Monday, 23 May 2022

'The Rosary' by Frances Caryll Houselander (1901-1954)


I am awaiting cataract operations on both eyes, and find it difficult  to read books, which I usually do when writing a post. I have therefore reproduced a post which I wrote more than ten years ago, and which you may not have seen, or if you did, you may well not remember. I never tire of reading the works of Caryll Hpuselander, and I hope that you enjoy this poem 'The Rosary', as much as I do.

'The Rosary' by Frances Caryll Houselander (1901-1954)


Frances Caryll Houselander
- mystic, poet, artist, writer
         (1901 - 1954)

The Rosary

In the doorway of a low grey house,
built of stones as old as the Crusades,
a woman of Bruges sits in the sunlight,
among the flowers, saying her Rosary.

She seems to be carved out of seasoned walnut
and polished smooth
by the constant touch of the hand of God,
and the beads that twine her crippled fingers
are scarlet berries on the thorny twigs.

The running rhythm
and the repetition
of the Paters and the Aves
is like the rhythm that in nature
moves through the seasons
from seed to harvest
with the unity
and the pause and stress
of music;
like the bloodstream of Christ,
that flows through the seasons
from Advent to Easter
in the Liturgy of the Church,
the ebb and flow of the tide of love
in the Mystical Body of Christ.
God has given His children strings of beads,
as we give strings of beads to our children,
to teach them to count.

We do not say,
“Learn from these the doctrine of numbers,
the measure of human life,
the dream of Pythagoras,
counting the pulse of the world.”

We do not say
to a child with a string of beads,
“learn the perfection of reason in mathematics.”

We say,
“Learn to count on the beads,
small for your hands to hold,
bright for your eyes to see.”
And he begins,
with one, two, three:
the spark is kindled
to light the flame of philosophy.

God has counted in fifteen Mysteries,
on the fingers of human creatures,
the singleness of the Undivided Love,
the simplicity
that we cannot comprehend
because our hearts are divided.
We are not all vessels of gold,
lifted up in virginal hands,
empty chalices to receive
from the perfect vine
and complete.

But the old woman of Bruges
is a round bowl,
lifted up to be brimmed
with pure wine.
and the Mysteries of the Rosary
concern familiar things
known in her own life.

Her mind, like a velvet bee
droning over a rose,
gathers the honey of comfort
from the story of God,
familiar as the things in her kitchen –
the shining pots and pans,
the milk in the jar of earthenware,
and the flags of the scrubbed floor.

The story told by the Rosary
is the story of primitive beauty,
true as the burden of folk- songs.
It is a song piped on the hills,
by a shepherd calling his sheep.
The cradle of wood, 
the wood of the cross;
from cradle to cross,
like a lullaby;
the wail of an infant,
lost on the wind –
the arms of a girl
in a circle of love,
rocking to rest;
a woman’s arms
in a circle of love,
the young Man dead
on His Mother’s breast.

The jewels that glow
low in the grass
on the feet of Christ,
risen from death,
touching the flowers
and touching the dust,
even in glory.

The dust of the earth 
on the feet of God,
walking the soft blue meadows of stars.
In the doorway of a low grey house,
built of stones as old as the Crusades,
a woman of Bruges
sits in the sunlight, among the flowers,
saying her Rosary.

The story of Mary is her own story,
and her son was her life’s joy
and her life’s sorrow;
and for ever
her son is her life’s glory.

In a field in Flanders,
among the red poppies, he is sleeping:
he will sleep soundly
until the day of resurrection.

She has still the patchwork quilt
made, when her hands were nimble,
for the wooden cot:
now he is sleeping, and each year
he has a new coverlet
of delicate young grass,
and at the end of his cot
a wooden cross.

The cradle of the wood,
the wood of the cross:
from cradle to cross,
like a lullaby.

The story of the woman of Bruges
is the world’s story.
it is the story
of human joy and sorrow,
woven and interlaced,
like the blue and crimson thread
in a woven cloth:
the story of birth and death,
of war and the rumours of war
and of peace past understanding,
peace in the souls that live
in the life of Christ.

In the doorway in Bruges,
sitting among the flowers, 
her mind like a velvet bee
droning over a rose,
taking the honey of comfort
out of the heart of Love,
the old woman is nodding 
over her Rosary.
She has lived her meditation,
like the Mother of God,
living the life of Christ:
let her sleep in Christ’s peace.
Under the loud din
of the tramp of metallic feet
in the armed march of time,
like a river moving
under the dark hills,
the everlasting life
is flowing, eternally.

