The Pilgrim’s Menu

When I was a small child, once when a friend or colleague or relative of my father’s ate with us, cannot remember if it were at home or in a restaurant or in a pub, or on holiday, as we were eating, that man suggested to me —

There are two ways to eat your lunch. Either eat what you like best first, and the rest later ; else deal first with what you like less, and save the best for last.

I knew immediately that this wasn’t just about the food, but that it was about food as well, so that I considered that advice at start, and long, from a mostly gastronomical perspective, to discover that as to food, I prefer saving the best ’til later.

But the question has stuck with me since those 1970s days, leading then to a question of what is my aesthetic of life ? Take now, or save ’til later ? That was a FAR more complicated question, not so quickly nor simply answered !!

But also, what is the Best ? And if you find it, take it now ? Save it for later ? How to partake of this meal of life ?

And so, confused and yet interested and intrigued, whilst the gastronomical lesson was well understood and appreciated, I spent many years considering the deeper problems, and yet picking here and there in the meal of life, unsure whether, best first ? or best last ?

Only after a friend suggested I walk with her, and her boyfriend, to Santiago de Compostela, and after divers alarums and excursions, abandoning and then returning to the Way, then finally on a black Autumn night arriving in Santiago a second time did I think : is this what I’ve been saving for later ?

Didn’t know, but it was clearly among what’s best, in the extraordinary poetry of the moment, in the blackness of the city under a black sky and in a black air leading to the blackness of hopefully where to sleep. But there was a light shining up there, in the midst of it, a beacon of hope.

And at the very End of that Way, my Camino found its Start.

And so the year after, I walked from Paris, “properly”, alone and all the Way, and on that Way I found He Who Truly is Best — God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

He has taught me that Best isn’t just either at start nor end !!

The Start and the Middle and End are One, and in the Moveable Feast of our lives, of our Pilgrim Ways, and of our Faith and Love and Spirit, the menu is rich indeed.

Into the West

I am very likely to be resuming my current (lengthy) (and lengthily delayed) foot pilgrimage to Fátima, Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes, then home next week, from Lleida in Catalonia.

It will likely be very hard at the start, i.e. for a few weeks, but then isn’t all life ?

Permanent Pilgrims

We are strange creatures.

(And my legs used to be a lot shorter)

There are people who get stuck on the Camino Francès and never leave.

I have been tasked by a friend to think about “gyrovagues“, though it seems to me that this is also a question about dilettantes, amateurs, “permanent pilgrims“, tourigrinos, not-real-pilgrims, pseuds.

But it would seem to me that gyrovaguerie is a defectiveness in a specifically Monastic Vocation, and not something that could be attributed easily to the Laity.

There is however such a thing as the error of permanent pilgrimage, whereby people fail to realise that the end of the Camino is where it starts. Within and with God.

And the start of the Camino is in the purpose of it.

The Error of the “permanent pilgrims” is that they suppose the walking and the journey itself to be the purpose of it, instead of understanding that these things are merely the means to an end.

They put their understanding into not purpose nor even desire nor question, but into the material dusty pathway in its most physical irrelevance.

Whereas we are all being called to our Lord Jesus Christ ; and even the most material End of our Ways to Saint James is Home, not elsewhere.

The “permanent pilgrim” instead supposes that the Way is somehow endless, away from responsibility, away from familiarity.

But he fails to find what he sought in Santiago de Compostela, and so he supposes that the fleeting satisfaction of his walk is what he found.

And so he repeats.

The Pilgrim simply seeks to return home, the long way ’round.

George Cardinal Pell: My Catholic Faith sustained me during my Time in Prison

God Bless Cardinal Pell.

Catholicism Pure & Simple

FromFirst Things:

There is a lot of goodness in prisons. At times, I am sure, prisons may be hell on earth. I was fortunate to be kept safe and treated well. I was impressed by the professionalism of the warders, the faith of the prisoners, and the existence of a moral sense even in the darkest places.

I was in solitary confinement for thirteen months, ten at the Melbourne Assessment Prison and three at Barwon Prison. In Melbourne the prison uniform was a green tracksuit, but in Barwon I was issued the bright red colors of a cardinal. I had been convicted in December 2018 of historical sexual offenses against children, despite my innocence, and despite the incoherence of the Crown Prosecutor’s case against me. ­Eventually (in April of this year) the High Court of Australia was to quash my convictions in a unanimous ­ruling. In the meantime, I…

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The Hermeneutics of “Hermeneutic”

Western wall

I have publicly chided Archbishop Viganò for seemingly not understanding the word “hermeneutic” — but in a spirit of fairness, I have to and I must concede that nor does Sandro Magister …

A hermeneutic is not some sort of “intellectual attitude towards doctrine” because that would be a pretty good definition of the Modernist Heresy.

