2014

Anyone Clergy Out There Need A Housekeeper?


Our Pope said this lovely thing....

Saying that "Women are the most beautiful thing God has made," the Pope reiterated his call in Evangelii Gaudium that the "feminine question" in ecclesial life "must be deepened, otherwise you can't understand the church herself." 

While Giansoldati explicitly set aside the question of female clergy, she asked Francis whether a woman would be named as head of a Curial dicastery, a prospect which the pontiff left the door wide open to by replying with a chuckle that "Well [orig: 'Beh'], many times priests [already] end up under the authority of their housekeepers."

Sunday 29 June 2014

Nonnberg Abbey

St. Rupert made Nonnberg for St. Erentrude.  Tomorrow is her feast.

Cool...Maria von Trapp was in the novitiate here.

and, they are just getting around to this?

Tomorrow Is Big SC Day On Mandate

Happy Feast of Peter and Paul

News from SPUC

3 Whitacre Mews, Stannary Street
London, SE11 4AB, United Kingdom
Telephone: (020) 7091 7091
Join the Rally for Life, Belfast, Sat 5 July


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Join the Rally for Life, Belfast, Sat 5 July

Liam Gibson of SPUC Northern Ireland writes:
"In a little under a week people from all over Ireland will converge on Belfast for the 8th annual Rally for Life. The rally will set-off from Custom House Square at 2pm, 5th July. As always it promises to be an enjoyable event for all the family.

Last July the rally brought the centre of Dublin to a standstill as an estimated 60,000 people turned out to protest against the Irish governments plans to legalise abortion. Despite this unprecedented level of public opposition the Irish abortion law, the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act (sic), came into effect on 1st January this year. Experience shows that when abortion is legalised it quickly becomes acceptable to the general public. But there is never an acceptable level of abortion, either it is stopped or the killing spreads. Already there is mounting pressure on both sides of the Border to permit the abortion of children with disabilities.

The victory of the abortion lobby in Ireland was a defeat for the pro-life movement globally. The politicians and abortion advocates are now watching how we react. They're looking for signs that we will simply give-up and go away so they can get on with legalising abortion on demand. If the people who came on to the streets last year don't want to see a further expansion of abortion in Ireland they cannot afford to stay at home Saturday 5th July."
Here are videos of the 2012 and 2013 rallies:

Comments on this blog? Email them to 

Thought for The Day

Lumen Gentium Chapter 5.  

May all those who are weighed down with poverty, infirmity and sickness, as well as those who must bear various hardships or who suffer persecution for justice sake-may they all know they are united with the suffering Christ in a special way for the salvation of the world. The Lord called them blessed in His Gospel and they are those whom "the God of all graces, who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself, after we have suffered a little while, perfect, strengthen and establish".(226)

Death of A Civilization

It must be hard for a person who has grown up with either strong feelings or ideologies in a family to find out, as a thinking, intellectual adult, that many things which were held sacred are absolutely, positively wrong.

When I taught history, the history of ideas, or humanities, I taught de Tocqueville. His insights have proved to be correct about the failures of democracy.

But, I am surrounded by people who refuse to look seriously at the failures of democracy, instead covering up lies and serious problems with slogans, usually using words like “true liberalism”, “patriotism” or “equality” when what is meant is always the lowest common denominator.

I was raised as an elitist, as all Catholics of a certain age were. We were taught to be leaders, to be intellectuals, to study the liberal arts, the classics, to learn how to think and not merely how to feel or have knee-jerk reactions.

In my own family, half were GOP and half Democrats. The Luxemburg half were the GOPs and the Czech half the Dems. No surprises there…For years, parents cancelled out the votes of each partner.

But, over all the political differences, until the generation before mine, stood the loyalty to the Church, to Catholicism. As I noted in a post earlier on Saturday, I was raised to be a Catholic first and an American second.

When did this view, so good, so true, change among American Catholics? One can blame the Kennedys, or go back further to the heresy of Americanism.

The photos of leading clergymen with the president and other leading Dems discouraged many Catholics in America. But, have they considered the root of the evil of compromise?

One reason I prefer Europe is that Europeans are sick of democracy. Now, this sickness could lead either to life, or to death, as do all illnesses. Europeans no longer believe in one man, one vote. But, they have committed themselves to be against monarchies, as real possible governments.

What is left is the fatal decision between anarchy and tyranny.

In America, the vast majority of Americans still believe in a government by the people for the people.

Without being “under God”, this ideal is merely romantic junkfood.

I cannot believe the fact that the American Catholic Church is so anti-intellectual, like the Protestants, who, from the beginning of the Revolt, were anti-intellectual (is there anything more anti-rational than sola fide, sola Scritpura).

What the nuns inculcated in us as leadership skills and the idea that as Catholics, who had been given beauty, Truth and talents, and that everyone was not equal, either in gifts or in roles.

The Catholic sense of superiority of culture and civilization is gone, gone, gone in America. Catholics seem to only want to conform, not challenge (see my post yesterday).

We have lost the cutting edge. Maybe, just maybe, there can be a revival of rationality, of the sense that the Catholic Church must be a leader in the public square, in the market place.

But, I know, deep down inside, the corner has been turned, and we shall be persecuted by the barbarians and by the emotional, by the leftists who only want power over the sheeple, and by the tyrants.

We shall be persecuted because Catholicism is superior, it is the only way to civilization.

And those who do not want God or the Truth hate us, as they hated Christ Himself

Without God as the acknowledge Ruler of America, there is no America, but a shadow, a false dream. Without the recognition that Truth is only found in the Catholic Church in its glorious fullness, America will limp into tyranny, seeking security over honesty, and comfort over rationality.

