Saturday, 30 June 2007

SS Peter and Paul

Yesterday was the feast of SS Peter and Paul. We kinda missed it here because of sick kids, but it is an important feast day. It's one of those reasons to be Catholic I think. We have the rhythm of daily prayer (Divine Office, rosary etc) and then there is the liturgical calender so we can live the faith through remembering the lives and importance of the saints.
Some saints are more important to the life of the Church than others and SS Peter and Paul are two of those saints. They share a feast say- a solemnity- because together they built the Church Christ had founded.
Peter was a fisherman, a business man who it would seem had inherited his father John's fishing business and ran it with his brother Andrew and the family of Zebedee whose wife Salome had given him James and John, nicknamed Sons of Thunder.
He was from Capernaum in Galilee and going by the size of his house (which now has a rather odd looking church built over it) he was fairly wealthy. But it is unlikely that he was well educated.
Paul on the other hand had been Saul a tent maker from Tarsus. He was a pupil of Gamaliel learning the Law and the Prophets at the feet of one of the Sanhedrin's wisest. Going by his writing, Paul was a well educated and very intelligent young man. If he had married and remained with the Pharisees he would very likely have made it into the Sanhedrin himself.
Peter was one of the Twelve chosen by Christ. They would be the gates and hinges of His Church. He chose Peter from among the twelve to be Prime Minister in His kingdom and as is God's way, He gave Simon son of John a new name-Peter meaning rock.
He gave to him the keys of the Kingdom just as Hezekiah had given the keys of his kingdom to his prime minister.
Some years later the newly named Paul would submit to the authority of this fisherman and a Church would spread like fire throughout the world.
Pt II later...

And behold I will send a great flood on...the UK

It is still raining. It seems to be a downpour with intermittent steady showers. The notorious river Severn has been spreading herself about as usual and far too many people are having their homes flooded. Tragically there have been deaths as water has moved with lethal speed down our streets.
Councils, even one or two along the Severn route have been blase about putting up the flood defences and yet when the waters came there were no apologies forthcoming. Meanwhile these same councils are signing off on planning permissions to build on the flood plains. Barmy.

Meanwhile we have been spared the worst of the floods thanks to huge defences put in a few years ago that have certainly done their job the last few summers. The little ones have been out splashing in puddles, because that is an important part of childhood isn't it?

Friday, 29 June 2007

sick children

sick 4yr old to care for.
No blogging today.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Treating our elders with respect

Yesterday we went out for a drink and piece of cake to celebrate the end of exams and the fact that both the older boys have finished 'compulsory' education.

DS2 has the LA man coming over next week to write a reference for his portfolio and then his home education is done.

My oldest is working in a home for the elderly. It's a tough job and as we discussed his future plans it came up that there are staff who have simply worked there too long.

I too have done this kind of work and was explaining that I think it is just a sad part of fallen human nature that we can forget that those who are frail, demanding and confused are still made in the image and likeness of God. Being old should not mean we loose that image-in fact in the suffering of some of my son's residents we should see Him more clearly; but we don't.

"You need to know when to get out," I told him. "When you stop seeing them as people, and only as mouths to feed and bottoms to wipe, it's time to move on."

I think it is the same in any nursing job, but I think it tends to happen more quickly in elderly care. Partly this is due to the strange attitude we have to the elderly in modern culture. The homes, like the ones I have worked in and my son now works in are full of white people-mainly women. Asian and black families do not seem to put their older family members in a home.

DS1 worked his first night shift last night. It was a fairly quiet one and went well.

Passing on the Faith

In his General Audience yesterday Papa Beni spoke about St Cyril of Jerusalem. (BTW if you want to see the Pope's Wednesday Audiences you can watched them in the Uk at 8pm on the Wed on EWTN; Sky 769)
As we can see from this Icon St Cyril was a teacher, ensuring the Truths of the Faith were passed on so that those who heard and learned could lead a Christian life.
The saint, the Holy Father explained, had a deep understanding of the unity of Holy Scripture. He understood it as the message of Salvation History with Jesus Christ as the pinnacle of it, bringing redemption to the world. St Cyril did not leave Scripture to the Liturgy but incorporated it, with the liturgical rhythm of life into the life of the Christian.
"Doctrine and life are not separate things," said the Holy Father, and surely that is something we need to remember today. We are called to learn to live the Gospel, not simply learn about the Gospel.
It is time to put this back into our homes and schools.
It is time to take the promises we made to God when we had our children baptised seriously.
I need to revisit this as we prepare to have our sixth child baptised in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007


I have recently come across strange people who argue that abortion and miscarriage are the same thing. This, of course, is grossly offensive. To suggest that those of us who, despite everything, have our unborn children die are in any way the same as mothers who choose to kill their children is ludicrous.
But there are some similarities.
Mothers who abort and those of us who miscarry both feel guilty. We wonder what we could have done to avoid loosing our baby.
We both miss our babies and find their would-have-been birthdays difficult times.
We both wonder 'what if' and 'what would they be like?'
We both cry.
We are both denied the right to grieve, so must hide our grief, deep down.

Meanwhile Amnesty International have decided that there isn't enough misery to go around and are pushing for abortion 'rights'. Of course they try and make out that this will somehow help mothers who are pregnant as a result of rape-they don't say HOW this will help. How being violated twice is better than giving birth to a live baby, seems to escape them.

So many rape survivors who deliver their babies give the most amazing testimonies. I remember hearing a woman on the radio who had not only had her daughter conceived when her own father raped her-but was bringing her up and living happily.
There was a beautiful testimony given by a young girl on EWTN the other day, on the Pure Life series with Jason and Chystalina Evert.
She was date-raped and found to her horror she was pregnant. She was terrified of the attitude she would face from those around her, but put her trust in God. Her son has been adopted by a couple who had desperately wanted a child and she lives with the knowledge that she has been able to give them the most precious gift possible.
Compared to friends I have who were not raped but had abortions, these women have peace and serenity.
Amnesty want to deny mother's that chance, that hope.

Germany - when history isn't leanred

Yesterday Ma Beck posted 'If the shoe fits...' about how a Lutheran pastor is being sent to prison for daring to say that abortion is akin the the Holocaust. He is accused of Holocaust denial.

