Thursday, 31 May 2007

going wireless-or not

Wireless router arrived today.
Even my computer savvy son can't get it working.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

McCann's at Papal Audience

Kate and Gerry McCann are in Rome for the Wednesday audience Papa Beni gives. It was beleived the Holy Father would mention Madeleine in his English address but he did not-so it seems he may mention her at some other point in the day.

I've seen some rather uncharitable things written about this family on another blog site. It has been pointed out that they left the children unattended. Yes, they did and yes, that was very stupid-but dear heaven they are paying an appalling price aren't they?

It has also been said that are not Catholic enough because apparently their children were conceived through IVF. I don;t know if this is true-it might be-but it seems that whether it is true or not, they are trying to be faithful now. Mr McCann has openly admitted that he was not that involved in his faith and has turned to it now.

Most of us have things in our past's I would guess that would make us less than holy Catholics-but we have the beautiful gift of the Sacrament of Confession, God's forgiveness and mercy.

The McCann's are suffering terribly and they continue to have my prayers. I have a 4 yr old and cannot bare to think of being without him.

I saw them meet the Holy Father on EWTN. I know he will pray for them and little Madeleine.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

midwife shortage

This story was played out on Sky and the BBC yesterday. An independent study-that I can't findonline- has shown what anyone who has had a baby in this country recently must have noticed; there are not enough midwives.

Patricia Hewitt has recently had us all laughing cynically by saying all mothers should be offered a home birth. For those of us who have high risk pregnancies and cannot get proper care the idea that idea that those fortunate enough to be well enough for home births will be able to access two midwives-while the rest of us barely get one, is a real laugh.

When things got a bit scary with my pregnancy and it looked like I might need a section then and there, the one midwife on duty admitted she had nine labouring mums to care for and that there were no beds in the hospital. Fortunately I did not need an immediate section.

I did end up having an emergency section a few days later. I wont go into some of the problems I had post operatively getting proper help-but shortage of staff means leaving mums in serious pain with no help.

Meanwhile there are qualified midwives who can't get work.

Is this more of the Culture of Death? I don't know.
But one thing has interested me-the news reports say birth rates are increasing. I wonder who are those mums?

The Heart of the Chinese People

The Closed Cafeteria has done a follow up on the awful crack down of Chinese officials over the One Child.
It is noted that overall the MSM do not seem bothered by this human rights abuse-and of course I noted in my last post on this issue that Sky did quite an in depth story on animal 'rights' abuses in China but ignored the history of human rights abuses.

The Chinese people themselves seem pretty tough to me. I remember Tianamen Square well-the strength and bravery of such small people in the face of a mighty dragon.

I am sure I read somewhere that the British Govt had been supporting China's forced abortions and other abuses in the name of population control. The Blair Govt has been remarkable in its support for so much that is anti-family and part of the Culture of Death.

For the sake of \his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Morality and clothing the children

We will have to go clothes shopping soon. Teenagers grow! And I mean gROW!

Clothes shopping should be a straight forward activity really-but it just never seems to be.

First of all for the boys; they are not allowed logos or messages on their clothes that are rude, agressive or satanic, so that means they buy plain tops.

One of my son's is pretty artistic and has used fabric paints to make his own logos that are pretty good I have to say.

My daughter is a good judge of clothes and dresses smartly and modestly for a small budget. She manages to find clothes that her feminine and practicle without having to look frumpy or weird.
It has been remarkably easy for me to ensure she is sensibily dressed because she has not had to go through negative peer pressure. Her friends, who she has known since her school days, are also sensible in their dress choices. Not many mothers have this luxury these days I know.

So having somewhat easily stepped over the 'nasty-inappropriate-dress' hurdle I am faced with the tight-budget=cheap-clothes hurdle.
This one is a moral quagmire for us.

We are living on one wage here in the UK where the cost of living is high and it is not easy. We are very blessed indeed that the younger children have been given so much in clothing and baby equipment that we hardly spend a penny on them. With other friends who are also having babies, we simply share the things we need.
Baby and little-people clothes and stuff seem to survive well, but toddler and up is harder. Clothes wear out quicker because the children use them harder.
So, we have to buy clothes sometimes.

Cheap clothes are available all over the place-but WHY are they so cheap? This worries me.
Tesco's and Asda(Wal-Mart) have already been accused of using whyat amounts to slave labour for their clothes production-so who else is doing it?

Strangely it seems more often than not it is the expensive brands that get into trouble for slavery-which is easy-we don't shop at that level anyway.

So far Matalan does not have a bad reputation-so we go there, but if that should change...

The fight against slavery still goes on. Sad isn't it?

