Monday, 12 May 2014

Black Mass

After singing Compline this evening in College, we prayed the prayer to St Michael for the spiritual safety of our fellow students in Harvard who took part in a black mass yesterday. I am proud to be a member of a Church where we take the Lord seriously when He talks about the devil, but just as seriously when He talks about loving our enemies and, since the faithful of Harvard prayed before the blessed sacrament, when He talks about giving us his flesh to eat.

Oh, you're summoning the forces of hatred? I've got just the thing for that.
We also prayed to Our Lady of Fatima on the vigil of her feast for the well being and success of our beloved Fr Robert Byrne of the Oratory in our fair city of spires, to whom we wish a bittersweet farewell today as he is ordained bishop for service as an auxiliary to an old member of our University.

(Saw this on Facebook today but can't remember who to credit...)

Monday, 21 April 2014

Excellent Article

Giles Fraser has written one of the best articles on faith I've read for some time and it can be found here.

Thursday, 17 April 2014


The Church is going through a crisis the intensity of which we have never felt before.

How often in the history of the Church it seems those words or ones like them are proclaimed. Today we remember the moment that I believe was the worst crisis that we as a Church have ever endured. The Last Supper. The Church's unity was fragmented. Secular authorities were about to overcome us. Members of the Church were fleeing, were denying the faith, were actively betraying the faith. Indeed, things were about to get worse, the Church would reduce to a size so small that it was contained within the heart of Mary at the foot of the cross. It was at this moment that Christ showed us how to survive.

First, he knelt down and washed the feet of his disciples. The servant leader: we serve God by serving the people He created. But he did not stop there. He celebrated the first mass, the lifeline of the faith, of our renewal of relationship with God. This is my body. This is my blood. No ifs. No buts. As the Holy Father has pointed out, we cannot simply by an NGO. We cannot just have horizontal relations. They must be framed by our immersion in our vertical relationship with the Lord.

But Christ was setting up our own personal means of survival too. He knew the weakness of St Peter, as he knows my weakness today. As he predicted Peter's denials, he must already have had in his mind that he would be reconciled on the shores of Lake Tiberias. Peter confessing to the priest.

Julian of Norwich sums it up with her famous phrase: "All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well"

I love you Jesus, my love above all things. 
I repent with my whole heart for having offended you.
Never permit me to separate myself from you again,
but grant that I may love you always
and then
do with me what you will.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Divine Office for the Triduum

We've prepared a little document with the texts of Morning, Evening and Night prayer for the Triduum and Easter Sunday, should any of our readers be without a breviary. It's very functional and based on the Universalis texts.

Triduum Office

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Things I don't understand

There are many such things. One prominent amongst them is Anglicanism. I am, however, a great fan of Rev. on the BBC in which the aforementioned rev recently got into hot water for very nearly blessing a civil union as a result of which he then quietly blessed the civil union. Does anyone know what the problem with an Anglican priest marrying two people of the same sex should be for an Anglican? I'm not really sure. They changed the matter of their sacrament of ordination in order to be gender neutral. Why not just change the matter of their sacrament of marriage for the same reason? Most of them seem to be in favour of gay marriage, why not just take the opportunity?

Monday, 7 April 2014

The holy army of martyrs praise thee

God, the Church and the Jesuits have gained a new martyr: Fr Frans van der Lugt SJ who was killed in odium fidei in Homs, Syria.

You have considered me worthy of this day and hour, 
worthy to be numbered with the martyrs 
and to drink the cup of your Anointed One, 
and thus to rise and live forever, 
body and soul, 
in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. 


"In a talk at the beginning of Lent I cited the heroic and faithful work of Fr.van der Lugt SJ who, in the face of extraordinary danger and acute suffering, refused to desert the suffering people of Homs. He personified all the best qualities and ideals which the Society of Jesus stands for. He joins a long list of Jesuit martyrs who have sacrificed their lives truly believing that a man has no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.

His death is a stark reminder of the systematic campaign by Jihaddists intent on the destruction of the region's ancient churches and the contemporary Passion and suffering being inflicted on the Middle East's Christians.

The tragic news of Fr.van der Lugd's murder came just 24 hours before an Aid to the Church in Need Vigil for Syria in London's Jesuit church at Farm Street. It's a moment to honour a great man but also to raise our voices and prayers."
Lord Alton

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Christian Unity

This term, one of my tutors and I attended an ecumenical event in London in which we were invited to encounter the musical cultures of various apostolic denominations. It was a fascinating evening, in which we Latins contributed some Byrd and some plainchant. Today I listened to a lecture online given by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware, an alumnus of this University, in which he discussed the possibilities in the future of Orthodox-Roman relations. Most interesting, particularly the breakdown of authority into three tiers: local, regional and universal. It strikes me that the organizational structure of the Church might not be  of divine command, but might be venerable tradition. I'm not sure, it's something I'll need to think about. When God mentions the seven Churches in Revelation, for instance, he's not so much instituting patriarchates, but describing the existing situation in order to aid the spread of His Word. I haven't seen any more of Metropolian Kallistos's work, but this has been very thought provoking for me.