Thursday, 15 November 2012

Divali and the Catholic with a love for sweets

Some indian sweets comon in Trinidad

At this time of Devali, many Catholics in Trinidad partake of the Hindu foods and sweets. Some of these sweets are offered to idols. One particular sweet which cannot be purchased is Prasad. The word Prasad means "gracious gift" in Hindi and really is a gift offered to the god/godess. This food and others are then shared with all as a gift from their god. The prasad is considered to have the deity's blessing residing within it. So the blessing of prosperity is given to those who eat food offered to Lakshmi on Divali day.

Now how do we as Catholics reconcile ourselves to eating these foods. Well the bible gives us a clear reasoning in 1 Corinthians:
Now, concerning what you wrote about food offered to idols.

It is true, of course, that “all of us have knowledge,” as they say. Such knowledge, however, puffs a person up with pride; but love builds up. Those who think they know something really don't know as they ought to know. But the person who loves God is known by him.

So then, about eating the food offered to idols: we know that an idol stands for something that does not really exist; we know that there is only the one God. Even if there are so-called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, and even though there are many of these “gods” and “lords,”  yet there is for us only one God, the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live.
But not everyone knows this truth. Some people have been so used to idols that to this day when they eat such food they still think of it as food that belongs to an idol; their conscience is weak, and they feel they are defiled by the food. Food, however, will not improve our relation with God; we shall not lose anything if we do not eat, nor shall we gain anything if we do eat.
Be careful, however, not to let your freedom of action make those who are weak in the faith fall into sin. Suppose a person whose conscience is weak in this matter sees you, who have so-called “knowledge,” eating in the temple of an idol; will not this encourage him to eat food offered to idols? And so this weak person, your brother for whom Christ died, will perish because of your “knowledge”! And in this way you will be sinning against Christ by sinning against other Christians and wounding their weak conscience. So then, if food makes a believer sin, I will never eat meat again, so as not to make a believer fall into sin.

Trinidad and Tobago Catholics in the Workplace Convention

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

shub devali

To all my Hindu Brothers and Sisters Shub Devali. (happy Diwali). The story of the Hindu gods are like the story of the Greek gods. Full of intrigue and Drama. Hindu's celebrate several events in the story of their gods in relation to Devali.
The killing of Narakasura: Celebrated as Naraka Chaturdashi, one day before Diwali, it commemorates the killing of the evil demon Narakasura, who wreaked havoc. Krishna's wife Satyabhama killed Narakasura during the Dwapara yuga. In another version of the belief, the demon was killed by Krishna or Krishna provoked his wife Satyabhama to kill Narshna, defeating Indradebated with the villagers about what their 'dharma' truly was. They were farmers, they should do their duty and concentrate on farming and protection of their cattle. He said that all human beings should do their 'karma' to the best of their ability and not pray for natural phenomenon. The villagers were convinced by Krishna, and did not proceed with the special puja (prayer). Indra was then angered, and flooded the village. Krishna lifted Mount Govardhan and held it up to protect the people and cattle from the rain. Indra finally accepted defeat and recognized Krishna as supreme. Although this aspect of Krishna's life is sometimes ignored it sets up the basis of the 'karma' philosophy later detailed in the Bhagavat Gita.
So the story is that Light overshadowed darkness. 

Today I have my indian sweets to eat and celebrate the power of Light over darkness.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Ballot Initiatives for the US 2012 election and their results

So the US General Election is over and there are those who are happy, and there are those who are not. More than just electing a Presient, this election also listed a number of initiatives on the ballot, depending on which state and county you were in. Here is a list of how some of these initiatives did:

MARIJUANA - Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon and Washington had ballot initiatives referencing marijuana.
  • Montana voted to ban the use of medical marijuana - the ballot measure repealled I-148, a medical marijuana program approved in 2004.
  • Arkansas' ballot measure to legalize the use of medical marijuana was voted down.
  • Colorado's ballot measure to legalize the use of marijuana passed.
  • Massachusetts' ballot measure to legalize the use of medical marijuana was approved.
  • Oregon's ballot measure to legalize marijuana failed.
  • Washington's ballot measure to legalize the growth and distribution of marijuana passed.
SAME SEX MARRAIGE - Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington had ballot initiatives referencing same-sex marriage.
  • Washington's ballot measure asks voters if they are for the legalization of same-sex marriage. They answered yes.
  • Maine's ballot measure to overturn the state's 2009 ban on same-sex marriage passed.
  • Maryland's ballot measure to legalize same-sex marriage passed.
  • Minnesota's ballot measure to define marriage as being between a man and a woman failed
DEATH PENALTY - California's Proposition 34, which would have repealed the death penalty, was voted down.
PORN STARS AND CONDOMS - LA COUNTY (California) Measure B Initiative passed. This measure makes it mandatory that men in the sex-movie industry wear condoms.
LIMITING OBAMACARE -Alabama, Florida, Montana and Wyoming had Initiatives to Limit ObamaCare. 
  • Alabama voters agreed to limit Obamacare - 59%
  • Florida voters agreed to limit it - 51%.  
  • However Florida amendment 6, to prevent state money from being spent on abortion or on health benefit coverage that included coverage of abortion was voted down.
  • Montana voters agreed to limit Obamacare - 67%
  • Wyoming voters agreed to limit it - 77%

Ted Nugent speaks on Obama's re-election - calls people who voted for Obama Souless Fools.

So I know that Barack Obama is getting lots of congratulations from all over the world for his re-election to the White House. Even the Pope sent his. But there are those Republicans who will never send Obama congratulations, and Ted Nugent is one of them.

Now, When Oprah endorsed Obama she said that he was "the best person for the job". I did not agree then, and I do not agree now. I beleive that the best person for the job then, was Hilary Clinton, and that she would have carried on the policies of her husband Bill. I beleive Bill Clinton was the best President the USA has had over the past few decades.

In Trinidad, most people love Obama. They really don't know his policies... or even care. They love the fact that a black man has achieved the status of the most powerful man in the World. While there is alot of pride in that, there is a lot of racism in that too....

I myself would have prefered Mitt Romney win the 2012 election. I think he would do a better job than Obama. Obama has not been able to turn around the economy sufficiently. But many world economists say that that is ok. They are saying that once the US economy does not fall or rise too greatly, it would not have any serious effect on the European economies. China, Japan, India, Brazil, are the ecomies to watch.

Despite what I feel about the outcome of the elcections, I don't think I could be as rough as the Motor City Madman. I love the Nuge, even though I am not a huge fan of their music. I love the fact that he really doesn't care what he says and what others think of him saying it.  Here is what the online Inquisitor has quoted Ted Nugent as saying::
  • “Pimps whores & welfare brats & their soulless supporters have a president to destroy America”
  • “So Obama still demands the hardest workers provide for the nonworkers. Shared opportunities my ass”
  • “What subhuman varmint believes others must pay for their obesity, booze, cellphones, birthcontrol, abortions & lives”
  • “Goodluck America. You just voted for economic & spiritual suicide. Soulless fools”

Friday, 2 November 2012


A friend of mine advised me of two Lecturers at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus,  who need to be fired. These two lecturers teach Caribbean History and have been known to twist the history of the caribbean to make the Catholic Church look bad. This is not right. These leaders in society and in the halls of learning MUST NOT act or perceive to act with prejudice or hateful.

An example of the mistruths being propogated by this couple are that "the Catholic Church opened Schools to get money" Well, how far from the truth is that... very far.

It was quite common by religious groups entering the "New World" to open schools to teach the natives to read, write and learn their Doctrine. BUT not only the Catholics did this. And all built the schools by raising funds.

I have taken the following from the Blog "The Caribbean History Archive" by Gary Besson - A published and highly respected Caribbean Historian:
After emancipation, from the 1830s to the 1860s, education for most children meant basic primary schooling. The catholic and protestant churches were the first institutions to set up and run many primary schools all over Trinidad and Tobago. In 1851, the colonial government also opened primary schools. After 1870, any church school which was big enough was eligible to be state-assisted. The criteria for the monetary aid was that the school had to accept both boys and girls from any faith or denomination, and that the curriculum had to follow guidelines set up by the government. Up to the present day, Trinidad’s primary schools are either Assisted Schools (founded by the various denominations) or Government Primary Schools.
Setting up a school is not a cheap or easy thing, and the purpose of these schools were to further education and CATHOLIC Education. The Parochial School system, was competing with a government school system that did not propagate religion.

