Monday, 30 November 2015

Fundraising


I am not sure if this happens a lot where you live, but this is something that happens a lot around here and to be honest it is getting a little out of control. I am talking, of course, about fundraising. Now, I am not against giving money to charity or for a good cause. Indeed I am known for my generosity and I often give at least one penny at the Sunday collection in church; even on those days when we Catholics excell at having a second and sometimes a third collection. That's three pennies in one day, I tell you.

No; what I am talking about is fundraising when people approach you and say that they will do something or other if you would sponsor them for charity. Often it is relatives or friends and you are immediately put under an obligation to put your hand in your pocket and sponsor them.

It's wrong, very wrong, I tell you. If someone wants to walk 50 or so miles why should I be punished by paying for it? If they want to take some exercise by walking aimlessly and hopefully lose some weight in the process, let them do so. Why should I pay for it? Or pay for people to swim long distances, or abseil down a building, or parachute from a plane.

It's ridiculous, I tell you. And just as ridiculous are the lengths people are prepared to go to to separate you from your hard earned pennies. A friend of mine suggested the other day that if he were to grow a beard for a whole month I sponsor him to back a particular charity. Well, I don't buy that. If he wants to be scruffy for a month that's his business.

Whatever next, I ask you? Will people volunteer to have a tattoo on their backside to be sponsored for charity? Mind you, if that person were a woman and she agreed to show proof of the tattoo I might well be persuaded to contribute a penny or two.

We've even had ladies featuring nude on calendars which they sell to raise money for charity. There are similar male calendars too; but not as good.

Anyway, just to prove that I am not a miserly Ebenezer Scrooge let me tell you right now that I am doing something for charity.

I shall be going on a first class holiday on a nice sunny beach for a fortnight or so where I will enjoy the local amenities and fine foods for charity. Will you sponsor me?

Saturday, 28 November 2015

VISIONS


Excerpt from "Visions" (ISBN 978 1536 976076)


His hands trembled uncontrollably. He looked at the envelope in the vain hope that it was addressed to someone else. No. It was his name all right. "Father Ignatius" it said in the same capital letters.
Obviously someone who knew him, or knew of him, was very angry to want to threaten his life.

The knock at the door made Father Ignatius jump out of his skin. He shoved the letter in his pocket and stood there trembling uncontrollably again.

Whoever it was knocked hard once again. Out of sheer stupidity, or perhaps because he was no longer focusing properly, the priest opened the door more as a reflex reaction to the knocking than anything else.

There standing on the doorstep was the biggest man he’d ever seen. He was well over six feet tall with broad shoulders like a rugby player. The young man in his early twenties towered above the priest. He had long scruffy dark hair and a fresh wound just above his eyelid. He was wearing dirty blue jeans and red sleeveless T-shirt revealing strong well-developed muscular arms covered in tattoos. He looked as if he could kill a person with one finger.
 
Half an hour later, when the last of the congregation had gone, Father Ignatius entered the church which was now silent once again. He turned off the main lights leaving just the one light on by the Sacristy door. The church was quite dark now, except for the flames from the candles on the Altar and by the statues in the side aisles. The smell of incense still lingered in the air. He looked at his watch and made his way to the front pew by the statue of the Virgin Mary. He knelt down and for a short while looked pensively at the flames dancing gently on the votive candles. The slightest breeze made the flames move backwards and forwards like synchronised ballerinas on a stage.
 
He’d been praying for half an hour or so when he heard the door at the back of the church open and then shut again with a soft thud as the spring pushed it back to its original position. He waited for the footsteps which would normally accompany such an occurrence but none were forthcoming.

He looked towards the back of the church but he could see no one in the darkness. The door was partly concealed by the confessional and a large statue of St Peter, so it could be possible that someone came in and was standing by the door hidden from view. On the other hand, someone could have opened the door, looked in, and finding the church empty just went away.

He decided to stay where he was and continue with his prayers. A few minutes later he heard footsteps at the back of the church. There was obviously someone there. His blood ran cold!


Friday, 27 November 2015

Galileo

We've mentioned Galileo before on this Blog but there's no reason why we can't mention him again. So here goes: Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) famous Italian mathematician, physicist and philosopher from Pisa.

In 1583, Galileo entered the cathedral in Pisa. Some men were carrying out some repairs and someone accidently set in motion a heavy lamp which was suspended from the ceiling. The lamp kept moving to and fro, to and fro, backwards and forwards. Galileo sat there on a pew and watched it move backwards and forwards ... backwards and forwards "you are feeling sleepy, very sleepy, your eyes are getting tired, your eyelids are heavy ..."

Sorry ... I got distracted by my own writing there. Exciting what? I'm so good at suspense that sometimes I surprise myself. Anyway, back at the suspense.

