Sunday, January 14, 2007
You are either native and stupid, or you are foreign and knowledgeable.
"And did those feet
In ancient times,
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
In England's pleasant pastures seen?"
Well, no, but it's a cracking good tune.
How English are you?
Create a Quiz
via Laus Crucis
Thursday, December 28, 2006
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Thursday, October 05, 2006
I'm not sure what I think about speculating on things like this. I followed all the stuff about the election of the Pope last year, and it wasn't an especially enriching process - more like depressing. When BXI was announced, the public response seemed to be based on his reputation in his previous post. My individual response certainly was. But I really liked his sermons at World Youth Day. And the more I read what he writes and says, the more I appreciate it (even though it is hard work).
Sunday, October 01, 2006
I love my new job!
I love my new job!
Apologies for the total lack of anything over the past month. I've moved, I've started a new job, I've been doing lots of training and I spent a week in Wales. I've also had problems with my internet connection, which I've only resolved in the last couple of days. The bulk of my training is now over, so hopefully, I'll be getting into some kind of routine and keep up with what is happening elsewhere.
In the meantime, the latest Catholic Carnival is up at Luminous Miseries. I've noticed that 1dayin7 has had an idea for a UK Catholic Carnival, which sounds like a great idea.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
It's a study of beliefs and magic and religion and is really interesting, although the lists sometimes seem to go on and on. So far, I've read about different things people do (or used to do) to make it rain, make it not rain, make it windy, sunny etc. We really are an imaginative race!
One idea keeps occuring and I find it really potent, is the differences between the concepts of magic and religion. James Frazer suggests (I think) that people practice magic when they believe that they (or other humans) can control their environment. Religion is practiced when people believe that they (as humans) cannot control their environment, but that there are beings (or gods), similar to a human, but bigger or more powerful, who can control the environment for us. He suggests that as humanity evolves, it moves from magic to religion.
Like I said, I'm only a little way into the book thus far, so it may develop more. I'm interested to see where we go after religion. But this idea has been on my mind a lot. A lot of Catholics seem to have this idea of religion, of a God who will change something, cure someone, provides something, do something that we want done, but cannot do.
I think that there is something missing from the ideas of magic and religion as suggested (so far) in the Golden Bough - but I can't put my finger on it. In modern magical stories (I'm thinking Harry Potter, LOTRs, books by David Eddings and Dianne Wynne Jones), the practice of magic is not so much about controlling your environment, but doing something that could almost be done normally, in a different way. In reality, you wouldn't normally fly on a broomstick, but in stories, to get from one place to another you could walk, ride a bike, drive a car, teleport, go on a spaceship or fly on a broomstick. Some of these methods are 'normal', magical or scientific.
For me too, religion is not really about controlling the environment I'm in. I don't generally pray for good things to happen to me or for God to make bad things go away. I don't think that God interfers in our day to day lives as a general rule. It's more about me opening my eyes to see what is actually going on around me.
But then, lots of us now live sheltered from the worst of nature or we try to hide from it. We can control our environments, not through magic or religion, but science. We can control the heat and light in our buildings. the water and food we consume, the people we interact (or not) with. We are removed from nature - nature is something that happens to other people, something we see on the news or an adventure we see in a film.
This does not seem like a good thing, but again, I can't really explain why. Maybe I've been reading and watching too much about the end of the world as we know it.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
14th & 15th October 2006, Birmingham
24 hours, 4000 young adults, workshops, speakers, gigs, discussion, mass, vigil, networking, fun, time out and even Catholic speed dating. Oct.06 - quite simply the biggest gathering of 18-30’s Catholics from England and Wales in a quarter of a century.
Should be fun.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
So, I'll be playing around with my layout, and indulging in some retrospective cataloguing over the next few days. What fun!
Monday, August 14, 2006
I got 66 out of 100 which makes me...
Is it just me, or is talking about death a really Catholic thing to do? My colleagues at work are almost afraid to refer to death or old age.
I'm getting ready to leave my current job (9 working days to go) and begin my new one. I'm going to be taking a sort of gap year and work (volunteer, with expenses) with young people full time. The one thing I have learned over this past year is that I am not a 9-5 person. I need to do something a little different and I need to work out what that could be.
And onto some things I've been catching up on.
From my inbox...
We are now looking forward to the next Youth 2000 festival - Godsgift@Walsingham
It is taking place from 24th-28th August at the National Shrine of Our Lady in Walsingham, Norfolk. It is the highlight of the Youth 2000 year! All the details are available on the website: http://www.youth2000.org/events/Godsgift.html
From my RSS feeds...
