Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our Lady's Message at Fatima.....

......It has been a while since I last posted.  Most of the books I have been reading have been library books and some a bit of fluff.....("Before I go to sleep"..I figured out where the book was going in the first 1/3 and kept reading to see if I was right! I was! and "The Lost Garden" which took me 7 weeks to read, I just couldn't get into it)...
....One book I have just finished however is "Fatima for Today" by Fr. Andrew Apostoli subtitled "The Urgent Marian Message of Hope".  It is well written, not sentimental or sensational but just tells the facts as they were recorded by the children and by witnesses. It ends with Cardinal Ratzinger's Theological Commentary. It contained lots of detail and information that I hadn't read before, for instance Sr. Lucy's life after becoming a nun.
It is amazing that the Miracle of the Sun is so little known, considering that between 40,000 to 80,000 people saw it on October 13, 1917, many of them hostile or unbelievers.  My Father saw the light in the sky before World War II from our front window in Charnock Richard..... a red light right across the sky.
The book contains Mary's message and plan to convert the world and bring about peace.....trying to follow it as best I can.....Fr. Apostoli also puts to rest the conspiracy theories that the Consecration of Russia was not done by Pope John Paul.  It is a book to read again, and to take to heart, and put into practice.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spring really is here this week.  We had a heavy downpour all day last Thursday and it brought the leaves out on the trees almost overnight.  The days are sunny and warm, the blossoms are out in the fruit orchards, the large yellow balsam root are flowering on the hillsides, and the mountains themselves are green for a while, until the hot hot sun turns them to shades of brown. Our valley is at its best at this time of the year.  The creeks are running high with the snow melt off and two purple martins and a sparrow are vying for our nesting box.  So far the sparrow is winning wings down, he's much faster than the martins and we have to keep plugging the hole to keep him/her out.
Over the last few weeks I've read "The tragedy of the Korosko"  a very politically incorrect tale by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, about a group of travellers on board the Korosko, sailing down the Nile and taking side trips to see the local sights of interest.
Unfortunately "the children of the desert" have an eye out for profit and capture them to take them to the Sudan for ransom or trade.  When the camels are in danger of expiring  because of their heavy loads the Emir decides that it is not worth transporting "infidels". However if they will just convert to Islam then it might be worthwhile.  A thrilling tale, with lots of excitement and intrigue, unique characters - some like the Colonel, alas no longer with us - a few cliffhangers and a surprising ending.  Very different though from his Sherlock Holmes stories.  An enjoyable read, I found.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Signs of spring arriving.......

....crocuses showing through the ground, but we've had snow twice this week while the rest of the country basks in summer-like temperatures of 20-30 degrees.  Still "If winter's here can spring be far behind?"  Let's hope not. 
So, two books that I've read recently are:  The Shadow of his Wings" The true story of Fr. Gereon Goldmann, OFM  and "Where we got the Bible" a not really ecumenical book by Henry G. Graham, former Presbyterian Minister, original edition 1911.
The first is the true story of a young German Franciscan Seminarian caught up in the Second World War.     In the summer of 1939 just after his final exam in philosophy he was ordered to report to the army.  But, the army got more than they bargained for.
On his first Christmas in the army, having bested a young lieutenant in argument, he was ordered to sing a "Church song", whereupon he and another seminarian began to sing the Te Deum in Latin, not quite what the lieutenant wanted.  Fr. Gereon said that his training by the Jesuits allowed him to run rings around the hostile officers, and the joke was on them.
His height probably commanded respect from others but even so he defended the Catholic Faith with courage, even when he was transferred to the SS.  He used his position there to help others, but his career was not long.  When they wanted to make him an officer, he declined the oath to renounce the Franciscans and his Christian beliefs, and was transferred back to the army.
In the army he acted as chaplain and medic, and received personally from Pope Pius XII permission to carry Communion to give to the dying.  A privilege usually reserved to priests at that time.
Throughout the war he used unorthodox methods to help his fellow soldiers, and always spoke the truth to those in power.  It is unlikely that he will ever be declared a Saint.   Imagine the uproar if the press got hold of such a story:  "Former SS soldier declared Saint by Catholic Church".
He ended the war in a North African prison camp and was almost executed by the French.  By this time he had been ordained and the story of his reprieve, if not quite miraculous, is amazing.
After the war he lived in Japan and worked with the poor, until old age and ill health forced him to go back to Germany.
In Japan he was known as the "Ragpicker of Tokyo". A wonderful story of courage and perseverance, and of what can be achieved with a strong faith and belief in God, in dark times.