The measured beat of love,
with pure perfection of music,
timing the life of Christ
in the human heart
goes on.
                   Frances Caryll Houselander

(Ack. 'The Mary Book'' assembled by F.J.Sheed. Published Sheed & Ward, 1950)
 'Frances Caryll Houselander was born in Bath, England, on Sept 29, 1901, the second of two daughters.  She was not expected to survive for more than a day, and was immediately baptized,  given the name ‘Frances’ after her uncle, a gynaecologist who helped deliver her, and ‘Caryll’,  after the yacht on which her mother had spent the last months of her pregnancy!
     She went on to survive her first day, and indeed many more after that, though her health continued to be poor throughout her life. 
     When she was 6 years old, a family friend persuaded her mother to have the children baptised in the Catholic faith. Although little formal religious education followed her reception into the Church, her mother encouraged a deep sense of piety and devotion in the home, and Frances, a devout child,  made her first confession and Holy Communion when she was just seven years old.
     Two years later, her world was shattered when her parents  separated. Though they were never  divorced, the separation was to be a permanent one. For the next several years, she changed homes and schools, never fully settling in one place before she was moved to the next. 
     Her erratic health led her doctors to advise that she avoid all class work, and,  by the time she returned home in 1917, her formal education was virtually non-existent.  During her years in the convent schools, she experienced three religious visions, which led to a personal and absolute conviction that she had been called by Christ to give recognition to the reality of His loving Presence and Image in all people, particularly the suffering and poor of this world, and to convey the realisation and awareness of this to all those with whom she came into contact, personally and through her writings. Frances had a great affinity with young children, and during her life wrote and illustrated children's books, always revealing a simple delight in the love of God and His creation.
     When the war ended, she attended art school and it was during this period that she drifted from the Catholic Church. She explored the Orthodox Church among others, but found them all wanting, and craving for peace of soul and longing for the Sacraments, she returned to the Catholic Church; she was then twenty-four years old. 
     Advised to concentrate on her writing, she  began to write articles and illustrate for the ‘Children’s Messenger of the Sacred Heart’, often on an unpaid basis. Her work ultimately led to her making the acquaintance of the Catholic publishers, Sheed and Ward, who were subsequently to  become the major publishers of her many books. 
     Always willing to open her home and her heart to those in need, she was frequently physically and emotionally  overwhelmed by those who sought her advice, yet she remained reluctant to turn people away. 
     Msgr. Ronald Knox, a contemporary, and admirer of Houselander, recognized her tremendous gift of insight, and was later to say, "She seemed  to see everything for the first time, and the driest of doctrinal considerations shone out like a restored picture when she had finished with it." 
     Her popularity and success in healing the hurts and the hearts of many can be measured by the support of such eminent physicians as Dr. Strauss, later President of the British Psychological Society, who sent patients to her. His explanation was that "she loved them back to life". 
     Her impact, both literary and personal, was due above all, to the intensity of her vision of the suffering Christ, a vision she expressed with utter sincerity and immediacy and, on occasion, with breath-taking luminosity. Indeed, she can best be described not just as a writer, nor even just an artist, but as a mystic and a visionary, even in the tradition of Julian of Norwich, Catherine of Siena, or Teresa of Avila, which would explain how she was able to communicate so directly and movingly to her large reading public, and accounts for her extraordinary success in counselling British and foreign children who had been traumatized by the war. 
     Not gregarious by nature, she nevertheless radiated gaiety and a  sense of fun; her wickedly funny tongue often provoking as much hilarity among her intimates as it caused her remorse. 
     She was unquestionably a genuine mystic whose frailties were transformed into real strength and whose neuroses became the means whereby she was able to join her sufferings with Christ on the cross.It was as though her burning love of God overflowed for the refreshment of all who came in contact with her.
    "She seemed to possess a well that never ran dry for anyone but herself. She gave of her food to feed the hungry, her time to counsel those in need, her energy to write countless letters, articles and books, and ultimately her health for the health and well-being of others. She spent years attending to the rigorous demands of her ailing parents, and, having been plagued by ill health her entire life, had become accustomed to pain and slow to address her own physical ailments. Her lack of self-concern, however, which extended to everything from her looks, to her diet, her sleep, her health, her living quarters, etc., took its toll."  
      During her last years, she worked tirelessly to complete books, write letters, strengthen the works of charity she had begun, and minister to the many mentally ill children who were sent her way'              
      She died on October 12, 1954, from breast cancer. 

"The wonder of Frances Caryll Houselander is found in her humble willingness to suffer with Christ, to let Him transform her flawed and sinful nature into a divine work of art."

Ack.  Karen Lynn Krugh / Catholic
Ack.  Margot H. King - currently working on biography for Peregrina Publishers.
Ack.   Robin Maas - Caryll Houselander, an appreciation.

