Friday, December 07, 2018

Don't lie to your children about Santa Claus

On 6th December it seems fitting to bring up the subject of whether we should lie to our children about Santa Claus. 

Many Christian parents think that it's perfectly acceptable to tell things to our children that are not true and pretend they are and somehow hope that they will believe us when we speak to them about God and His Church.

My wife and I have three young children and we made a decision very early on to speak the truth about Santa Claus.   This doesn't "ruin the magic of Christmas" - it brings them joy and wonder.

We do not lie to our children.  We tell them the truth about Santa Claus.

Let's stop telling the lie that Santa Claus isn't real.

We tell our children that Santa Claus is real, that he loves Jesus and lives with Him in heaven and that we can ask him to pray for and with us all year round.  

Saint Nicholas, pray for us!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Liturgically Correct Non Valentine's Greetings

I'm concerned at the number  of young people who are rigidly sticking to the older form of the Roman Rite and insisting on celebrating Saint Valentine today rather than Saints Cyril and Methodius.  

In order to address this rigidity,  I encourage you all to join me in writing liturgical correct greetings to your loved ones according to the newer form: 

Your lips they are red
Your voice is melodious
It has to be said
You're my Cyril and Methodiius!

Your voice it is pure, your heart it is mine
Not just in Septuagesima, I mean ordinary time. 
You mean more to me than acorns to a squirrel 
Will you be my Methodius and Cyril?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Defending the faith in charity

My favourite Catholic evangelist is Matt Fradd. I'd listened to a number of his talks about purity and also defending Catholic teachings. 

I like the way he uses humour and personal stories to illustrate his points. It wasn't until recently that I realised that he prefers the Traditional Latin Mass. 

This debate below is a wonderful example of how we can debate with other people in a loving but powerful way. Matt Fradd is speaking with a former Catholic, Baptist Pastor.

My favourite quotations include:

"I would call it a deformation not reformation."

"You were taught using the Baltimore Catechism? Good! I teach my children from the same catechism."

"There's a lot of misunderstanding about Vatican II ... Latin should have pride of place ... it's not that the priest had his back to the people but was praying with the people."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Openness to life

Having just witnessed the birth of our little girl - Cecilia - I am reflecting once again on the gift of life and the privilege of parenthood. 

When my fiancĂ©e and I were preparing for marriage, she belonged to an evangelical charismatic Christian community before entering the Catholic Church and so we had marriage preparation from both them and the Catholic Church.  

Something that struck us both is that the advice, teaching and preparation that both gave us was that we must be open to life. Catholics - and other Christians - do a great disservice to Truth when we focus on a no to contaception rather than a big yes to life and the joy that children bring to this world. 

Beautiful Papal encyclicals on the family include Casti connubii, Humanae Vitae and Veritatis Splendor. Beyond the headlines are themes of a big yes to marriage and the blessing of children. 

When we have opportunities to speak on the truth of marriage and the family let's focus on the great blessing that God brings through marriage, family and openness to life. 

In the meantime please say a quick prayer for baby Cecilia and her rather mischievous big brother Joseph who will be getting used to a new life too. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pray for England

On Saint George's a Day could we all spare a moment to pray for England that she may once again love Christ and His Church?
"O Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon England, Thy Dowry, and upon all of us who greatly hope and trust in Thee.

By Thee it was that Jesus, our Saviour and our hope was given unto the world; and He has given Thee to us that we might hope still more.

Plead for us Thy children whom Thou did receive and accept at the foot of the Cross O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our separated brethren that in the one true fold we may all be united under the chief shepherd of Christ's flock, and that by faith and fruitful in good works we may all deserve to see and praise God together with Thee in our heavenly home.

- Cardinal Wiseman 1802-1865 (Archbishop of Westminster)

Saint George and the English Martyrs - pray for England.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Flee from the wolves in sheep's clothing

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." - Matthew 7:15

God is a God of mercy. 

Christ, ever merciful gave us sacraments of mercy - Baptism and afterwards the sacrament of Penance for those in mortal sin and the Eucharist for those in a state of grace. 

The consistent teaching of the Church is that Catholics may only receive the Holy Eucharist if we are Catholic, have fasted and are in a state of grace. 

Both tradition and scriptures clearly teach that receiving when not in a state of grace is blasphemy and will bring, not eternal life but condemnation. 

Amoris Laetitiae must be read as consistent with Catholic teaching and so when His Holiness says that those in irregular situations must be welcomed and receive the sacraments he must be referring to Confession (with a firm purpose of amendment) followed by reception of the Eucharist later if in a state of grace. 

If anyone - whether layman, priest or bishop neglects their obligation and mission to uphold and teach the Catholic Faith then they are wolves whose actions could bring to Hell not only themselves but as many others as possible. 

Emasculated bishops and priests who are not man enough to call themselves and others to holiness may think they're being pastoral but there is nothing pastoral about leading souls away from salvation. Flee from the wolves! There is  no accompanying anyone in Hell. 

Vatican II makes it very clear that the call to holiness is universal. It is not surprising that some bishops and priests who have lost the faith may join the enemy whispering into your ear. "You're not good enough. You cannot change. That would be far too difficult for you."  Christ says instead, to all of us, "My grace is enough." We are called to cooperate with that grace and make a firm purpose of amendment. 

I am privileged to be friends with a number of people who are not able to get married due to their state in life. Some describe themselves as gay, others are divorced - sometimes because of abandonment. They are faithful to Christ and His Church, avoid sinful relationships and inspire me by their lives of grace. 

If anyone is reading this is in an irregular marital situation, then my advice to you would be that which I would give you in person:

"You are loved by God and He wants to welcome you back.  Repent, receive absolution and return to a life of grace. God loves all of us - He loves us all so much He wants us to change and by His grace, enter into eternal life." 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lent in the year of mercy

It strikes me that rather than an overly complicated plan for Lent, the most simply way of living this time of preparation for Easter are: fast - be merciful and be joyful.  

It is good to fast each day - not to give up eating but to considerably reduce this. Be conscious about small acts of denial to self and replace them with prayer. 

Be merciful - especially in the Year of Mercy - let's be more conscious about living the corporate and spiritual works of mercy. How can we be kind to others?

Be joyful - Lent is a time of looking forward to Easter - a time of self-denial but also a time to look forward in hope.