The suspended heavy lamp, (see what I did there with the word suspense?). As I was saying, the swinging lamp set Galileo thinking. He was easily amused. 

He noticed that the to and fro swings seemed to be timed almost the same. He put his fingers on his left wrist and counted his pulse. To his surprise the swinging of the lamp was almost the same as his pulse.

It was a Eureka moment.

He got in touch with a Swiss friend of his called Role the Tenth because he was the tenth son of a man called Role who called all his children Role. Anyway, Role the Tenth shortened his name to ROLE X. He was so excited by Galileo's discovery that he and Galileo invented a watch which works like a pendulum. It was the first time that pendulums were used for time keeping purposes.

People wore the watches on their wrist and went around swinging their arms to and fro, to and fro, to keep the watch working. Unfortunately, in doing so they often hit other people in the eye or in the face causing a lot of injuries. So the pendulum watch never took off as a successful idea. This did not deter Role X who went on to invent much better sought-after watches.

Back to Galileo, however, who also undetered by his watch experiment went on to invent the telescope. He took a long tube and put a glass lens at each end et voila.


Galileo placed the telescope by the window high up in his house in the attic and, remembering his adventure with Role X years previously, he started swinging the telescope to and fro, to and fro. He moved it to the left, then he moved it to the right, and then the left again.

And this is what he saw.
And this ...
And also this ...
Of course, those were the days before curtains in windows were invented. So Galileo put his telescope to good use by watching his neighbours' goings on all evening.

He was there for so long that his wife grew a little worried. She switched off the radio in the kitchen where she was listening to "Woman's World"; a popular programme at the time, and went up in the attic.

"What are you doing?" she asked Galileo in Italian. (She did not speak English, but even if she did, it was pointless speaking to Galileo in English because he did not know English either).

"Oh ... I am looking at the heavenly bodies" he lied as he swung his telescope upwards towards the sky.

His wife was suspicious about this but said nothing. It was after all a very cloudy night with not even a moon, so there was no chance he would have been watching "heavenly bodies" - not unless they were mooning him from their windows!
 
The following day, whilst Galileo was out of the house buying pizza for lunch, she went up to the attic and put a little ink on the end of the telescope from which you look. She knew from listening to the weather forecast on the radio that that very evening would also be very cloudy and therefore there was no point in watching up to the sky for planets or stars.

That very evening, Galileo pretended to be tired and went to bed early. As you've guessed, he spent all night watching his neighbours again.

The next morning he woke up with two black rings round both eyes. That's because he had gotten very tired watching for "heavenly bodies" with just one eye, so he alternated eyes to have a rest.

His wife challenged him and he confessed and told her the whole truth. 

Rather than be angry, which is what you would expect under the circumstances, or over the circumstances even; the clever wily lady invented binoculars to save one from having to change eyes when watching whatever it is you want to watch.

Which goes to show:  

Man might think he is clever. But in reality woman is much cleverer than him.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

God's Waiting Room

I'm sure it's happened to you, as indeed it happens to me every six months or so. I have to visit the doctor's for a check up with the nurse.

I wait in the waiting room with other people, most of whom look so miserable I'm sure they wouldn't bring a smile between them at a funeral; and I wait for my name to be called on the big TV monitor on the wall.

I fumble through the magazines most of which are so old they might as well be written in Latin, covering such exciting subjects like Equestrian Monthly, Yachting World, and Mountaineering. Why do doctors and dentists have these types of magazines in their waiting rooms? Looking around me, I doubt any of these people could take part in any of these sports anyway. I on the other hand ...

Anyway, I pick up a magazine, more to pass the time rather than interest, and learn to my chagrin that a ship called The Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg. Surely the doctor or his admin team can find more up-to-date reading matter.

I look up at the TV monitor every now and then to see if they are showing my name as next to go in. Every so often the screen shows adverts for vaccinations and immunisations, medical check-ups for all sorts of illnesses, health insurance, and even old peoples' homes and funeral directors. You can't get more cheerful than that, can you?

I sit there and worry; for no apparent reason other than worry is the thing to do when you're called in at the doctors. I'm sure there's nothing wrong with me. It is a routine half-yearly check-up and as in past check-ups they always confirm that I'm still alive. So all should be well. After all, I'm sure they would have told me if I were dead.

My turn comes and I go in to see the pretty young nurse. She smiles and asks me to sit down next to her and then reads off the computer monitor in front of her the results she has received from the hospital. She points at the screen and explains all the figures there.

Cholesterol levels, sugar levels, and this and that and this other thing too. Then she compares these figures to the last time I visited her to see if they are better or worse. Then she takes my blood pressure ... Is it any wonder it is sky high?

One improvement the medical profession can make is not to have pretty young nurses take your blood pressure. A dragon with flaming nostrils on the other hand would frighten one so much that blood temperature would probably freeze to below zero and register no pressure at all.

