Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Thursday, February 06, 2014

"Always remember… to retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others.  This mental solitude cannot be violated by the many people who surround you since they are not standing around your heart but only around your body.  Your heart remains alone in the presence of God.” (St. Francis de Sales)  

"May nothing distract me from You, neither noise nor diversions. O my Master, I would so love to live with You in silence. But what I love above all is to do Your will, and since You want me still to remain in the world, I submit with all my heart for love of You." (Elizabeth of the Trinity) 

That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill: Ave Regina

That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill: Ave Regina: Recently, I've been reading some things on a very good US Catholic magazine on the internet.  You can read it here . Very orthodo...

New Worship Song

I will turn to my Jesus

When the evening falls

I will look to the One

Who can save us all

When the morning is dark and I see

No hope in sight

I will praise the

One who can bring the light


Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

King of Kings


Lord of Lords

Give us joy

Give us strength

We give you love

Give us rest


When the storm is brewing

And the sky is dark

When the waves

Overwhelm me

I won’t look down

For the One who is watching

Will take my hand

And save me from sinking

Place me on dry land


Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

King of Kings


Lord of Lords

Give us joy

Give us strength

We give you love

Give us rest

JBennett (Copyright)


Saturday, December 07, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013


Good Catholic friends of mine run Pukka Pyjamas.  They sell high quality cotton pyjamas if you need any for Christmas presents.  They are really lovely pjs - you won't want to wear anything else. Their website is: http://www.pukkapyjamas.co.uk/index.htm

Yom Kippur

The Day of Atonement has deep theological significance in the New Testament.  It points forward to Christ’s role as high priest.

The Jews have recently celebrated Yom Kippur on September 13th and 14th.  It is also known as ‘The Day Of Atonement’ and is the holiest day of the year for the Jews.  There are a lot of days to celebrate in September for the Jews.  They include Rosh Hashana – the Jewish New Year and Sukkot – the Feast of the Tabernacles.  September is a month of beginnings for us too.  We celebrate the beginning of autumn and often the Harvest Festival falls at this time.  The full moon in September is called the Harvest Moon because it allowed extra light for bringing in the harvest.  We have the autumn equinox when the days and nights are of equal length.  The days will now shorten until we reach the winter solstice in December.  This used to be the beginning of the year too for farming communities and is reflected in the beginning of new school terms after the summer holidays. 

The tradition of computing the start of a new year with autumn was common to the lands of the Bible and to all the lands around the Mediterranean. The summer harvest was at an end, the crops were stored, and people prepared for a new agricultural cycle. It was an appropriate time to begin a new year.  It is still the start of the Church year in the Orthodox Church.

Michaelmas also falls at this time of year.  The feast of Saint Michael the Archangel (also the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael, the Feast of the Archangels, or the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels) is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September.  Because it falls near the equinox, it is associated in the northern hemisphere with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days. In medieval England, Michaelmas marked the ending and beginning of the husbandman's year, George C. Homans observes: "at that time harvest was over, and the bailiff or reeve of the manor would be making out the accounts for the year.

To come back to Yom Kippur, the general theme is one of atonement and repentance.  Some say there is a link to kapporet, the “mercy seat” or covering of the Ark of the Covenant.  Abraham Ibn Ezra states that the word indicates the task and not just the shape of the ark cover; since the blood of the Yom Kippur sacrifice was sprinkled in its direction, it was the symbol of propitiation.  It is on the tenth day of the seventh month.  In fact September used to be the seventh month before the calendars changed hence the name – Sep from ‘septem’ meaning seven.  It was the seventh month of ten in the old Roman calendar. In 1752, the British Empire adopted the Gregorian calendar. In the British Empire that year, September 2 was immediately followed by September 14.

Apart from Michaelmas day the other principal ecclesiastical feasts falling within the month are: the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin on the 8th, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on the 14th, St. Matthew the apostle on the 21st.

Globally now September is a time when we remember the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  A time when we pray for peace especially in the Middle East. 

According to Jewish tradition, God inscribes each person's fate for the coming year into a book, the Book of Life, on Rosh Hashanah, and waits until Yom Kippur to "seal" the verdict. During the Days of Awe, a Jewish person tries to amend his or her behaviour and seek forgiveness for wrongs done against God (bein adam leMakom) and against other human beings (bein adam lechavero). The evening and day of Yom Kippur are set aside for public and private petitions and confessions of guilt (Vidui). At the end of Yom Kippur, one hopes that they have been forgiven by God.

Leviticus 16:29 mandates establishment of this holy day on the 10th day of the 7th month as the Day of Atonement for sins. It calls it the Sabbath of Sabbaths and a day upon which one must afflict one's soul.  Leviticus 23:27 decrees that Yom Kippur is a strict day of rest.