May Our Lady have mercy on this nation and intercede for this sad place.

Prose Poem Part One

A poet I knew long ago became a tee-shirt millionaire.

Some of us broke our hearts at the loss of talent and hidden art.

This old news haunts me, as if I had found a brown letter in the attic, lamenting lost love.

I wonder where he is now, wondering whether his head is still full of sublime verse.

Or, his other gifts of mathematics, new formulas, never seen before except in the Mind of God.

His people send silk-screened shirts across the world from a nation in the Southern Hemisphere; people whose ancestors drew drew dogs and symbols on sandstone and ironstone.

Now, these descendents talk of mussels and wine sauce, or salmon and dill for lunch.

Busy talk-talk, but no poetry comes out of the factory, and the wife sits with her ladies, now all wearing the animal prints, from the up-market part of the company, in red and yellows, which some think look good with Capris and stilettos.

She delights in theses lunches and dances through her dreams in her new line of muumuus, which look like ‘60s leftovers. Her old Phantom-Watts rusts in the garage, while she skips across the land in a Spider. “Our years shall be considered as the spider.” But, mom and dad have forgotten that.

Mom, too, forgets her only daughter and pretends she does not have a thirty-something child. And, dad is too busy selling tee-shirts to notice that his baby does not have a cell phone. She threw hers in the ocean.

The old tribe sighs at the loss of this star, the blood watching the end of an era. No grandchildren, not lasting heritage, no poetry.

All is dried-up like the red river bed; all perishes of success and all is blown away in a tropical wind of the material.

The young woman walks the hot trails in boots and shorts, with few resources, except for pen and notebook, moleskin, her one passion. She sits in the shade and writes poetry which will be seen by no living person.

She thinks of the veil of the spider’s web as her own interior life, a delicate thing, reminiscent of the words of a psalm—where did she hear that or read that one about man’s transitoriness, lives like grass, like a dream, like things that bloom and wither, dry up and blow away?

In the hot shade, she begins to write, and the black words flow like water in the desert, cleansing her soul, her mind, her heart. The heritage springs back to life, like a small rivulet pouring out of the hills, practically unnoticed.

The heritage is for her salvation, her eternal life, and she chooses the hard way not sought by her parents, who will never understand her. The tribe sighs again, whispering across sandy red hills, “We have found the wordsmith, but she is alone, and she is the last.”

Saturday 28 June 2014

Blogging on Sunday

My posts may be "on" later tomorrow. See you later on Sunday.

Unfinished Business

I have looked at the theme of perfection for three years, as if I were examining a many-faceted prism, or jewel. One reads the great mystics and theologians, as well as the Doctors of the Church, noticing the multi-colored spectrums of the words of the saints.

I have shared charts and graphs, photos and paintings, words which seem to purify the imagination as one writes them.

I have quoted the great ones on memory, understanding, the will, the imagination, detachment, objectivity, reflection, meditation, contemplation and the various stages of beginners and proficients.

I have written about Love and shared many poems about love, as well as giving hints as to how to supernaturalizing the natural and naturalizing the supernatural.

As I leave Iowa, the place of my birth and my home until I was a young adult, a place to which I have returned several times, I now realize that I may never return here again. This awareness of time and memory, birth and death, growth and decay bring me to a place where I sit in the sun, near twilight, and wonder at the movements of God in my life.

Unlike most people’s lives, my life has been one of change, excitement, living in many strange and wonderful places, my soul and mind being formed by interesting and good people, with whom I have been blessed to meet.

My closest friends are scattered across America and Europe. They are not gathered in one place, nor sit and look at the sun from the same angle as I do this evening.

Some, at this moment, are swimming in the land of the Middle Sea. They may be on their way to Mass and the rosary.  Some are having tea or early dinner in the green valleys or near the white cliffs of England, or in the deep countryside of mist and flowers in Ireland. Some are rushing to Vespers in London and in Cobh.

Some are in the busy cities of London, or Dublin, or Sliema, busy running, swimming, working, praying. Some are in sleepy little villages along the southern coast of England, overlooking the Channel, to where some work and play in the Vendee.

Over all these people is the mantle of grace, the grace of commitment to being part of the remnant and the Church Militant. Over all these people is the mantle of Mary, Our Mother, who loves each one of us as her own. I have met so many members of the remnant and consider myself blessed, very blessed.

But, as I begin to pack and move, I am saddened at leaving behind unfinished business, Business which is the evangelization of some of who nearest and dearest to me and unfinished as I have to leave them yet again without seeing the conversions for which I pray daily.

So many of us have members in our families who have either left the Church or never have been Christian. Many readers ask me to pray for family members. I do, and for my own.

Did St. Paul have relatives? We hear nothing of his brothers, his sisters, his parents….

When he went out to the cities of the Empire, did he know people there first, or did he land as a stranger and have to make friends as he began communities?

I have a missionary heart, as I have shared on this blog before. My heart is with the people in Europe, who face a darkness which will cover the earth very soon.

They will feel the brunt of this first, but, perhaps, not the worst. America as a younger and more zealous nation will be harsher, more violent, more organized in persecution, playing with the darkness of evil power like an adolescent with a new, fast car, but without the skills to drive it.

My twilight days are coming upon me, but I desire to work in the dusk. The dim light does not hinder my zealous nature. My angels go before me preparing a way to new friends, new places.

Continue to pray for me, please, as I move out of this area of giant farms, stout-hearted, but too proud people, and too much ostentatious wealth as well as deep poverty. May God continue to bless the people of the Midwest, but may He give them new graces to open their eyes to what is around them, but what they are not seeing--the coming night of Western Civilization.

