Friday, 29 January 2010

The Movie Man

I am not a movie man. I would much prefer to do something else. However, My wife loves a good movie, and so some years ago I agreed to sit and watch a movie 2 to 3 times a week with her. Some times we come across a good movie that has us talking about it for days, but most times, the movies are not that great for me.

So we have a list of movies to see. Shelock Holmes is one of them. I am even more curious now that the unofficial Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has given an opinion of it. Their claim is that the movie is amusing but disapointing and that although it had a "hundred surprises in every scene, the way the character of Sherlock Holmes was deconstructed to become a member of the underground was perplexing."

"According to L'Osservatore, the Director's (Guy Ritchie) characterization of Sherlock Holmes can be summarized as “(he) jumps, flees and fights."

Avatar hasn't been given the thumbs up by the newspaper either. That movie I hope to see this weekend. I hope it is good.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Praying Gods Word

Recently, my brother and I were talking about praying. "You know," he said, "you have to pray with the word of God. Because God's word is truth and He would not fail it." He gave me a story about a job that he was doing and that everything in the job that could go wrong went wrong. He stopped and prayed "Lord your word said that you would help me. I need you now. Please help me." Then everything fell into place for him. Praise God for that.

Isiah 41:10 says:

Do not be afraid, for I am with you; do not be alarmed, for I am your God. I give you strength, truly I help you, truly I hold you firm with my saving right hand.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The Fighting Irish

Well, I hope they can be called the fighting Irish. With referendum after referendum, they finally agreed to not join the European Union. However, that changed recently. Now the European Union is trying to inpose it's laws on Ireland.

The interesting thing about the Irish is that in 1983 they amended their constitution to give rights to the unborn child from conception. Absolutley against what the European Union stands for.

Now they are being attcked by a group called the "Human Rights Watch". They want Abortion on demand.

Keep on fighting Irish.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Former Catholic

Not long ago I was chatting with a former catholic. He goes to an open bible church now. He started telling me about the books that were left out of the bible and the books that the Catholic church took out. "Wow!" I thought. It is sad to see how easy former catholic can spread falsehoods against the church. It is the fault of the church which is being changed in todays world. The truth is being spread, even as you read this blog.

You see, not long ago I had been educated into the truth concerning the putting together of the bible. I read up on the council of Carthage (397AD). He could not fool me.

Man! We put the Bible together in 397. We chose what books we were including. We did not include what we, inspired by the Holy Spirit, believed were heretical books.
The prostestants removed some books and included others that were not part of the original grouping.

My friend seemed to know alot, but does he act in the love of what he has read and learnt, or is his motivation to attack. He invited me to come and chat with him. What he really wanted to do was convince me that the Catholic Church was wrong. Perhaps one day I might indulge him and maybe educate him... even in the book " The Prayer of Manassas"

Monday, 25 January 2010

Welcome Please post comments

I finally got the comments thing working. It wasn't hard really. It just required me finding the edit mode for comments and putting an "anonymous" option. Now anyone can post to the blog... and I welcome all.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Disappointed by the Editor

I sent another email to the editor of the Catholic News of the Archdiocese today. She did not publish my letter to the editor from my email of 13th January and my posting on this blog of 14th January. I am disapointed so I resent the letter.

My hope is that it was an oversight and the editor just forgot. But the devil is inciting me to think bad things like is the editor favouring people over journalistic integrity or Church Magesterium. Perhaps she is waiting for the priest to submit a reply so she can publish both his and my letters together, putting a damper on any other overly vocal individuals who may seek to expand the issue.

My heart says to trust that all men are good.... perhaps the priest was at the Freemason event to support the hosts wife, who may be a good catholic and who has been seeking his council through a terrible illness.

The truth I may never know, but an explaination to his presence is very important to ME.

In my younger days I danced with the idea of becomming a freemason. I saw nothing wrong with the Masonic rights that I was able to read about - And there is so much liturature on the topic. Some are taken directly form the old testament - Hiram of Tyre, Josiah etc.. Only when I found out about the Church's postition did I change my mind.

Even today there are Masons who tell me "ridiculous, if Catholics were not allowed to be Masons, we would not have Catholic Priests as members" ... I wonder... are those priests catholic? I do not know the position of the Anglican Church on the matter. But seeing that the Queen is head of all Societies including Freemasonic, and that she is also Head of the Anglican Church... I don't know of any reason why Anglican Priests should not belong to such a group.