Five additional prohibitions are traditionally observed, as detailed in the Jewish oral tradition (Mishnah tractate Yoma 8:1)

The number five is a set number, relating to:

1. In the Yom Kippur section of the Torah, the word soul appears five times.

2. Soul, in the Torah is known by five separate names: soul, wind, spirit, living one and unique one.

3. Unlike regular days, which have three prayer services, Yom Kippur has five- Maariv, Shacharis, Mussaf, Minchah and Neilah

4. The Kohen Gadol rinsed himself in the mikveh five times on Yom Kippur

In order to apologize to God, one must:

1. Pray

2. Repent

3. Give to charity

These are similar themes in our Christian life.

The Talmud states, "Yom Kippur atones for those who repent and does not atone for those who do not repent".[15] Repentance in Judaism is done through a process called Teshuva, which in its most basic form consists of regretting having committed the sin, resolving not to commit that sin in the future and to confess that sin before God.

Sprinkling of blood is an essential part of the ‘atonement’.  Christ, however, "went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.  Christ's redemptive work "as the antitypical fulfilment of the sacrificial ritual of the day of atonement.  The New Testament refers to Day of Atonement in Acts 27:9.  “Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement. So Paul warned them …”

God's own Word described the One who would come, die, bear the sins of humanity, and be rejected.

"What’s with the goats? Leviticus 16 v 7 Then he is to take the two goats and present them before the Lord at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 8 He is to cast lots for the two goats—one lot for the Lord and the other for the scapegoat. 9 Aaron shall bring the goat whose lot falls to the Lord and sacrifice it for a sin offering. 10 But the goat chosen by lot as the scapegoat shall be presented alive before the Lord to be used for making atonement by sending it into the wilderness as a scapegoat. The wilderness goat died, leaving the iniquities in the wilderness.  Yeshua (Jesus) took our iniquities to Sheol.  Revelation 1:18. New International Version - I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Followers of Jesus the Messiah confidently look forward to eternal life, because our names are written in the Book of Life. When Jesus died, the veil of the Holy of Holies ripped in two, symbolically breaking a barrier between humans and the presence of God.

Unlike the Israelites' annual sacrifices on Yom Kippur, Jesus' one sacrifice continues to provide atonement to this day. Yom Kippur, for followers of Jesus, reminds us of the certainty of our redemption through the blood of our Messiah and High Priest, Jesus.

Yom Kippur also reminds us of the ultimate salvation of the Jewish people. The prophet Zechariah speaks of a day when the nation of Israel will recognize her Messiah and "they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son" (Zech. 12:10). When the Jewish people recognize Messiah, as Paul writes, "All Israel will be saved" (Rom. 11:26). The Day of Atonement thus reminds us of our own salvation and also looks forward to the salvation of Israel.


Friday, September 06, 2013

The Book Of Enoch

The Book of Enoch (also 1 Enoch) is an ancient Jewish religious work, traditionally ascribed to Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah. It is not part of the canon as used by  Jews mainly.  It is recognised in Ethiopia. It dates from 300BC.  The first part of the Book of Enoch describes the fall of the  Watchers, the angels who fathered the Nephilim. The remainder of the book describes Enoch's visits to heaven in the form of travels, visions and dreams, and his revelations. 

The book is referred to, and quoted, in  Jude 1:14-15:
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
The introduction to the Book of Enoch tells us that Enoch is "a just man, whose eyes were opened by God so that he saw a vision of the Holy One in the heavens, which the sons of God showed to me, and from them I heard everything, and I knew what I saw, but [these things that I saw will] not [come to pass] for this generation, but for a generation that has yet to come."

It discusses God coming to earth on Mount Sinai with His hosts to pass judgement on mankind. It also tells us about the luminaries rising and setting in the order and in their own time and never change.
"Observe and see how (in the winter) all the trees seem as though they had withered and shed all their leaves, except fourteen trees, which do not lose their foliage but retain the old foliage from two to three years till the new comes."

This results in the creation of the Nephilim (Genesis) or Anakim/Anak (Giants) as they are described in the book:
"And they became pregnant, and they bare great giants, whose height was three thousand ells: Who consumed all the acquisitions of men. And when men could no longer sustain them, the giants turned against them and devoured mankind. And they began to sin against birds, and beasts, and reptiles, and fish, and to devour one another's flesh, and drink the blood."