Anyway, she says my blood pressure is a little high and it is no doubt because I am here for a check-up. Yea right! Great diagnosis Miss.

But what has all this to do with the title to this article, and the photo of that nurse? I hear you say.

Well, whilst waiting in that Doctor's Waiting Room I often wonder what it's like waiting in God's Waiting Room. Fumbling through whatever magazines they have there. I bet you they're all in Latin or some language I don't know. Why can't the magazines be in English? I always thought God is English. After all, all the Bibles I've read are in English, so He must be English.

Anyway, I'd be sitting there in God's Waiting Room fretting and worrying about what He will say to me. Mentioning all the things I have done or omitted to do in my life on earth. All the things I've said or not said. Hurting other people. I wonder what results will show up on God's computer monitor and whether the results will be pleasing all round or not. What if His computer is wrong? But then, God is never wrong is He?

Too late to worry now. What's been done has been done and now is the time for the final reckoning. Now is the time to find out whether I am really "dead" for eternity or whether I'd be welcomed into His loving arms.

But then ... the moral of this story surely is ... just as we have plenty of opportunities now to keep our health in check and to monitor it when it is not as well as it should be. Surely now is also the time to monitor the state of our soul's health so that when we are in that Heavenly Waiting Room we'd have no reason to worry at all.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A Vision?



Father Ignatius was busy in his office dealing with some paper work when Eric, a young man in his mid-twenties, came in.

“I’ve changed the oil Father and gave the engine a good run. It’s as good as new.”

Eric was a car mechanic at the local garage and every now and then he came over to the parochial house to maintain the priest’s car and undertake any minor jobs that needed doing.

“Thank you” replied Father Ignatius, “I’ll await the invoice from your boss in due course.”

“Oh I see you got that picture of Jesus …” said Eric pointing at the wall. “The boss has the same one in his office at work.”

“It’s very popular …” mumbled the priest hoping that the youngster would soon leave. He had plenty of paperwork to get on with and he could really not afford the time for a chat.

“Did He really look like that?” continued Eric.

“Who?”

“Jesus … did He look like that? This is the picture painted by that nun isn’t it? What’s her name?”

Father Ignatius put down the letter he was reading and turned to Eric. It was obvious that although he wished to get on with his work the Good Lord had other plans for him.

“Her name is Sister Faustina. Her real name at birth was Helena Kowalska.”

“Greek was she?” asked Eric making himself comfortable in the armchair near the window.

Father Ignatius took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes with his right hand, as if to summon every once of patience that the Good Lord might send him. “Why now, when I’m busy,” he prayed silently.

“No Eric,” he said with a smile, “she was Polish.”

“That’s right; I knew it was somewhere foreign. Near Jerusalem where Jesus came from …”

“Not quite near Jerusalem!”

“And she actually saw Jesus and painted Him. That’s what I have been told. Do you believe that?” interrupted the young man eagerly. “I mean … she could have been lying. Can you prove that she actually saw Jesus and He looks like that picture?”

“Despite my age,” said the priest abruptly, “I can assure you I was not around when Sister Faustina was around. So I can’t actually prove what you ask for.” He then immediately regretted what he had said and continued in a more gentle voice.

“Look Eric, we are told that Sister Faustina back in 1931 had a Vision of our Lord. She saw Him dressed in white and standing very much as in the picture there. From His heart rays came out, one red and another pale, as you can see.

“The Lord spoke to her and asked her to paint an image according to the Vision she can see and to write ‘Jesus I trust in you.’ And that’s how we came to have this picture."

“Oh …” said Eric.

“Now you and I have two choices to make,” continued the priest.

“We can believe this is all true. Or we can believe she was lying and nothing really happened.

“If indeed the story is true and we chose to ignore it we would have lost a great opportunity to venerate the image of Christ; as He has asked us to do when He spoke to Sister Faustina.

“And what a great pity, and tragedy that would be! To ignore a request made by our Lord Himself.”

“I see …” said Eric pensively.

“Our Faith has a number of mysteries Eric,” continued the priest in his gentle tone, “things that we are invited to believe without any proof and without any evidence. That’s why they call it Faith. To believe in something when your common sense tells you otherwise.”

There followed a few moments silence whilst Eric digested the information he’d just heard.

“Does Jesus appear and speak to people these days too?” he asked finally.

“I believe He does,” replied Father Ignatius, “He certainly spoke through the Holy Spirit to Father John Woolley. Here, you can borrow his book …”

Eric picked up the book handed by the priest and read the title, “I am with you.”

He then asked, “Jesus performed miracles when He was on earth … Does He do so now? Do miracles happen now Father?”

“Yes … they do. Miracles happen every day to a lot of people. The sad fact is that too many are not willing to believe that they happen.