Friday, 18 March 2022


Sir Patrick Vallance. Chief Scientific Adviser to H M Government.

Sir Christopher John MacRae Whitty, Chief Medical Officer to H M Government

   Common Sage


The word 'SAGE' has several meanings:-

1. Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)

 2.Wise, discreet, judicious, (WDJ.) having the wisdom of experience. (Concise Oxford Dictionary)

3..Aromatic herb with dull, grey-green leaves (Concise Oxford Dictionary)

I recently came across an interesting article on the 'Expose' News site, written about a year ago, by Sonia Elijah, on the subject of the UK Government appointed 'Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies' a.k.a. 'SAGE'

' Never have statisticians, mathematical biologists, psychologists, anthropologists, behavioural scientists and a few epidemiologists dictated government policy to such an extreme degree as over the past year.'

By Sonia Elijah

On March 25, 2020, the Coronavirus Act received Royal Assent having been fast-tracked through Parliament in four working days. The Act contained emergency powers to enable public bodies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, or Sage, and its subcommittees became the de facto leader of the operation. This was the point at which the UK ceased to be governed by elected representatives.

To this day, Sage do not answer to the public – they don’t even answer to the government. They ‘advise’ the government on all things Covid, and the government is then led by the ‘data’ to implement the most draconian restrictions on freedom in our nation’s history. Sage are accountable to no one. In my opinion, Sage have staged a covert coup and hardly anybody has taken notice, let alone the mainstream media.

Below is a list of attendees from one of the early March Sage meetings just before the first lockdown. I’ve highlighted the key members.

Patrick Vallance (Government Chief Scientific Adviser), Chris Whitty (Chief Medical Officer), Jonathan Van-Tam (Deputy Chief Medical Officer), Steve Powis (NHS), Charlotte Watts (Chief Scientific Adviser, Department for International Development), Angela McLean (Chief Scientific Adviser MoD), John Aston (Chief Scientific Adviser, Home Office), Sharon Peacock (Public Health England), Graham Medley (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Neil Ferguson (Imperial College), Brooke Rogers (King’s College), James Rubin (King’s College), Jeremy Farrar (Wellcome), David Halpern (Behavioural Insights Team) Ian Diamond (Office for National Statistics), Tom Rodden (Chief Scientific AdviserDepartment for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport), Aidan Fowler (NHS), Maria Zambon (PHE), Phil Blythe (Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Transport), Wendy Barclay (Imperial College), Peter Horby (Oxford University), John Edmunds (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Carole Mundell (Chief Scientific Adviser, Foreign and Commonwealth Office).

If you take a closer look at the key ‘experts’, they have all had connections in some way with either Big Pharma, Big Tech or the Big NGOs, such as GAVI-The Vaccine Alliance, World Health Organisation, World Economic Forum, World Bank, Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Many have had their research funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. In fact, the UK is the biggest beneficiary of university grants given by the Gates Foundation with $744million disbursed to 38 universities, the top beneficiaries being Imperial College London, University College London, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LHSTM), King’s College London and Oxford University.

Many of the key Sage members have held senior positions in the pharmaceutical industry before being government advisers and some hold shares in the pharmaceutical companies they worked for.

In September 2020 the Telegraph revealed that Sir Patrick Vallance, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, had £600,000 worth of shares in GlaxoSmithKline, which was contracted to develop a coronavirus vaccine. In December 2020 the British Medical Journal wrote that ‘by July the UK government had signed a coronavirus vaccine deal for an undisclosed sum with GlaxoSmithKline, securing 60million doses of an untested treatment that was still being developed.’ If this is not a blatant conflict of interest, I don’t know what is.

Vallance not only held GSK shares but was also president of research and development at GSK from 2012-2017. It was while he was president, in 2013, a partnership between GSK and the Gates Foundation was announced to ‘accelerate research into vaccines for global health needs’.

As a researcher at the LHSTM, Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty received £31million in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for malaria research.

His deputy, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, joined the pharmaceutical industry as an associate director at SmithKline Beecham (now GSK) in 2000. Van-Tam was Head of Medical Affairs at Roche in 2001 and then went to work at Aventis Pasteur MSD as the UK medical director the following year.

         Sir Professor Jonathan Van-Tam. Deputy Chief Medical Officer to HM Government.  (W.D.J.)

Van-Tam chaired the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) expert advisory group on H5N1 vaccines and advised the WHO during the H5N1 influenza (bird flu) outbreak in 2009- 2010. The WHO in turn triggered countries around the world, including the UK, to buy enormous quantities of the drug oseltamivir (brand name: Tamiflu) produced by the pharmaceutical companies Roche and GSK, former employers of Van-Tam.

An investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, reported by Deborah Cohen and Philip Carter, said some of the experts advising WHO on the pandemic had ‘declarable financial ties with drug companies that were producing antivirals and influenza vaccines. As an example, WHO’s guidance on the use of antivirals in a pandemic was authored by an influenza expert who at the same time was receiving payments from Roche, the manufacturer of oseltamivir (Tamiflu), for consultancy work and lecturing.’

The BBC ran an article stating that ‘hundreds of millions of pounds may have been wasted on a drug for flu that works no better than paracetamol, a landmark analysis has said’. This was based on The Cochrane Collaboration (a global non-profit organisation of 14,000 academics) review on Tamiflu. Professor Carl Heneghan, director of the Centre for Evidence-based Medicine, University of Oxford, stated that the side effects of Tamiflu ‘included serious psychiatric adverse events, renal and metabolic adverse events’.

At the heart of Sage is SPI-M. It’s been driving government policy ever since the ‘war’ on Covid-19 began. Only very few media outlets, such as TCW and the Daily Mail, have questioned the ‘dodgy data’ derived from its computerised type of modelling. Anyone who suggests it is not perfect is often branded a ‘Covid denier’.

                                                              Neil Ferguson

The man who ran the show at SPI-M at the start of the pandemic was Neil Ferguson. He is also acting director of Vaccine Impact Modelling Consortium (VIMC) based at Imperial College, which is funded by GAVI-The Vaccine Alliance, in turn funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as TCW reported here.

Just to give a quick recap on how ‘well’ his previous modelling predictions have gone: in 2001, Ferguson’s modelling of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak influenced the UK government pre-emptively to cull well over 6million animals at an estimated £10billion cost to the economy. As a result, the farming community was utterly devastated, giving rise to more centralised power by the EU over UK agriculture.

Professor Michael Thrusfield of Edinburgh University, an expert in animal diseases, later described Ferguson’s modelling during the foot-and-mouth period as ‘severely flawed’ and ‘not fit for purpose’. Ferguson’s predictions of ‘worst-case scenario’ were seen as grossly over-estimated.

This pattern of Ferguson’s models over-playing the ‘doom’ factor has been repeated several times. In 2005 Ferguson claimed that up to 200million people worldwide would die during the bird flu outbreak including up to 750,000 in the UK. This led to the stockpiling of Tamiflu in the UK from 2006; this was widely prescribed later in the swine flu pandemic. The World Health Organisation was able to link only 78 deaths worldwide to the bird flu virus.

In 2009, Imperial’s model led by Ferguson gave rise to the prediction of 65,000 deaths from swine flu in the UK; in fact only 457 deaths were linked to the virus. Based on Ferguson’s model, the government spent £1.2billion to prepare for the swine flu pandemic. As a result, more than 20million unused doses of vaccine were left over.

Once more it was Ferguson’s ‘doomsday’ modelling prediction in the March 16, 2020 report from the Imperial College Covid-19 response team that gave the dire warning of 510,000 UK deaths by the end of May 2020 if the government continued with its ‘herd immunity’ response to the pandemic. This catastrophic prediction caused Boris Johnson to do an abrupt U-turn days later and steered the course for the most draconian restrictions and dreadful lockdowns ever since. It was only after Ferguson was caught flouting the rules in May 2020 when meeting his mistress that he resigned from Sage but he is still, remarkably, a member of the government’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag). Given Ferguson’s record, it is hard to understand why he continues to be given a platform to speak and influence UK government policy. It is worth noting that Ferguson was very influential on Boris Johnson’s Christmas U-turn.

While SPI-M provides the ‘mathematical science’ for lockdowns, SPI-B provides the ‘behavioural science’. It’s a key component in its ‘PsyOp’ for the inhumane and disastrous lockdowns that’s estimated to have cost up to 200,000 lives (that’s more than the supposed ‘120,000’ lives taken by COVID-19) and cost the economy £2.4billion a day.

I use the term ‘PsyOp’ in the truest sense of its meaning – a psychological operation or psychological warfare ‘to denote any action which is practised mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people’. what was the planned ‘psychological reaction in other people’ that needed to be evoked by Sage last year? Fear. In other words, scare the public senseless and they will do anything you want them to do. This unfortunate truth has been echoed throughout history.

The Johnson government, through SPI-B’s coaxing, expertly crafted a highly effective advertising campaign for COVID-19. The government spent more than £1.1billion of tax-payers’ money on advertising.

Ack.  'Expose' web-site. March 2021.  Article by Sonia Elijah.

'The Rosary' by Frances Caryll Houselander (1901-1954)

  I am awaiting cataract operations on both eyes, and find it difficult  to read books, which I usually do when writing a post. I have there...