Friday, June 14, 2013


There seems to be a new trend that I missed before.
But now I see it everywhere I look.
And using my 'retrospectoscope', I realise now that in fact I have been seeing this trend for a long time.

Don't suck in your breath expecting the worst. This is a good trend :-)

Consider these words:

 "They have brought shame to the family and the entire community."
"They are losers".
" If you are alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness."

The words of a (loving) uncle?
Actually yes.

And this picture?

The killing was committed by a Nigerian (in the UK).
Both of these examples demonstrate what I call 'self-policing'.
The family of the Tsarnaev brothers showed their disapproval of their bombing of the Boston marathon.
The Nigerian community of the UK came out strongly to condemn the actions of one of their own.
Do you come from a self-policing family or community? Are you a part of the self-policing mechanism of your community?
Will your brother or sister or mother 'tell it as it is' when you do something not so honourable?
Or will they defend you to the bitter end, knowing you are wrong?
I have been impressed lately by all the self-policing I see around me. Which reminds me of the self-policing I witnessed a long time ago when I failed to see its significance.
I attended a wedding a while ago where the groom's brother (the best man) said to the bride:
"If he (the groom) misbehaves, don't get your Dad, call me instead. I'll whip him into shape for ya."
(Um, for some reason the bride's father, in his speech didn't feel inclined to reassure the groom that he would 'whip his daughter into shape' if she misbehaved, lol.
But hey, who said this world was supposed to be a fair world :-)
The point about self-policing?
It gets the next generation thinking. Hard.
The Tsarnaev brothers were dubbed 'losers' by their own uncle.
What a tuly shameful position to be in.
Michael Adebolayo was effectively disowned by his own community.
A fate worse than death to a previously 'family-orientated' and 'community-orientated' man.
The next generation of would-be bombers and axe-murderers would surely take note of the public shaming of these outcasts by their own families, and rethink their next move.
At least one would sincerely hope so.
I had really thought self-policing was out of fashion.
But it looks like it's back in big time :-)
A person who is from a self-policing community soon learns to self-police himself or herself.
Those who are not 'policed' in this way are left to their own devices and continue on their wayward path to destruction.
So it is with bated breath that I watch to see if this old but renewed trend will continue.
It is brutal shaming from one's nearest and dearest, on the most public of stages (the worldwide media), but perhaps it happens all too often when the damage is already done.
Hopefully it starts when the toddler starts stealing jam tarts from the cookie jar :-)
And what about parallels with the SMP?
I don't know what happens on the other (male) side of the fence, but I notice that feminism is a potent disabler of self-policing among women.
A woman cannot be 'policed' by anyone around her, lest she be 'offended'.
In many ways, she is left to her own devices against her own best interests.
Which puts extra pressure on her own conscience and moral character, both of which are by default 'underdeveloped' under the jurisdiction of feminism.
A vicious cycle which is difficult to break.
Sometimes 'free rein' is a bad thing.
But under the right conditions, it can be a wonderful thing.
The only way to create the 'right conditions' is to shoot for an ambience of ubiquitous self-policing.
Is this achievable?
I think so.
Somehow yes, it must be.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Awww, how beautiful...

For those who are dying to know, last Sunday was the feast of Corpus Christi.

Beautiful enough...for afterall, the body of Christ saved us all from eternal damnation (if you believe in that sort of thing :-)

But, this feast is also bang in the middle of First Holy Communion season around these parts.

So I walk into Mass, and it looks like there is a wedding in Lilliput :-)

Why are the brides and grooms so small? I wonder to myself.

No, not brides and grooms, silly Spacetraveller.
Boys and girls aged 8 and over receiving the Body and Blood of Christ for the first time.

Something like this:


Now, the Church has changed the rules regarding First Holy Communion, I hear.

I did this at age 7, and a year later I was confirmed.
Now I hear you can't do FHC until you are 8 at least, and you can't be confirmed until age 11 or 12.

I think this is good.
The Church is making progress.


In my opinion, these sacraments are the start to the whole process of building up a person (who in this case is Catholic).

These kids haven't dressed up in their finest clothes for nothing.
They need to be at an age where the symbolism of the ceremony can be grasped by them.

Starting with the girls, (and I remember this distinctly aged 7), it is drummed into you that you dress up in the same white clothes you were dressed in to be baptised (usually) as a baby, to be confirmed, to be married and to be buried. There is a certain continuity to these ceremonies they keep enforcing on you :-)

You go through rigorous preparation for each sacrament (except in baptism where your parents do it for you).

You maintain the same virtue you had at FHC and Confirmation through till the next sacrament in your life journey whether it be the sacrament of Matrimony, Holy Orders (or Consecrated Single life).
The colour white is significant in all these sacraments.

For the boys, the colour white is of course not mandatory, but I notice that a lot of the boys in last week's ceremony were wearing white.
Is this 'projection'?

But the message is clear for the boys too.
Your moral responsibilty begins at this age. You (and your female counterparts) are the future of your families, your communities and society at large. You have a great responsibility as the men of the future - the protectors of civilisation, the husbands, fathers and mentors of the future.

The Church will support you. Your parents will support you. The community at large will support you. Until we can't.
Because we died.

And then it's over to you.

I love symbolic ceremonies of this sort.
Because they fulfil an important role in a young person's life.

I recently talked  about 'giving a positive', in this case to a young girl.
First Holy Communion is a classic representation of that.

These children have worked hard to get to their FHC day. Some parishes even have exams for these kids to take!

The pretty dress is nice, yes. But you MUST understand the meaning of why you are wearing the dress.

So you must also for any other ceremony where you stand before God wearing a white dress :-)
Do you understand why you are standing there in front of people you know reciting words?

The good of humanity depends on the answer to this question.


My mother was one of those preparing the kids of our parish for their big day.
So guess who was roped in to help with the party for the kids?

Let's keep this one rhetorical, shall we?


I pray for all the young persons all over the world going through this big step in their lives.

Sacraments are afterall, a channel of grace.

May they receive graciously, the beautiful channel of Grace that is First Holy Communion, Amen.
The same sentiment to the participants of other 'coming of age' ceremonies of this type - Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Traditional Initiation rights, etc.

This was played at our ceremony.
Ave Verum Corpus is a favourite of mine anyway. But in the context of the feast of Corpus Christi and a beautiful First Holy Communion Mass, emotional Spacetraveller was choking up :-)

I know....



Take it away, chaps:

And a grand 'Exultate Justi' from John Williams by way of congratulations to the citizens of the future.