What they are saying is that abortion isn't killing people; unborn babies are not people. The sick irony hurts doesn't it. Just as Hitler said the Jews and the Poles weren't really people so they could be slaughtered, the German courts are saying babies killed in abortion are not really people so they can be killed. The picture above shows my youngest daughter at 12wks gest. We saw her face, hands legs and beautiful beating heart - but according to German courts she was not a person then.

Germany has been in the news recently for its vicious treatment of families who wish to home educate their children. Hitler made home education illegal to ensure the propaganda of National Socialism reached all children. It is that same law that is being used to persecute home ed families today. The most recent case was of a girl where the family had NOT chosen to home ed but were cornered into it by the school. The girl was taken from her home and put into care! Fortunately she reached the age of 16 in which she has legal independence and simply left her foster home and went back to her real home with her family.

So what about the people of Germany? Are they in agreement with this?
Well, who knows. I have a German friend who has married one of my closest friends. They decided to live here in the UK because they were sick of the racism she faced-she is black- all the time over there.
Now we have problems here, but it is nothing compared to what she faced over there, and she simply felt having mixed race children in that country would be unacceptable.
Sad isn't it?

But don't kid yourself this is just a German problem. They are at the heart of Europe and the European parliament really wants to impose this kind of dictatorship on all of us-and in the UK there is compliance.
We have had people investigated and arrested for speaking the truth about abortion and homosexual acts here already.
It's time to prepare for more and worse to come I think.
There's no need to be afraid though. God has always been there and he always will be.

Jesus I trust in you.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

I am potty training my two year old daughter at the moment-
My older daughter is using this as a golden opportunity for her child development folder-so she is officially in charge of the process.
She has made a chart complete with stickers and has a tin of sweets.
She reads stories while the little one is on the potty and she gets plenty of praise and encouragement.
It seems to be working reasonably well.
There are loads of books out there about how to potty train. I've never read them so I have no idea what they recommend.
I do listen to Dr Ray though via Ave Maria radio. I'm sure he's done a few things on the subject-but I can't remember what. LOL.

Pro-Life Witness

We will have EXPOSITION in the Church whilst we are praying outside.
Pleasesupport the witness!
If you can't be there, add a prayer.

Monday, 25 June 2007

When Home Education pays off

There are many reasons to home educate. But it is hard work sometimes and a parent (like me) can get a bit dreadful-fretful that we are making a pigs ear of things.
So it is a lovely thing when it appears to pay off.
My 15 yr old son has just completed 2 weeks work placement at a shop and cafe, where he served customers, made drinks and cooked and prepared food.
It is a small but growing business and the owners have had a number of school pupils on work placement. While they were kind enough to take my son they admitted to him on Sat (his last day) that they had not really been looking forward to it as their usual experience had been pretty bad.
They were so impressed with ds that they even paid him for some of his hours there and are writing him a reference for his portfolio. They have also offered him the next job that comes up there-which should be soon.
The owner spoke to me and said she was impressed by how quickly he learned, how hard he worked and by the fact he could actually cook. His skill with customers, including young children (lots of experience there lol) was also noted.
This is the boy who was bullied, and failing in school. He was certainly not considered a quick learner by staff, and his anger and frustration meant he was sorely lacking in some social skills.

It's been just over 2 yrs since I had him out and he has blossomed.
I hope he will do well in college next year.
So to any home ed parent out there wondering if it is worth it-in the end, yes it is.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Birth of St. John the Baptist

It is the feast day of the birth of St John the Baptist today. Elizabeth, who had suffered from infertility was given the greatest gift-a son.
Her husband, Zachariah, had received the news from an angel while performing the rites of the High Priest at Yom Kippor.
Once a year the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of atonement in the place where the Ark had stood.
The angel struck Zachariah dumb because of his unbelief and therefore he was unable to give the blessing-the absolution that year.
It must have been a shocking thing for those awaiting the end of the rite within the Temple.
Six months later Mary arrives in the hill country of Judea to visit Elizabeth and the fetus Baptist jumps for joy at the presence of zygote Jesus.
Mary stays for three months so presumably is there when St John is born and Elizabeth finally gets to hold her son.
Throughout this time Zachariah has been unable to speak.
It is not until 8 days later when John is circumcised and brought into the Covenant of God that finally Zachariah gets his voice back when he confirms the name of his son as John.
John is the prophet of the fulfillment of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippor) he calls people to repentance to be ready for the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
This is Good News.

12 steps to stay in the Church

Over at Crossed the Tiber there is a great post on how to stay safe aboard St Peter's Barque.
I've posted on AA and Al Anon before.
I think the Twelve Steps are beneficial to many of us on our Faith journey, if we want tor receive a white stone name at the end of it.

Tony Blair in the news again

The idea that Tony Blair may enter the Catholic Church is in the news again. The oh-so anti-Catholic Guardian is having a field day with it.
It is such a shame there is no real witness here. In fact all that is happening is pain and scandal, that a man who has behaved with such lack of compassion and charity to the unborn, to children, to families, to the disabled is to be accepted with open arms and unlike the rest of us, no requirment of repentence.

I am also finding it rather difficult to understand many American Catholics who seem to think this is a good thing-but who are appalled at Nancy Polosi. I don't get it.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

why is missing Mass on Sunday a mortal sin?

Someone recently asked this question. It's one I asked myself in the past. We can only really understand how having something more important or more interesting to do on Sunday, rather than attending Mass could be a 'mortal' as opposed to a venial sin, when we understand the nature of the Eucharist.

Jesus told stories about those who refused to attend the Wedding Feast, and the man who managed to get in, but had not bothered to dress for the occasion- and they end up in the dark.

How can we choose the darkness over the light?

What on earth could be more important than the gift of the Bridegroom? The Bridegroom is the Christ of the third sorrowful mystery, flogged and crowned, His wrists bound; He is seated for a moment, ready to embrace the cross and pour Himself out for His bride.

When we recognise that, and that He did all this for love of us, we could never find anything else more important.