“Christ is alive and is amongst us now as He ever was. He speaks to us and guides us through His Holy Spirit.

“But hearts have hardened Eric. Plenty are not willing to believe.

“They may consider themselves Christians or Catholics but they don’t know what to believe anymore. They just go through the motions by going to church and by claiming they’re Christians.

“Christianity is not just a label Eric. Or a brand name. It is real. Christ is real and is alive today as He ever was. It is not an event that happened two thousand years ago which we commemorate as a Remembrance every Sunday. Christ is alive and here today. He is here in the Eucharist; He is here in the Holy Spirit who abides in our very soul, if we let Him. If we invite Him …”

Eric hesitated for a while and then asked “I’d like to really believe in all these things Father. I don’t know how …”

“That’s a good start … wanting to believe. Opening your mind and heart to the Lord.

“Pray about it. Ask God to help you believe. If you like come and join us at the Bible classes we hold every now and then here at the Parish center.

“Ask for God’s help and leave the rest to Him.

“Say what you can read in that picture on the wall, ‘Jesus, I trust in you’ and mean it every time you say it.”

Note: I am with you. Author John A Woolley ISBN 09508840-7-3 

More Father Ignatius books FREE HERE.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

CATS

Have you wondered how the cat gets it right every time? Here's a possible solution. Cats see things in slow motion because their brain to eye balls connections are superior to ours so although we are moving the cups, (or anything else), fast the cat is seeing it in slow motion and therefore able to follow which cup has the ball underneath it.

Either that, or this is a trick picture. I'll leave you to work out which. But take it from me. Cats and dogs, and flies DO SEE in slow motion. That's why a fly will fly away as soon as your hand gets near it. Same applies for a mosquito. Many creatures see things in slow motion.

Dogs do not see in colour but in black and white. That is why a dog will not chase a black cat at night, because he can't see it at night in the dark; and also because it is bad luck. If a black cat crosses your path when you are walking it is because it is going somewhere. That's why it is also bad luck to walk under a black cat.

All this is true because I read it in a book which I am currently writing.

Now look at this next picture.

You might think this cat is clever but I can tell you that he is actually stupid because he does not charge the proper rate for giving massages. He does all this work for a tin of cat food and a pat on the head. Mind you, on second thoughts, I think I too would do this for a tin of cat food and a pat on the head !!!

Now this next cat ...

I think is quite rude.

But be that as it may, if you are a cat lover, or even if you are not, then why not do yourself a favour and read ...

It's a humourous book about life with my cat.

AND

It's a FREE book folks. Yes FREE. And it can be downloaded from HERE.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

William Shakespeare

Settle down now, and pay attention. Today's History Lesson is about a famous Elizabethan who lived between 1564 and 1616 by the name of William Shakespeare. It is not known what other name he had outside of this period, but to many he was also known as the "Beard of Avon", because he was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in England and because he had a beard. But then, most people at the time had beards and they were not called the "Beard of London", "the Beard of Nottingham", or wherever else they came from.

Shakespeare's life is full of controversy and it is fair to say that he is the most talked about subject of conversation and debate in England (and elsewhere) apart from the weather. That is, if you have nothing else to talk about apart from Shakespeare and the weather. Some people like to discuss science, medicine, politics, religion, saving the planet, conservation, re-cycling and numerous other subjects, but they are not as important as Shakespeare and the weather.

One of the greatest controversy about Shakespeare is whether he actually wrote the 30 or so plays, sonnets and such like writings or not. The fact that they have been written is not in dispute; but their authorship is.

Can you imagine being the author of all these writings and be forever praised and lauded by everyone?

"To be or not to be?" to quote Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe or Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford.

So let's consider this controversy further for a moment and see what we know about old Bill the Beard.

He was an actor who went to London and made a small fortune in the theatre, and also by purchasing properties (theatres amongst others) which made him very rich. He returned to Stratford-upon-Avon and bought a large house and his fame spread.

Now then ... since no one actually saw him sitting at his computer late at night typing away furiously his many plays; it is safe to suggest that perhaps ... maybe ... there's a possibility ... that he was only the financial backing behind all these plays. He was a rich man, owned many theatres, and it is possible that he put on plays as a business; very much like a modern day producer puts on plays, or makes films or produces music records and CDs these days. It doesn't follow that today's producers write the plays or sing the songs on record; does it?

In time, Shakespeare's fame and plays became synonymous to saying "hoover" when we mean a vacuum cleaner, or "thermos" when we mean a vacuum flask. People went to see "Shakespeare plays" - that is plays produced and financially backed, but not written, by him.

Now, whatever the controversy about the authorship of these writings, one thing is for sure and un-disputed.