And if Viganò is steering uncomfortably close to Modernist Error, then it would be perfectly dishonest not to point out that Sandro Magister is steering pretty close to it as well.

Both men are proposing, quite erroneously, that the Hermeneutics in question are to be defined by political & ideological considerations and political & ideological disagreements between Catholics. That is exactly Modernist, and both men are therefore engaged in factional schismaticism and flirtations or more with formal Heresy.

I also take note that Sandro Magister failed to quote the text of Pope Benedict XVI that is the most pertinent to this question of Hermeneutics, which is rather dishonest of him.

A Hermeneutic is just a fancy way of saying “how a certain person interprets certain sayings or writings in such-and-such circumstance” — so that when a mother sends her young son out to the shops & market with a shopping list, the boy’s hermeneutics let him understand that “tomatoes” means a certain particular weight of a certain variety of tomatoes to be purchased at a certain particular trader’s, because he understands very well what his mother wants and has expressed to him in that single word ; whereas an entirely different person with a different manner of interpretation would necessarily interpret that same item on that very same list in a completely different, and likely erroneous, manner.

As you read this post, you are filtering it through your own Hermeneutics, and they will determine and define your reaction to and opinion of what I will have written.

And both of the fringe factions in the Church, the so-called “rad-trad” traditionalists and the FAR larger faction of “progressive” “spirit of the council” revolutionaries have developed Hermeneutics of Rupture whereby they have ceased to be like that young boy clutching his mother’s shopping list, fully conscious of the proper and correct interpretation of “tomatoes, two tins tuna, spaghetti, cheese, loo paper, wine, biscuits, milk, ham, bread, newspaper, fags, water“.

The small boy reads the shopping list with a Hermeneutic of Continuity.

Science v. Religion


In the Western world, Religion has never attempted to substitute itself for Science — not in Classical Greece ; not in the Roman Empire ; not in the Middle Ages ; not in the Modern era.

Indeed, those who claim that there’s any “truth” in the cliché are simply displaying their own ignorance and indoctrination.

The Spirit of Anti-Council

ap6210110125I have been banned at LifeSite News for daring to point out that Archbishop Viganò’s latest text overtly calling for a revocation of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is not only completely schismatic, but is indeed formally Heretical.

See : Viganò at LifeSite

(I would BTW be unsurprised if this banning were at the personal request of Viganò himself, as he has recently been quite active at that website)

But apparently to defend the Church and an Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church against Heresy and Schism is now a bannable “offense” at that site.

I wrote :

I entirely refuse and reject this foul manner of heterodoxy against Holy Church.

No good apparently … and deleted by their Moderators.

I have been de-platformed.


There is a certain type of “spirit of anti-council” stuff that is equally as Modernist as the “spirit of the council” rubbish, and it is just as destructive, just as uncatholic, and just as inspired by the Enemy himself.

The Heresy of Modernism is NOT simply whatever constitutes modernity in the present state of the Church, including BTW so much of it which is completely rubbish protestantising innovation for the sake of “in with the new, out with the old“.

No, Modernism is the deeply erroneous belief that only my own personal opinions about what is true and what is false should determine the validity or not of what is taught in doctrine by Holy Church.

The very worst kind of traditionalism (I mean the political movement, not the sublime beauty of ecclesial Tradition) is Modernist.

I am deeply disappointed by Archbishop Viganò’s latest intervention — the Council of Trent was almost as divisive as the Second Vatican Council, and it took about a century for it to be fully accepted by Catholics generally.

It may take a LOT longer than that for Vatican II to be accepted, indeed it almost certainly will — as these “spirit of the council” and “spirit of anti-council” types are so zealous in their destructive modernisms that they would happily see Holy Church crash and burn into a major Schism if only they can then get to bask in the Pride and Vainglory of their own divisive ideologies.

There is little more destructive BTW in what was done in the immediate aftermath of the Council than the ghastly ambiguities, elisions, and deliberate falsehoods that were introduced into the English-language translations of the Council texts — and if you look at where all of the worst strife and hatred exists between Catholics, it’s in the English-speaking Church.


I now fully expect that Archbishop Viganò will be excommunicated for Schism.

It is hard to express the full extent of disaster that he has created for himself and for Holy Church in this most recent intervention, especially in the light of the good will that he had gathered for himself in his earlier ones.

Camino in Corona


Down here at the Borderland between the Coastal Francigena and the Provençal Camino, Summer today has made his first bold moves, drenching all with his virus-killing UV and immune-strengthening Vitamin D rays from his Boss Man, the Sun.

These would be wonderful Camino hike blazing days, full of Indigo mountains and Sea and clear Azure Sky, generous cleansing heat, and the growing sense that a sea change is coming, to take us out from our shadow indoor lives and return us to the foot-printed pathways of our genuine destinations.