Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Prayer for discernment

Every day I pray for God to grant me the Grace to discern what is true and what isn't. I beg Him to open my eyes and my soul to what HE wants me to learn. Ask and you will receive said Jesus so I asked and still ask and I have indeed received.
This of course means that I have had to change a great deal. Embarrassed
In searching for the WhiteStone Name that I hope to receive in the end I have had to let go of a lot my less than humble opinions. Into to bin has gone my disobedience to the Church; contraception and all that closed to life mentality (though I never supported abortion); support for women's ordination; various wacky bits of feminism.
It has not been easy. I liked some of my opinions. Being proved wrong is a tough thing to deal with-but when you're wrong, you're wrong and I was-over rather a lot.

So baring in mind that I have learned my own judgement can be a bit iffy I keep up the prayer because I really really want to know the Truth and God's Will.
I believe God will do this for anyone who asks it of Him-so go ask. But be warned He might ask you to change and change big time.

It hurts, but it is worth it.
God bless

MP3 debate Karl Keating and Dave Hunt

I downloaded a debate between Karl Keating and Dave Hunt to listen to on my MP3 player during the hols while I potter around doing housework and the like.
Dave Hunt wrote a pretty unpleasant and inaccurate piece of work about the Catholic Church as the 'Whore of Babylon'.
It was a good debate with a protestant anchorman who I have not heard before. He seemed pretty fair and actually listened to the answers when he asked a question. Mr Hunt fascinated me because he seemed able to completely ignore those parts of Scripture that Dr Keating showed him that did not fit his view. He insisted he loved Catholics but then went to show he could not really be bothered to listen to anything Keating had to say because it must be wrong.

I have to say he was up against it. I would never want to be on the opposite side to Karl Keating in debate. The man knows his stuff-although I was a bit disappointed he forgot the obvious reference to purgatory in St Paul 1 Cor 3:12 where he points out we have to get the straw burned away as only the gold gets through them pearly gates.

You can get the debate HERE just scroll down the page.

Monday, 30 July 2007

This is Lindesfarne Priory. Henry VIII destroyed it of course. It must have been utterly stunning when it was whole, but even now it has beauty and in the gathering clouds a sort of haunting sadness. I love this place that has been visited by so many saints. St Aidan came from Iona to live here and work with King Oswald of Bamburgh Castle to give the Gospel to the Saxons and Jutes who lived there.

A Crip with kids on Holy Isle

I listen a lot to Dr Ray Guarendi on Ave Maria and Immaculate Heart Radio. He and his wife adopted 10 children and home school. He often talks about the weird and less than wonderful comments those of us with more than the stipulated limit of one and a half children get.

Well there I was sitting on the bank above the rocky beech of Lindesfarne, looking across the bay to the abbey and village.

I had my baby daughter on the breast (taking as little Tramadol as I can while I am still deciding what to do).

My husband and the other five children were looking at crabs and generally having a good time among the rocks.

An old lady was sitting on a bench just a few feet along from where I was parked in my wheelchair. As the little ones ran up to show me stones and things they had found it became obvious that they were all mine.

The old lady came over and admired the baby and then asked me if that was my family down on the beech and I said yes all six were mine.

Poor woman-she was aghast and so concerned for me. She asked darkly if my dh was any help. LOL. I think she thought he was forcing his poor crippled wife to have all these kids.

I was able to say we loved having lots of children and I enjoy being a mum etc.

I know Dr Ray and some of those who contact him find all this stuff annoying at times- and so do I, but then I think being a crip with six kids DOES make me stand (or sit) out a bit and so I get the chance to say being a mum is good and children can be good caring people.

So it's not so bad.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

You gotta love Northumbria

We are back from the beautiful lands of Northumbria and I miss it already-especially Lindesfarne (or as my 4yr old calls it Linda's Farm).

We attended Mass at the tiny church of St Aidan's in Seahouses. Father said that Lindesfarne or Holy Isle as it is also called gets around half a million visitors a year. Many of those must be pilgrims I believe. In fact while we were there I saw a lady who looked African approach the statue of St Aidan and make the Sign of the Cross.

I'll post some photos and some brief stories about the place soon.

It's God's own country around there and we wish we could live up there. We are looking into it and if God wills-it may just happen.

I am not a city girl and despite 20yrs in a city I am still NOT a city girl-so moving up there would suit me fine. I also like the fact we would be near to the Scottish end of the family who we love dearly.

Anyway, it might never happen-but we are looking at the possibility.

Anyone live that way?

Friday, 20 July 2007

Pastoral approach for the lapsed

I spoke to a friend yesterday who used to be Catholic. She left the Church quite some time ago, angry with God because of her abusive family situation. She's now married with children and although she had her first two baptised in a Catholic church she has had her third baptised in the local C of E.
Now in her area there is hardly anything resembling a Catholic church. Mass is said in a community hall with a visiting priest. Yes the UK is that bad in areas.
She now attends the service at her local C of E when she likes. She and her children have been made very welcome by the vicar who is good with families and children. She does not make friends easily and has in the past been left to cope with very difficult circumstances.
She feels at home with her local C of E church because it meets her personal needs.
Okay I realise this is a naff reason to attend any church. But many people who are wounded can't think beyond the 'MY NEEDS' thing.
She noted that the vicar came to her home for baptism prep and the priest wouldn't. He expected all the parents to go to him on a set evening at a set time and seemed unable to understand she had a toddler and a husband who worked away.
Now I can't see Catholic priests having the time to visit every family with a baby for baptism prep. She couldn't see why but she lives in a village not a city with say 15/1600 families in a parish with ONE priest. The minister round the corner from us has about ten families and no young children- see the difference?
Nevertheless I think little is done to help families with young children bring them to the Sacraments.
Part of my 'dream' I think would be that there would be outreach from parishes that includes priests and deacons. Frankly people want to see a dogcollar. I know when I was ill and vulnerable I needed a priest and an EMHC just would not have cut it.
I think as the new orders grow the broken and wounded will be reached-but in the meantime, people like my friend will go where they get attention, rather than where there is Christ.