Being a Catholic

Being a Catholic is not like being anyone. It is a gift beyond compare. It is an gift of being offered life in the midst of death, clarity in confusion, and peace in strife.

I have been reading the Fifth Chapter of Isaiah. In this book, a list of the sins of the nation of Judah are listed in some detail. These sins are “selfish greed”, “ self-indulgence”, “cynical materialism”, “perversion of the standards of morality”, “intellectual pride and self-sufficiency”, “intemperance” and the “loss of integrity”.

Now, the Israelites did not have the great outpouring of sanctifying grace which came with the Atonement and Redemption of Christ’s Death on the Cross. They did, however, have the Law and the Prophets. God kept His part of the covenant agreement, but the Israelites in Judah did not.

How modern this book seems, when God calls down judgment on the people for leaving the Law and for despising the “word of the Holy One of Israel”. These threats of punishment were not mere warnings, but prophesies of things to come.

In Book Six, Isaiah sees the Glory of God. He is cleansed of his sin after making a confession, repenting of his own sins. The prophet is then sent out to share this purification with others. But, God warns him that the people will not listen. Yet, what follows in Book Seven is the beautiful promise of the Savior.

“Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Immanuel, of course, means “God with us.”  The deliverance of men and women from sin will be this Savior’s victory.

When one sits down and reads these three books, one is struck with the great mercy and love of God for His people. He not only calls then to repentance and show then one, the prophet Isaiah, who has been cleansed and is full of the Spirit of God, but promises complete and final freedom from sin.

Sin, repentance, confession, grace, purification, eternal life all shine forth in these books.

The Catholic Church teaches the efficacy of the sacraments, and these passages are echoes of promises which only find a voice, fulfillment, in the Catholic Church.

Who are you? Who Is Christ?

We need to be reminded of Who Christ really is. Too often, the words of Advent and Christmas come and go too quickly, in the midst of business, and we lose an opportunity for reflection. The passage in Isaiah Chapter Nine resounds again in our minds when we meditate on the beauty of this prophecy.

“For to us a son is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called ‘Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’ Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

This is not merely a passage for the glories of Heaven, but for the Kingdom of God on earth. Many people who have fallen into unbelief and cynicism say “Where is this Kingdom?”

It is here, it is near us. It is in us. It is only our own fears and our own sins which keep the beauty of these words from resonating across the earth.

Do you believe in Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity? Do you believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, True God and True Man?

If so, meditate on His Kingdom and ask yourselves how this can come about, now, here, in these times?

The Cost of Discipleship

Wealth is the problem. I have lived in the Midwest since November 11th or so and I have wondered how so many Americans can be asleep, blind, as to the signs of the times. I have wondered at the pursuit of nonsense, trivia, worthless things and worthless entertainment.

I have wondered at the too-busy lives which cause people to not reflect or pray. Noise and distractions keep people running about, going here and there, not stopping to look, to listen to what God is trying to say.

He is saying, “Stop, repent, become perfect.” Few care and fewer listen.

The problem is wealth. After living in Europe for three years, 2011, 2012, and 2013, I was shocked when I returned to see the mad pursuit of things which have no lasting value.

What is necessary is not longer even seen by the vast majority of Catholics.

I have referred to the movie, Lawrence of Arabia on this blog before and the poignant cry of the British soldier, yelling at Lawrence and asking, “Who are you? Who are you?”

Who are you? Are you an animal seeking pleasure of the senses only? Are you a materialist, forgetting that you have an immortal soul which will live forever either in happiness or in grief?

The signs of the times seem obvious to me. Most of my close friends have adult children living with them either because they are unemployed, underemployed, or paying back huge university debts.

Most of my son’s generation are not choosing marriage or children.

Older people spend their days seeking small pleasures not realizing that these supposedly innocent “perqs” strip the soul of purity and reduce the body to a mere machine.

The seeking of small pleasures is just as deadly as the seeking of big ones. Too many people think they have a right to daily deserts, daily entertainment, daily “down time” without praying, without meditating, without reading Scripture.

Do not pass up opportunities to become holy. Do not fall into habits of selfishness. Do not forget to fast, do penance, pray.

Without mortifications, no one can be holy.

Without seeing the signs of the times, one is heading for perdition and not for glory.

Simply put, most people here have too many things and too much food; they have too much wealth.

To be a Catholic means doing things on purpose which hurt. Wealth ruins that view with the darkness of deceit.

Do not miss the signs of the times or the chances to be who God created you to be.

A Sign of Contradiction or Conformity?

The West in Medieval times was open as never before or after. Christendom allowed for free travel, as the national boundaries, which came to demand passports or travel documents did not yet exist.

This community of cultures and proto-nations, of kingdoms, whose kings and queens acknowledged a King above them, flowed back and forth in confidence and in relationships.

All this changed after the Protestant Revolt, when national identity became stronger and caused new rules between nations, making borders more difficult to transverse and making the Catholic Church just one more “national interest” among many. The many revolutions undermined the supremacy of Christendom, and the Church became not only marginalized, but persecuted, in Germany, England, France, Italy, and other places.

For a brief moment of glory, the Church was given some freedoms under Napoleon, who thought he could control the hierarchy by restoring them, but again, nationhood trumped Christendom. But, Napoleon himself began the counting and ordering of peoples, with the census and the insistence on surnames. He demanded a “global order” in what he saw as disorder. Bismarck followed with similar ideas, and the purposeful stealing of power and influence of the Church continued.

The imprisonment of Pius IX and the taking away of the Vatican Papal States in the supposed reunification of Italy pushed the Church more and more into the sidelines, no longer the universal Church, but one of many, in the false ideals of both nationalism and relativism.