So, are all those who miss Mass on Sunday in a state of mortal sin?
The answer to that is no. A person has to KNOW that what they are doing is grave matter to be have personally committed mortal sin, but that does not change the fact that ignoring the Eternal Sacrifice in favour of something else is grave matter.

I have sympathy with those who do miss Mass. I missed Mass every fortnight for years as I attended church with my protestant husband. I was not sure if it was allowed to do this so I went and asked my parish priest at the time. He not only gave the go-ahead, but informed me his sisters did the same thing and what a great idea it was.
It was years and years later before I learned the Truth.
And now my husband is Catholic too Smile
The Church has not changed Her teaching on the Mass. If you can get there-go.

Obviously there are genuine circumstances where this is not possible. Nurses have to work weekends, as do other essential staff, so there may be times when missing Mass is unavoidable.
I have missed Mass a lot recently through health problems. In those times the Deacon of our parish has brought Our Lord into my home so that I may receive him. What an honour.
I was also blessed to receive Holy Communion from the hospital chaplain when I was in over Easter with pregnancy complications.

I'll write more on this.

Friday, 22 June 2007

Catholic Mum in Hawaii has posted a link to this. Catholic Tube has some interesting things to see.

My oldest son is interested in how Catholics can use media to get the faith across and here's another way to do it.

living with pain

God never gives us more than we can carry as our cross. He always gives us the graces and strength we need to get through each day.

Looking ahead to how far we might be expected to carry the cross can be both terrifying and undermining.

I can't help thinking that Jesus, bent under the weight of His cross, looked firmly at the ground-not the steep hillside he was climbing. One step, one faltering step at a time.

Living with chronic pain is wearing and can make a person grouchy. I find it a real struggle sometimes to deal with the little ones and have to question my motives for some disciplines-is this right or am I just acting on the amount of pain I'm in today?
I watch 'House' and last night's episode was about a young girl with 'sepa' a neurological disorder that prevented her from feeling pain. House was obviously envious to begin with-and so was I.
Something was said during the episode-I can't remember the exact words but essentially it said that chronic pain and being a complete jerk (like House) went together.
Well, I sure hope not!
However bad things get, I tell myself 'Don't get like House!'
At least I can offer this pain up-stick it to the cross of Christ and know He can make something good out of it.
And while House may be almost proud of his addiction to Vicadin I pray I never become addicted to Tramadol or any of the other pain meds I take.
It's my cross-it's there for a reason I am sure, even if I am not sure what that reason is.

The 99 Names

The PRAYER VIGIL protest outside Westminster Cathedral went well on Wednesday night.
I was actually rather surprised that there was no Islamic contingency there. It does make me wonder why-and none of the thoughts I am having on that are good. I can only assume that they see this as Prince Charles and the Cardinal bowing down to the Islamic agenda. I hate to use the word dhimmi-but I can't help thinking it.

There's an Orwelliam Moment at the Undercroft that I think sums up the problems the Church in the West faces and the very real and deep crisis here in the UK.

We need some fresh faces in the episcopy here. We really, really do.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Invincible Ignorance

1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.

1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.

The Church teaches that there is no salvation outside of Her. The phrase dates back to Origen, but he was describing something understood within Church teaching-because Christ is the Way the Truth and the Life and He established His Church to be that Way. But God is Merciful and anyway, rather sensible and there has always been an understanding that those who are not fully members of the Church through no fault of their own can still obtain salvation. They do this through the 'baptism of desire' which essentially means that the person desires God, but in this life was not offered the fullest opportunity to find Him in His Church. This would be 'invincible ignorance'.

Now I grew up in confused and confusing times. On the one had I was taught a somewhat Feenyistic view that said that anyone who could not see the Catholic Faith was the One True Faith was just stupid and deserved damnation-and on the other side that there were many paths up the mountain and who really cared which one you chose?

As a result of this I spent many years in the pic'n'mix section of Catholic Cafeteria, trying to find God and meaning in the bizarre mush mash of stuff around me.

I think if I had dropped dead back then, I would still have had a chance of heaven.

But then God in His mercy began to offer me opportunities to really find Him.

I got into MARYVALE under some rather unusual circumstances and from there I found access to all sorts of information about the Faith.

The first thing I learned there was just how much I didn't know! I realised I had access to a whole new world, the pearl of great price was mine for the asking. What an amazing and wonderful thing to find.
I spent all I had on books and tapes and spent hours on the Internet looking a Catholic sites and praying for discernment.
There is so much available these days including EWTN and Catholic radio that simply was not around only a few years ago.

God surely offers the chance to truly know Him and understand Him and His Church if we ask, and it's not so hard to find the truth any longer.

So I wonder sometimes how invincible is a lot of people's ignorance? Surely those who phone Catholic Answers challenging the catholic faith HEAR the answer-then what?
When offered the chance to know the Truth we must not turn away-test it yes, and keep searching. Those who seek WILL find-Jesus promised.

For more on this go HERE and HERE.

Big love small

Cum Grano Salis has blogged on a programme about polygamy called 'Big Love' in which it is plain there is very little love to be had at all. I think the programme may come to the UK (not that it will be seen in my house) and I dare say will be very popular in our bizarrely voyeuristic society.
Years ago I watched a programme about somewhere in Africa. I remember a man who was followed by the interviewer. He had three wives and was in the process of obtaining a fourth, a girl of about 16. The three older wives were bitter and angry, but powerless to prevent yet another 'wife' being brought into the equation. They had never met her and were to be expected to welcome her into their home. Fat chance of that!
The man himself, while stubbenly determined to take on this young girl (he was in his forties I think) was obviously hen pecked and miserable already.

I spent a year in a college where most of my fellow students were African and I learned a great deal about how the Christian communities are challenged by the problem of polygamy.
An Anglican bishop told me how difficult it was for him to break the cycle of polygamy and help woman maintain their rights as wives and mothers.
He had only just finished dealing with a difficult case of a woman who had four children and was widowed. She was under huge pressure to become the second wife to her brother-in-law who had an obligation to marry her and take her in with her four children. When she refused on the grounds of her brother-in-law being already married, her family threw her out of her own home and took her children away.
A lot of work went in to ensuring this mother got a home and her children, while maintaining her dignity as a human being.