Despite the above, there are masons who I have come into contact with who choose to attack and insult the church. Thank God that even among masons they are a minority.

So good father, I await the publishing of my letter and your response.

Friday, 22 January 2010

The Gospel proclaimed in Space

OK! So I read some very interesting things on the news sites that I don't see in either our Catholic News paper or our daily secular news paper, but this one tickles me. In a warm way.. of course.

A Soviet Cosmonaut, Maksim Suraev, on his blog has informed the world that there are holy items on the International space station.

“We have four holy icons on the Russia segment. We also have the Gospels and a big cross,”

Besides that Maksim says that they have a relic of the true cross.

“A priest gave it to me at Baikanur before the launch. Father Job told me a piece of the original cross on which Jesus was crucified is contained in mine. It will be with me the whole expedition and will return with me to Earth,” the cosmonaut wrote.

Wow! Imagine that. A Holy Russian. 20 years ago I would have thought such a thing did not exist. In todays world I would also think that such a thing would not exist among American spacemen. Wrong again Sean. Apparently Holy objects have been carried in space before. Significant is US astronaut Ronald Garan who carried a relic of St Therese of Lisieux on the space shuttle Discovery in 2008.

I read somewhere that there was talk about identifying a patron Saint for Space Travellers. That would be nice. I wonder what ever became of that.

By the way. If you look closely at the photo above you would notice that both the Icon and the Cross are floating in zero gravity.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Carnival: Trinidad, Bolivia, Haiti

Living in Trinidad and Tobago it is easy to believe that other than New Orleans and Brazil the world has no other pre-lenten Carnival than that of Trinidad/Tobago Carnival. The truth is that there are many Carnivals. Including one in Bolivia (see Image).

I also found out that Haiti has a Carnival too. With all the devestation that occured in that country, I wonder if they will still try to have a carnival... to undwind and forget, or if they would still be in mourning. I know that if such devestation was to occur in Trinidad, Trinidadians would not be stopped. Slowed maybe... but not stopped. There would still be a carnival. Never mind receiving proper electricity or water, the authorities would ensure that there are clear streets for the event.

Yesterday I was looking at a website that shows earthquakes that occur throughout the world, updated hourly. I was suprised to see that between Haiti and it's two neighbours, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic there were about 60 recorded earth movements for the period January 13th to January 20th: one week. Wow!... and I am sure that as the week continues there would be more.

Now getting back to the Carnival... I recently discovered that there are carnivals all over the world, including Bolivia. Interestingly the Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia), Cardinal Julio Terrazas Sandoval, asked the faithful of Bolivia to support the people of Haiti and show solidarity with the people of the earthquake ravaged land. He went on to say that the dignity of the Haitians are in the hands of all the peoples of the world. Then he requested Bolivians to TONE DOWN THEIR CARNIVAL.

Here is an extract from the Catholic News Agency:

The cardinal also stated that these events should be marked by a “spirit of sobriety.”

“We cannot be content giving only what is left over, the cardinal said at Mass last Sunday. “The situation in Haiti is urgent right now” and as Catholics and believers we are called to a greater level of sharing and giving.

“Hope must take precedent amidst the destruction,” Cardinal Terrazas said, warning that while there may be earthquakes that take the lives of many people, hope will always spring forth. He explained that “hope” is “full of love” and trusts “that this will not go on forever.”

Praise God for Hope!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Street Preaching and Forgiving

It is not uncommon to walk through the streets of Port of Spain and see and hear the shouter baptists ringing their bells, singing and preaching. Our history shows that these people were persecuted for their faith and now are free to sing on every street corner. it is hard to imagine that anyone would try to stop someone from preaching... unless it is the USA.

Jesse Morell of Hartford, Connecticut was charged with "breach of the peace" and "public nuciance". He was preaching on the street with a microphone. The police informed him that he needed a permit to use the microphone so he preached without it. That was until a nearby business owner complained. Then when he refused to stop preaching, he was arrested.

Charges were eventually dropped, and so now it is he who is taking action. In typical US style, he is suing the City of Hartford Connecticut for breaching his civil rights.

Now Jesse! That is not very Christian of you. Turn the other cheeck man. Forgive!

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Lithuania supports Italy against ban on crucifixes

I read this article by Hilary White on Hurray for Lithuania. Hurray for those who stand against attacks on religious freedom.

