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My Heroine of the Olympics: Meseret Defar

An Orthodox Christian, Meseret Defar,  entrusted her 5km race to God with the sign of the cross and reached the finish line in 15:04:24, beating her fellow Ethiopian rival Tirunesh Dibaba, who was the favorite to win. Teary-eyed, she proudly showed the picture of the Virgin Mary with the Baby Jesus that she carried with her for the entire race. After the finish, she took it out, knelt down and prayed, then kissed it and showed it to the cameras several times. She was one of a number of athletes who openly shared their belief in Christ. These athletes left the BBC commentators at a loss for words when praying or blessing themselves,  and the UK blogosphere has rightfully commented on this. (Read here for a good example.) 

Today on the feast of The Assumption, our Parish Priest linked the homily with the obvious love of and dedication to Our Lady that Meseret Defar has. Her joy at winning the gold, was accentuated beautifully by her display of gratitude to Our Lady.

He encouraged us to contemplate our Christian Journey and consider it similar to that of a life of an athlete having many facets such as:  sacrifice, dedication, failure, emotion, fighting a battle of will, vision, an ultimate goal and determination. Our ultimate goal being to reaching Heaven one day. He referred to Our Lady’s Journey of Faith as a model we can look up to for inspiration and enlightenment. One which contained all of the above elements, not withstanding pain and suffering.


We need to defend our Faith.

Image from Wikipedia

Last night I watched the final of three episodes about  ‘Catholics’ , A BBC production. To say I felt disheartened by the wishy-washy Catholics interviewed by the journalist would simply be more than an understatement!!. In this final episode, Catholic women  at Westminster Cathedral seemed to have been chosen at random and interviewed about their faith as Catholics, and how their faith has shaped their lives. By and large they seemed to be rather strange and rather needy, (with the exception of a mother and children), lonely individuals who have found solace in the routine of the Mass and the beautiful surrounds of the Cathedral. Not one of them seemed to be LIVING THE FAITH. Not one of them uttered anything about the importance of God’s Word in their lives and that they attended Mass in order to get closer to God  through His Word and most importantly, by receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in Holy Communion. Not one of them mentioned that they have an important role to play in British Catholicism today!

Given that they were interviewed on how Catholicism has shaped their lives, they could be forgiven for not mentioning the real reasons that Catholics attend Mass. I could turn a blind eye to the lack of certainty about what the Church teaches, and excuse this with ,’well the editor chose the juiciest bits to air’…..but I felt let down as a fellow Catholic, by the unfurling and  shaping of a uniquely personal type of Catholicism by these women, who seemed to have had absolutely no Catholic backbone and need to uncover the Truth, that can only be uncovered by searching, asking and searching again. This is something I continue to do every day of my life.

The viewers are introduced to the female staff, volunteers and congregation of the cathedral. Set against the busyness of cathedral life,  the meetings are brief but intense encounters that describe what it is to be a Catholic woman in Britain today. To be sure, they seemed completely unhinged from true Catholicism, and seemed to have created a kind of Catholicism they can ‘live’ with. Either you accept Sacred Tradition and all that the Church teaches, or why bother to turn up at the party at all?

We meet Rose who  is second-in-charge of the cathedral’s sacristy, preparing the altar for six daily Masses and making sure the priests have all they need. A convert, Rose is someone for whom Catholicism is an anchor in life, but who does not seem to be too sure of her facts.

Jennie, on the other hand, is a cradle Catholic who feels her education by nuns was repressive, with an unspoken emphasis on sex – and especially abstaining from it. She feels her Catholic ‘indoctrination’ was a cross for her generation to bear. Despite that, she staffs the cathedral’s information desk once a week and feels her Catholicism is a valued part of her identity, having developed over the years into an appreciation of the spirit of faith more than the letter of the Church.

On the steps outside the cathedral, a retired doctor who feels alienated by the Catholic Church’s teachings on Aids and contraception, makes her way through the conversation picking and choosing what takes her fancy, and then expresses her disgust in the sex scandals that have perforated the Church walls with its recent history of child abuse. No longer practising, she nonetheless feels her Catholic identity has provided her with an important moral compass for the chaos of life. No doubt, these morals will  have been hand-picked, relative to her status quo.

I lifted this comment  (http://marymagdalen.blogspot.com/)to post at 1catholicsalmon, as it so clearly demonstrates the blatant lack of understanding about Catholic Living and Worship, displayed by many ‘Catholics’ in attendance at Mass, and it expresses my own sentiments about Catholics who are neither here nor there in their devotion to God and His expectations.

This comment was written by a visiting American Catholic who attended Mass in England:

 I was in England last weekend for a family christening and attended a couple of Masses. I was horrified by, not only the lack of reverence, but the lack of basic politeness shown in the church. People talked and laughed loudly (adults more loudly than children) both before and from end of Mass, and as for the christening – many of the attendees noisily conversed throughout the ceremony! As I mentioned to someone afterwards, these people would not behave so rudely if they were at the theatre or visiting a friend’s house. The priest, who for the most part, followed the rubrics, did not tell people to be quiet. It was as if he had given up; he smiled benignly and spoke to the congregation as if the mean age were about six. If children are baptised into homes where the parents don’t practise and live immorally, if when they go to church, the priest does not demand reverence for God, and preach the fundamentals of faith and morality, especially against the most widespread sins of the day, then where are people going to learn their faith, and what is good and evil? Children ought not be baptised unless at least one of the parents is practising the faith and truly committed to raising the child in the faith. Nominal Catholics have been churned out on a large scale since the sixties, and it kills the Church, and mocks God.

Perhaps I’m being harsh, but actually what I ‘ve written comes straight from the heart. It’s time to stand up and be counted!!!!

Marginalisation of Christians in England.


Image from Mike Duran

1catholicsalmon received a comment recently from an atheist who was derisive of the fact that Christians are being marginalised in England, so I thought I ‘d post some obvious examples of this fact as a taster for those who believe this to be untrue. Below are what I believe to be excellent examples of bias and discrimination against Christians in Britain. The links are worth following.

1.Christians face discrimination in workplace, say church leaders.

2. A leading Catholic barrister has said that a student union motion at University College London which forces Catholic organisations to invite pro-abortion speakers to pro-life events is “completely illegal”

3.Christians a minority at ‘biased’ BBC where staff are more likely to be atheists or non-believers.


4.Challenge to PM on aid bias against Christians

5.Catholic church accuses BBC of ‘anti-Christian‘ bias

6.Archbishop Peter Smith criticizes UK Courts for bias against Christians

7.Marginalising Christians: an excellent document.

8.Anti-Christian Bias & Marginalisation of Christians in the UK pt.1

9. Lord Carey warns ‘Christianity marginalised’


10. Bideford Town Council prayers ruled unlawful.


As I finish off my post for today, the presenter James O’ Brian from the radio station LBC (London’s Biggest Conversation http://www.lbc.co.uk/),  prepares to discuss his and other Christians’ reticence to admit that they adhere to Christian religious parameters . Will prove to be interesting listening. The fact that one of the biggest radio stations in London is airing this programme is indicative of the fact that the secularist agenda to rid English society of  Christian freedoms is alive and well.