Back from summer holiday even more energised about the Catholic faith

I am back from my summer holiday, full of energy, looking forward to my favourite season of all – autumn!

I have managed to ignore the nonsense coming out of the cult of Vatican II, despite having had access to the Twitter feeds of those who scream about the outrageous statements coming out of the mouths of the cult leaders. I chuckled to myself often, as I sipped red wine gazing out into the sunset. After all, what can I do? I can’t call a new conclave, beat the bishops and cardinals on the head and tell them to dump Vatican II or appoint a new pope. All I can do is to pray . . . and pray I did.

Here’s what my summer looked like.

(1) Greece and Turkey: chilling out along the water at sunset with a bottle of red wine and delicious Mediterranean food

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Traveling from island to island, enjoying the sun and the sea

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Visiting old churches such as the one in the photo below – the church of Agioi Apostoloi (Holy Apostles) on the island of Chios built in the 13th century.

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Ephesus (below): Library of Celsus and Terraced Houses (well-preserved Roman houses with tiled floors)

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(2) Alto Adige (Dolomites), Italy: hiking

Hiking in the Dolomites, one sees many roadside shrines and even stations of the cross that involve walking up hundreds of meters! Next time you complain about having to do the stations of the cross inside a church, ask yourself how people in the Dolomites could walk up 300 to 400 meters doing their stations of the cross.

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Ah, the mountains!

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Below is the church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Castelrotto

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Interior of the church of Sts. Peter and Paul whose altar is obstructed by the ugly white Cranmer table

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Taking a summer break plus summer reading list 2019

Dear readers, I am enjoying a summer break in the Mediterranean. That means swimming, swimming and more swimming. Daily sustenance: salads, grilled fish and vegetables, and wine (for lunch and/or dinner).

I may not post until September. Here is my summer reading list:

The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer, translated my Neville Coghill

The Spiritual Life and Prayer by Cecile de Bruyere

The Inimitable Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

The Summer of the Danes (Cadfael series) by Ellis Peters

Medieval Europe by Chris Wickham

Enjoy your summer! Don’t let the b*****ds grind you down. You know who I mean.

Hilarious Japanese TV commercial: 3 second shrimp tempura

Who says we trads can’t have a good laugh every now and then?

Behold, I present to you a TV commercial for NTT Docomo’s supposedly super-fast LTE network. NTT Docomo is a Japanese mobile operator and when they launched their LTE service in Japan, this was one of the commercials that they created.

The ad starts innocently enough: a boring housewives’ cooking demonstration on how to make shrimp tempura. But then it becomes . . . I’ll let you watch.

Ember Friday fun: 70s Dinner Party photos

Don’t pull a long face when you fast, Our Lord says. But your stomach is grumbling and you are in a foul mood. It’s Ember Friday. Tomorrow is Ember Saturday, more fasting and abstinence. You can’t bear it anymore.

What to do? Look at these photos from the hysterically funny Twitter account 70s Dinner Party, and you’ll conclude that the Novus Ordo Mass of Paul VI isn’t the only abomination to come out of that nasty decade, the 1970s. You won’t be hungry again after gazing at these masterpieces from the disco era.

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Some ideas for fish Fridays . . .

fish for lent

unhappy fish

friday abstinence

I’d rather be fasting, thank you!

reasons to fast

dubia cardinals

 

 

Ghost stories at Christmas

The British have traditionally told ghost stories at Christmas. That is why Charles Dickens wrote his famous story, “A Christmas Carol”. However, the most famous and best ghost stories were written by Montague Rhodes James, better known as M.R. James, a medievalist and provost of King’s College, Cambridge.

His stories were filmed by the BBC in the 1970s. You can find some of them on YouTube.

You can download M.R. James’s short stories for free here. They are best read aloud in a small cozy room, preferably with a fire going, glasses of port or sherry or wine at hand, and candlelight, on a cold, snowy night. Each person in the room should take a turn reading the stories.

I suck at evangelising: adventures in trying to explain the Trinity and the BVM

How is it possible that someone who grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school all her life, was educated by strict nuns, read the Catechism of Pope Pius X last year after returning to the Church, and has been doing a LOT of spiritual reading in order to deepen her faith, has on at least two occasions totally blew it when it came to trying to convert (gently) her non-Catholic husband? It would be utterly tragic if it weren’t so funny.

In my defense, the chances I’ve had of evangelising and converting came in the form of a series of ambushes (accompanied by heavy artillery) from the my significant  other.

(1) ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) with nuclear warhead: the Trinity

This query about the Trinity came in the form of an ICBM, least appropriately, over a lunch of ramen noodles in tiny, hot noodle bar. The question posed to me by Dear Husband (DH) was about the Trinity.

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“What’s the deal with the Trinity? If the Son came from the Father, why didn’t the Father just speak as if he were the Son? Why did the Son talk about His Father when HE is HE, that is, they are the same?” DH asked.

I explained that indeed they are one essence although they are not one person, but three persons – not like three human persons, although one of them has a human nature. I explained further: the Holy Ghost hovered like a dove over Our Lord at his baptism and came to the Apostles, the Virgin Mary and the disciples at Pentecost.

Second ICBM lobbed at me by DH: “Why if he is the Son of God, or God himself did He get baptised by a mere human, St. John the Baptist?” My answer: “Ehhhh . . . ” followed by loud slurping of noodles . . . “Ehhh because He well . . . wanted to set an example.”) Disaster. Floundering on the sea of ignorance, me, cradle Catholic. Very embarrassed. Our Lord has a right to expect better from me and I just failed.

Result: When I got home, I opened “The Catechism Explained by Fr. Spirago” and read about the Trinity, and I’m better informed, but I still cannot explain it in a way that will satisfy DH or anyone who is deeply skeptical about the existence of God in the first place, as is DH.

(2) Short range missile: did the Blessed Virgin Mary ever get baptised?

Oh dear, that’s a good one. I never even thought of that. This short-range missile was fired by DH from the other side of a table at a French restaurant as we were enjoying a main course of beef cheek simmered in red wine. We had already gone through half a bottle of very good Burgundy. I’m a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, so I was tipsy when I was attempting to plumb the depths of my memory about the BVM’s baptism: no, I don’t recall there ever having been any mention of the BVM’s baptism, but I do know why she didn’t have to be baptised. Let me see . . . why exactly is that? My memory fails me. I just know. Clock is ticking. DH is staring at me, smiling, “Gotcha!”is going through his head.

So this is what I said: “Well, there is a Baptism of Desire . . . ” I knew the second after these words came out of my mouth that it was a big FAIL. DH laughed heartily. I could see from his expression and discern from his laughter that he thinks Catholicism is totally wacky.

I’m suddenly plunged into a deep sorrow, while savouring the beef cheek stewed in red wine. My glass is starting to empty and DH fills it with more wine. There won’t be any more discussions about the BVM (or indeed the Trinity) tonight!

Only later (once the alcohol has worn off) did I remember that the BVM was born without original sin, hence, no need for baptism. Hey, why didn’t the fine bottle of Burgundy insert that answer into my head at the moment the short range missile was fired at me?

On both occasions, my Jewish husband got terrible answers from me and as a result, I don’t think he is any closer to converting to Catholicism. However, he does love the old beautiful churches of Rome, the works of Michelangelo and Fra Angelico and Massacio, Gregorian chant, Baroque music, especially the cantatas of Bach, Matthaeus Passion, Weihnachtsoratorium, . . . there is hope!

I do pray for his conversion everyday, and I try to live my life as an example of a good Catholic. Hopefully, he will convert.