For years on thereafter, many generations of pupils have been forced to learn these plays and sonnets by heart for no apparent reason whatsoever, since they have no purpose in gaining you subsequent employment or career unless you wish to become a teacher and force another generation of students to study the same.

I remember as a child having to memorise several of the Beard's writings. The one that comes to mind with dread is from the play Antony and Cleopatra when Antony's lieutenant Enobarbus, once described Cleopatra's charms by saying: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety. Other women cloy the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry where most she satisfies."

Which loosely translated means "She is a good looker, what? Makes my monocle steam up, by Jove. Would love sharing a pot of tea with her!"

I remember my teacher saying I should remember these lines by heart and quote them in the exams as it would comfort the examiner and make him more liable to award me good marks.

Of course, as a child, I did not know what they meant; but I memorised these words and repeated them over and again.

Unfortunately, a few days later our history teacher was late because his mother had died that morning. To comfort him I blurted "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety."

I got expelled for three days from school as a result. For some reason, I also failed my history exams that year.

And there you have it ... William Shakespeare ... the Beard of Stratford-upon-Avon ... writer ... perhaps ... dreaded memory of my past ... certainly.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Missing Without A Trace



I’ve been missing for three days. Without a trace. No one knew I was missing … except me of course. I suspect none of you noticed my absence.

A few days ago the family decided to take Aunt Gertrude down South to visit friends leaving me at home alone with the dog, the cat and the goldfish. Oh bliss … a whole three days without Auntie's Australian accent grating on my nerves. Without a family demanding this and that and volunteering me for all sorts of things.

As long as I can keep the pets well fed I’ll have a peaceful break all to myself. Although at times the goldfish can be quite noisy when they chatter and laugh at me from their fishtank.

Let me explain that we live in a very old Victorian house which has a cellar spanning the whole floor area of the property. You enter the cellar from a door just under the staircase.

We don’t use this basement often, it’s mostly a storage area nowadays where we keep half a dozen bottles of wine lying lazily on a shelf which I built myself … slightly leaning to one side mind you … but still OK if you wedge a book at the end and it stops the bottles from rolling off.

We also keep some foodstuff down there, mostly tins of soup, various tins of vegetables and fruits and other household goods like detergents, washing liquids and so on. And books, plenty of books. I built a few more shelves in one corner which I call the library and we've put a number of books which we refer to every now and then. You get the idea … it's just a storage area for things we use now and then.

The basement used to be a small apartment for a servant or butler in years gone by … it has a small kitchenette and bathroom still fully plumbed in and in working order, and a tiny living/sleeping area. Originally I wanted to send our guest from Australia, Aunt Gertrude, down there; but I was over-ruled, as often happens in our houshold, much to the amusement of the goldfish.

Now where was I? In the basement … or about to enter the basement to be precise. I needed a book about Australian parasites so off I went downstairs as one would in such circumstances. 

As I got to the corner where the books are, there was an almighty crash in the house as the dog started chasing the cat who followed me down in the basement. 

The dog … huge as he is … did not quite fit in under the staircase where the basement door is situated, but his immense stature slammed the door shut. That’s when I heard a clunk … clunk … clunk … sound all the way down the stairs and at my feet.

Perhaps I should have mentioned that the door handle has always been a little loose. I’ve always planned to fix it … Lord knows I’ve been told often enough … but with that and the leaning shelves it was all a question of priorities. Which one to fix first … and neither was done!

I picked up the door handle and tried to open the door. No use … it would not work. And that’s how I went missing without a trace in my own house.

No one knew I was there. No use shouting for help. No one would hear me. No point in phoning for help. I didn’t have the cell-phone with me.

Try as I might to open the door but it was all in vain. An hour or so later I heard the phone ring in the house and the loudspeaker on the answering machine said “Hello … we’ve arrived safely … Oh … you must be out. See you when we return. Have fun. Bye!”

Great … what a prospect. Trapped in my own house for three whole days.

Now it is said that in such circumstances of extreme trauma one should sit down calmly, take deep breaths and concentrate. No need to panic.

Calm down and concentrate.

And nothing aids concentration more than a drop or two of wine.

Fortunately we have plenty of that here. Or beer if one prefers … which is also easily to hand.

After an hour or so of concentration I still had no idea on how to get out of my prison.

My mind was getting a little hazy … perhaps it’s the lack of air down here. There’s a small window at the far end of the basement leading to the back garden of the house. It’s at ground level when you’re out in the garden … if you see what I mean. It’s too small to get out of; and it is barred anyway. 

Let's take another drink and concentrate.

Now then … if I could get the cat out of the window he could go for help! (Hic ... pardon me ... hiccup!)

I could tie a message to his collar! No that won’t do … he doesn’t wear a collar. Too dangerous you see, he could get caught on a tree branch and injure himself. So we’ve never put a collar on him. Perhaps I could go out and buy him a collar. Ooops ... I can't get out ... hic!

