Missing the bus

Let us suppose, as some have dared to maintain, that hell is merely a place a vexation and sorrow where the captive soul only undergoes a mitigated, limited suffering.  Let us imagine, on this supposition, Satan and his accomplices surpassing themselves in rebellion and pride, and saying to the God who rejected them, “We are in good shape, and we possess a tolerable enough existence for us to agree to do without You forever.  It is true that we are far from possessing eternal bliss, but we have a quality of life and repose that is our own work, and we are content with it; if we are not radiant like Your angels, at least we are not Your subjects; we do not serve You or obey You.”

Such would be the sentiments of every creature shut out from God’s bosom if he succeeded in rejecting his heritage without experiencing pain that is intense and unending, like the happiness he freely and obstinately spurned.  Were God, in order to alleviate the misery of the devils and the damned, to allow them but a shadow of good, a slender hope, or a drop of water to refresh them, they would cling to that shadow, that semblance, with all the strength of their exhausting, gasping will; they would strive with their whole soul after that crumb of solace, seeking to beguile themselves with it, and to delude themselves as to the extent and depth of their misfortune; and one would have to be ignorant of man’s nature to imagine that he would not resign himself to this mitigated hell, rather than bend the knee and submit.

So if hell is not a deluge and overwhelming onslaught of unspeakable and eternal sufferings, making the guilty feel the whole weight of the hand that chastises them, then, in the fight between good and evil, man will forever be the victor; and the Lord of heaven will be the loser; every knee will not bend before Him as He foretold.

Thus, it is a prime necessity for divine glory that the man who has insulted Him by proving to be obstinately and systematically rebellious should be subjected to extreme, endless and incomprehensible torments in proportion to the offence against divine glory.  He must endure unbroken heartache and pains, together with absolute, total separation from any creature able to divert and amuse him; enveloping pains that do not permit him to see, whether above his head or at his feet or round about him, anything except desolation and terror, and this, so that he may acknowledge the greatness of God whom he has repudiated, and that, the extremity of his anguish forcing from him the homage that goodness was unable to attain, he may exclaim, like Julian the Apostate at his death: “Thou hast conquered, O Galilean.”

Fr. Charles Arminjon, The End of the Present World & The Mysteries of the Future Life, pgs 183-184


Belgium: 8 dioceses, 1 military ordinariate. 71 seminarians, of which 35 for the diocese of Naumur (Bishop Leonard’s diocese).

France: 95 dioceses in France itself and nine overseas. 756 seminarians, of which about 80 are in the diocesan seminary of Frejus-Toulon.


Sitting with some fellow MAs of God’s Own University, we did a count of those who had studied with us (those who were students at some point during a period of about five years) and who were now priests or religious.  We got to 30 or 40, I think, which must be a fair proportion of the priestly/religious vocations of the UK.

(Belgian numbers from Fr Tim, French from the episcopal conference website and my memory).

Berenike's Barry BikeNot quite my old Lamborghini, but I love it very much anyway. The basket for the front has to sit very high to avoid the lamp, which makes for an amusingly wobbly ride when it is fitted (or did – it’s a bit knackered after my destruction testing it with books and vast quantities of potatoes). It has a broad sturdy luggage rack at the back with strong built-in stretchy  bands for holding things on, a 100% chain guard, and a tres helpful immobiliser thingy so I don’t have to find somewhere to chain it outside the ironmonger’s, the butcher’s, the grocer’s, the patisserie, the chemist’s, the newsagent’s, the optician’s, the other grocer’s, the shop with herbal stuff, the cobbler’s, the bookshop,  …

It has been long anticipated with joy, hope, grief and anxiety. Well, here it is:

Oremus et pro Iudaeis Ut Deus et Dominus noster illuminet corda eorum, ut agnoscant Iesum Christum salvatorem omnium hominum.


Flectamus genua.


Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui vis ut omnes homines salvi fiant et ad agnitionem veritatis veniant, concede propitius, ut plenitudine gentium in Ecclesiam Tuam intrante omnis Israel salvus fiat. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

It clearly asks that the Jews be permitted to recognise Jesus Christ as the the Saviour of all men. Furthermore, the fourth ut carries the implication that the Old Law is not salvific, for the Jews must be saved as the Nations have been through entering the Church. No doubt it will be poorly spun in the media but it has the same content as the old prayer.