One of the women on the course was herself a child of a polygamous marriage. There did not seem mcuh happiness to go around.

Now I have far more respect for polygamy in African countries because it is a way of taking care of women and children within families; brother's are obliged to marry the widow of their brother, as in ancient Jewish times. But I have seen no evidence that it works well.
The hedenistic polygamy in Western culture is just sick.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Chavenges on Channel 4

Last night Channel 4 ran a programme from the Cutting Edge team entitled "The Dangerous School for Boys" about Chavanges International College.

I knew the programme would set out to show the worst possible side of the school, but I watched it anyway.
You can read more on RISE AND PRAY
When I first read about the school being established it seemed to me it was aimed at parents like me; Catholics who wanted a fully Catholic education for our children and were not going to be able to get it in our local schools so we are home educating.
It was advertised as a kind of extension of the home education ethos. My initial reaction was that I could not see many parents from the Catholic home ed side sending their children there.

As a Catholic home ed parent I take very seriously the Chruch teaching on the rights and duties of parents in the education and upbringing of children-so I basically do not want other people to bring my children up for me; boarding school is not an option for me therefore.

Nevertheless I could see how a school like this would be a good thing.

I have only ever met one parent who sent a child there. He became very homesick and she had him back. But I did wonder why she sent him. Her children were-not well disciplined- and I wondered if she thought school would help that.
I wondered if Chavenges was set up to help parents set boundaries for their children-and whether behaviour would be a problem over there.

You might think that with my pre-set concerns about the school that I would agree with the negative view Channel 4 tried to put across last night, but what I saw was a vision for a genuine strong education for young men.
It has a strong Catholic ethos and the man behind the project Ferdi McDermot seemed to have the right idea-but lacked organisational skills I suspect.
There was a kind of chaotic feel to the place, which obviously was partly due to editing.
There's no money for the place it seems and the building is falling around their ears.

I know the 'rabbit killing' scene will so upset the delicate souls who live in cities surrounded by abortion mills-but I have no problem with the boys learning how to properly kill and prepare meat. I was concerned there did not appear to be anyone there who actually was experienced in this though.

It is obvious the school has problems-but the programme did not shine any light on that.

My favourite part was the sheer horror of the man interviewing Ferdi over the idea that the boys are taught chastity and expected to try and live chaste lives-with NO sexual sins allowed.
Imagine that! LOL!
Take a look at YouTube for some interesting clips that offer a very different view of the school.

Repentance-with style

In Sunday's readings Nathan the prophet admonishes David for his sins in taking Bathsheba and being responsible for what was essentially the murder of her husband Uriah.

David is king and I do not doubt he could have used politician-Hebrew to talk his way out of the situation and could have had Nathan dealt with.

Instead David admits his sin and repents! WOW!

He then goes off to write a psalm leading some famous person whose name escapes to quip "I would sin like David if only I could repent like him."

AFTER his repentance David is forgiven by God, but he still has to pay the temporal cost and he and Bathsheba lose their first born son because of this.

David was a great king, but he never did get a grip of his family. It's a tragic tale in may respects, but in him God chose to make the promise of a Covenant for all the nations that would last forever. This Promise was finally fulfilled when a Son of David was born and like David is prophet, priest and king. Jesus redeems us and forgives us and gives us the New Covenant.

In the New Testament reading we find Jesus in the house of Simon the Pharisee. The woman who comes in and washes Jesus' feet with her hair and anoints him with oil is a woman who knows Jesus-she knows Him well enough to know He has forgiven her and has the authority to do so.

Simon, despite his learning and position in life doesn't recognise Jesus at all. Even so he must have been quite pleased to be seen with Jesus as I cannot imagine a woman such as this would have actually got inside Simon's house. He and Jesus must have been sitting in a more accessible part of Simon's home.

Perhaps Simon had not even invited Jesus inside his home. I am always struck by the fact Jesus points out that Simon had not even done the most basic act of hospitality and had his feet washed.

This strikes me as meaning Simon's invitation had been limited in welcome. Not that Simon is a bad man; the parable Jesus tells implies that Simon is quite a good man really- he just does not love enough.

The repentant woman on the other hand loves with a great love.

I have been forgiven much and I hope I can love much.

Monday, 18 June 2007

27 children

I watched a programme last night about a family with 27 children. It was an extraordinary story of a Christian couple who had two biological children and felt called by God to begin adopting the children 'no one else wanted'. They began adopting and had two more biological children. With the adopted children coming with some terrible illnesses they have had five children die, but they all work together caring for one another.
All the children could be seen clearly reaching their potential, overcoming the limitations their various disabilities have placed on them to lead full and happy lives.
I think they said that fifteen of the children have Down's Syndrome.
They are home educated and even in that they work as a team-as most home ed families do-teaching one another.
They have a son named Cody. He was offered to them at ten days old by his biological mother who presumably had known she was expecting a Down's baby and had made the (in this day and age) brave decision to allow her son to live. She had then asked the Murphy's to adopt him.
The biological grandparents went to court fighting for custody.
The programme did not explain why they objected so much to the Murphy's having the little boy- who is now a happy 16 yr old-and the biological mother was not interviewed.
I was trying to understand what the grandparents thought was better about their situation; but they simply went on about 'special schools' and the sort of 'buy-it-in' solutions that do not necessarily make a child happy.
Then I lost all sympathy when the grandmother snidely said "And she home schools," and went on to say Mrs Murphy wasn't qualified to do so!
Don't start me on that one!!!!
But I did think about this family and their amazing and beautiful attitude to life. I thought of how much grace has been poured into their lives because they asked God what He wanted of them.
And I thought, the reason they have had to be so extraordinary in their love and ability-after all 27 kids is more than even a large family- is because so few of us would answer the call.
If we all opened our hearts and homes to disabled children and offered them genuine love-imagine what we could do.
I can't have any more children. But I pray God will send me children no one else wants.