By the 20th Century, the Church no longer had power in the public square in international affairs, being again sabotaged by the League of Nations and, finally, the United Nations.

By the 21st Century, the Church had lost all power in many European nations and has been confined to the status of immigrant groupings, not being seen as a world power, despite the media attention of the popes.

The Church will be more and more marginalized concerning international affairs, and is already no longer a power in the EU, having many of Her rights and privileges taken away.

The reason that the Church is now marginalized and facing persecution in most countries, including the United States, is that those who are the shepherds, for the most part, cannot see the rot of Church power in the world, nor do they care. They have no vision of a Church which is not “national”, such as in America, where so many bishops and priests still hold on to the heresy of “Americanism” and hate so-called Vatican control.

There are too many Catholics, including bishops, who do not understand that for the Church to be free, She must have respect as an institution and be above the increasingly immoral and tyrannical laws of the lands. She must be totally independent.

I could give specifics as to how the Church has lost power in the past thirty years. I know some of these from experience and from serious discussions with priests who are willing to discuss how governments are tying the hands of movements of seminarians or priests, or even families of both.The world has changed that quickly, in just over a generation, so that the type of respect given the moral position of the Church has vanished.

No longer do national leaders have to consider the Church. No longer do nations feel they need to provide Ambassadors to the Vatican. No longer do leaders listen to the statements of the popes.

No longer can a bishop exert influence in the secular society in his diocese.

We shall all suffer because of this huge change, but some will suffer more than others.

Cardinals, bishops, priests, seminarians, seminaries, schools which have not capitulated already to state curricula, monasteries of monks, convents of nuns.will be the first to feel the brunt of this marginalization and persecution.

Then, the faithful remnant will feel the pressure and persecution.

I give it less than two years for major changes to the freedom of movement of Catholics in the West, especially the ordained. I give it less than two years for the laity to be impacted by a schism, which will separate the Church instituted by Christ and those national churches, no longer loyal to Rome but pseudo-Catholic like the Anglicans in Great Britain.

The freedom to come and go which the early missionaries enjoyed to convert Europe and then the New World will not be seen again, vanishing in the near future.

In the past, a civilized world did not need passports, or visas, or rules for immigration. These rules are all about control, controlling those who go out, and controlling those who come in. And, which organization sends the most people here and there? Big businesses? No, the Catholic Church.

Ironically, those who want more stringent rules cannot see that they are preparing the way for a world government, which will totally control the movement of free peoples. Nations are keeping out the poor, but also those who are “different”, who seem to be “nonconformists”.

Someone who was trying to hurt me with words today and told me I never fit in, I was also a nonconformist and pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable. This conversation arose because someone in my hometown remembered that I dated a black man in 1969, a Jew in 1979, and (horrors) married an Englishman.

“You were always different”, this person noted, but I was just being myself.

By many standards, I never fit into the mold of what it means to be “American”, but that is because early on, I thought (and still do think), like a Catholic, belonging to the universal Church, not a national Church. Even as a very young person, when asked who I was, I would not answer first, “an American”, but “a Catholic”.

Some of us think and act like “citizens of the world”. We have this perspective because we are Benedictine, Carmelite, Franciscan, the Church Militant. Such a citizen is free from the prejudices and false security of being just a citizen of a nation which may or may not be “under God”.

There is only one institution which is truly “under God” and that is the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.  First and foremost, I am a Catholic.

I am moving out of Iowa next week, a word which means, “the beautiful land”. A friend of mine wondered how it got so liberal, so leftist. She also wondered how Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, parts of the Dakotas (remember, the first and only complete Marxist city council was in a Dakota town), became so leftist. 

The answer is simple. These areas were primarily settled by Protestants, who believed in the American Dream first and foremost. There religion because “Americanism” and conformity. Sola fide, sola Scriptura means one can believe anything, even heresy. This type of attitude of provincial religious and political liberalism rubbed off on the Catholics, so that, by the time I was growing up, most the Catholics voted left in this area, and most practiced birth control, and supported “women’s rights”. I know Catholics who will vote for Hillary. They have no idea of her connections to the international, global groups who want to destroy Catholicism or, at least emaciate the Church. They do not seem to care. Globalism is more important than Christendom.

But, that blindness is only one example of the problem. The real problem is the lack of witness to the Gospel of Christ as preserved in the Catholic Church.

If the laity were signs of contradiction in the world a hundred years ago, they are no longer so.

They are signs of conformity.

The remnant is small, indeed.

Friday 27 June 2014

Buy Ezekiel Bread

HyVee has it. In the frozen organic section.

Read, but remember it is from La Stampa


Interesting Read

The False Dark Night

Barbara Brown Taylor is one of the most popular “spiritual” writers of the day. She was ordained as an Episcopalian priestess, but for reasons concerning her own popularity, she and the Episcopalians parted company some time ago.

The reason she is a concern for those seeking peace and perfection is that she writes about what she calls the Dark Night. However, one must make a distinction between what I call the highjacking of this very Catholic mystical term and Taylor’s use of the phrase.

First of all, for those of you who have read the over 600 posts on this blog regarding the way to perfection and union with God, you know that the first step to holiness is complete orthodoxy. Unorthodoxy keeps people from the graces of perfection.

Why? To be in union with Christ demands not only a breaking away from sin, and a purging of sin, but the “putting on the Mind of Christ”. To think like Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity one must think like His Own Bride, the Church.

Only in the Teaching and Tradition of the Church do we find the Mind of God. The sins which need to be purged come from self-love and self-will. Part of accepting the magnificent teaching of the Church is dying to self, the ideas one’s has about morality, doctrines, dogmas.

