Search Results for 'when will the lord '

The Last Judgement. The Louvre.

At first sight, there might seem to be nothing to say. ‘You know neither the day nor the hour’, as the Lord says, and again, ‘it is not for you to know the time or moments’. On the other hand, He does foretell the signs of His return, and tells us to judge that He is ‘near’ when certain things take place.

There is an impressive amount of patristic testimony assigning a period of between 6,000 and 7,000 years to the history of mankind. The Scriptural basis for this is the combination of Genesis 1 (7 days, of which only six are said to be completed) and 2 Peter 3:8 (that a day is as a thousand years). Here are some examples:-

Epistle of Barnabas: ‘ And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it. Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, He finished in six days. This implies that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifies, saying, Behold, today will be as a thousand years (chapter 15).

St Irenaeus: ‘The six hundred years of Noah, in whose time the deluge occurred because of the apostasy, and the number of the cubits of the image for which these just men {Ananias, Azarias and Misael, in Dan. 3} were sent into the fiery furnace, do indicate the number of the name of that man in whom is concentrated the whole apostasy of six thousand years” (Adversus Haereses V, 29).

St Hippolytus: ‘we are obliged to discuss the matter of the times, of which a man should not speak hastily… 6,000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day on which God rested from all His works. …”A day with the Lord is as a thousand years“. Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled’ (Second fragment on Daniel).

St Cyprian: ‘What, indeed, do we find in the Maccabees of seven brethren, equals alike in their lot of birth and virtues, filling up the number seven in the sacrament of a perfected completion? Seven brethren were thus associating in martyrdom, as the first seven days in the divine arrangement containing seven thousand of years, as the seven spirits and seven angels which stand and go in and out before the face of God, and the seven-branched lamp in the tabernacle of witness, and the seven golden candlesticks in the Apocalypse, and the seven columns in Solomon upon which Wisdom built her house’ (Treatise XI, Exhortation to Martyrdom, 11).

St Victorinus: ‘To those seven days the Lord attributed to each a thousand years; for thus went the warning: In Your eyes, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day. Therefore in the eyes of the Lord each thousand of years is ordained, for I find that the Lord’s eyes are seven {Zech 4:10). Wherefore, as I have narrated, that true Sabbath will be in the seventh millenary of years, when Christ with His elect shall reign’ (On the Creation of the World).

St Hilary: ‘After six days, the aspect of the Lord’s glory is shown: that is, six times of a thousand years having gone by, the honour of the heavenly kingdom is prefigured’ (Commentary on Matt.17,1).

St Jerome: ‘ “A thousand years in thy sight as yesterday“.  From this passage, and from the epistle which is attributed to the apostle Peter, I conclude that the custom comes of taking a thousand years for one day; with the result, that is, that just as the universe was fashioned in six days, so one believes [credatur] that it will last only six thousand years, and that afterwards will come the sevenfold and the eightfold number, when the true sabbath will be kept, and the purity of the circumcision [i.e. baptismal innocence] will be restored’ (epistle 140.8).

St Gaudentius: ‘We wait for that truly holy day of the seven thousandth year which will follow those six days, that is the six thousand years’ (Treatise 10).

St Augustine: ‘Now the thousand years {of Apoc. 20}, as it seems to me, can be interpreted in two ways. It may indicate that this event happens in the last thousand years, that is, in the sixth millennium….Alternatively, he may have intended the thousand years to stand for the whole period of this world’s history’ (City of God, XX, 7). {However, in his commentary on Ps. 89, St Augustine finds fault with those who combine the verse ‘thousand years are as one day’ and the week of creation to conclude that the world will last six thousand years, referring to our Lord’s words about it not being for us to know the times and the seasons.}

Cornelius a Lapide, in his commentary on the Apocalypse, also cites St Cyril, St Isidore and St Germanus of Constantinope for the same opinion, but without adequate references. On the other hand, he cites St Ambrose as opposing it, on the grounds that more than 6,000 years had already passed from the creation. Lapide notes that Ambrose was not following the Hebrew chronology: according to Lapide’s own calculations, the world was created 3950 BC.

Among later authors, Bellarmine says ‘there has always been the famous belief of those who hold that the world will last 6,000 years, since God created the world in six days, and one day in his sight is as a thousand years.’ He remarks that it is has not yet been possible to refute this opinion by experience. He praises Augustine’s moderation, whom he understands to consider this opinion ‘probable’.