Perhaps I could tattoo a distress message on his body … a bit extreme I must say! It’ll stay with him for life. “HELP … I’m trapped in the basement!”

The problem is I have no tattooing equipment whatsoever down here, and I’ve never tattooed anyone in my life let alone a cat.

What if I cut a message in his fur with scissors? Like some people do with their hairstyle when they cut their hair in different patterns? Would the cat stay still long enough until I finish cutting his fur I wonder?

I think I need another drink … hic!

Ah … I got it. This is certain to work. I could empty all these tins of peas … well some of them anyway … no one likes peas. I could tie them to one another with a long string and tie that to the cat’s tail.

He’d make such a noise running all over town that someone is sure to find him and read my message which will be written on one of the tins.

I emptied about a dozen tins. Peas taste awful when eaten cold you know … even washed down with beer. 

I tied the tins together. Wrote a message on several tins to make sure it is read. 

I called the cat sleeping happily in the corner. I tripped on the Australian book lying on the floor. The cat suddenly got up and shot out through the window.

Typical of that cat … un-cooperative to the last. He just would not help me in my hour of need.

I was found fast asleep three days later when the family returned home. And you didn't even miss me.

More stories about my cat in my FREE E Book  
"FELINE CATASTROPHES"

Thursday, 12 November 2015

THE PRIEST AND PROSTITUTE

ISBN-10: 150106570X 
ISBN-13: 978-1501065705

When Father Ignatius is suspected of murder his whole life is turned upside down. His faith takes a real shaking as he tries in vain to plead his innocence.

The Church is shaken to its very foundations and his parishioners jump to as many conclusions as they can find and start judging without any facts or evidence.

This is the time for the priest to find out who his real friends are. Or are they keeping close to him for ulterior motives?

“THE PRIEST AND PROSTITUTE” is a fast-paced story with believable characters and situations. A realistic self-test as to one’s faith and beliefs, as well as the ability to stay focussed on God when it seems He has abandoned you.

A tale of mystery, murder and intrigue as well as courage and self-control. Imagine what you would do if all the evidence points at you and you have no way of proving your innocence.

The author skilfully combines humour with suspense to deliver a Christian message relevant to today's society.

Victor S E Moubarak has published several books available from his website (some are FREE) or in Kindle format or paperback from Amazon

This is what our great friend and frequent visitor to this Blog, LULU, said about this book on AMAZON:

"A man of many talents, Victor, entertains us with a "Who Don It" in this offering! What I liked MOST about the story---the reminder to not jump to judgement based upon circumstances! Victor tells a story with a touch of tongue in cheek--always--and adds a lesson in morality and faith while weaving an intriguing tale of murder and mystery. The faithful stand by Father Ignatius, but most fall away and even call for heads to roll--reminiscent of the last days of Christ. A talented writer, Victor, has once again used the infamous Father Ignatius to keep us on the edge of our seats--while at the same time gently reminding us of important life lessons. A Great Read!"

THANK YOU SO MUCH LULU
I ENCOURAGE MY READERS TO VISIT YOUR BLOG.

And this is what MANNY said about the book on his Blog.

[Victor] recently wrote a full novel, The Priest and the Prostitute, with the Fr. Ignatius character, and when it came to my attention I quickly bought it off Amazon as a Kindle ebook.  I couldn’t put it down.  What a fun book, though the situation for Fr. Ignatius isn’t so fun since he’s accused of murdering a prostitute.  Here’s a short section, from the beginning of Chapter 4. 

One fresh late-August evening Father Ignatius arrived at St. Vincent at about nine o’clock just as it was getting a little darker.  He got out of the car and was on his way towards Parish House when he was approached by a blonde woman in her late thirties who’d just walked out of the church and made her way towards him.  He was surprised that the church was still open at this hour and he made a mental note to lock up before he got into the house. 

“Hello Father Ignatius,” said the woman as she stopped some four feet away.

It was a moment when one’s brain works at a million miles an hour trying to work out a situation and getting nowhere.  Her voice sounded so familiar.  So did her face.  Father Ignatius tried hard
to remember who she was and where he had met her before but it seemed his “little grey cells”
had let him down. 

“Don’t you remember me Father?” she said eventually, “I’m Joanna!” 

“Oh yes, hello!” he heard himself mutter. 

Joanna was an occasional visitor to the church on Sundays many years ago.  She was politely known as a lady of the night, and made no secret of the fact.  Many surmised that most gentlemen of the parish had at one time or another been entertained by Joanna.  Indeed she had confessed her sin many a time to Father Ignatius although she never named names. 

“Just hello,” she said, “No hug?” 

“I remember what happened the last time Judas hugged someone,” said Father Igantius and    regretted  saying it almost immediately. 