I don't get the bishops of England and Wales...I just don't

I don;t want to spend a lot of time criticising the bishops of England and Wales. I am sure there are good ones; it is just that sometimes I wonder what they are trying to do.
First we have the whole business of the 99 Names of Allah being sung in a 'concert' inside Westminister Cathedral and then the Telegraph reports that Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor has written to the Vatican suggesting there is no need for the Motu Proprio here. Everything is apparently just hunky-dory here.
I am not sure how accurate this report is-there are things in the report that do not ring quite right-but I am not so sure of our bishops or the Cardinal to be sure it isn't accurate.

Meanwhile the Cathedral is to be misused and there has been no objection from the Cardinal over that.

There will be a protest outside the Cathedral. How sad, Catholics left feeling they have no alternative but to protest outside their own church- the place of God where they should be able to enter and pray whenever they wish.
How can the church be used as a market place? Tickets range from £8 to £24.
Prince Charles has commissioned it- well that figures, and the writer of the music claims 'visions' after visiting an Apache Medicine Man.
Where is the Cardinal on this?

Saturday, 16 June 2007

more strange things they teach in Catholic Schools

As I have mentioned before I am helping an A level student get through his RE.
He has no books for his course and no properly written coursebook as he would had he attended somewhere like Maryvale. I have in fact ended up lending him a Maryvale booklet which covers his course contents with more clarity and without the daft erroneous statements.

He has a few handouts that constitute the whole of his A'level course. They were written by the teachers and have some photocopies from some poorly sourced books.
So he is given statements like this:
'Church doctrine was that the sun revolved around the earth. That doctrine changed so there is no reason so assume other doctrines cannot change.' No I'm not making this up.
Then on another handout he was informed that Christians are dualists.
On his ethics handout he is told that science can't tell when human life begins!
There's the usual misuse and taking out of context of texts by St Thomas Aquinas and then there's the erroneous statements about history- getting the creeds and Scripture the wrong way round.
He has been given nothing but confused ramblings from someone who barely knows the subject they are teaching and is expected to get through an A'level exam.
I am praying for him.

the 99 Names of Allah at Westminster Cathedral

I saw the news in the Catholic Herald last week that there were plans to have a concert in which the singing of the 99 'beautiful' Names of Allah would take place in Westminster Cathedral. In the Cathedral itself! I thought that possibly the Cardinal would intervene with this-but it seems not.

Even those names we could accept for God may have a different meaning or connotation when speaking of Allah. How anyone can stand on concecrated ground and sing of God being 'humiliator', 'the subduer', 'The abaser' and the 'giver of dishonour' is beyond me.
But then we have the added problem of names such as the 'Almighty Self-Sufficient'. Now that sounds fine in Christian theology, accept that we see the self-sufficency of God in His Holy Trinity and that's blasphemy to Muslims.

I don't have the time or inclination to unpick the whole thing here-but I would be very surprised if Muslims wanted this list of prayers used as a mere concert anyway.

Then I read Mulier Fortis this morning and find that Tibeten gongs are to be used with the Names! Yikes! How on earth will the Muslim community respond to that?

There are bowl shaped gongs as well as the more obvious shaped ones and they are usually used as mantras and for spirit healing shenanagans. Can anyone see this being accepted as good news by Muslims?

Most importantly while this mixture of pagan and Islamic music and 'worship' that isn;t worship is actually happening INSIDE the Cathedral where will they put My Lord?

Will the Tabernacle be empty?

Will God be forced out of His own home to make way for this?

There is a protest against this brewing. I am quite saddened to see two letters in this morning's Catholic Herald that show such a lack of understanding of the seriousness of this situation and a very real confusion over the difference between the revealed God of Christianity and that of the Allah of Islam.
One writer uses the words 'God-the Father' to show Him as the same God of the Old and New Testament AND of Islam! So he blasphemes Islam in his attempt to make it the same as Christianity. *Sigh*
Confusion reigns.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Pro-Life in Oxford

Pro-Life Witness in Reparation for Abortion and Prayers for All Unborn Babies and Their Mothers

30th JUNE from 3 – 4 pm

We will be standing at the entrance of the John Radcliffe hospital for an hour of peaceful witness – please join us and bring a friend.
Refreshments available in the hall after.

Headley Way, Headington, Oxford
We meet outside St Anthony of Padua RC Church.

Contact Amanda Lewin 01869 600638

Don't be disabled-we wont let you in.

This story from St. Mary Magdelene really gets to me.
I am quite sure they know the DDA (Disability Discimination Act) but they felt sure they could get away with it. Why? Because they can be sure the MSM wont be interested in the story. Disabled people should know our place. We can be 'token' crips on TV but we must on no account point out the law that allows disabled babies to be killed right up to birth and the horrible arguments going on about killing off babies after birth if they are considered too premature.
Sometimes I am afraid when I think about the death by long starvation and dehydration of Terri Shiavo-and wonder when it will be my turn. Of course my husband is not like Terri's so he would not try to get me killed as my disability worsens, but the pressure will be on to either let me die or make me die-I am quite sure of that.

Prayer, prayer and lots of action...

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

June is the month of the Sacred Heart

It is the solemnity of the Sacred Heart today. In fact June is the month of the sacred Heart. I love that-no longer the month of some daft Roman goddess, but rather the month of Jesus the Bridegroom who loves us so much.
I heard Mother Angelica t'other night point out that so many people are lonely and looking for someone to love them and fail to realise they are loved, with a love more generous than anything mere human love can offer.
Turn to Him then, and bask in that love.

Just a little drink

DEATHS due to alcohol are increasing in the UK and I am sure the picture is much the same in other countries.

I have lost friends and have friends and family battling this awful 'disease'-I think we can call it that- and I have watched in sadness and frustration as their lives plummet the depths of misery.

Drunkenness is seen as funny, and even acceptable in our rather bizarre culture. How is this so? City centres are plagued by young people vomiting and rolling around the streets. They are often violent or getting into sexual behaviours they would never dream of doing when sober. How desperately sad all this is-how lacking in dignity as each of these person's are made in the image and likeness of God.

I recommend Alcoholics Anonymous and their sister group Al Anon. AA runs a wonderful system of groups and books that set people on the 12 step programme.

I have seen marvellous results from those I know who are on this programme.