Lapide likewise considers the opinion to be sufficiently common as to count as ‘a probable conjecture’. But given our Lord’s words, ‘of that day and hour no one knows’, he adds that we should understand the number 6,000 to mean that the world will not last more complete millennia than six; but whether it will fall short of the seventh millennium by years, decades or even centuries, he says, we cannot tell.


David Steel, the author of the 1967 Abortion Act, has been forced under oath to admit that Cyril Smith confessed to him that he was a child molester in 1979. Steel brazenly described the allegations against Smith as “scurrilous hearsay” only a year ago, Not only did Smith continue as a Liberal MP until 1992 but Steel put him forward for a knighthood. Lord Steel is exposed as a facilitator of child rape as well as murder.


…in the course of expressing his sentiments on the death of Martin McGuinness.

I’m just pleased that the world is a sweeter and cleaner place now. He was not only a multi-murderer, he was a coward. He knew that the IRA were defeated because British intelligence had penetrated right the way up to the Army Council and that the end was coming. He then sought to save his own skin and he knew that it was likely he would be charged before long with several murders which he had personally committed and he decided that the only thing to do was to opt for peace. He claimed to be a Roman Catholic. I hope that his beliefs turn out to be true and he’ll be parked in a particularly hot and unpleasant corner of hell for the rest of eternity.


The reform of the House of Lords is urgently necessary. Her Majesty the Queen is in her ninetieth year. At the accession of the next monarch it is essential for the continuity and stability of the realm that the Coronation be carried out exactly as in 1953. There is some hope for this given the present political constellation and the seemingly remote prospect of a change of governing party in the foreseeable future. One serious obstacle will be the great prominence of the hereditary aristocracy in the Coronation Rite. This will be the crack through which secret and open republicans will seek to prise open the question of the Coronation Rite and subvert it and the monarchy with innumerable banalities.

If the House of Lords is reformed prior to the Coronation in a manner that preserves its essential character but which is unimpeachably democratic this danger can be eradicated and the sovereignty of the King in Parliament protected for future generations.This seems like a tall order but I believe it is possible. How?

  1. The old county boundaries should be restored. Larger urban areas should be exempted from their jurisdiction. Each resulting City and County must then be given, in addition to its County or City Council an elected Lord Mayor or Lord Sheriff. The people of each areas may choose by plebiscite whether the Lord Mayor/Lord Sheriff should be directly elected by the electorate or by the council. Anyone standing for election in this way must either already be a Peer or have served as a member of the House of Commons. These Lords Mayor and Lords Sheriff will then sit in the House of Lords as Lords of Parliament for as long as they retain office in their City or County and represent the interests of each.
  2. The Lord Mayor of London would be appointed in the same way as he is now.
  3. The existing Peers who today compose the House of Lords should be divided into groups according to their party with an additional cross bench group. The members of these groups should then be arranged in order of creation (life or new hereditary) or accession (ninety hereditaries).
  4. The number of Lords of Parliament should be set to 400 (roughly the capacity of the Lords Chamber).
  5. After each General Election for the House of Commons the Lords Sheriff and Mayor should be supplemented by Peers from the party and cross bench lists in order of seniority so that the final number of Lords of Parliament is in exact proportion to the percentage of votes cast for each party in the General Election (the party lists) and of electors who did not vote (the cross bench list).
  6. The Lords Spiritual, the Earl Marshal and the Lord Chamberlain would remain as now in addition to the 400.

In this way the Lords will remain an appointed chamber of broadly the same character as today but with a democratic mandate. Nevertheless, the connection of the majority of the Peers in the Chamber to the electorate will be less direct preserving the primacy of the House of Commons.


(c) The Mansion House; Supplied by The Public Catalogue FoundationThe original purpose of the House of Lords was to assemble all those who actually rule the various parts of the kingdom in order that they might give counsel to the crown and their consent be obtained for proposed taxes and statutory legislation. They are the complement of the House of Commons which is an assembly of the elected representatives of those who are ruled. The reform of the House of Lords, so vital and delicate a matter, should be true re-form. It is is important that the functions of the House of Commons are not replicated. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has often expressed his enthusiasm for an elected executive  and greater fiscal autonomy in local government. The counties and cities of the United Kingdom should once more be given unitary local government. They should each have an elected council and an elected Lord Sheriff or Lord Mayor. A proper cursus honorum should be observed to ensure competence and local knowledge and avoid demagoguery. Only individuals who have served on the city or county council and then in the House of Commons should be eligible to stand for election as Mayor or Sheriff. The House of Lords should then be composed of all the Lord Mayors and Sheriffs of the United Kingdom. Proper dignity would be restored to local government and the House of Lords would be restored to its original purpose of gathering the actual rulers of the localities and introducing their knowledge and power into the highest counsels of the realm.