Giants in Those Days


Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה‎, literally "head [of] the year"), is the Jewish New Year. It is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora'im ("Days of Awe") which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. The day is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve (or Adam and Lilith), the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of mankind's role in God's world. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram's horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year".
Rosh HashanahA shofar - symbol
2013 datesunset, September 4 –
nightfall, September 6

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Good Catholic friends of mine run Pukka Pyjamas.  They sell high quality cotton pyjamas if you need any for Christmas presents.  Their website is: http://www.pukkapyjamas.co.uk/index.htm

Sir Percy NightshirtCheck out their offers of the month. :-)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday)
Woodlands Junior School is in the south-east corner of England
Maundy Thursday 2012 falls on 5 April
 What is Maundy Thursday?
Maundy Thursday - also called Holy Thursday, is the beginning of the three day celebration of Easter - the most important time in the year for Christians. This period ('The Triduum') is one big celebration, remembering the last supper, the crucifixion and the death of Jesus, and the Resurrection to new life.
Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.
The Last Supper
On this day, Christians remember the Last Supper. During the meal Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples. Christians continue to share bread and wine as part of their worship in church.
The Last Supper was probably a Passover meal – the meal which Jewish people share together to celebrate the time when God delivered Moses and the people from slavery in Egypt.
The night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane.
 cross When is Maundy Thursday?
Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. It is one of the lesser known days of the Christian calendar.
Maundy Thursday 2012 falls on 5 April
cross What is the origin of the name Maundy?
The name 'Maundy' is derived from the Latin word “mandatum”, meaning a commandment. Jesus Christ, at the Last Supper, commanded:
'And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.' John 13:34
cross The washing of feet
During the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples' feet. This act has sometimes been followed literally in history as a good way of reminding rulers that they are here to serve their subjects.
cross What once happened in England on Maundy Thursday?
In England, the custom of washing feet by the Monarch was carried out until 1689. Up until then the King or Queen would wash the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday in Westminster Abbey. (You should, however, note that the feet were first washed by Yeoman of the Laundry before the monarch had to wash them and kiss them!). Food and clothing were also handed out to the poor.
Maundy Thursday Ceremony
In Britain today, the Queen follows a very traditional role of giving Maundy Money to a group of pensioners. The tradition of the Sovereign giving money to the poor dates from the 13th century, from the reign of Edward I.
At one time recipients were required to be of the same sex as the Sovereign, but since the eighteenth century they have numbered as many men and women as the Sovereign has years of age.
Every year on this day, the Queen attends a Royal Maundy service in one of the many cathedrals throughout the country. 'Maundy money' is distributed to male and female pensioners from local communities near the Cathedral where the Service takes place.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Moon is 97% full

The March 2013 full moon will be out all night on March 26, shining in front of the constellation Virgo the Maiden. However, you’ll see the moon closer to Spica, Virgo’s brightest star, tomorrow night.  For the Northern Hemisphere, this is the first full moon of springtime. We in this hemisphere call it the Pink Moon, to celebrate the return of certain wild flowers. Other names are Egg Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, or Easter Moon. In most years, the Christian celebration of Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon of the Northern Hemisphere spring. So tonight’s Easter Moon heralds the coming of Easter Sunday on March 31, 2013.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


At the equinoxes, the tilt of Earth relative to the Sun is zero, which means that Earth’s axis neither points toward nor away from the Sun. (However, the tilt of Earth relative to its plane of orbit, called the ecliptic plane, is always about 23.5 degrees.)
See your local Sun rise and set times—and how the day length changes!
Find last spring frost dates.

Vernal Equinox Questions and Answers

Question: Why doesn’t the vernal equinox (equal night) on March 20 have the same number of hours for day and night?
Answer: Our former astronomer, George Greenstein, had this to say: "There are two reasons. First, light rays from the Sun are bent by the Earth's atmosphere. (This is why the Sun appears squashed when it sets.) They are bent in such a way that we are actually able to see the Sun before it rises and after it sets. The second reason is that daytime begins the moment any part of the Sun is over the horizon, and it is not over until the last part of the Sun has set. If the Sun were to shrink to a starlike point and we lived in a world without air, the spring and fall equinoxes would truly have ‘equal nights.’”
Question: According to folklore, you can stand a raw egg on its end on the equinox. Is this true?
Answer: One spring, a few minutes before the vernal equinox, several Almanac editors tried this trick. For a full workday, 17 out of 24 eggs stood standing. Three days later, we tried this trick again and found similar results. Perhaps 3 days after the equinox was still too near. Try this yourself and let us know what happens!

Signs of Spring

Spring is also the time when worms begin to emerge from the earth, ladybugs land on screen doors, green buds appear, birds chirp, and flowers begin to bloom. The vernal, or spring, equinox signals the beginning of nature’s renewal in the Northern Hemisphere.
You can track when the seasons change by recording animal behaviors and the way that the plants grow. Listen to the new sounds and observe what you hear and see.
How do you know that spring is coming? Share your comment below!