Bearing witness to friends who don't know Christ

Continuing the Pentecost theme I am thinking - again- about how I as an individual and we as a family bare witness as Christians, and most specifically as Catholics to those around us who have fallen away from their faith, or never had any to speak of.

I have a friend who I suppose I would describe as 'difficult'. She suffers a great deal from agitated depression and aggressive outbursts. She has not been able to sustain solid friendships and her boyfriend situation is - rocky, to put it mildly.

I find it strange sometimes that I know the root of her terrible agitation is the fact she has had two abortions, but she cannot talk about them other than in passing-and then she runs away.

I so want her to find God and His Mercy and Forgiveness, but she is not at all open to being told about Him. So what do I do?
The best thing I can think of is to be here for her when she needs sanctuary. I have noticed that our home is sanctuary to her. The little ones offer her affection and a distraction from her worries and irritations, while I am there to listen and offer tea and company.

Obviously she knows we are a Catholic family. She knows we go to Mass and she knows from my 'wall of Hahn' and holy pictures etc that the faith is important to us.
I pray for her of course, but what else am I to do?

Her God shaped hole is gaping and raw, but she can't see it. I wish she could find Him, and I hope that as she sees this family and how we deal with things she will think about that.

We have had to cope with some pretty nasty crisis as a family and I would like to think the way we dealt with things is part of our witness as a family. Who knows...

When I first returned to the Church-I spent rather a long time in the Cafeteria-I was helped by the holiness of a couple of good Catholic families I knew. They didn't preach, they didn't need to, I had my Scott Hahn tapes for that, but they LIVED it, and that was a powerful witness to me.

Sadly I quickly got burned. I joined a group of Catholic women thinking their 'orthodoxy' would help me learn more of my faith and confirm me in it.
I was pretty shocked by the snide remarks about protestants and the spite against less orthodox Catholics. One woman simply assumed that everyone in her parish used contraception.
There was bullying and nastiness in the group and this was topped by a member literally showing off about how she had dropped all her lapsed friends and family members!!
Needless to say I left that group.
It was a hard lesson, but one I faced with the help of a friend who made me realise that healing was to be found among the other sinners, not those who considered themselves well.

Be careful my brothers and sisters in Christ, many of us who are seeking can be wounded by you, and those of us who have finally found the pearl of great price need to share it with respect, not chuck it hard at others-however frustrating they may be.

God bless.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Pentecost Sunday today. The Holy Spirit set the Church on fire and so the Gospel could be preached in all toungues throughout the world.
Just as the people were scattered and language confused over the building of the Tower of Babel, so people are called together and can hear the message in their own language, all at one time in the One Church.
This morning Father asked how we are evangelising. He pointed out that many people will see Christ and His Church through our witness-through how we behave.
This is a tough calling if we want to follow Christ and be the light of the world as He has called us to be. Despite being sinners we are called to be perfect as the Heavenly Father is perfect.
Thank God for grace eh?
There is a saying attributed to St Francis of Assisi that goes along the lines-preach the Gospel and if really necessary use words. My non-Chrstian friends expect certain behaviours from Christians-and i think Charity is top of the list.
By our witness then, we can call our neighbours home-from wherever they are. That story in Acts seems to list half the nations of the earth hearing the message in their own language. Not everyone would listen of course-they heard the mumblings of a drunk instead.
It is a challenge to follow Christ- but what a challenge!

Friday, 25 May 2007

Books and DVD's

My husband can be heard around our house muttering the utterly oxymoronic words "too many books" on numerous occasions. I do try and keep my bibliophilic nature in check- but what am I to do? The Holy Father's book Jesus of Nazareth has finally appeared in English and it looks very good reading indeed.

What is even more tempting amazon (UK) are offering it together with Scott Hahn's new book Reasons To Believe. I already possess the 'wall of Hahn' with shelves laden with his tapes and books covering almost a whole wall in my house,
and here I am faced with yet more temptation.
This is further complicated by the fact that Into Great Silence has been released on DVD.
What is a girl to do?
There is some discussion in Catholic blog-o-sphere on how 'infallible' Pope Benedict's book on Jesus is. Well, I doubt it could stictly be called infallible and he tries to make that clear in the introduction, but here is a book by a man who has immense knowledge and a very real understanding of Christ. He is someone who has integrity and genuine holiness along with an intellect that has been shaped by discernment through prayer- so I would trust him.
There has been a plethora of 'real' Jesus books over recent years and I have read none of them, mainly because the blurb makes it quite clear that this is not the 'real' Jesus at all, but the author's wishful thinking about who Jesus ought to have been.
Scott Hahn's book gets good reviews on amazon and I am tempted to buy it-but I do have so much of his stuff I wonder if this book really will say anything new. I love his tuff- yes, even the appalling puns- as he writes for the bog-standard-still-don't-quite-get-it-all Catholic like me.
And then there's Into Great Silence. I saw this when it came to the UK. WHAT an amazing experience! It seems to follow the daily routine of Divine Office while overlaying it on a year in the life of the monks-winter to winter.
Kids calling....later...

