Tuesday 14 June 2011

Sublime Words from the Holy Father's Pentecost Homily

Rorate Caeli has published an extract from the Holy Father’s homily for the Feast of Pentecost 2011. Here is a link to the entire homily, in Italian; I haven't seen a complete English translation yet. I have pasted the extract below, or you can follow this link to the Rorate post. As we all know, however, sometimes the comments that follow a post can go off at a tangent, and I think the post in question has suffered from this problem.

Here, in its glory, is something sublime. It has a quality of self-contained perfection. This would be a wonderful text for a parish newsletter, or as a permanent display at the entrance to the church, to remind its readers that the Faith is the pearl of great price, for ourselves and for all who may be led to find it.

I accept that I am writing in figurative language when I say that I experienced, on reading Pope Benedict’s words, one of those strange, evanescent moments of elation of the soul, of astonishment, as though I had taken a breath of the clear, sweet air of Heaven.

[T]he Church is Catholic from her first moment, her universality is not the fruit of the successive inclusion of various communities. From the first instant, in fact, the Holy Spirit created her as the Church of all peoples; she embraces the entire world, she transcends all limits of race, class, nation; she breaks down every obstacle and brings all men together in the profession of the One and Triune God. From the beginning, the Church is One, Catholic, and Apostolic: this is her true nature and as such it must be recognized. She is Holy, not thanks to the ability of her members, but because God Himself, with His Spirit, creates, purifies, and sanctifies her always.

God bless our dear Holy Father, and grant him many more years with us.

Wednesday 8 June 2011

A slight change of blogger name

While reading this interesting article on The Catholic Herald’s website, about Ecclesia Dei’s confirmation that girls and women are not permitted to serve at Mass in the Extraordinary Form, I noticed that the comments include excellent contributions from the author of the Seraphic goes to Scotland blog, Dorothy Cumming McLean, using her own Christian name.

I'm very far from her league in the Catholic blogosphere, so I think it’s a good idea in the circumstances to make a small alteration to my blogger name. From now on you will see the name Dorothy B on my posts, and on my occasional comments on other blogs.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

The Dome of Home: A Memory and a Confident Hope

The only time I ever went to the church of SS Peter & Paul, New Brighton, was some years before Vatican II, when I was a child at primary school.

I grew up in Liverpool, and we had many a happy day out at New Brighton. We usually spent the day down at the shore, or at the wonderful Art Deco open-air swimming pool. But on one occasion my mother decided to do something different. Turning inland from the station, we walked uphill a little way, to visit the church of SS Peter and Paul. I suppose my mother thought it was about time we made the effort to visit this famous landmark.

I wish I could remember the particulars of the interior, but alas, I can no longer recall them in much detail. Except for this: that to a young child, in those far-off pre-Conciliar days, it seemed to me to be gloriously beautiful. There is a verse at Genesis 28:17, in which Jacob says “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” If I had heard those words at that time, they would have expressed my feeling very well indeed.

Judging from the few pictures I have seen of the church’s present-day interior, it appears at least to have retained its “good bones”. I have confidence that the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which is to take charge of this fine church, will enable its parishioners to experience that same sense of spiritual wonder that a little girl experienced all those years ago.

Photograph from Google Images, with acknowledgments to liberator31.co.uk