Al Anon offers great support for those who have family or friends with alcoholism. When I called them I was told that they usually held meetings in Catholic church halls. She had no idea I was Catholic, but went on to explain that the Catholic church was very supportive and usually offered the halls for free or a minor fee. She explained that as all their funding is from voluntary contributions this was a great help.
I am proud that the Catholic churches around the UK are so willing to support this and I will blog more on it at a later date.

new links

Please note I've added links to the virtual rosary and Divine Office to the left of my blog.
The Universalis site is Anglican, but it's the only online Divine Office I can find and it is more or less identical to the one we have at home so it seems okay to me.
Apparently ICEL cling to the copyright of their version. That seems rather sad to me-but there you go.
Hope the links are useful.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

teaching Catholic kids

I know there has been a great deal of concern over the nature of RE taught in Catholic schools. While the schools seem to think they are teaching the Faith and our bishops...well I am sorry to say this, but what are they doing? One of those school RE schemes that has been so heavily criticised was Icons, which got an introduction from a bishop as though it did not undermine the teaching of the Church at all.

I am assisting my son's friend with his A'level RE at that moment. The head of RE in his Catholic school boasts to the children about his atheism. He then writes handouts that show his complete ignorance of Catholic history and teaching and demands the children, including A'level students learn it as though it has any merit at all.
I spend so much time correcting his errors with this student- and then so many children drop the faith they think they've been taught.

Less and less people are surprised I home educate.

Someone has to do it.

Someone has to have the children!

According to THIS STORY Spain needs to find those 'someone's'-and find them soon. It is a sad fact that the UK are not in much better shape. My oldest son works in a home for the elderly where the generation of the fifties and sixties are now housed in ever increasing numbers. This us the generation that had it all. In the UK rationing had finally ended and their was peace and prosperity. It was the time when contraception hit the scenes big time with the advent of the Pill and suddenly having babies was a bad idea.

Few of us born in those days have many siblings. I have one-most of my friends are in similar families. We were taught that we should go out and get careers and that children were and expensive burden- and many of us have listened to that mantra and swallowed the anti-family propaganda.

Now our parents are in these homes. My son watches with sadness and some considerable concern as they receive no visitors and seem to have no families-or no families willing to care.

My son talked with me the other night about the lonliness he sees in this home and the challenge of manintaining the dignity of people who seem to have lost so much in their old age.

Of course staffing these places is very difficult and most of my son's colleagues are from Africa or Eastern Europe. It seems in the UK we do not want to take care of our own-nor do we have the children to do so.

Large families could share the care of even difficult elderly relatives. But with only a couple of children the burdan came fall hard on one of them.

My friend has a neighbour with alzheimers. He has two children. His daughter visits when she can and his son occasionally, but the rest of the time my friend is left to do a lot of the care for this neighbour. She has 5 children and the son has told her bluntly she has too many! This, because he wants her to take the responsibility of caring for his father.

The sixties are often decried by those who object to VaticanII, but I have to say something went wrong-far more so than the lead up-and I don't think it was Vatican II, I think it was the Pill.
The people I cared for and now my son is looking after contracepted their families away and in the next few years those homes will fill with those who contracepted and aborted their families away.
As my sister likes to say-in the end is always comes around and bites you on the bum.

Rough night

My baby daughter is unwell so we had a rough night-poor thing.
I wondered as I sat up with her and struggled with her so she could breath and feed at the same time-something she is finding difficult with a bad cold- how a non-parent might deal with it.
I had to work outside of the home for many years until my husband got promotion and we were able to get by on one wage. I was fortunate however, that I never needed to leave the children overnight.
But I saw the story of Louise Woodward the English nanny who was convicted of killing a baby in her care. She was 18 at the time. The parents both worked.
I have an 18yr old who is very good with his little siblings and he works in an old people's home-something most kids of his age wouldn't cope with I think-but even so, I can't imagine leaving him to deal with his little sister for long periods without support.
I saw a news programme about Darfur where they admitted that although orphaned children were being cared for by other families they did not receive the same care as the families own children.

I needed grace and patience last night-and I was given it, but was it easier because I am her mother, or becuase God just does that? Could someone who was just being paid to care actually love my child? I have never seen it-not unconditionally anyway. Kindness, yes, but not love.

I am so grateful I can be home for my children now.

Monday, 11 June 2007

How a mum blogs

Mum grabs the computer when ds is distracted and gets to blog.
Baby cries-save as draft- feed baby.
housework and toddler time.
Lunch- eat lunch with baby on lap and typing blog -that's why there WILL be typos!!
toddler and 4 yr old fight-save as draft-split 'em up.
Add more to post-loose track of what I'm posting on-save and deal with baby and home ed things.
Come back and finish post while holding baby who is wriggling and being kissed by over enthusiastic 2 yr old.
post to blog.

We worship the gods we make

We had a visiting priest last week who gave a great sermon on the difficult subject of the Holy Trinity. I admit with a baby, toddler and 4 year old to field I didn't catch all he said, but I heard him say something along the lines of making God the way we would prefer Him to be and then worshipping that false image.

How true is that!

There are so many different kinds of Jesus out there. If you were to believe everyone's view of him you could only conclude he had multiple personality disorder.

Of course the Jesus of Scripture and the Church is very clear and recognisable. I am seeing that strongly in reading Pope Benedict's Jesus of Nazareth (yep, I just had to get it). Is this the God we really want to worship, to make the centre of our lives?

Father was quite subtle really in his warnings against making our own gods to worship (in direct contravention of the First Commandmant), but he was asking why we feel the need to do it. Why can't we take God as His Word?

Some time ago a friend of ours talked, somewhat enthusiatically, about a book he was reading on how future churches should or even would be set up. The book essntially laid out a consumer market so that people attened churches that best suited their needs and personal views. I asked where Jesus fitted in to that and ... well, He didn't.
It seems to me that the modified false images of Jesus are not really the gods people want to worship anyway. If they were those churches would be full wouldn't they? Instead they are dieing off. They frequently have no minister at all and the dwindling congregation is made up of elderly people who seem to be there for the social life.
I'll never forget in my husband's pre-Catholic days, attending a service with him where the nice old lady next to us spent the whole service talking to my children. She was very nice to them, but I was in the process of teaching them how to behave in church, especially in Mass and here we were at 'daddy's church' and the rules obviously did not apply.
Am I digressing?
Perhaps not. In the end false Jesus's are boring and so people do not worship them at all.