Bishop Alan Hopes has set the date for the next Young Adults in the West meeting as the first Sunday in Advent, 3rd December at St Margarets RC Church in Twickenham.
The event is organised and hosted entirely by Young Adults from the deaneries of the West of London. Musicians, singers and artists all contributed to making the Mass an inspirational celebration.
St Albans Deanery Catholic Young Adults (16-30)
If you’re a young adult, or know of young adults in your parish, come and meet other young Catholics in the St. Albans Deanery area for Mass followed by a social at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Harpenden, on Sunday 20th August at 6pm.
And this - Changes to Holy Days of Obligation
Okay, so I haven't really read up on this other than what was in the Catholic Herald a couple of weeks ago. But I'm really disappointed. I'm just getting into holy days and feast days and such, and I like that we 'have to' go to Mass to celebrate different things AND not just on a Sunday. It mixes things up and keeps us from getting (too) bored and compartmentalising our Christianity.
But what really takes the biscuit for me, is that it's three of the most interesting days - Epiphany, Ascension and Corpus Christi. For a start, the music for those days is good. And they're markers for other events like the end of phase 1 Christmastime, Pentecost and easing into Ordinary Time. Plus, we're going to reduce the occurance of the the Second-Sunday-after-Christmas-Day-that's-before-Epiphany, which is always fun (and thus remove another chance to sing Christmas music at Mass, during Christmastime phase 1).
Epiphany and Ascension are proper events (i.e. these events are in the Bible. The readings of the day are stories of what happened - unlike some other holy days). Corpus Christi I find a little problematic as a holy day (not quite seeing the point). However, since the whole push toward BS processions to mark the day out, I really don't see the logic in moving it to a 'routine' Sunday Mass.
I actually think that we should have more Holy Days of Obligation. What about the feast of St Benedict (patron of Europe)?
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
I've handed in my notice at work - I have 18, no, 17, working days left.
I've left the choir - last Sunday was our final sung Mass before the summer break, but I won't be returning. Very mixed feelings - I've sung in that choir for 16 years (so some sadness) and led it for 3 months (such relief, I cannot even begin to vocalise).
A first cousin, who has had cancer for a while and been frail for a number of years, has passed away today. She was in her early thirties, so the extended family are taking it quite badly. I wasn't that close to her, and I tend to take news of a death (especially after illness and suffering) calmly - trusting in God, that sort of thing. It takes a lot to make me cry. I won't be able to make her funeral, which is bothersome.
So, my head is kind of full at the moment. I'll post when I can, but please bear with me.
On the plus side...
|You Are 30% Normal|
You sure do march to your own beat...
But you're so weird, people wonder if it's a beat at all
You think on a totally different wavelength
And it's often a chore to get people to understand you
Monday, July 24, 2006
|Your Theme Song is Back in Black by AC/DC|
"Back in black, I hit the sack,
I've been too long, I'm glad to be back"
Things sometimes get really crazy for you, and sometimes you have to get away from all the chaos.
But each time you stage your comeback, it's even better than the last!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Selected writings (The talks of instruction)
I have no room to consider more serious, important things at all. It's like when you're unwell, everything becomes all about you. Stuff that you used to worry about (or do worry about when things become normal) doesn't even register - it's all about what you need to do to get things done and make it through the day.
I had my appendix removed a couple of years ago. It was liberating because I couldn't worry about work or washing my hair or the news. I was worrying about walking or sleeping on my right side or trying to stay awake when I had visitors.
There was no point worrying about washing my hair, because I couldn't do anything about it. I couldn't wash it. I couldn't sit in a way that someone else could wash it. There was nothing - nothing - I could do about it. It was outside my area of control.
So during the working week my whole focus is coping with the heat and work, and getting ready for the next day. Sometimes, I have enough space to watch a dvd or pray, but that is pretty much it. I feel a little guilty, because there is so much more I could be doing or should be doing.
What I am focused on are the essentials. On Saturdays and on Sunday afternoons and in five weeks time, I hope to have the time and space to do/think/be.
Monday, July 17, 2006
And I realised that that was what was happening with the people at these events. We put ourselves out for the good of other people. This is charity.
And it isn't boring. It's soooooo much fun. It makes me feel relaxed and happy and enables me to be me. This is the payback for charity.
The problem is, that this is the easy bit - loving people who love you back. Possibly the most scary passage in the Gospels is this:
30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.
31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them.
33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that.
34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners', expecting to be repaid in full.
35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.