Tuesday, 26 August 2008

heart of Teresa

St. Teresa of Avila
Convent of Santa Teresa, Avila de los Caballeros, Spain
Photograph by Hakan Svensson, 2004

Friday, 22 August 2008


Mac has kindly nominated me for the Blogging Friends Forever (BFF) Award in the Recently New Category.

I'm rather chuffed. The last time I won something was ABBA's Super Trouper album in a newspaper competition (I was 10).

So...as instructed by Mac, I nominate, in alphabetical order:
Adrienne's Catholic Corner, All The Little Epsilons, Don't Know What I'm Doing, Ecce Mater Tua, and The Roving Medievalist.

The Blogging Friends Forever Rules are:1. Only five people allowed.2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.3. One has to be someone new, or recently new to your blog, or live in another part of the world.4. You must link back to whoever gave you the 'Blogging Friends Forever' award.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

parish party

Parish BBQ
Sunday 7th September 2008
7:30 p.m. at the Community Centre

£6 a head.
All welcome.

Errandum: It starts at 6pm.

Babette's Feast

Another parish movie night next week. The last one involved spirited discussions over whether Mel Gibson intended a US world domination allegory, and how water was a recurring image as a purifying force. I love our parish.

This time: BABETTE'S FEAST. Next Wed 27/8/08 7:30 p.m. same place. Sign up in the church.

Based on a short story by the Dane Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen) of Out of Africa fame, whose life is a book in itself. Her father had lived among the Chippewa tribe in 19th century Wisconsin and sired a daughter before returning to Denmark. When Karen was 9, he hanged himself after being diagnosed with syphilis. The tragic irony is Blixen contracted syphilis from her philandering husband, the coffee plantation farmer Baron Bror von Blixen-Finecke, and was to suffer with symptoms all her life, and with anorexia nervosa. After her divorce, her well-documented love affair with The Honourable Denys Finch Hatton, brother of the 14th Earl of Nottingham and Winchelsea, ended abruptly when he died in a plane crash. Blixen returned to Denmark penniless and began writing only at 46, in English. She was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature and highly respected by Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, Arthur Miller and e.e. cummings.

In 1992, Fr. Angelo D'Agostino SJ, MD, founded The Nyumbani Orphanage in the town of Karen, near Nairobi, Kenya - the location made famous by Blixen. The orphanage houses HIV+ children. Many of its volunteers come from Denmark, perhaps Blixen fans following her trail.

[Image: Nordiskfilm]

Next parish film night is here

i like my lamb pink

Introducing Mint Sauce, my pet lamb in blogland. He was adopted yesterday from the (alas!) non-Catholic adoption agency Bunny Hero Labs. This photo shows the newborn Mint Sauce. He is now frolicking in his pasture in the sidebar. He has a voracious appetite and needs constant feeding. By clicking on 'More', he may be hand-fed. Will Mint Sauce grow? How long before he gets the chop?

Jeffrey's cat, Athelstan, over on The Roving Medievalist, is the least dextrous kitten I have ever seen. Try playing ball with him. Almost as maddening as the sound of Mint Sauce chomping.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

God knows

A friend of mine has foisted this book on me, perhaps thinking I could do with some theodicean instruction, but more likely to have something shared to talk about.

I'm a bit of a snob about paperback bestsellers, and highly suspicious of self-marketing 'prophets': read me! I'm an authoritative source of knowledge! (by the way, thanks for the cheque), but that's not to discount the entire field of publishing, research and writing. After all, if you have something to say, say it. Doesn't mean you're not talking cobblers.

I like not knowing everything. It gives me space to learn.

Jealousy of the Catholic Church

The latest Carmelite martyr: a priest was tortured and killed on his way to celebrate Sunday Mass in Andhra Pradesh, India, Religious Intelligence reports.

Carmelite of Mary Immaculate Fr. Thomas Pandippallyil had celebrated Mass on Saturday night for the Sisters of the Chanda Mission. His body was found by the sisters the next day, his legs and hands crushed and his eyes pierced.

No group has claimed responsibility for the murder, although Hindu extremists are suspected.