To insist on accepting ideas of others who have departed from the Tradition and Teaching Magisterium is a sign of rebellion and pride.

Without orthodoxy, one opens one’s heart, soul and mind to other spiritual forces, namely, demons and listens to the siren song of deceit.

I cannot judge Ms. Taylor, but I can judge her ideas, and a supposed “dark night” which is the same in Buddhism, or other man-made “religions”.  Objectively, she is confusing the way of ascetism, a long and honored tradition in all “religions” with the real Dark Night.

The real Dark Night centers on one’s relationship with Christ, and not merely the ascetic appeal of death to material things or distractions.

All humans benefit from denial and dark times, but only in the true Dark Night can one be discovered by the Bridegroom by Christ.

Who discovers one is the darkness which is not centered on Christ and His Truth, only found in fullness in the Catholic Church is, frankly, frightening.

Unless one is orthodox, one is open to the deceit of the most intelligent of beings, the demons who fake spirituality, who counterfeit real holiness and real religious experiences.

If on is not orthodox, one is not even on the way to perfection, as one is following a path which has forked off, away from the glory of the Catholic Church.

There is no such thing as truth outside of Christ, who told us “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”

There is no other way to union with God except through Christ and His Church. Anything else is a false and stunted journey, based on the ideas of men and not the Mind of Christ.

Once more, I repeat, how do we know the Mind of Christ? The is only one way, through the beauty of the Catholic Church

The Two Brothers of Malta-Ending

In the morning of August 9th, the second bombardment of Birgu began. The area was already almost destroyed by the cannons but the fort held out.  Birgu was almost invaded but a fluke of history caused the Turks to withdraw. Again, some strange power was at work stopping the advancement against Christianity. Birgu and Fort St. Michael did not succumb with the help of the charismatic Vallette, who had Frederico and his men by his side. The people proved to be some of the bravest on the island. 

The inhabitants fought well and stopped another attempt at the end of the month. Vallette sensed that the invaders were losing their will to win. However, the siege continued. The Turks had, at this point, before the beginning of September, lost over 9,000 men. 6,100 Maltese had fought against 48,000 men from the East and had not given in. The Turks attempted to take over the holy city of Mdina, but decide to withdraw in another surprise retreat. Mdina had little artillery, so the entire withdrawal of the attack seemed a spiritual mystery to the Maltese. Many of the Turks died of diseases adding to the number of dead, making the count 10,000. The siege moved slowly to an end.

On the vigil of the Feast of the Birthday of Our Lady, September 7th, the famous Don Garcia appeared with his men in St. Paul’s Bay, clearing the area with 8,000 reinforcements. In a rage which could not be controlled, the Spanish soldiers swept through the area, including Gozo, and freed Malta from the invaders. The Turks left Malta on September 11th, a day to be later remembered for another victory, as the Feast of the Holy Name of Mary, celebrating, as Catholics do today, the victory at the Battle for Vienna, a battle fought over two days, the 11th and 12th in 1683.

Soon the people had food sent to them from Spain, Italy, and Sicily. Sadly, many thousands died, in the fighting or by starvation. There graves, unlike like those of the Knights, lie unmarked, under the rocky soil of Malta.

The Maltese understood to whom they owed this victory, creating lovely churches in honor of Our Lady. The glory of Valletta revealed the beauty and love of the Knights for their country, their Lady, and their God.

Immanuel finally went back to Gozo to resurrect his father’s estates, and succeeded in being accepted into the Order, after training as a Knight, on Christmas Day, 1601. He was remembered always for his kindness and meekness.  Vallette began to build the most advanced fortified city in the world, but died before seeing it completed. Frederico received permission from the Grand Master after the Siege to enter the monastery in Mdina, where he lived to be a very old monk, writing this memory of the Siege of Malta from the perspective of two brothers-the two brothers of Malta. When Frederico died, the monks opened the tomb of Tomas and Isabella to add Frederico’s body to the dust. There, they found one white flower, a small white rose, preserved, as if it had been placed there yesterday by a gentle hand.

There is another story here, but it will have to wait a bit....

The End.

I know a couple

...who have been married for 66 years and still go out several times a week for coffee and a talk.

I am a bit envious....

That is love. When they were married in January of 1948, they had poinsettas on the altar. I love poinsettias.

Breaking News from SPUC

Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
3 Whitacre Mews, Stannary Street
London, SE11 4AB, United Kingdom
Telephone: (020) 7091 7091
BREAKING NEWS UN Human Rights Council passes pro-family resolution


Thursday, 26 June 2014

BREAKING NEWS UN Human Rights Council passes pro-family resolution

The United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council today passed a resolution for the "Protection of the Family" (link), despite opposition from the United States, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The resolution was passed by 26 votes in favour, with 14 votes against the resolution and six abstentions. Supporters of the resolution included the Russian Federation, India and Indonesia.

Earlier the Council rejected an amendment, designed to undermine the resolution, which promoted the false concept of "various forms of the family", as opposed to the natural family based upon marriage between a man and a woman.

Patrick Buckley, representing the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) at Geneva, described the vote as "truly historic". He said: "Rarely has a resolution been so vigorously resisted by anti-life and anti-family forces."

