Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Tuesday Jan 9th
Excellent copy of ANNALS - an Australian magazine which always has me stopping whatever else I am doing to dip into it - in the post. It's a "Journal of Catholic Culture" and this edition has a really good feature about the revival of a Catholic seminary in Ukraine, by Father Paul Stenhouse, some fascinating stuff on Christmas folklore - which is well-informed and explains the background to many well-known carols etc - and a piece about architecture which highglights the appalling ugliness of today's grey blocks that dominate our towns and or at PO Box 13 Kensington NSW Australia 2033.....

Cycling on various errands in mild wet weather. Catholic Times contacts me to tell me a number of replies have been recieved to my recent QUIZ....I'll enjoy checking them and seeing who has won the prize.....

In the evening a torchlit gathering outside Parliament to protest about the "Sexual Orientation Regulations". Yes, this bit of legislation sounds daft and it is. The idea is so to normalise homosexual practices that even voicing opposition to them on behalf of some Christian group will be illegal....thus a Christian running a business which specialises in wedding photography could pay a huge fine for refusing customers who wanted him to take pix of a homosexual marriage.....

Large number of (mostly evangelical) Christians outside Parliament, praying and singing microphones allowed so speakers addressing the crowd had a problem. Notable were the LARGE numbers of people from "black churches" - a group which has previously not made an impact on the political scene. I bet this gets ignored by the mainstream media. These are people who had travelled from all over Britain, who are young, dedicated, community-minded, with families and a vivid sense of Christian commitment and social responsibility. "We must pray for our nation" was a phrase one heard a lot. Also comments such as: "I'd be prepared to go to prison rather than have my church forced to betray Christian principles" "No way are we going to allow our church hall to be used for a 'gay' wedding reception, or anything that goes against God's word on the right way to live. We stand by the Bible." "I want to bring my children up in a Christian country."

Of course all this was ignored, and the attempt in the House of Lords to have a fresh look at the Regulations was defeated.

Among Catholics at the gathering, I met the stalwarts of the National Association of Catholic Families, all cheerful and together, with a priest who blessed us all, and lots of young faces....signed up a couple more people for my Catholic Cultural Group (meets in London - open to anyone, age range say 18-40 who would enjoy talks on Catholic culture in books, music, art, history, etc etc....send a Comment to this blog if interested).......also met Yvonne Windsor who had organised the splendid carol singing at Waterloo and Victoria stations (we made over £700 and a number of useful charities have benefited).

It is impossible not to be gloomy about the future of Britain....not about Christianity here, which I think will continue and has all sorts of bright possibilities....but about Britain as a country with any sort of coherent future as a nation with a real sense of community......when it is recognised that homosexual activity is being so widely promoted, aborting babies is regarded as a standard part of "health care", and teenagers are routinely given powerful abortifacient drugs as part of accepting promiscuous sexual activity. No community of poeople has ever survived which has lived this way, and there is no reason why Britain should.

"If we are going to be put in prison, we'll sing and pray together as we are doing now" one cheerful young man told me. I thought about priest-holes and the English martyrs....Catholics have a tradition of persecution here which gives us a certain specific heritage. I wonder how brave I would be if really made to face the prospect of imprisonment for my beliefs?


Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, about a year or so ago, I started to pray that I'd be willing to be martyred. Ready to, when the time comes. I'd actually fallen out of practice praying this, but I need to pick it up again. There might come a time when it is necessary. It's a scary prayer, though, even if the martyrdom is a smaller variety, where I might be imprisoned.

I'll be sure to add all of Europe in my intentions. The decline of Christianity on the Continent is so sad to me.

God bless, and I'm so glad I found your blog!

Anonymous said...

Re Catholic Cultural not in the area, but why for under 40's? I'm 44 & would like it!

We have a Catholic Women's Group in Birmingham & all women are welcome.

Just my personal opinion.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ ( & mom of 10 ).