"He did not die in vain because his body and his blood enrich the Church in India," Archbishop Joji of Hyderabad said. [Zenit]

We also have the hope of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the Polish priest martyred at Auschwitz. In his words:

Courage, my sons, Don't you see that we are leaving on a mission? They pay our fare in the bargain. What a piece of good luck! The thing to do now is to pray well in order to win as many souls as possible. Let us, then, tell the Blessed Virgin that we are content, and that she can do with us anything she wishes.

[image: Religious Intelligence]

Saturday, 16 August 2008


The Good Shepherd
c. 320-40 A.D.
ceiling fresco
Coemeterium Maius, near the Catacomb of Priscilla, Rome

[Images around Christ, clockwise from the dexter ~ Adam & Eve; Moses striking the rock; Jonah under the gourds; a woman at prayer.]

Elvis lives

It's the 31st anniversary of his death today

Nice to know Fr. Nicholas Schofield likes Elvis too.
I like the story that at the moment of his death, Elvis might have been reading about the Shroud of Turin in Frank O. Adams' A Scientific Search for the Face of Jesus, now held at the Catholic National Library at St. Michael's Abbey in Farnborough, Hampshire.

Friday, 15 August 2008

where do you get your summer cotton from?

According to an unpublished paper by University of Sussex economists, Sri Lanka could soon see a 4% drop in its clothing exports to Europe and an overall 2% drop in its GDP if it loses the trade concession known as 'GSP Plus', The Economist reports. In English, that means the poor will get poorer.

Awarded in 2005 to help rebuild the country after the devastating 2004 Tsunami, the GSP Plus is a preferential tariff agreement between Sri Lankan exporters and the EU. But strict EU rules on human rights, environmental and labour standards mean that the agreement is unlikely to be renewed after it expires this year, and Sri Lanka will suffer even more as a result.

With inflation already around 30% p.a., Sri Lanka cannot afford to re-house all its refugees (both war and Tsunami survivors) and fight a civil war at the same time, yet the fighting with the Tamil Tigers [LTTE] continues. Up to 75,000 people have fled their homes in northern Sri Lanka in the last two and a half months, according to a UN report [BBC News].

Where will all these people live? Europe cannot complain about migrating refugees and asylum seekers while we are effectively tying their hands against their own development.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan government has thrown out journalists from the war-torn areas, and is clamping down on visas for international NGO workers, accusing organisations like Save the Children of funding the Tamil Tigers. [Tamil Eelam News Services]

So if humanitarian aid organisations are not allowed to help, and our governments won't, how will all those homeless families, including the elderly, widowed women and orphaned children survive?

The Church can help.

[Image: 'Batticaloa' March 2,2005 by e.r.g.o]

one good reason to visit Barcelona...

A friend of mine has just come back from a break in Barcelona and given me a precious medal of Our Lady of Montserrat (La Moreneta or Black Madonna).

Good timing. I need a medal.

Pic of Santa Cova or The Holy Grotto by epteamadv where the miraculous statue was found.

Bach's Ave Maria

The Assumption

Assumption of the Virgin (detail)
Marble and stucco
Pilgrimage-church, Rohr, Bavaria

The Assumption of the Virgin
Oil on canvas
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Assumption of the Virgin
Duomo, Parma

Our Lady of the Assumption with Sts Miniato and Julian
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

The Assumption of the Virgin
ca. 1340
Tempera on panel
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 - Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mozart's Requiem: Lacrimosa

Lacrimosa dies illa, qua resurget ex favilla judicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce Deus, pie Jesu Domine, dona eis requiem! Amen!

That day of tears and mourning, when from the ashes shall arise all humanity to be judged. Spare us by your mercy, Lord, gentle Lord Jesus, grant them eternal rest. Amen.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Thank You

THANK YOU to everyone who gave their prayers, condolences, good wishes and kind thoughts for the repose of the soul of my father, interred today at Hove. Rest in peace.

I am particularly grateful to my priest and my fellow parishioners.

Santa Hilaria, ora pro nobis. Amen.
παντα ισχυω εν τω ενδυναμουντι με χριστω
Philippians 4:13