The resolution:
  • calls for "concerted actions to strengthen family-centred policies and programmes as part of an integrated comprehensve approach to human rights and development"
  • recognises that "the family has the primary responsibility for the nurturing and protection of children"
  • says that the family is "the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children"
  • describes the family "the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State"

Roll-call of votes on the resolution:

Yes (26):
  • Algeria
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • China
  • Congo
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Maldives
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Pakistan
  • Philippines
  • Russian Federation
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sierra Leone
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
No (14):
  • Austria
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
Abstained (6):
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Costa Rica
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
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Society for the Protection of Unborn Children
3 Whitacre Mews, Stannary Street
London, SE11 4AB, United Kingdom
Telephone: (020) 7091 7091
Young pro-lifers walking the South Downs Way for SPUC


Thursday, 26 June 2014

Young pro-lifers walking the South Downs Way for SPUC

Paul Smeaton, my son (pictured) has 84 more miles to walk in the sponsored walk which he and Matthew McCusker is undertaking this week for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). They are walking the South Downs Way, one of Britain’s longest national trails. Our young team has set itself the target of completing the trail, and all diversions for food and rest for the night, within one week, and without the use of any form of transportation- except their feet! This will mean averaging close to 20 miles each day. Matthew, my personal assistant, has worked for SPUC for nearly four years and is giving up a week of his annual leave to raise awareness of SPUC’s abortion miscertification campaign.

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Thursday 26 June 2014

When I Am Old

I sincerely hope to be full of grace in the way God intended me. I pray daily to live in God's Perfect Will.

This may mean absolutely doing what I do not want to do.

On the other hand, if we love God and are trying to live in His Perfect Will, our prayers and desires reflect His Will for us.


I have had prayers answered because I was praying in God's Will. I have seen things blocked in my life, as this was His Will.

But, sometimes, God's Will involves His allowing great suffering, such as persecution and martyrdom.

Think on this. We do not have much time for freedom. It is eluding us, fading away quickly.

Greater good can come out of intense suffering, and therefore Divine Providence allows this.

But, we are always, always in the palm of His Hand.

Some do not experience suffering as intensely as others. This is also His Will.

Do not bring down suffering on yourself unless it is God's Will. That could be simply the sin of pride.

We do not redeem ourselves through suffering but have been redeemed through Christ's sufferings.

Be patient, be peaceful, do not "sweat the small stuff."

And, I hope when I am very old, that I am more full of grace than I am now-and revealing the gifts. May God grant me time...

On Confusion Again

Confusion comes from evil, period. I see more and more confusion among people in the States regarding even common things. We have come from being a nation of pioneers, and independent workers, who knew how to do things, to a people who rely on others for so-called truth.

There is a mental laziness among many, which means that people do not compare news sources, do not find out information for themselves, do not do research before buying things, accept what governments tell them about education, and even believe falsified polls.

How did this happen? One reason why people are mentally lazy is that they do not pray. They do not take time daily to reflect. Their lives are full of addictions, to food, drink, entertainment.

When I was a teen, we went out once a week on a Friday with my friends. Now, young people and old people seek entertainment daily. I am amazed at how much people seek out entertainment. It is mind-numbing.

I have written on the evils of American entertainment before, but British entertainment is, if anything, worse. More of the capital sins are shown as ok on British sitcoms than one would hope to see.

But, the confusion is absolutely caused by the bombardment of the imagination by outside stimuli. Remember, everything you see and hear and touch goes into your imagination forever, unless you beg God to cleanse you of memory. See my other posts on this theme.

Confusion is caused by satan. He wants our minds to be scrambled by trivia, by nonsense. He does not want us to think on the last four things, or on our eternal destiny, so he feeds the imaginations of the world with useless information and entertainment.

I am very concerned, as this phenomenon is more than material; it is psychological and it is spiritual. When a people no longer reflect, they become stressed, and when stressed, people make wrong, even evil decisions.

Righteous Anger

Why is it that no one allows righteous anger? We have an example of God Himself showing anger several times against the Pharisees and the Sadducees. So, if a Catholic becomes angry at abortion or contraception or same-sex marriage, all serious sins which offend God, or becomes angry serious injustice or the killing of Christians across the world, why is the Catholic condemned?

Righteous anger comes from purity of heart, and not being caught up in egotism.

Righteous anger comes from seeing events and people with the eyes of God.

Too often, people assume all anger is sin. But, it is not. “Be angry, but sin not.”

Without the fire of righteous anger, the West would still have slavery. Without the fire of righteous anger, abortion continues to kill millions of babies a year.

We shall see the wrath of God and understand that we did not allow God to purify us enough to feel righteous anger.

God forgive us. But, we shall not be spared.

The Two Brothers of Malta Part Eleven

July was coming to a close, with a few odd encounters with the enemy. The Muslims were encircling the peninsula with cannons for a huge assault on Birgu and Senglea. In the Fort of St. Michael, an encounter occurred which changed the lives of several people.

Isabella and Rebecca had been escorted out of the camp near the harbor to St. Michael’s Fort. Immanuel accompanied them to the fort, before he returned to the interior to help some of the Maltese, who were beginning to starve, or who lacked water. Many goats had been stolen and eaten by the invaders. Little food was left in the catecombs, as so many people had to be fed. The cutting down of the unripe grain had caused a bread shortage and no supply ships from Italy or Sicily could break through the clogged harbours. In addition, some of the Suleiman’s ships sailed into St. Paul’s Bay, causing interruptions in trade.

Immanuel, Rebecca and Isabella were accompanied by the Bishop of Malta, a Knight of Malta, and by the servants of the Chevalier. Because Isabella was dying, the Bishop gave her the Last Rites and absolution, including a special blessing from the Pope. Immanuel stayed by her bedside in a small villa near the Fort, while the Bishop and the servants went on to the Fort.

It was the Feast of St. Anne, the Mother of Mary and Grandmother of Christ. During normal times, there would have been processions in Mdina and other towns honoring this beloved saint. Now, on this day, which was overcast and grey, the Catholics could only remember days of festivities.

