The problem with ‘doing God’ as an MP
It was odd to hear Theresa May saying that Easter was more important than Christmas, said Fraser Nelson in the Telegraph. It is rare to hear religion discussed in Parliament.
“There are certain unwritten rules governing Christianity in British politics. Those who want to get to the top learn to observe them,” he wrote. “What was normal a generation ago becomes deeply strange today. Religious people who don’t want to be seen as weirdos learn and adapt.”
Nelson observed a different approach in America. He wrote that one MP told him: “In the US, you have to pretend to be Christian to be elected. In Britain, you have to pretend not to be Christian to be elected.”
Britain is no longer an openly Christian country. “It’s natural that the collapse of religion should be accompanied by a general lack of understanding about what faith is all about. But British Christians have always been rather bad at explaining and defending themselves.”
Religious MPs, he said, “need to work out how to ride the wave of public opinion. Do they go with the rules, or try to change the rules?”
Choose life – it is not a fait accompli
The Cross offers us a choice, wrote Fr Ray Blake in his blog. “The Cross is about the vulnerability of God, it is about God placing himself into our hands,” he wrote.
“Man can choose to embrace God for all eternity or to reject him, to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. We can choose between life and death.”
On the Cross, Fr Blake wrote, God appears as powerless, and we are given the power to accept or reject him. “God removes his choice by choosing to love us” – which points to a more general truth. “God accepts us with utter love and we are called to make a decision of accepting or rejecting him. Catholic theology never teaches God or his Grace is irresistible. In each of our acts we can either reject or accept God.”
The spiritual benefits of fasting
Fionn Shiner wrote in Catholic Stand about the lessons he has learned from fasting on bread and water.
As a 25-year-old male, he wrote, he needs to be careful about impure thoughts. But when fasting, “all those thoughts dissipate. When your mind is trained on hunger and the weakness of the body the last thing you will be doing is having lustful thoughts.
Going to bed thinking ‘I’m starving’ and ‘Can’t wait for a bacon sandwich tomorrow’ is much better for the soul,” he wrote.
Fasting also helps prayer. “When you have an empty stomach that jabs at your consciousness it reminds you of the minor sacrifice you are making and for Whom you are making it: God. Each rumble turns the mind skyward.
“Fasting weakens us and makes us humble and it is humility that brings us on our knees to the Lord who takes our sufferings in his hands and turns it into something beautiful.”
✣ MP Jacob Rees-Mogg tries to pray the rosary every day, he has told Conservative Home, although not the “full 200 Hail Marys”.
The MP also said he has never had any real doubts about the faith, or wondered whether it was all true. “I’ve always believed it, even though as a child I did not enjoy going to church,” he said.
He attends Extraordinary Form Masses whenever possible. The New Rite is perfectly valid, he said, but the Old Rite still has a particular appeal. “I think it is richer, the texts are fuller – a lot has been taken out for the New Rite – it focuses more centrally on the Eucharist, rather than on the other parts of the Mass which in my view are less central, and it is more thoughtful – there is more silence.”
✣ Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia is being turned into a cantata.
Entitled Letizia d’Amore, Stelle e Precipizi (The Joy of Love, The Stars and The Precipices), the cantata for reciting voice, solo, chorus and orchestra will debut in the cathedral of Cremona on April 26.
The Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life praised the creators: “the poetic genius of Davide Rondoni combined with the musical genius of Federico Mantovani”.
✣The week in quotations
The development system should never be used as a Trojan Horse Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See representative to the United Nations, on population control Speech at the UN
A model of altruism, an ark of salvation and a source of certainty and truth Pope Francis on the Church Good Friday Stations of the Cross
I am Catholic now!!! YouTuber Lizzie Estella Reezay after being received into the Church Twitter
I can also make mistakes Eugenio Scalfari, after his papal interview New York Times
✣Statistic of the week
250k Eucharistic Hosts given by a Colombian diocese to Venezuela amid a flour shortage Source: CNA