Thursday, 24 May 2007

China's barbaric zoos-and one child policy

I usually avoid the news via MSM but over the last few days I've caught Sky headlines, mainly because I am praying for the safe return of little Madeleine McGann. Anyway, as a result i have caught other stories.
Sky ran a story on the awful abuse of animals in China's zoos. Over fed fat tigers are given live cattle to eat for lunch, for the entertainment of visitors. Unlike wild tigers who are efficient killers, these tigers take a long time to kill their prey, which is not given the chance to run. The disturbing picutre of Chinese families relishing this 'entertainment' was shown to viewers. Animal 'rights' activists are trying to campaign for an end to the dreadful treatment of animals in China,which still has dancing bears and chimps on bicycles.
However on the same day this story ran on LifeSiteNews about the really horrific one child policy-that is supported by Britain by the way- and the recent reaction to it.

I cannot see how a country can sort out its people's behaviour towards animals while slaughtering babies is policy. China has an appalling human rights record, and yet this hardly ever gets a mention, as far as I know, in the MSM.

Animals do not have rights-humans do and with those rights come responsibilites. It will only be when the Chinese people are allowed their rights that they can take on their responsibilities.

I think this is the same in the Uk where we have such a horribly high abortion rate. The RSPCA are constantly reporting increases in cruelty to animals. If we cannot even take care of our own children properly-how will we ever show proper stewardship to the rest of God's creation?

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

The BBC attacks home education

The BBC is a strange organisation that seems almost allergic to telling the truth.
Now they seem to be out to get home schoolers. Our kids are apparently missing. There is a petition set up to ask the BBC to change the wording of their ridiculous article. Surely journalists know enough about the law to know that children do not have to be registered with a local authority. Quite frankly with this kind of weird propaganda going on it is hardly any wonder that so many homeschooling parents choose not to register their children.

Mine are registered, simply because I pulled them out of school, and I am fortunate enough to live in an area where the LA seems pretty supportive of home education, but many parents are up against bullying and just plain ignorance from those who are supposed to know better.

It seems to me that if the BBC want to get people to 'have [their] say' it would be better asking about the failure of schools to offer a reasonable, let alone safe, education for our children.- But that doesn't seem to be on the agenda for some reason.

Fatima in the news

It was reported on Sky news this morning that the parents of Madeleine McGann have gone to Fatima to pray for a miracle. I am sure many of us are praying for them too. It is horrific and tragic that their little girl was snatched from them. The story of her parent's visit to Fatima raises some real hope in me that their little girl is alive and will be returned to them.

A brief overview of the events of Fatima was given on Sky this morning. They are asking for a miracle-let us join our prayers with theirs.

early pregnancy gender kit-kill the girls?

It was reported recently that there is a simple blood test kit on the market whereby a pregnant mother can find out the gender of her baby as early as six weeks gestation. The test costs about £180 or so and is apparently easily available. I have no idea how accurate it is.
Interestingly the media reports I have seen are very negative about this test, fearing it will lead to more abortions, specifically of girls.

With the prospect of killing babies just because they are girls looming, more and more people seem to be actually thinking that killing babies is not such a fantastic idea after all.

Strangely one or two comments have come across as -it's wrong to kill a baby because you don't want a girl, but okay if the baby is disabled. I don't know why it is okay to kill a person because they have a disability, and I have yet to see a rational explanation.

Nevertheless as more people begin to actually 'think' about abortion- less and less people really support it.

Tony and the Tiber

Rumours abound that once PM Tony Blair moves out of No. 10 that he intends to enter the Catholic Church. Most of these rumours seem to come from Fr Michael Seed.
There are a number of things about these rumours I find disturbing.
First of all surely Fr Seed should not be gossiping about one of prospective candidates.
Ignoring the rather silly article that has so bought into the idea that Blair is a god, he can actually 'declare himself' a Catholic, we are still left with the uncomfortable feeling that some big publicity stunt is being set up.

If Mr Blair does convert, that would be wonderful-IF-he is truly converting. But this is a man who is up to his elbows in pro-abortion voting and anti-family legislation. His most recent attack on families came with his putting the demands of a vociferous and rather vicious gay lobby above the very real rights and needs of children looking for adoptive parents.

Fr Seed seems happy to continue the rumours despite the very public behaviour of Mr Blair that is not remotely Christian.
Well, we can pray and see...