Alta Trinità beata,
da noi sempre adorata,
Trinità gloriosa
unità maravigliosa,
Alta Trinità beata,
da noi sempre adorata,
Trinità gloriosa
unità maravigliosa,
Tu sei manna saporosa
e tutta desiderosa.
Tu sei manna saporosa
e tutta desiderosa.

Gender-neutral toilets in Brighton

Free abortifacient drugs for schoolkids in Scotland

I was talking to an old Trotskyist the other day who works as a lobyist for various causes in Parliament and he admitted that the House of Lords is unimaginably superior as a legislative chamber to the House of Commons. He admitted that any democratic reform of the Lords will be for all practical purposes a disaster removing one of the few fully functioning and effective parts of the Constitution. Nevertheless, he is convinced that either the Lord’s must be elected or abolished altogether. Why? Because there is no other source of legitimacy than the ballot box and however practically damaging it may be pragmatic functioning reality must bend to the prevalent theory of the popular origin of political legitimacy.


Now the prevalent theory of the popular origin of political legitimacy is false. As Leo XIII teaches,

“Indeed, very many men of more recent times, walking in the footsteps of those who in a former age assumed to themselves the name of philosophers, say that all power comes from the people; so that those who exercise it in the State do so not as their own, but as delegated to them by the people, and that, by this rule, it can be revoked by the will of the very people by whom it was delegated. But from these, Catholics dissent, who affirm that the right to rule is from God, as from a natural and necessary principle.” Diuturnum §5

Man is a social and political animal he inhabits by his very nature a law-based society and so the state derives its existence and authority from nature and the Author of Nature. Nevertheless, as Leo goes on to say,

“It is of importance, however, to remark in this place that those who may be placed over the State may in certain cases be chosen by the will and decision of the multitude, without opposition to or impugning of the Catholic doctrine. And by this choice, in truth, the ruler is designated, but the rights of ruling are not thereby conferred. Nor is the authority delegated to him, but the person by whom it is to be exercised is determined upon.”

So there is nothing in these principles to exclude democracy or a democratic element in a mixed polity. In fact, rather the reverse. The very fact that man is a social and political animal means that (all other things being equal) human flourishing is well served by the fullest practicable participation of the multitude in the political life of the State. But there is no necessity that both houses of the legislature be elected, nor any need to sabotage a perfectly good system on the basis of a false and pernicious theory of popular sovereignty quite alien to British constitutional tradition.


This being said, when the Lords rested on unbroken tradition it was a lot easier to maintain its position. Now that Blair has fiddled with it and turned it into an appointed chamber of life peers it is harder to defend it against further alteration. Once ‘reform’ is begun it is necessary to produce reasons for the preservation of a settlement that is anyway novel. This is not easy. As the Irishman said ‘I wouldn’t start from here’. Even if there had been no reform it would be very difficult to justify in the abstract a hereditary chamber of aristocrats originally designed to represent the actual powers in the land in a society based on agrarian and feudal military foundations at the end of the twentieth century when none of these forces have any longer any weight.


It seems highly likely that the English Parliament was originally developed in the image of the Dominican Constitutions in which there is a chapter of the the rulers (Priors or Prior Provincials) and a chapter of the representatives of the ruled (the Definitors, two from each house or province). Legislative proposals are read three times and must secure the assent of both chapters. The ‘First English Parliament’ met in Blackfriars Oxford under the auspices of Simon de Monfort who knew St Dominic as a child and whose father was the commander of the Albigensian Crusade. Were one to apply the Dominican logic to the Lords one would need to rearrange the country back into Shires and Boroughs with directly elected Lord Sheriffs and Lord Mayors who would both exercise executive functions in the localities and sit in the Lords.