Spring Pictures

Our ecards are great photographs to send to family and friends.
Browse our full Spring Ecard Gallery.
Tree Peony After Rain. Send as ecard!

Spring Folklore and Verse

One swallow does not make a spring.
Bluebirds are a sign of spring; warm weather and gentle south breezes they bring.
In spring, no one thinks of the snow that fell last year.
Don’t say that spring has come until you can put your foot on nine daisies.
Spring-time sweet!
The whole Earth smiles, thy coming to greet.

Spring Equinox

The Vernal Equinox - Ah, spring! This season brings increasing daylight, warming temperatures, and the rebirth of flora and fauna. The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west.

Monday, March 18, 2013

St Joseph

Tomorrow is the feast of St.Joseph...

Glorious Saint Joseph,
foster-father and protector of Jesus Christ,
to you I raise my heart and my hands
to implore your powerful intercession.
Please obtain for me
from the kind Heart of Jesus
the help and the graces necessary
for my spiritual and temporal welfare.
I ask particularly for the grace of a happy death
and the special favor I now implore.

(Make your petition here...)

St. Joseph - Pray for us!


Saturday, March 16, 2013

May My Fellow Blogger Rest in Peace

"Shadowlands". We recently heard that she had died on 20.09.2012. Please say a prayer and if possible arrange for Masses to be said for the repose of her soul. Thankyou.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

God Given Right?

I see all the ‘Catholic Bashers’ are out in force today – must really annoy them that we have such a beautiful Holy Spirit filled Pope.  I am so tired of people who think they have a right to bash the Catholic Faith when they would be first up in arms if we were ‘gay bashing’.  I respect everyone’s religion – Muslim, Atheist, Buddhist, Hindu – so why can’t people respect the Catholic faith?  Why do they think they have the right to post ill-informed and sometimes simply ignorant information?  Yes there have been sexually abused children in the faith and we are rooting them out.  There have also been sexually abused children in the secular society (more here than anywhere!)– most cases the police will tell you are known to the family member – a relative.  Did you stop listening to music or watching TV because Jimmy Saville and others like him abused hundreds of children?  Did you stop having families because you were abused by a family member?  No you try and have good families and treat your children right.  Did you stop having education because a teacher turned out to be a paedophile?  Did you stop getting involved in politics?  No, you don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and tarring everyone with the same brush.  You stop using ill-informed arguments to defend your own illogical hatred – no peace and love there then!  The Catholic Church does more good around the world than most governments – and individuals I suspect – and many priests were interned in concentration camps.  There are many, many humble Catholics just serving and praying.  What are you doing to end abortion, treat the elderly with dignity and end of life care, serving the poor in Africa or other caring works?  What are you doing about the sexualisation of young children in schools?  What are you doing to make this world a better place? And let him without sin cast the first stone.  You are the ‘Pharisees’ of today – I doubt you will get the irony.  If you haven’t got anything respectful to say then don’t say anything at all and get a life.  Catholic social teaching emphasises support for the sick, the poor and the afflicted through the corporal works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and medical services in the world.  Catholic spiritual teaching emphasises spread of the Gospel message and growth in spiritual discipline through the spiritual works of mercy. The social Gospel espoused by Jesus and Catholic social teaching place a heavy emphasis on the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy, namely the support and concern for the sick, the poor and the afflicted.  Church teaching calls for a preferential option for the poor while canon law prescribes that "The Christian faithful are also obliged to promote social justice and, mindful of the precept of the Lord, to assist the poor." The Church enumerates "corporal works of mercy" and "spiritual works of mercy" as follows:
Corporal Works of Mercy             Spiritual Works of Mercy
1. To feed the hungry.   1. To instruct the ignorant.
2. To give drink to the thirsty.     2. To counsel the doubtful
3. To clothe the naked.  3. To admonish sinners.
4. To harbour the harbourless (shelter the homeless).   4. To bear wrongs patiently.
5. To visit the sick.            5. To forgive offences willingly.
6. To ransom the captive.             6. To comfort the afflicted.
7. To bury the dead.       7. To pray for both the living and the dead.
The Catholic Church is the largest provider of health services in the world. In 2010, the Catholic Church's Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers said that the Church manages 26% of health care facilities in the world, including hospitals, clinics, orphanages, pharmacies and centres for those with leprosy.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


"We have a Pope."  White smoke billows from the Sistine Chapel Chimney.

Friday, March 08, 2013


Battered and bruised he stood his corner
Words pummelled his face, his heart
She remained resolved, cruel
The wrestling ropes closed around her mind
He had fallen at the first round.