The end is nigh?

As we enter into the last weeks of the liturgical year the readings get more eschatological. The preacher here today was of a mind that we should not ever be prone to thinking that we are in the last days. To be sure, there has been many a Protestant sect that has predicted even the very day of the parousia, with results we can all to easily guess. Yet the end has to come some time, and both our Lord and the apostle assure us that there will be signs of its impending arrival.

What a year it has been. IS/Daesh apocalyptic atrocities, the disaster in the Yemen, a new cold war between Russia and the West, renewed attempts at militant Muslim terrorism in the West (most of which we will not hear about for a long time to come), an even more fanatical North Korea, and the election of Donald Trump. Continue reading “The end is nigh?”

True Colours—Election Fallout (Updated)

It is certain that I am not alone in saying that while I am not exactly happy that Donald Trump has been elected president of the USA, I am not unhappy that Hillary Clinton has not been elected.

But the election and its aftermath are fast becoming an object of fascination. Certain things seem to have been revealed even more starkly in their true colours; true in the sense of what they actually are, not necessarily what they should be.

So the sight of liberal voters rioting in Portland and elsewhere, arming themselves with bats to attack police and storefronts, hashtagging #notmypresident like there is no tomorrow (they all expect #Trumpageddon imminently), crying on Youtube videos, and forecasting the end of the American political order is fascinating. Actually, it is a more than a little pathetic. Continue reading “True Colours—Election Fallout (Updated)”

The US Election—Fools Rush In

This expands on first reactions posted on Facebook this morning. There is a lot to take in this morning.

Radio 4 was quietly but obviously confused when I awoke this morning. The result surprises me but does not surprise me as well: I thought the early voting would clinch it for Clinton but on the other hand the last few years have seen the political order in both Church and state upended across the globe: Brexit, Pope Francis, Duterte—a real mixed bag. Continue reading “The US Election—Fools Rush In”

Purgatory Revisited

This morning I was down to celebrate the conventual Mass, and on this day every November we offer Mass for the deceased relatives and benefactors of the English Benedictine Congregation. It got me thinking on purgatory, and I was propelled a little further along by something I read in the latest (and last?) from the pope emeritus, Benedict XVI: Last Testament in his own words, translated by Dr Jacob Phillips (one of those bright young things at St Mary’s University, Twickenham) and hot off the press and into our mailboxes this past week. Continue reading “Purgatory Revisited”

Honouring Luther?

Someone pointed me to today’s post on The Tablet‘s website. Gosh, it’s awful. Continue reading “Honouring Luther?”

A changing church – part 2

A changing church – part 2

Thesis writing and the various thrills and spills of the vita monastica have caused me to neglect the blog. Maybe that is a good thing. A series of events, not with an ominous air when seen together, have challenged any sanguine approach I might have had towards the current state of play in the Church and the world. The dismal presidential election in the USA, the hideous new presidency in the Philippines, the aggressive posturing of Putin, the demonic embodiment that is IS/Daesh, exhortations to “celebrate” the tragedy of the Reformation, the recent radical reformation of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and a series of earthquakes in Italy that have destroyed the basilica in St Benedict’s home town, Norcia – all these militate against optimism. Continue reading “A changing church – part 2”

A random ramble with Colonel Blimp

A few miles south of Hadrian’s Wall, and at the eastern end of Northumberland, I am making use of a cottage generously offered by benefactors for the purpose of breaking the back of a short dissertation. The best laid plans of mice and monks, of course… it is breaking me.

It is perhaps not totally effective, or even healthy, to attempt to overcome the incessant distractions of pervious months and seek a near complete solitude for 10 days in order to form one’s reading and thinking into a coherent pattern, transcribe it to computer and expect a satisfying result. There have been periods of waxing and of waning in the operations of the intellect, and yesterday proved to be quite frustrating and indeed disheartening. The downside of solitude is that there is no one, apart from God and his heavenly court, to unload onto. And the heavenly ones, of course, do not usually respond immediately or audibly. Continue reading “A random ramble with Colonel Blimp”