The Jesus we are called to worship is the corpus on the cross, pouring Himself out for us; it is the Jesus who demands our faith and commitment and calls us to carry our cross to follow Him; it is the Jesus who heals, who casts out demons, who demands that we are perfect as His heavenly Father is perfect.
How much more interesting that Jesus is, how much more worthy of our love and worship than Jesus the buddy, Jesus the socialist, Jesus the therapist, Jesus the big girl's blouse....

Life on the Rock EWTN showed a youth group-Youth for Truth. They spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, learning about their Faith, receiving the Sacraments and being active in the community. It's a well attended enthusiastic group.
The future- worshipping God as God.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Virtual Rosary

Pregancy, ill health and then a new baby have all conspired to make my prayer life chaotic.
However, as I popped around blog-land I came accross CSSML and the link to the VIRTUAL ROSARY. It's great, easy to use and no matter how many distractions from baby, toddler, 4yr old, phone, older kids, door get the picture- I don't lose my place in the prayers!
Whey hey!

Corpus Christie

I know I should have written this on Thursday-but here it is anyway.

Sadly the bishops of England and Wales moved this beautiful feast to Sunday. I have to say I do not understand this move which seems to impky the Faith is a Sunday only obligation.

Surely Catholics are crying out for a challenge-a Faith that really MEANS something.

So what is CORPUS CHRISTIE all about?

It is the feast of the Body of Christ, when we renew our gratitude to God for his Passion and the institution of the Eucharist. This is the supreme gift Christ has given to us-to His bride the Church. he gives His Body, Bloood, Soul and Divinity. Isn't that the most astonishing gift?

THIS IS MY BODY, He said and THIS IS MY BLOOD and then as St. Augustine pointed out, He held Himself in His own hands and gave Himself to the apostles at the Last Supper. I cannot begin to imagine what went through the minds of those men as they shared the consecrated brad-the Lamb of God between them.

Jesus said clearly that we must eat his body and drink his blood (John 6) if we are to have life in us. He offered this to all and yet so many walked away-and so many still walk away from this stunning gift.

I have always beleived in the real presence even in those days when I had huge doubts about the Church. When I was younger I could sense the warmth of God's Presence in a tabernacle so much that I could sense the absence in those churches that did not have Him there. Protestant churches simply felt empty.

I never really knew how to describe this properly-but it can't be just me as I recently read A Cry of Sone by Michael o'Brien and he desribes the Presence as a beating heart, which is not quite how I sensed it, but very close.

Christ wants us to beleive and come to Him.

Eucaharisitc miracles are to be found all over the world. Hosts bleed and cardiac tissue forms in the centre of them, the consecrated wine turns to blood so that it can be seen and tested. These miracles still occur today as faith in the Real Presence diminishes and more and more people think they have a right to 'take' Communion even while not in a state of grace. Have they not seen the miracles? How do people explain them away when scientific study cannot?

The horrifying sight of public sacriligious reception of Holy Communion is painful in the extreme.

Fr Tommy Lane explains it all so much better than I could.

I was very tempted to leave the Church during my wilderness years, but each Sunday when I knelt before that Christ truly present-I just couldn't leave. In the end He brought be fully home and I am so grateful.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Silent MSM and the Chaldean Christians

I am a great fan of Aid to the Church in Need . Every year they publish a book about how Catholics are being persecuted and martyred all over the world. Sadly it is muslim adherrents who are the leaders in the majority of Catholics and other Christians being martyred.
In Iraq the Chaldean Church is under horrible attack on a regular basis. THIS STORY is just one of many recently.
Nuns have been attacked and priests and deacons murdered. Amy Welborn has covered many of these stories.

There is a strange silence in the MSM. While Sky News is so lacking in real news they run long winded, boring and repetitive stories about the stupid shenanegans in the Big Brother house, the Chaldean's do not merit so much as a headline.

Despite the fact that these horrible persecutions have been going on for a long time-who can forget the 14 year old boy who was crucified?- there seems to be little interest from either the media or the UK and USA govts.
That awful man Jack Straw dismissed the persecutions as not happening when he was Foreign Secretary. IMHO this was because he was fishing for the Muslim vote. Chaldean Christian's were not offered asylum here.

The Warrior has more to say on this issue.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Free Speech

Last time I looked the vote (see post below) for Cardinal Pell having every right to speak on matters pertaining to Catholic teaching looked like this:

Cardinal Pell and stem cells
Rate his warning to Catholic politicians about voting in favour of stem cell research

A spiritual leader has the right to point out moral and religious consequences - 38%

He should keep out of politics. Churchmen shouldn't make veiled threats against MPs - 48%

Let our elected representatives decide on their own - 14%
Total Votes: 8473
So whatever happened to free speech? There are many who seem to think the Cardinal should pay for trying to tell the truth. Since when was emryonic stem cell research purely a politcal matter anyway?

It is no surprise that in a media world run by bullies, that they see no need to treat the Cardinal with respect. They don't want him to speak, because he has this nasty habit of saying things they cannot answer and so do not want to hear.

Stuffing you fingers in your ears and shouting lalalala on top of your voice, does NOT constitute forming your conscience. The fact is, Cardinal Pell has taught the message of the Gospel, and those who have wars to hear can hear.

I am bemused by the level of support for embronic stem cell research that has so far shown itself to be absolutely useless. Adult and umbilical stem cells are already producing very good results, so why are we not demanding funds be transferred to those enterprises?

Whose interests are being served by the constant call for funding to kill more babies?

I can bet that should a cure for my disability come from stem cells, it wont be from babies-and let me say here and now, should some medic want to put harvested bits of dead baby in me just so I can throw away the wheelchair and meds; I'll keep the chair and meds.