The second book is the story of the Bible and the debt owed to the Catholic Church for preserving it down the centuries, and also the Church's authority for interpreting the Bible.  He also counters the accusation that the Church tried to keep the Bible from the people.  Well written, easy to read, brisk and no-nonsense, from an educated man, I loved it.  The second part of the book is Bishop Graham's conversion story from being a minister in the Kirk to the Catholic Church."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another author.....

....writing about Islam.  Bernard Lewis:   "The Crisis of Islam".  It's a short book, easy to read, and gives an overview of the Islamic Faith.  And now I've started reading Robert Spencer's "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam". 
The thing that comes across most is how little we know about Islam and its true teaching.  I think most of us have a hazy idea at best. 
It does seem that the militant Islamists are very good at pointing a finger at everyone else for their troubles, and pointing out the faults of others, but with very little reflection on how they have contributed to their own misfortunes and failures themselves, and how they continue to contribute.
Other people have been invaded, repressed and had difficulties over the centuries, the Hungarians and Philippino's come to mind, yet they don't waste their time blaming and atacking others for their misfortunes.
Another aspect is Islam's mandate to conquer the world for Islam, whatever means are used.
Christianity wishes to spread its message to the whole world but by voluntary conversion and persuasion not by force.
In the early days of Christianity the Faith was spread by the preaching of the Apostles because they preached a message of redemption by a loving God, and freedom for all.  Christians were usually the ones who were persecuted.  We were not taught by our founder to kill for the Faith, as Muslims are taught by theirs.
When people feel entitled to whatever and have no sense of gratitude they become an ever open void which no amount of appeasement can fill.
Rights come with responsibilities and respect for others, and that is true for everyone.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Snail Mail....

Found time in the quiet hush this morning to write a couple of letters on the subject of euthanasia.  We currently have two cases before the courts in Canada, one in British Columbia and one in Quebec, with individuals and groups trying to get euthanasia made legal in this country.  We had a private member's bill before the House of Commons not too long ago that was soundly defeated, but the advocates for euthanasia will not give up. 
So I wrote a letter to the Attorney General with a copy to my MP, expressing my concerns.  A small thing to do in light of the following statements I read also this morning quoted in "For God or for Tyranny" by Walid Shoebat, former terrorist:

"How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause?"
Spoken by Sophie Scholl of the White Rose resistance group shortly before she was executed by the Nazi's.
"If it is once admitted that men have the right to kill 'unproductive' fellow-men even though it is at present applied only to poor and defenseless mentally ill patients, then the way is open for the murder of all unproductive men and women:  the incurably ill, the handicapped who are unable to work, those disabled in industry or war.  The way is open, indeed, for the murder of all of us when we become old and infirm and therefore unproductive."
From a sermon given by Bishop Clemens August von Galen, Sunday August 3rd 1941 in St. Lambert's Church, Munster.

Perhaps writing a letter seems such an insignificant thing to do, and that is the reason why so few write one and do nothing at all.


We had snow today, it only fell for a few hours but looked beautiful as it fell.  The quiet hush of winter.  It was a day for staying indoors, for housecleaning, nesting and generally pottering around.  J. made lunch:  Pork chops with cabbage, onions and bacon.  A rib sticking affair, and quite delicious.
One more week to go and then I'm having surgery.  For some reason I don't feel concerned about it.  I've had a few surgeries in the past and they've all gone quite well, so I'm expecting that this will be the same.  Hopefully then I can get back to a normal life, into walking every day. 
I've added knitting to my repertoire for next November's bazaar,  but I shall still find time for reading.
I have lots of people praying for me this week and lots to look forward to this spring, but I'm not in a hurry, everything will unfold as it should.
"Peace, peace, you tell me.  Peace is...for men/women of good will."
St. Josemaria

Other books I read over the Fall....

were "The Great Heresies"  By Hilaire Belloc
"Hungary in the Cold War" by Borhi
"The Sword of Honour Trilogy"  by Evelyn Waugh
"A Canticle for Leibowitz"  by ?
"The Canadian Century"  by Roy Strong
"The Devil's Arithmetic"  by Jane Yolen
"The Origins of Christian Zionism" by ?
"The Balfour Declaration"  by Schneer
"God's Voice Within"  by Mark Thibodeaux S.J.
"Henry V"  by Will Shakespeare
"The Myth of Hitler's Pope" by Rabbi Dolan
"Cranmer"  by Hilaire Belloc
"The Closing of the Muslim Mind"  by Robert Reilly
"The Help"  by ?
and currently:
"For God and Tyranny"  by Walid Shoebat

Is it really that long ago.....

....since I last posted??  Well I read something funny by Hilaire Belloc today in "The Essential Belloc" especially after my last post.
"I am writing a book about the Crusades so dull that I can scarcely write it."!
Well Hilaire it was perhaps more interesting to read than to write.