Rebecca fanned Isabella in the oppressive heat. The clouds pressed the heat onto the island like a giant’s hands. Some said the heat was a sign of defeat. Immanuel was thinking of his thirsting, dying people of Malta. He and the Bishop went back to the chamber in the fort.

The first surprise was the arrival of Frederico. He had heard that Immanuel and his mother were in the camp area, hidden away for safety. He had met the Bishop himself. And thanked him for his kindness is bringing a sad soul to some peace.

“She is not a bad women, Your Excellency. She was young and weak. Personally, I believe she has suffered more than enough for her sins.”

The Bishop answered quickly, “I am inclined to agree with you, Frederico. She will have a peaceful death. Her confession was that of a child.”

Just then, Rebecca burst into the chamber. “Frederico, Your Excellency, please come back to the villa. Isabella is dying, I am sure.” The three men walked quickly down a small street to the house, but just as they were going to enter the dark, cool room, they heard a voice in the street. “Frederico, may I come in?”

It was Tomas. He had heard that his brother, son, and former mistress had gathered in this place. He looked strange, almost feverish. “Are you ill, my brother?” Frederico spoke first.

“I am better than I have been in years. Do you think she would see me?”

The Bishop walked over to Tomas and whispered in his ear. Tomas realized the closeness of death. “Then, I have no time. Bishop, listen to me. Take this.’

Frederico and Immanuel could not see what Tomas handed to the Bishop, but the Bishop looked for a long time at the object. “This is good, Tomas, this is very good. Come.”

All walked into the sick room. Rebecca respectfully stood by a back door. The Bishop approached Isabella who looked pale, very pale.

“My daughter, there is someone here who wants to see you. He wants to ask your forgiveness, and he wants to ask you something else. Will you see Tomas?”

Isabella tried to sit up. “Yes, yes, I shall. I will.” She looked over the Bishop’s shoulder as Tomas stepped forward.

“Will you forgive me, a pig, a stubborn, selfish man, Isabella? I took your son from you and I see God restored him behind my back. But, I am content, except for one thing.”

Isabella pressed her thin hand on the brown strong hand of Tomas. “Please know you were forgiven a long time ago. I have harbored no hatred or unforgiveness. I, too, was selfish and irresponsible. But, we have a beautiful son.”

Tomas looked at the worn face, but Isabella’s eyes glowed with love and joy. “Isabella, will you marry me, now, here?”

She turned to the wall for a moment. “You have taken a long time to ask this, Tomas. Yes, for the few days I have left, I can be restored to society, as will your son.”

The Bishop suggested that Tomas first make a general confession. In the next room, Tomas made the first confession he had made in almost thirty years before receiving the sacrament of marriage. All left Tomas and the Bishop alone for about a half-hour. Isabella was given some water. She glowed with an odd light, but she was breathing normally. Tomas and the Bishop returned to the sick room.

The Bishop came forward with his prayer book, and a small package. In it was the ring which had belonged to the noble mother of Tomas and Frederico. Immanuel choked. The ring was made of four emeralds and four diamonds in the shape of the Maltese Cross. Tomas knelt by the bed and the Bishop began the Nuptial Blessing.

A great silence enveloped all who were there. Frederico noticed tears in his brother’s eyes, but Isabella’s eyes shone with love. They said their vows quietly, serenely.

Then, the Bishop pronounced them man and left the room, indicating to Immanuel and Frederico to follow him.

“She does not have much time, perhaps hours, or a day. We can only pray.”

Immanuel hung his head but Frederico said, “You realize what a miracle this is, Your Excellency. Something has happened to my brother. This is a miracle, indeed.”

A few minutes passed and Tomas came out of the room. “She fell asleep, smiling. I had forgotten the charm of her smile. Rebecca will care for her and I shall come back after she rests, but I need some care.”  He opened his shirt and there on his side was a huge bandage, with blood beginning to seep through. “Father, we need to get the surgeon, now.” Immanuel almost shouted, but remembered the woman in the next room and lowered his voice.

“It is too late, my son. Look, I have blood poisoning and gangrene. I came here to die and to make you my son in the law and in the eyes of God. My son, no longer a bastard-the Bishop restores you as well to your rightful place. Can you forgive me?”

Immanuel led his father to a chair. “This is a day of forgiveness, Father. Of course. And as I love my mother as I love you, I am forever grateful that you made her your wife. Father…” But, Immanuel could not speak, for Tomas slid over and laid his head on the table. He took three or four deep breaths. “Your Excellency, give me the Last Rites. Please.”  Then, the Bishop began the prayers as the brother and son walked outside as Immanuel was trembling. It was now dark. In a few moments, the brother and son returned to watch Tomas receive the Body and Blood of Christ, His Lord, Whom he had avoided for years. Now, God and he were united again.

Then, after receiving the Eucharist peacefully, he fell into a fever and then, later, a coma. By midnight, he was dead.

Frederico discovered that his brother had been ambushed by Turks on the way to St. Michael’s Fort. He had killed two, but had received this blow from the third. This encounter happened four days ago.

“He may have been poisoned by the swords as well,” remarked Frederico. Some find mountebanks to buy poisons. He would not have died so soon. He was a strong man.”

Early the next morning, while the sun rose over the sea, Isabella passed away.  Immanuel asked permission for them to be buried in Mdina, in the Cathedral. The Bishop heartily gave permission, and if you visit there today, you will see a white tomb, embellished with stars, with the dust of Tomas and Isabella resting together.

The son took a carriage and escorted the two caskets, made hastily by soldiers, with Frederico and the Bishop back to Mdina.

Rebecca came as well, but did not stay in the house with the Knights. She had someone else to find. After the twin funeral in the Cathedral, she sought out Salim.

But, that is another story for another day.