In 1850, the catholic population of Trinidad stood at 44,000 out of a total of 70,000 persons. There were sixteen parishes served by twenty resident priests, with thirteen primary schools along with St. Joseph ’s Convent, Port-of-Spain (1836) and St. George’s College (1838).

The Church in Trinidad played such a great role in educating Trinidadians that the Keenan Report of 1869 recommended that Church Schools be granted state aid under certain conditions. Now it is important to note that it was not that long before, that the state had been fighting with the Catholic church in Port of Spain. In the 1850's Archbishop Spacapietra and Governor Elliot were at loggerheads. At the time of the Keenan Report the church was still considered somewhat French.

Bernard Tappin fills in the rest:
The dual system of primary education subsequently came into effect (1870). The colonial government sought the church’s help in furthering its work in education and welfare. In 1868, Governor Gordon got Archbishop Gonin to bring the Dominican sisters to care for the lepers. His successor, Governor Henry Turner Irving in 1878 offered Gonin government funding if the church undertook the responsibility of finding a suitable religious order to run a reformatory. In 1890 the Girls Reformatory was opened, run by the Good Shepherd Sisters of Angers.
The Catholic Church served a need. We did not open schools to receive money. It should be noted that in 1872 the primacy of the Anglican Church ended with the dis-establishment as the state religion. This allowed the Catholic church to become more active. Bernard Tappin Again:
In 1890, Archbishop Flood held discussions concerning the dual system brought about through the Keenan Report. There was again widespread support for a secular system of education. Flood was adamant about his church’s position. He won the day. A new ordinance was passed giving church primary schools increased financial support from the government. The dual system was maintained, with the government very generous with its support. By 1903, the Catholic Church ran the largest number of schools, 72, with a student population of 11,286. The government had 51 schools with 8,731 pupils, the Anglicans ran 48 primary schools and 8,831 pupils and the Presbyterians 50 schools with 5,200 on roll.
In 1960 the Government of Trinidad and Tobago entered into a Concordat or agreement with all the religious bodies owning and or controlling schools to ensure education for all.

After reading the above one can agree that these U.W.I. lecturers should be fired for MISREPRESENTING HISTORY of our wonderful island.

Some african slaves brought Christianity with them to the new world

We know that the Congo was Catholic before the slave trade and that slaves were taken from the Congo (not just those sold by the Kongo King to the Portuguese). So we have to assume that there were African Catholic Slaves sent to the Caribbean. Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

Mvemba a Nzinga or Nzinga Mbemba (c. 1456 – 1542 or 1543), also known as King Afonso I, was a ruler of the Kingdom of Kongo in the first half of the 16th century. Afonso is best known for his vigorous attempt to convert Kongo to a Catholic country, by establishing the Roman Catholic Church in Kongo, providing for its financing from tax revenues, and creating schools. By 1516 there were over 1000 students in the royal school, and other schools were located in the provinces, eventually resulting in the development of a fully literate noble class (schools were not built for ordinary people). Afonso also sought to develop an appropriate theology to merge the religious traditions of his own country with that of Christianity. He studied theological textbooks, falling asleep over them, according to Rui de Aguiar (the Portuguese royal chaplain who was sent to assist him). To aid in this task, Afonso sent various of his children and nobles to Europe to study, including his son Henrique Kinu a Mvemba, who was elevated to the status of bishop in 1518. He was given the bishopric of Utica (in North Africa) by the Vatican, but actually served in Kongo from his return there in the early 1520s until his death in 1531.

The Kingdom of Kongo became a major source of slaves for Portuguese traders and other European powers. The Cantino Atlas of 1502 mentions Kongo as a source of slaves for the island of São Tomé. Slavery had existed in Kongo long before the arrival of the Portuguese, and Afonso's early letters show the evidence of slave markets. They also show the purchase and sale of slaves within the country and his accounts on capturing slaves in war which were given and sold to Portuguese merchants. It is likely that most of the slaves exported to the Portuguese were war captives from Kongo's campaigns of expansion. In addition, the slaving wars helped Afonso consolidate his power in southern and eastern border regions.

