Saturday, July 08, 2006


This could pompously be called a "vigil post", since I'm not quite into Sunday yet...!

Anyhow, I wanted to share a few things that have struck me throughout this week.

Although I have still remained unemployed since 3 weeks ago, and been feeling quite low, I have been helped a great deal by reading some good books from my local library.

One was Milestones, a memoir of the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, of whom I am a big fan (one thing which played a big part in convincing me to become a Catholic was reading "Dominus Iesus", for instance).

This book is beautiful, for its simplicity, its honesty and, I think, its usefulness. It's really hilarious; one of the things that came up when I googled it was this article from *the* traditionalist website (the Society of Saint Pius X). Put simply, they think he's crazy (I'm trying to be charitable).

I don't know if the review I link to above was written before he became Pope. But it seems to show very simply and elegantly how a mistrust of anything secular can crystalise almost into dogma.

I can't think of any clearer example of Tradition seen merely as a collection of documents and tightly formulated opinions; or any better snap-shot of a "Church" which exists "in theory".

That Ratzinger became Pope. This is for me the vindication of everything I felt about the Church! The "liberals", of course, shook their heads sadly - but surely the "traditionals" or the "conservatives", as I'm sure SSPX see themselves, were *equally* disappointed.


I guess I'm a happy man, a lucky man. I came to the Church like a nearly-drowned man being dragged on board with one last breath in him. I have tasted that "salt water" that Benedict XVI spoke of in one of his first homilies, and I can taste very clearly what is the fresh water of the living springs of the Church.

As Benedict has said in a recent catechesis, Tradition is a life which is "handed down" (Latin = traditus) to us in the Apostolic Church, in cooperation with the Holy Spirit.

It is not merely a collection of texts, as the SSPX seems to imagine:

The three functions of the Catholic Church have now finally all been "codified" by the Conciliar Church with the publication of this new Catechism. For the sanctification of souls we have the novus ordo missae; for the governance of souls we have the New Code of Canon Law; for the teaching of souls we have the New Catechism. We can expect that this Catechism is in the same line as the Second Vatican Council, and it is.


Yes, they are all in accord, because they express the conscience of one "personality". That of the Church, which is one, not "concilliar", or "pre-concilliar"; one.

It's a life!!!

More on this next week, especially my thoughts on the Mass.

The title of this post I took from a short book (more of an essay plus example) by J R R Tolkien (who should really be added to "Giants of the Isles" at some point!).

It explains (in a nutshell) what fairy-stories are, and why they are "useful". Let me just say that I think they are more than usueful; let's say "essential" for today's modern human being! And JRR's are some of the best for soothing tired minds and strengthening weakened knees.

Buy it!

Another one I read was Tales of Body and Soul by Lionel Blue. So sue me. I'm a Rabbi fan.

Quiz for people who claim to know their Popes: which one said "we are Jews"? Click the quote for the answer!

But anyhow, it had some good jokes, and a whole section about coping with unemployment!

I also watched a movie called Everything Is Illuminated - interestingly stars the guy who played Frodo Baggins in a recent 9-hour epic! I cried when they talked about spitting on the Holy Torah.

OK, that's my post (a very poor effort, I know!) for this week. Please just pray for me to find employment, God knows that's my main need, I have to do something to stop me reading all these books!!!

Thank you to everyone who posted and commented so far. You are all far more than I could have hoped for when I opened up the Blog-Doors.



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