Monthly Archives: August 2016

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Several medieval European courts retained a court jester. One of his functions was to be a thorn in the side of the royals, especially the monarch. The jester’s job was to stop the great and the grand from thinking too highly of themselves. Rulers were usually surrounded by sycophants and flatterers. They needed jesters to counterbalance the praise and admiration that were heaped on them, to stop them believing that all the fine things said about them were really true. The Pharisees in our Lord’s day believed themselves superior to the rest of the Jewish people. Their very name, meaning ...

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Fatima (2)


ADEAMUS CUM FIDUCIA (Hebrews 4:16) At the end of her earthly life Mary of Nazareth was taken to heaven body and soul. Why? So that her Immaculate Heart could fulfill its eternal destiny and continue the work for which the Almighty had created her. When we speak of someone’s heart, we speak of that person in their truest and deepest nature. Our heart is what we are. If we say that someone has a loving heart, a generous heart, a pure heart, we are referring to how they live their life, and how that life touches ours. When we venerate the ...

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At the end of her earthly life the Blessed Virgin Mary was taken to heaven, body and soul. This dogma proclaims an essential truth of the Christian religion, a religious truth necessary for our salvation. Did our Lady actually die, or did she begin the life of the resurrection without undergoing bodily death? The 1950 papal definition of the dogma left this question open. The precise details of how God raised His mother nigh the throne are not available to us because they are not necessary for our salvation. As with so many articles of the faith, the Church proclaims ...

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St Laurence’s martyrdom earned him a place in the Roman canon and the ancient basilica built over his tomb in Rome is one of the seven major churches of the city. Laurence was one of Rome’s seven deacons, administering the Church’s goods and giving alms to the poor. He was a confidant of Pope St Sixtus II, who suffered martyrdom in the year 258 during the persecution by the Emperor Valerian. A few days after the pope, St Laurence was apprehended and executed. When St Sixtus II was led off to die, he told Laurence that he would follow him ...

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Castle Howard


The mistake of the rich man wanting to expand his barns and increase his capital was not that he planned ahead. We should think about the future, and in this world money will nearly always be part of our future. His mistake was to think only of his own future, and  of his future in this world only. He forgot that no man is an island. He forgot that we all have spiritual and material responsibilities not just to ourselves and to our nearest and dearest, but also to our neighbours, and to the wider community. We need to keep ...

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