Friday, 3 January 2014

Come, Holy Ghost....come quickly

Confirmation, by Giuseppe Maria Crespi, 1712

Do you remember the day of your Confirmation?

You do? How providentially fortunate for you.

My memory is now just a hazy blur, but then, we are going back to circa 1953 when most of you, my dear friends, were in the waiting room of the Lord, yet to be summoned.

I cannot recall whether it was Cardinal Bernard Griffin or Bishop Craven that conferred me with the power of the Holy Ghost...for that is what it is....power.

Power to be a soldier for Jesus they say that anymore? Has Fr Volpi banned it yet?

To a young lad, whose father had served in the First World War and who had two brothers who had fought  in the Second World War, (one in the South Lancashire Regiment and one in the Commandos), such a phrase was a call to action (no, not that bunch of twerps, I mean real action, standing up for the Faith and taking all incoming fire without flinching).

Do we do that anymore?

Our priests (not the ones that we all know and admire, who are excluded from this post) seem to enjoy keeping a low profile, not entering any debate that might get a little know...punchy.

Some years ago in our local town, a disreputable person (allegedly) applied for planning permission to open a sex shop.

Mrs L and I sent in an objection fully expecting the local PP and his parish council to be way ahead of us.

But, when the County Council deliberated on the subject, only the local Baptists,  had raised our heads above the parapet besides ourselves.

Not many priests it seems, wish to enter the public arena. Not many would, for example, set up stall in the town square to preach against secularism.

And as for the laity.....pooh! White feathers blowing on the breeze, happy to be pushed in any direction the world wishes to blow them to.

Read now the words of the Bishop during Confirmation:

Fill them with the spirit of Your holy fear, and sign them with the sign of the cross + of Christ in mercy for eternal life. Through the same Jesus Christ... in the unity of the same Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen. 
 Adimple eos Spiritu timoris tui, et consigna  eos signo crucis + Christi, in vitam  propitiatus aeternam. Per eumdem  Dominum... in unitate ejusdem Spiritus  Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula  saeculorum. Amen

Do not those words send a shiver of excitement down your spine?

And then, the Bishop administers the much anticipated but gentle slap on the face:

......symbolizing that the Christian is now a soldier for Christ and must endure suffering and the persecution that comes from conflict with the world. A hymn might now be sung if the candidates are numerous.

So, having received the indelible seal of the Holy Spirit, binding us to Him until the day of redemption, why are we less than keen to go out and fight the good fight?

Why are the numbers at 40 Days for Life Vigils so low?

Why are we afraid to show the world that we are Catholic?

Where are the crucifixes in our homes? 

And, why don't we stand up to our bishops, demand a decent Catholic education in our schools, fight for the return of the Latin Mass and oppose all those wishy washy, half baked sentiments coming from Westminster and Birmingham (see Protect the Pope).

I guess it's because the grace we receive at Confirmation demands and requires a matching input from us.

We need commitment. 

We need to pray the Rosary, to live the Fatima life of prayer and penance.

To shrug off our air of passive indifference.

Remember, when you look on your breakfast plate of bacon and eggs; the hen who provided the egg was passive, only the pig providing the bacon was committed.


  1. Off topic, I've given you a Sunshine Award. (Will doubtless help that washing of yours dry!)

  2. Patricius, that is really most kind of you, there must be a dearth of blogs as, so far, you are the third blogger to nominate me. I think that this leaves me feeling very grateful but, unable to respond as per the awards scheme requires (having done Eccles's). Greatly appreciated, thank you.

  3. It is the Great Apostasy led from the top. Many bishops and priests deride and defame those who stand up against evil in the public square, such as against the killing of babies in utero - the laity takes the cue from the clergy on this. How many priests and bishops are heading to hell because they refuse to save souls as is their duty?

  4. It's all about choice. When clergy and religious can choose to be incognito to the world, indeed even the Church or the 'cloister' - now known as that house close to the shops with those friendly old ladies who go tramping and like to hold hands in a circle live -, the on ontologically changed man of Christ's Apostolic gift with his teeny cross-like thing on his collar preaching the repentance and the Real Presence to all those with a magnifying glass and an inappropriate sense of personal space. When a single Mass can be said so many ways in so many tongues, except of course the sacred tongue. When the look of a church can cause psychological damage or make one think one has stumbled into an SSPX Chaple. The choices continue, to incense or not to incense, to speak of Christ and His Saints in the homily or to warble on about the many ways to be kind of nice before you die, and by the way don't worry about the after-life cause that's for escapists and fantasists. To have holy water in the font, or to let the midges have their breeding ground - it would seem nicer for the midges to have their home. To allow men in the sanctuary? A tough one. To allow men to do the reading? Hmmm. Vestments for ministers? Or t-hirts and flip-flops? Should in persona Christi leave the 'sanctuary' swap shakes with the front pew? kneeling and on the tongue - no, the priests things it's yucky sticking his fingers near peoples mouth (one thinks there must be some who became priests to avoid the yuckiness of children). Sacred music or themes from inappropriate movies during Holy Communion. The list of choices goes on and on. And so, when it comes to what it means these days to be a soldier for Christ because this world IS ruled by the father of lies so the next life IS really all that matters, one has to live in exile from the Truth within the Church, because the Church isn't interested in being anything other than sort of nice in 52 different ways. Our shepherds are proud of their lack of faith, their liturgical indifference, their one of the people incognitoness. They still get paid.

    The Catholic Church without a miracle will die under the janitorial skills of the heirarchy of the Church still choosing between all those choices. But hey, look at asia and africa they are flourishing...not really, they are heading for the local protest church, just like the Americas. Never in the History of the Church has there been a time when it has been so indifferent to the souls of its own or the souls still under the yoke of the father of lies. I don't see this changing. I've met too many people utterly committed to social christianity as defined by Lloyd Geering.

    1. The pain and suffering is great. It is hard to not give in to despair. We need to support one another if our bishops and priests (most of them) will not.

  5. 'scuse the long rant, the tether of my Faith is a wee bit frayed today.

  6. p.s. apologies and exceptions to the many true priestly soldiers.

  7. Lynda, God Bless, and of course Mr Collins for much need blog nourishments.

  8. And then, the Bishop administers the much anticipated but gentle slap on the face:
    Ha , 1953!
    I958 in my diocese in the north at conformation the girls got a near caress, we boys got a good belt.(strong enough for the tallest youths who'd been ill last Bishop's visit, who were 6 years older than the latest firsat communion crop for whom it was quite a whack.
    And we,da thought the bishop thought we were sissies if we hadnt so had it . This may or may not be right , but suits me.
    Period. Deo Gracias.

  9. Oh, you people are just Fanatics... Wait, weren't Jesus followers called Fanatics. Okay, you people are just Christians. To expect priests and bishops to actually lead their people, to be a good example, what horror.

    Actually, we in the US do have some very brave Bishops. For example, Cardinal Burke showed faith and love for the Latin mass (recently removed with other faithful bishops from prominent positions in the Vatican). We also have Bishop Sample, Bishop Conley, and Bishop Cordelione. We were hoping for more of this type of Bishop but it appears that we won't be seeing any new ones for awhile. God bless our faithful Bishops.