Lithuania has announced its support for Italy after Italy signalled its refusal to comply with an order by the European Court of Human Rights to remove crucifixes from public school rooms. The Lithuanian Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs has “expressed its regret” over the ruling banning crucifixes and says it is not grounded in law. “The use of crucifixes in public space does not violate the freedom to choose a religion to exercise,” the committee said Wednesday.

The committee noted that “the symbol of a crucifix does not compel anyone to follow a specific religion, and it is a historically inseparable part of the entire European Christian humanist tradition, the use of which does not affect unbelievers or non-Christians and does not restrict the freedom of pupils or their parents to exercise any religion and beliefs and their freedom of expression.”

The committee said it agrees with the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry that it would be appropriate for Lithuania to intervene in this case as a third party.

In November, after the European court ruled that the display of crucifixes, mandated by the Italian constitution, violated religious freedom, Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said the government would appeal the decision. She said the crucifix was part of Italian tradition.

“No one, and certainly not an ideological European court, will succeed in erasing our identity,” Gelmini said.

“The presence of the crucifix in classrooms is not a sign of belief in Catholicism, rather it is a symbol of our tradition,” she said.

Lithuania is the home of the famous “Hill of Crosses” where Lithuanians have brought crucifixes for devotional and patriotic reasons since at least the 19th century, though some estimate the shrine has existed since the middle ages. Pilgrims have brought not only crosses but statues of Lithuanian patriots and saints and of the Virgin Mary and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries. It is estimated that the hill contains as many as 100,000 individual Catholic devotional objects. The hill took on special significance for Lithuanian patriotism during the years of Soviet occupation of the country, during which time the site was bulldozed by the communists at least three times.

Friday, 15 January 2010

half hour masses

Recently I was chatting with my cousin Raymond, a true and good cahtolic. "People are not comming to church" he said. "Maybe the Church needs to have half hour masses." he said. i thought about that for a while.

I am told that Saint Finbars Parish has a half hour mass on sunday evenings, as well as a full hour later on. I might be in the minority, but I will go to mass if it is 30, 60, or 90 mins. It is difficult for me to motivate a bunch of young children to get ready and pacify them for an extended period. So usually after a bit of bullying, we get to church, even though we get there a little late. Still, the sunday obligation is met.

The most important thing a Catholic can do is to attend Mass. If 30 minute Masses, get more people to attend.. then I am all for it. If it is just to fit mass in an already overflowing personal agenda, then the individual is far too busy. it's like my doctor said: "If you are too busy to find tme to excercise for 40 mins, three times a week. Then you are too busy. Make time."

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Letter to the Editor - Archdiocese of Port of Spain Cathoic News

Well I'm partially back since my computer crashed. Here is a letter to the editor of the Catholic News of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain that I sent.

The purpose of this letter is not to attack or offend either Father Clyde Harvey or Freemasons, but to remind Catholic Brothers and Sisters of the teachings of our great Church.

In the Trinidad Express Newspaper of Tuesday January 12th 2009, I noticed that Father Clyde Harvey attended a Masonic celebration. While I do not believe that the attendance of this “lime” is against Catholic dogma, I believe it is Father Harvey’s responsibility to explain his role in the event lest the faithful think that being a Catholic and a Freemason is acceptable.

The 1917 Canon Law 2335, explicitly states the penalty for Catholics involved in Freemasonry as excommunication. Some people believe that the 1983 Canon Law reflected a change in the Church’s opinion. A release from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dated 26th November 1983 and signed by our current Pope, the then Prefect, identifies that the church has not changed its position:

“It has been asked whether there has been any change in the Church’s decision in regard to Masonic associations since the new Code of Canon Law does not mention them expressly, unlike the previous Code.

This Sacred Congregation is in a position to reply that this circumstance in due to an editorial criterion which was followed also in the case of other associations likewise unmentioned inasmuch as they are contained in wider categories.
Therefore the Church’s negative judgment in regard to Masonic association remains unchanged since their principles have always been considered irreconcilable with the doctrine of the Church and therefore membership in them remains forbidden. The faithful who enroll in Masonic associations are in a state of grave sin and may not receive Holy Communion.“

There is no doubt in my mind that Freemason Societies in Trinidad (and worldwide) do much charity, but should a Catholic Priest attend a gathering? In my mind, No! Not for his scruples, but for that of the Faithful.