I’m going to stop there, because that’s a really good hook.  Isn’t that enticing?  The characters are idiosyncratically charming, and you really feel for Fr. Ignatius’ predicament.  Set in a North England town, presumably one where Victor lives, and though I’ve never traveled there it felt very immediate.  He captures it well I think.

THANK YOU SO MUCH MANNY 
I ENCOURAGE MY READERS TO VISIT YOUR BLOG

AMAZON LINK CLICK HERE AND HERE.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Waiting ... Waiting ... Nothing!


Many of us often pray. Sometimes, our prayers are prayers of thanks to the Lord, but, if we're honest, more often than not we pray because we're asking God for something. We may be asking God to help us find a job, get a promotion at work, better health, a good and happy marriage or whatever else we consider to be our need, or indeed our entitlement. Yes, I repeat ... our entitlement. Because many of us believe we're entitled to things just because we consider ourselves to be good. Life really isn't like that.

Many of us pray for something and in our heart we are really saying: "Come on God! You know I love you. I go to Church every now and then, and deep inside I am really good. Why don't you let me have ... (whatever we want at the time)".

As every parent knows, when children go on and on pesterring for something or other eventually, because we love them, we may well give way and answer their demands.

In fact, Jesus reminds us of this when He mentions the widow who kept pestering the judge day in day out until eventually he gave way and gave her what she wanted. (Luke Chapter 18). In this parable Jesus teaches us not to be discouraged and to continue praying to God our Father for our needs.

But what happens when we pray and wait, and wait and nothing happens? We pray for days, months, sometimes for years for something to happen to improve our lot and God does not seem to listen or answer. We don't know why. Perhaps He is busy with more urgent and pressing demands from someone else. Perhaps our demands are not such a high priority in His ever increasing in-tray. But as far as we're concerned He is not answering; and to be quite honest, we are running out of patience.

What then? When we wait and wait and nothing happens?

Is it OK to get angry with God? To stamp our foot on the ground like a spoilt child and go into tantrums throwing our toys out of the pram in protest?

I believe it is OK to be angry with God. It will not get us very far; but it is still OK.

God can take our anger. He did after all take all our anger when hanging there on the Cross. So a bit of stamping on the ground won't hurt Him that much.

But like any loving parent He will consider our demands, and if it is good for us, He will in His time and in His way respond.

Remember that God can see not only our past but our future too, and sometimes what we're asking for is not exactly what we should have. What is good for us in the long run.

So what should we really do when our prayers are seemingly un-answered. From experience, I believe we should continue praying and have patience. And then some more patience. We really need to trust Him that He knows best. Even if trust itself is stretched to the point of disbelief, we should continue to trust Him. Through gritted teeth even. Continue to trust Him just as a child trust his parents without questioning.

Difficult? Sure it is. But not impossible. I have known people whose life and whose lot has changed from bad to worse over and again. But they never gave up. They continued to trust Him.

And that's the road to Sainthood.

Saints are sinners like you and me; but they never gave up trusting Him.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Message from God

One day God was looking down at Earth and saw all of the rascally behaviour that was going on. So He called one of His angels and sent the angel to Earth for a time.

When he returned, he told God, 'Yes, it is bad on Earth; 95% are misbehaving and only 5% are not.

God thought for a moment and said, 'Maybe I had better send down a second angel to get another opinion.'

So God called another angel and sent him to Earth for a time. When the angel returned he went to God and said, 'Yes, it's true. The Earth is in decline; 95% are misbehaving, but 5% are being good.'

God was not pleased. So He decided to e-mail the 5% that were good, because He wanted to encourage them, and give them a little something to help them keep going.

Do you know what the e-mail said?

Okay, I was just wondering, because I didn't get one either!!!

Friday, 6 November 2015

Are you missing out?

Are you missing out on some humour at my expense?

My memoirs made me laugh so much I had to write them sitting down.

A book not to be missed especially if you are throwing it at someone.

Makes an ideal Christmas or Birthday present to someone you don't like. 

A book with non-boomerang qualities. Will not return when thrown.

The only book in the world written slowly to make it last longer.

Not edible but can be grilled or barbecued safely.

This is the book which made the Mona Lisa smile.


The very book which made The Laughing Cavalier laugh.



The actual book which made Whistler's Mother look out the window in disgust.

 

And it's the book which made Rodin's Thinker take off his clothes and sit on a toilet seat outdoors.




What will this book make you do?

ADDITIONAL NOTE: This is what Lulu, a friend and frequent visitor to this Blog, said about this book on AMAZON -

"I was first introduced to Victor's work in the blogging world. I was so enamored with his great sense of humor, that I never hesitated when he announced this book on his blog, "Time for Reflections:. It is so refreshing to read a humorous book filled with wit and humor without the need to spice it up with vulgar language or sexual undertones. Victor shows us, page after page, life is quite humorous--especially when you don't mind making yourself the brunt of the joke. An easy to read--delightful page turner--Victor has once again hit a home room with this little charmer!"