July limped into August and the battering of the last two forts began. The siege was not over for Immanuel and Frederico.

But, the two old lovers rested away from the din, in a place for those who die in love and not in hate, who die in forgiveness and not in rancor, who die in humility and not in pride.

To be continued…

The Two Brothers of Malta Part Ten

A tall, thin man from Ephesus sat in his tent. His tent-mate had been killed in the assault on St. Elmo’s. Salim was twenty-four, and from an ancient family. But, tonight, days before the attack on Fort St. Michael’s and the landing parties crossing Mt. Sciberras, Salim lay on his bed in torment. No one knew that he had been conscripted years ago into the army of Suleiman. He had been taken from his town because he was a noted horseman, but he had only seen duty as an  arquebusiers. No one knew his mother was a Christian, and that he was a Christian. He had avoided detection because of a illustrious connection in the court, his uncle, a pious Muslim. All thought Salim was pious as well. He was, but his piety was to a different God, a Trinitarian God of his mother.

Salim knew of the new plans to avoid the Knights guns, and new ships in the Harbour. He had to decide to either stand up for his faith, finally, risking horrible torture and death, and defect to the other side, or remain in shame, for fighting on the wrong side.

His torture was compounded by the thought of a beautiful servant who lived in a small house north of the camp. This young girl, had met him by accident, when Salim was carrying messages from Mustafa to Piyale concerning the movement of small boats to the area around Senglea. He was on his way back to St. Elmo’s camp when he had a strange and haunting meeting.

In the dark of night, Salim had stumbled across a small party, two men and two women, one of whom was on a horse, wrapped in shawls and obviously unwell. The other woman, the young one, walked alongside the older woman, while the two soldiers went ahead a bit. About five hundred feet separated the servants of de la Cassiere from Isabella and Rebecca, when Salim practically ran into the small horse. Rebecca looked at the young man in the dark and the servants turned back to hold him, and most likely, kill him. It was obvious he was a Turk. Rebecca spoke quickly, “I know you. You are the horse-trainer from Ephesus.” The servants had drawn their swords to kill Salim. Rebecca held out her arms. “Wait, I know this man. His mother is a Christian. Wait.”

Salim felt ashamed to be saved by a young girl, but he now remembered her. “Rebecca, why are you here?”

The young girl asked the servants to move out of hearing and they obeyed. The servant of Isabella, once paramour of Sir Tomas should be obeyed, for now.

“I ran away from a marriage, like my mistress, and found shelter with a good Knight in Mdina. He was uncle to a young man, who asked me to take care of his mother, and pays for me to do so. He is the son of a Knight.”

“Rebecca, you are a Christian as well? I did not know this. Now, I understand why you left and disappeared.”

“I shall save you this time, but you must come back to us, you must. Pray, Salim. Be who you are.”

Rebecca walked up to the servants. They spoke with each other quietly. Then they came back to where Salim sat, still on his horse.

“If we let you go, false Christian, think that you owe the Knights a favor. Now, go, and be glad you know this good woman.”

Salim said nothing but turned his horse south and made his way back to the camp near St. Elmo’s ruins. Now, he tossed and turned his tent, unable to sleep. Finally, he knew what he had to do-be true to himself and his religion.

Just before dawn, Salim slipped out of his tent and into the horse yard. There, he chose the fastest and wisest of the Arabians, and managing to keep all of them quiet, he rode out of the camp and around the harbour. If he was caught, he knew he would suffer the worst tortures a man could bear. He rode on.

Finally, he found a camp and a guard. “Take me to Vallette.” The guard looked at the youth and then, Salim produced an ancient cross made of brass from under his tunic. The guard nodded and led the young man across the camp to Vallette’s tent. Salim spoke quickly, “Have mercy on me, a Christian youth, who was conscripted and has no heart to fight the Knights of Malta. There is coming a two-fold attack on the Senglea. As many as 100 boats have been brought across the mountain, and there will be sea fight with the last of the Janissaries. Corsairs have been sent up to Fort St. Michael’s to attack there from the land. Have mercy and let me help you.”

Vallette stood up and examined Salim’s face. “Why should I believe you?”

Salim looked at the ground. “Rebecca, servant of Isabella, mother of Immanuel, believes in me.”

Vallette almost laughed out loud. So, this young man smote the heart of the young girl. He became serious again, forcing himself not to smile.

“If I let you stay with us, will you help me against these Turks?”

Salim looked up, “Yes, I shall do what I can do.”

Vallette poured water with lemon for them both. “What can you do?”

“I train horses and I am a horse master.”

Vallette looked carefully at Salim. “Then, I send you to Mdina, to train some of our peasants to ride and care for horses. There are a few there in the city. Now, go, quickly, and take this.” Vallette gave Salim a sword and knife, as he had left with no weapons. On the handles were the Maltese Cross, the sign of the Order.

Salim took the weapons, but turned back and kissed the hands of Vallette. In minutes, he was travelling west to the holy city.

Vallette turned to his advisors. “I want a palisade built immediately across the peninsula, at the promontory. I want word to be sent to St. Angelo’s for preparation for a sea attack. I know that de Guiral has cannons there. Tell him to be on the alert.”

It was the middle of July, and the weeks of the siege had cost the Turks more men than the Suleiman had anticipated. He had to think of his last attempts to crush Malta.

One more time, Our Lady had changed the game plan of the war. The battle would be won by the Knights, as the cannons sunk all the boats, except one. And, over 800 of the Turks died in this attack.

The attack on St. Michael’s failed as well, as extra reinforcements arrived in time on an invention, a floating bridge. Salim’s return to himself had won him a place of honor in Malta, and, eventually, a Christian wife named Rebecca.

To be continued…