Despite its long establishment within his kingdom, Afonso believed that the slave trade should be subject to Kongo law. When he suspected the Portuguese of receiving illegally enslaved persons to sell, he wrote to King João III of Portugal in 1526 imploring him to put a stop to the practice. Ultimately, Afonso decided to establish a special committee to determine the legality of the enslavement of those who were being sold.

4 in the morning

O how I wish it were 4 in the morning. I usually get up at 5. So to be up at 4 would mean that I would begin the day soon. I was exhausted yesterday and went to bed at around 8:30. I slept for 6 hours and so I am up. I watched TV abut and tried to go to sleep. No good. My mind wandered.....

My boss is burying his mother tomorrow. It makes me think of mine. She was a hardworking dedicated mother.  O how she sacrificed.

It is amazing how one's mind travels all over the world at 2 am. Thinking about her led me to thinking about other people's relationships with their parents and children.... the teenage angst years and how best to motivate my children.

I always say that a person does not have to be rich or have "book sense" to make something of themselves. All that person needs is motivation and persistence.

I truly believe that. However, I know that for some people even that is not true. There are people who hear over and over...." If I could do it... anybody could."

 I really don't like  that saying. First off it means that the person who was successful at whatever, has gone through their own self doubt and have found the motivation to achieve their goal, but now suffers from FALSE PRIDE and still at some level probably still have doubt of their abilities.

There are people who, for whatever reason, just can't seem to move out from the position that they are in. Sometimes it may be something  small that prevents them from finding solutions to advancement. Others may want and "tell themselves" they can't have and then become depressed. Still for others it may be depression itself that binds them.

The Boast "If I could, Anybody could" is best put to rest by the prophet Jeremiah: (9:23-24)

"Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.'"

 Father, open the eyes of those who are blinded for a way out. 
Show them your love and give them your guidance 
that they may be able to achieve what they now think as very difficult.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Praying for my dead relatives in November

We are in the month of November. The month that we pray for our fellow Catholics in the Church Suffering (Purgatory). Would we not want others to pray for us?

Remember the Indulgences that can be gained for these souls whenever we say the following prayer and also when we visit their graves to pray for them from the 1st to the 8th of November.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord;
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace. Amen.

And so for this year (2012) We pray for the following:

My Grandparents:
John Walters (born barbados)
Emelda (Annetta Elswortha) Chandler ( born Grenada)
George Leid (born Grenada)
Elizabeth McMillan (Grenada) (descendant of the Clan McMillan of Loch Abor Scotland)
My Parents:
Austin Leid (Born Grenada)
Jean Walters (Born Trinidad)

My Wifes Grandparents:
Erminio Mosca (of Italian Perantage)
Ethne Prada (Trinidad)
Hugh Blanc (Trinidad)
Jacqueline DeGannes (de la Chantillerie) (Trinidad)

Other Family and Friends:
Lloyd Edwards
Anthony Sookoo
Gloria Corriea
Kelvin Lewis
Christohper Hay

All Saints Prayer

The Blog has a beautiful prayer by St Teresa of Avila for All Saints Day:

“O holy souls that now rejoice without fear of losing your joy and are forever absorbed in the praises of my God! Happy indeed your lot! How right that you should employ yourselves ceaselessly in these praises! and how my soul envies you, free as you now are from the affliction caused by the grievous offenses which are in these unhappy days are committed against my God! No longer do you behold all the ingratitude of men and their blindness nor the multitude of souls being carried away by satan.
O blessed heavenly souls! Help us in our misery and intercede for us with the divine Mercy, so that we may be granted some part of your joy and you may share with us some of that clear knowledge which is now yours.
And You, O my God, make us understand what it is that You give to those who fight manfully through the dream of this miserable life. Help us, O loving souls, to understand what joy it gives you to behold the eternity of your bliss and what delight to possess the certain knowledge that it will never end.
O blessed souls, who knew so well how to profit by the gifts of God, and to purchase with this precious ransom so delectable and enduring a heritage, tell us how you won through Him such an eternal blessing! Assist us, since you are so near the Fountainhead. Draw water for those of us on earth who are perishing with thirst.”