On Cardinal Pell; there was a rumour he might be filched for the UK when Carinal Murphy-O'Connor retires. As much as I wish it were true, I doubt it. Australia needs him-if only cloning...

support Cardinal Pell

Go HERE and put in your vote to support Cardinal Pell as he stands up for the right to life of all unborn children. He has made it clear that those calling themselves Catholic cannot then say they support experiements on embryos-unborn children.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

An Ideal Husband

We have spent an awful lot of time studying Oscar Wilde's satirical comedy "The Importance of Being Ernest" here recently. All that is over now as the exams are done and ds is awaiting results in August.
There is a scene in which Gwendolyn essentially tells Ernest/Jack that he needs to get on with proposing to her. In a somewhat fumbling manner he manages to do so. Wilde writes a similar set up in An Ideal Husband where Mabel informs Tommy it is about time he proposed.

In modern times it has become increasingly excepted that women can do the proposing. In fact leap year is supposed to be the time she does this. But I have to wonder, what kind of man waits for the woman to ask him?
I have seen a couple of these proposals done on TV and they are supposed to be all very romantic-but frankly they don't come across like that at all. I find myself looking at him and thinking - perhaps somewhat uncharitably- 'what a big girl's blouse!'

St John Chrysostom the Golden Mouth taught from Ephesians 5 that a man needs to truly love his wife, as Christ does the Church and be willing to suffer and die for her as Christ did for His Bride, the Church.
I have to wonder, if a man does not even have the guts to propose-how will he sacrifice for his bride?

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

parenting an adult

Here I am with my house full of huge 18 year old boys-I mean men-or is it boys?
And that really is the question.
As a mum I am used to parenting, because that's what a mum does. But how do I parent an 18 year old?
"You have to let go," 'they' say, "you have to let him make his own mistakes."
Is that so?
The only reason there are three lads sitting around my dining table anotating their drama work right now is because their mum's have leaned on them heavily enough to get it sorted. As mums we know we are not going to see our sons pass their A'levels and move onward into life if we don't push here and there.
Certainly our sons have more responsibility now than even last year and more is to be expected of them, but I do not beleive they are fully fledged adults yet. It takes time, and part of that learning to be an adult experience is surely to realise we will always need others at times to push us forward or to guide us.
I am grateful to have friends and a husband who are willing to offer the push and encouragement I need sometimes.
Homestly, I would never have completeed my Master's at Maryvale if I had not had the support of friends and husband.

I think there are those who think it should be easy for me because I have 6 kids so surely I know what I'm doing by now-but this is the first time I've had an 18 yr old!

The other mums and I stand together and each play a role in keeping the three lads on the straight and narrow. We pray for our sons and we are horribly honest about them-top their face as well!

The three of them are working hard now and another mum will arrive soon to work with them.
At the end of June the exams will be over and we can relax a bit.
They are good lads and on the whole I think we can trust them to be out of our sight, but 18 is not a magic age when suddenly the brain forms a load of new synapses causing an out break of great common sense, judgement and thoughtfulness; no, it still takes formation.
I will still be mum-even when he leaves home, but I will be less hands-on I guess.

Monday, 4 June 2007

Why I both love AND hate large, homeschooling families

Having read THIS and this THIS I thought I would write this:
We are a mixed schooling family. I have one child currently in school and another child who will be starting school in Sept while I home educate two children and the others are too young. So-mixed.
When it comes to parenting styles and children's behaviour I've seen both schooled and homeschooled families at close quarters.
Sadly the worst family we have ever had anything to do with were a large Catholic home ed family. This was not little kids wiping pizza on walls, this was older kids bullying younger children, lieing to and stealing from us. This was children being rude to adults and showing off about sinful behaviour such as getting drunk.

As large Catholic families we are indeed very visable and we are called I believe to be the best witness we can be to the Culure of Life, and most of the families I know, whether they home ed or not, do quite well, but it is the awful families that stand out for some reason.

The Church teaches that parents have the primary right and duty to educate our children. Education means the whole formation of the child, not just academic achievement.
I really do beleive it is a reflection on me-well their father and me, if our children misbehave in public. We spend an inordinate amount of time with 'say please' and 'say thank you' and making sure they learn to speak with adults in a polite and appropriate way.
They are taught right from wrong.

It is true that when expectations are high that children will rise to the occastion. I think it is also true that children will behave like their parents. If parents lie and bully then their children are hardly going to be honest and polite are they?

It is a sad fact that some schools are actually having to teach table manners and teach children how to eat because thjey are not taught at home.

One of the reasons our children have learned to behave well in other people's homes I beleive, is because their grandfather, aunts and uncles have had high expectations of behaviour in their homes too, so we have been fully supported in our parenting.

Can I ask that families, especially if you home ed-stand together and support one another.

Some of my children are nearly adults now and we do receive a lot of compliments about their behaviour and demeanour. God has been good to us and poured out His graces so that the children-so far- have turned out okay, but the journey is not over yet and just because they are older does not mean I stop being their mother.

I have been so grateful for kindess and support from my husband's family and from friends who have and still do offer words of encouragement.
We no longer have anything to do with the family I have mentioned. I discovered later they had caused problems for other families too, but we had not been warned. ...

Sorry, what a disjointed post this is-but I have a baby to feed and a toddler to deal with and teenagers in and out and- well as you see, I am a mother with a large homeschooling family.

Friday, 1 June 2007

Pro-life in Oxford

Every month in Oxford prayers and Mass are said for all those babies killed in abortion mills and for their mothers. People meet at St Anthony of Padua's Church and the protesters stand along the road that leads to the John Radcliffe Hospital where the NHS performs abortions on a regular basis.

If you are in the area or can get there you are more than welcome to join in. If you are unable to attend then please add your prayers, your rosary devotions to theirs so that somewhere a mother will turn away from such a devastating choice.

Yesterday Cardinal Keith O'Brien spoke out strongly against the Culture of Death and those polititions who claim to be Catholic but vote for

baby killing and then sacriligiously go up to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion.

With the beautiful images we of our unborn children that we have access to these days I believe the tide is turning against abortion. There is hope.

The next meeting in Oxford is on

SATURDAY 30th June
3-4pm (the hour of mercy

If you live in Birmingham there is a witness every Wednesday evening at 7pm at SS Joseph and Helen in King's Norton. They have an abortion mill in the same road their church is on.

Add your prayers with theirs.

Keep your eye on OXFORD EVENTS