Saturday, 21 March 2009

Changing times??

The BBC and many blogs are carrying the story that the Government and Buckingham Palace have been in talks regarding the changing of a 300 year old piece of legislation that would, if enacted, end the current discriminatory practice that lead to HRH Prince Michael of Kent having to renounce his position in the order of precedence with regard to the accession to the English throne. I am of course talking about the Act of Settlement, which, barred Catholics from ever sitting on the throne, and also from heirs to the throne marrying a Catholic.

Whilst many regard this as a great step forward it could be, for us Christians anyway, a double-edged sword.

This would, it seems, begin the process of the disestablishment of the Church of England, the same as what happened in Wales. The Anglican hierarchy would no longer have a place in the establishment, or Parliament.

Whilst this may be seen as a good thing, it can only be seen as, by myself anyway, a two fingered salute at Christianity. With the disestablishment the 'Christian' voice in Parliament would be silenced. Sure there are many 'Christians' in both houses but none can speak with the authority of a Bishop, no matter what denomination!

Whilst we should rejoice that discrimination against Catholics in this country will finally come to an end, we should lament the Christian culture which is!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Cross or Crucifix??

A regular reader of this small blog Miss Ellen E recently posted a video. And i must say, i agree with her 100%. The video itself is fine, but the cross does not, for me at least, symbolise anything. In fact, if anything, it symbolises the loss of something.

Whilst walking yesterday evening with my friend (mentioned in a previous post) i was reminded of an encounter I had with a Christian at Cardiff's central bus station a few years ago...

...I was waiting for my bus to college, and my crucifix was on show. I wa stood, quite happily reading the bus timetable, when someone i've never met in my life came up to me and said; "Why do you wear that?". "Where what?" I asked. He looked at my crucifix and said something along the lines of, "I'm a Christian and i don't see the point in wearing a crucifix, we should celebrate His resurrection!"

I was a little annoyed that firstly, this man had appeared from nowhere and that he was (essentially) mocking me. So my reply was quite short, and quite fast for me. "Yes, I realise we should celebrate His resurrection. BUT to rise he had to die" At which point the Christian turned on his heel and walked off...

This whole episode put me off wearing my crucifix in public, but since then have regained my confidence and when i get a new one it shall be worn with pride!

Monday, 9 March 2009

New Layout.

I thought I'd create a new layout. Never fear it's still me Catholic Student. The picture is a 'sort of' panoramic view of part of the gardens at the Benedictine Abbey of St Michael and All Angels in Belmont, Herefordshire.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there and would commend it to anyone. Especially young men who believe they may be called to religious life.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

What's that....

What's that Bishop Williamson? How can a cleric deny something that the church has always acknowledged happened? An event that Bishops spoke out about? An event that Pius XII tried to hide Italian Jews from??

I think + Williamson is in dire need of our prayers.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Isolation, Holy Mass and Friendship...

Firstly I'd like to begin with stating how lonely it can be for some/most young Catholics. I love my faith, it makes me who I am; but every now and again one can't help but feel so very lonely. I once went to World Youth Day and had an amazing time. Holding vigil with the Holy Father and seeing over a million young Catholics all praying together at Holy Mass, but soon after the return to the UK the immense feeling of togetherness vanishes and you realise that once again you are alone.

No where is this more realised than at Holy Mass, be it during the week or on a Sunday. On the whole one looks around and you see old people, families (with children sometimes forced to go) and sometimes you see middle-aged singletons... after Sunday Mass i often reflect on what happened? where did all the young people go? And I'm reminded of this song:

...but maybe that's the wrong question. We should not be asking where, but why. Why did all the young people go? I've heard it often blamed solely on Vatican II and the changes that followed...but i think it's something much deeper than that.

No. It is something a lot deeper. You can't tie the loss of faith to Vatican II, you can only tie the loss of faith to ourselves. To those of us who still attend Mass and are only truly Catholic or Christian for those couple of hours we spend in worship. How does it look to those who don't attend regularly/or at all, and then see supposed Catholics rolling out of pubs at the early hours or generally behaving in an un-Christian manner to our neighbour?

I might just be speaking for myself, but i know for a fact that on the whole I act like a very bad Christian, most of the time. I look down on people, I pre-judge people, I occasionally drink in excess, and I don't do nearly as much charity work as I should - but then I wonder, would that be enough?

Well sure it'd be a start. I've acknowledged my faults, but what do i do now? Now I have to change...and is this what Lent is all about? Changing yourself, for the better? I think it is. Lent is a time when we look at ourselves and think "huh, maybe I could do this or that" but why restrict it to Lent? Why not offer it to God as a personal penance? Giving up something you love, is there any great gift?

...Moving on before I bore you. Friendship. Having mentioned loneliness and the feeling of isolation above, I find it fitting to talk of my friend Joe who's moving to Canterbury for a few weeks. It'll be nice to have someone to pray Vespers and Compline with and of course attend Sunday Mass with. Please pray for us both at this time, as we are praying for a sign of what the Lord may want of us.

In Xto.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Westminster Succession

Should Catholics in England and Wales be eagerly anticipating the appointment to the See of Westminster? I think the announcement is likely to be made by the end of the month. Much has been said in the blogsphere about the succession, some of it quite nasty.

But what are we looking for in the future leader of the English and Welsh Church? Someone charismatic? Someone who inspires those around him, especially the young? Someone who has a proven track record of sound theological and doctrinal knowledge? Someone who isn't afraid of tradition, but understands that in Britain there is a balance between orthodoxy and 'liberalism'?

Personally i think the future Arch. of Westminster needs all the above characteristics...the question is: who fits the bill??

Hopefully the appointment will be made from a cleric currently serving in the U.K. - no necessarily one of the current hierarchy!!

Monday, 2 March 2009

Angelus - 1st March

Bravo Holy Father. Who needs unions?!

But seriously. It is times like this when families are most affected, and i believe that during Lent we should pray for a stabilising of the worlds economy.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Happy St David's Day...

Or is it? Liturgically, of course, St David's Day will be celebrated up and down Wales - and in England (Feast) tomorrow. But the secularist (i.e. my parents, brothers, most of my friends) wished me a Happy St David's Day today. I of course, said it back.

So instead I wish those in blogsphere a Happy First Sunday of Lent. I think this is to be a theme i have picked up for lent. Whether it is indeed a happy time?? As i mentioned in my previous post, i think it is a very happy time. But some of you may disagree.

St David, is the principal Patron Saint of Wales, and as a Welshman am proud to wear (on occasion) a daffodil/leak as it is my national day.

The above got me thinking...being a proud Welshman/Brit does it contradict with my Catholic faith? And on reflection i suppose it does. Being proud of the country you come from tends to mean you like everything that is going on. I must say as a Catholic I am not proud..

I am not proud of a country that seems to have lost its way, turned from the path of Christianity and is heading in which ever way it is dragged. Proof of this would be His Grace, the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr Rowan Williams and his view regarding the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia Law into the British legal system. (I almost wrote constitution, but technically we don't have one.)

So this leaves me in a bit of a pickle. I'm Catholic and I'm Welsh. I love my faith and I love my country. And as such i pray for Britain's conversion every day. Or should that be re-conversion.

*gets off high horse*