Advantageous though such a system might be if one were starting from scratch it is not at all in the spirit of British constitutional development to create such a scheme on the basis of a theory and impose it on existing reality. In the Lords as it stands we have a great pool of experience and knowledge broadly representing ‘the establishment’  in a way which does in a sense correspond to the traditional function of the chamber. Whether or not its democratisation is strictly necessary (it isn’t), in the current political climate it is necessary to avoid outright abolition. As I see it the present chamber has three advantages:

1. The members serve for life and so cannot be controlled by the party machines.

2. The members are far better educated and informed than the MPs.

3. As non-politicians or elder statesmen their judgement is less clouded by ambition.

This is why The Lords is so much more effective than The Commons as a legislature and these are the three assets one would wish to preserve if possible while engineering ‘democratic legitimacy’ for the upper house.


My solution is therefore as follows:

A) Keep the existing House of Lords under that name and appointed exactly as it is now.

B) Arrange all the Peers into party lists based on the parties who already have representation in the Commons and then an additional list for the Cross Benchers.

C) Rank each Peer in the list according to how long ago they they were raised to the Peerage.

D) Fix the number of Lords of Parliament (i.e. able to sit in the Chamber and vote) at 800 (or whatever the physical capacity of the chamber is).

E) At every House of Commons General Election the exact percentage of the national vote that each party achieved is calculated and that percentage of the upper chamber will be filled by each list of Peers until the next general election starting with the longest serving and ending with the most recently elevated.

F) The percentage of spoiled/illegible ballot papers and votes cast for parties who secured no representation in the Commons will be allotted to the Cross Bencher list.


This system would retain all the advantages of the current chamber while constituting the purest form of Proportional Representation (the ‘List System’) and so securing full democratic legitimacy. On the other hand because the individuals themselves would not have stood for election personally it would preserve the supremacy of the Commons. Using the date of elevation to determine seniority of the Party List would ensure the Peers remained immune to pressure from Party machines and the existing pool of experience and knowledge would be retained in tact. There would be no need for the confusion, expense  and embarrassingly poor turnout of additional PR-based General Elections.

… for His mercy endures for ever.

fecit mihi meisque magna.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I say, rejoice.  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

That’s all for today.

Except, again, for the boy: emoticon-0157-sun

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

Is this not a summary of Mass in one sentence? I was thinking this yesterday as we recited the divine mercy chaplet led by the PP, all of us  kneeling before Our Lord on the altar.

Did I mention I love my parish? I love my parish so much I even quite like the flying wire-mesh angels, though I cannot argue against my opinion that sanctuaries designed after the introduction of the new missal tend to be a mess, and that ours is no exception. Did I mention I love our pp? He preaches most excellently well and offers Mass with devotion and recollectedly. The family-life-themed stations of the cross through the streets of the  parish were a series of perfect short sermons delivered through very powerful speakers, echoing through the blocks of flats around us.  Looks like a bouncer, delicate words, most edifying example. [And a crotchety git in person.] Did I mention the drumming and wailing of the neo-cats in the “undercroft” is really really annoying, but worth putting up with for the effect it seems to have on the parish in general? Did I mention I love the organist? It is not easy to accompany the ordinary of the Mass well, especially not the Gloria, nor to prevent long things like the Te Deum becoming the Tedium. He is a magician, and the instrument is a good one, together they lift the prayer and do not crush it. Did I mention we sang the Te Deum yesterday in thanks for the election of the Pope? Did I mention I love the fact that of the nine priests in the parish (one of the trendy young bearded ones in the photies under the wire-mesh angels, pp in the bottom photie) only one yawns his way through Mass? The crowds on Sundays, the lines of people walking to church on Sundays and feasts? The daily exposition of the Blessed Sacrament? We’ve even got a proper bookshop.

To think I nearly didn’t take this flat.

To think of my poor little parish in West Lothian, where the folk group played over and over again a small selection from an old edition of Hymns Old & New, when they didn’t have more interesting plans for Sunday than going to Mass. A little later someone discovered CDs of Celtic Sacro-pop, and we sang along to those (I jest not). A religious decided he liked the parish and used to say Mass to help out the pp (who had two or three parishes) – in the summer vac he announced that since it was the holidays, he wouldn’t preach, but would tell jokes instead.  His sermons were a joke anyway, so  the material change was not great. It was so sad. It shouldn’t have been sadder for the folk in the parish being so great, but it was. Nivver mind social justice, how about ecclesial justice?

[update: more photies of me parish church: Warszavka.

You can see it in the previous post as well, looking as though it’s in the middle of the world’s most horrible concrete jungle, which it’s not.][and I’ve just discovered four thousand people can fit into the church at one time – certainly on Maundy Thursday one had to check carefully if there was enough space to kneel].