‘Saints’ Category Archives


SILENCE IS GOLDEN: spiritual silence is even better

by Arnold Jago in Lifestyle, Money, Prayer, Saints, Silence

General Motors put their latest car — the new Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid — on the American market in December 2013.

It goes 50-odd km before its 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery goes flat.

One attraction is its silence – silence maximised by features like extra thick window glass, sound-damping insulation etc.

The ELR costs $78,000.

Noise pollution is something people will pay to avoid.

* * *

Noise stops you thinking properly.

Supermarket music helps you to buy things which a little silent thought might lead you to leave on the shelf.

But isn’t the most distracting noise of all the “noise” we create inside our own heads — broodings regarding money, popularity, power etc?

Saint Mary MacKillop loved to spend time in silence with God.

She was a woman of action — yes, but to her, activity was a “less agreeable duty” which mustn’t interfere with her primary interest, the contemplation of God.

When too preoccupied to stop her worldly duties, she tried to make all her life, even when most busy, a prayer.

She wrote to Father Woods, “God’s presence seems to follow me everywhere and make everything I do or wish to do a prayer . . . .



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JOHN PAUL II: now apparently a saint.

by Arnold Jago in Modern Church, Recent Developments, Saints

Back in November 8th, 2009, this blog said:

“Will Pope John Paul II ever be declared a saint? John Paul was a great frequent flyer, a good speechmaker. He wrote poetry. He had charisma, humour, whatever. But did he do his job? Was he an even half-decent pope? Did he insist on maintaining the purity of Catholic doctrine handed down by past Popes? Did he maintain discipline. . . ?

“. . . praying with the Dalai Lama, kissing the Koran, calling Martin Luther a man of “deep religiousness” etc. — which might make him a nice chap, a celebrity perhaps — but a Catholic saint?

“Possibly the Church’s worst-ever failing in history surfaced during his time — the homosexual domination of Catholic seminaries and the subsequent priestly child-molestations. John Paul II never really come to grips with this scandal.

“No, Pope John Paul II wasn’t a very good pope. Nothing is gained by pretending otherwise. Should we not focus on praying for his soul, and quietly, respectfully, drop any talk of him being a saint . . .?”

* * *

But now, today, April 27, 2014, he’s being canonised a saint after all.

So was I wrong before? Perhaps so.

It probably hardly matters at the personal level.

You and I might better focus on living a life pleasing to God and on ourselves trying to show saint-like love to those we meet day by day.

Leave the politicking, canonising etc. to those whose job it is.



SCIENCE, EDUCATION AND MORALS: keeping things in proportion.

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Education, Ethics, Saints, Truth

A quote from a famous modern scientist:
“My atheistic scientific colleagues…
“I cannot tell by their behaviour…
“that they are particularly different from the religious ones…
“there is a kind of independence between the ethical and moral views and the machinery of the universe.”
* * * I
Is he right?
There is no way to prove or disprove such proposition to a modern “scientist”.
It being a judgement not susceptible to being diminished to the level of statistics and equations – and thus outside the mental world of those trained in today’s conventional materialistic science.
Science in the modern sense being intrinsically circular.
* * *
A mediaeval philosopher, not a scientist in the modern sense, worked on a different basis. The fitting philosophy of life that young people need, said he, is that they should be:
“First…instructed in logical matters, because logic teaches the method of the whole of philosophy.
“Secondly…in mathematics, which neither requires experience nor transcends the imagination.
“Third… in the natural sciences which, though not transcending sense and imagination, nevertheless require experience.
“Fourth…the moral sciences, which require experience, and a mind free from passion.
“Fifth…matters concerning wisdom and divine science, which transcend the imagination and require a strong intellect.”
(quotes from Richard Feynman (1963) and St Thomas Aquinas (1271))


POPE JOHN PAUL II: soon to be a saint(?)

by Arnold Jago in Celebrities, Common Sense, History, Modern Church, Saints

Last week, Pope Francis cleared Pope John Paul II for sainthood, approving a miracle attributed to his intercession.
Some questions might arise in the mind of a visitor from Mars.
If “Saints” are people the Church recommends as persons whose example of Catholic living is worthy to be followed…does Pope JP2 really qualify?
Did some major acts of JP2 set a non-Catholic non-example?
How about, in 1986, when he called a meeting in Assisi, Italy, of leaders of all world religions to “pray for peace”?
Each religion being allotted a venue to use for their devotions?
In the church allotted to the Buddhists, a statue of Buddha was placed on the altar.
On the altar.
How about that?
Did not Jesus himself command his first followers to go out and “make disciples of all nations, baptising them…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded….” (Matthew, chapter 28)?
Nothing about one religion being as good as another so long as you are “sincere” etc.
When an early attempt was made to convene an all-religions congress (in Chicago in 1893) did not the pope of the day (Leo XIII) forbid all Catholics to be involved in it?
Can any subsequent pope who condones Catholic participation in comparable carryings-on 90 years later qualify as a good pope?
Or a good Catholic?
Let’s not forget to pray for Pope John Paul II’s soul.



by Arnold Jago in Contemplation, Lifestyle, Modern Church, Saints

Pope Francis has described the moment when he was announced as the newly elected pope.
How Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil, who was sitting next to him, embraced him and told him “not to forget the poor”.
“And that word went in here,” the new pope told the media, pointing to his head, “I immediately thought of Francis of Assisi . . . a man of poverty and a man of peace”.
“How I would like a poor Church for the poor!” he added.
So this pope called Francis wants Catholics to — like Saint Francis — reject worldly ambitions and embrace a spiritual renewal . . . .
Based on voluntary poverty.
* * *
Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) is the son of an Italian emigrant railway worker.
Reminiscent, perhaps, of Jesus Christ, who was the son of a refugee carpenter.
Jesus himself told his disciples, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven . . . if you would be perfect, go and sell what you possess and give to the poor . . . and come, follow me.”
Seems like that is the mentality we should have.
How to best put it into practice?
Step one is to thank God for reminding us of this essential truth.
Then ask him to show us what he wants us to do about it.
Then do it.


ON SAINT MARY MACKILLOP’S FEAST DAY: a new fund to help poorer Catholic families access Catholic education

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Education, Faith, Modern Church, Saints

Mother Mary MacKillop died 103 years ago today, on August 8 1909.
August 8 is now recognised by the Church as the feast day of Saint Mary of the Cross — as she is now known by Catholics.
Mother Mary is honoured especially for her pioneer work in establishing Catholic schools for poor children in the 1800s.
She was certainly never a fan of government schooling. She believed no Catholic child should ever have to attend a secular, non-Church school.
Mary MacKillop considered government schools a menace to the Faith.
She wanted all Catholic children educated by the Church.
* * *
At a special Mass today at St Stephens Cathedral, Brisbane, a special fund is to be established — known as the Brisbane Catholic School Access Fund — its aim being to ensure fair and equal access for all students to attend Catholic schools.
Brisbane’s Archbishop Mark Coleridge comments that, “St Mary gave her life to God through helping those in need and in doing so she became an enduring gift of God to the Church in Australia and around the world”.
* * *
Money for the Access Fund has already started coming in. Organisers report that $150,000 has been received to date, including one donation of $60,000.