THANK YOU SO MUCH LULU FOR YOUR GREAT WRITE-UP. MUCH APPRECIATED.


Reasonably priced to encourage you buying it.


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Confession Time

"Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It's been about 18 years since my last confession ...

"Yes ... 18 years. I have written all my sins down in a book ... I was a teenager at the time and one day I went out with a pretty young lady and afterwards ...

"You don't want to know the details about that? But it was a serious sin. You want me to move on to a more recent sin. But ... but ... what if it was a really bad sin which happened again with another girl-friend years later, and then once again ...

"I don't understand Father, it took me ages thinking over my past sins and I wrote them all down in this book ... It's about 90 pages or so!

"I understand ... if I committed a bad sin in the past, say a mortal sin, you don't need to know about it every time I did it. It's forgiven because there are other people waiting to confess.

"You don't even want to know about the sin involving an armadillo?

" Yes, an armadillo ... it's a leathery armour-shelled creature.

"Well, I worked at the zoo and I spray-painted an armadillo blue and told visitors it was a newly discovered species. When my boss found out he fired me.

"Oh ... more recent sins, like last week? Well, I was a bit lazy on Wednesday and did not go to work. I drank a bit too much on Friday night. And I took the batteries out of the remote control and told my wife it was broken; so we watched the football all night instead of Downton Abbey."

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Silent Wives

I have just bought the latest satellite navigation system for my car. It is called, believe it or not, "Silent Wives".

The instructions in the manual explain: "This navigation system uses the latest technology and is as accurate as you would wish it to be. It is like having your wife sitting next to you and guiding you every inch of the way to your final destination. Your wife can now relax in silence as "Silent Wives" shows you the way!"

I used it a few moments ago and recorded what the female voice on the machine said:

"Drive down this road for 0.5 miles and then turn left into Market Street.

"You should be turning left into Market Street shortly.

"You are going a little fast in a built up area. Slow down.

"Watch out for that old lady crossing the road.

"You are too close to the parked cars.

"Turn left now ... left ...left ... not this left, the other left ... I mean right!

"You took that right turn too sharpish. Where did you learn to drive? The Clown School of Motoring?"

I tell you folks; this navigation system is the best. You should try it.

APOLOGIES to any lady readers. I hope you have a sense of humour.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Praying to Saints and the "dead"


Today, I wish to talk about something that is perhaps a little controversial, especially amongst non-Catholics: praying to Saints to intercede for us, and praying for the dead.

As Christians, we believe that our souls live on after our death. And that we shall be with God in Heaven, unless …. OK – no need to go there for now.

So if our deceased relatives and friends are in Heaven with Jesus; should we pray for them as some people do?

They are already in a happier place than down here on earth. Are we praying for God to look after them? He is already doing that. Are we praying to them and asking them to intercede with God on our behalf?

Well, here’s a subject for a debate if there ever was one.

There are people who believe we should not pray to anyone but God alone. So praying to dead relatives (or Saints) to intercede for us is perhaps a step too far.

Or is it?

As Christians, we believe that people like Mary, the mother of Jesus, Joseph, his earthly father, Peter and the other disciples are all in Heaven with God.

Is it wrong therefore to speak to them and say something like: Peter, in your moments of torment and confusion, you denied Christ three times; I’m sure you understand how I feel right now that my Faith is weak. Please help me in increasing and maintaining my Faith. (Or words to that effect).

Is it wrong to relate to a particular person (Saint) who once lived on earth and to communicate with them as we would with God?

In doing so we are not by-passing God, going behind His back, to obtain favours that He would not approve of. We are perhaps, in our human way, relating to someone human like us, who has lived on this earth like us, who has found favour in the eyes of God.

Having spoken or prayed to these individuals, the next question is: Do they respond?

How do you explain the many instances of miracles that happened, and still do, in the name of Saints?

I am thinking about Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorje as well as other miracles performed as a result of prayers said to people like Padre Pio, Pere Charbel Makhlouf and others.

Did these people have anything to do with the miracles performed? Did God grant the miracles of healings asked for in their name? Or did these people (Saints) themselves perform the miracles (i.e. their living souls)?

Remember, the Disciples performed miracles when here on earth – so why not perform them in Heaven?

Certainly questions for interminable debates. Yet, at the end of the day it all boils down to one’s beliefs and one’s Faith.

If we really believe that our departed relatives live on – then why not speak to them in prayer? Why not tell them what kind of day we’ve had? Why not ask them to speak to God on our behalf?

Is it truly that far-fetched a proposition?
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