Last Blog fpr a week

We're off to Northumbria tomorrow and then up to Edinburgh to visit kith and kin. CAN'T WAIT! So today is the last blog for a week -unless I find a hot spot but I doubt it.

Don't forget the PRO LIFE rally on 28th July 3-4pm (scroll down for all the details) Please pray for all those attending. As the UK oppresses more people for speaking the truth they are brave people.

Can I also ask your prayers for the good Bishop of Hereford who has lost a case in court for daring to suggest a gay man who wanted to work with CofE youth should abide by Christ's rules and remain celibate.
I know the Cof E have a lot of problems morally but Hereford Cathedral is a bastion of true family Christianity. The Dean and his staff are good people.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Breastfeeding dilemma

I had an appt with a consultant neurologist yesterday. As is the way with the NHS I never get to see the same doc twice. They keep leaving. (Michael Moore should have interviewed me for his daft film 'Sicko' HA!)
Anyway the doc I saw yesterday seems much more on the ball and thorough is his assessment questions than anyone I have seen so far. He was quite shocked at the lack of tests I've had so far and gave me a nice long list of things he would like to do to me. He wants to get started asap.

In the conversation I asked about changing meds because I am concerned about taking Tramadil while I am breastfeeding. The Obstetrician I saw while pregnant said Amytriptyline would be safe. So I asked. Now this doc says Amytriptyline is not safe and could actually change my baby's brain because it works on serotonin.
Tramadil is an opiate so I don't think that's much better and he agreed.

He has basically said choose- take pain relief and bottle feed or stay of the meds and breastfeed.
I know this might sound silly-but I really believe it is important to breastfeed my children.
I did have to bottle feed one of them -but that was because she was ill (reflux).
Obviously I am a lousy mum when I am in a lot of pain so the sensible thing to do is get my girl on a bottle.
BUT I seem to be getting conflicting advice on how safe or dangerous my meds are for my daughter.
If anyone has any thoughts throw them this way.
Pray for me on this one please.

NFP-who uses it?

I was chatting about NFP with my dh yesterday. He wonders if there is any research out there that shows who uses NFP. Does anyone know?
He believes it would show that the majority of couples would be married with a single income for the family and possibly a larger family on average.
I know NFP is spreading out there particularly among those who are having problems getting pregnant.
I recommend Fertility Friend in fact for accurate charting.

Eternal Israel

Continuing my reading of Chapter 4 of Papa Beni's book. He spends more time discussing Rabbi Neusner. MMajorFan has kindly offered an answer to my concern that the rabbi has 'met' Jesus and yet rejected him.
"The person who met Jesus and then rejected him who would be in the most trouble would be a person who rejects the right of God to challenge him and make demands upon him at all."
Certainly this is true and perhaps as the rabbi does not do this, he has a way to be saved through his love of God revealed in the Old Testament-the 'eternal Israel'.

"The hardest person to save is the one who puts his or her self over God."
The rabbi recognises that Jesus is saying He is God. He sees clearly that Jesus is announcing Himself as greater than the Torah and it is His NEW Israel which is to be the instrument of salvation. In the end the rabbi cannot accept that the eternal Israel he knows and loves can be fulfilled and made new as Jesus announces with the coming of the Kingdom. Is he putting himself over God? It's hard to say-and the pope seems to think not.
Jesus clearly states that He is Lord of the Sabbath and the rabbi sees that statement for what it is. (Bizarrely a lot of Christian's of an Arian bent don't). As the pope writes, "Jesus claim entails that the community of his disciples is the new Israel. How can this not unsettle someone who has the "eternal Israel" at heart? The issue of Jesus' claim to be Temple and Torah in person also has implications for the question of Israel..."

It does indeed. I am interested in the rabbi's view of the eternal Israel now that the Temple has gone. So much of Jewish practice was lost then-but the family and its holiness in practicing the Mitsvahs of the Sabbath remain of course.
But the family and the new Law of the Sabbath are whole in the Church that Jesus established-the new Israel. He is bridegroom-father of the bride-Church-Jerusalem/Israel and therefore head of the family. Perhaps the rabbi could not accept that.

Take a look at what MMajor wrote below. She makes very good points-and yes a HUGE book could be written on this!
I could go on and on....don't worry I wont :)

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Pro Life In Oxford

It's the next Pro-Life rally in Oxford coming up.

The next pro-life witness is 28th JULY, from 3 -4 pm at the entrance to the JR hospital, in front of the RC Church of St Anthony of Padua.
Please do all you can to support this event.
There will be NO witness during August, and it will become monthly from September. Please will the PPs on the list put the poster up and announce the witness at Sunday Mass and in their bulletins - many many thanks. Please remember the unborn and their Mothers on the day if you're unable to come.
Please will those of you who visit my blog put this on your sites too-and as always if you can't make it there add your prayers.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

The Pope on Rabbi Neusner

I'm still on Chapter 4 of the Holy Father's book (hope he's busy writing the next book while he's away hehehe).
He talks about Rabbi Neusner's book "A Rabbi Talks with Jesus". The Rabbi spends a lot of time with the Gospels and puts himself in the position of being there and listening to what Jesus has to say. Neusner understands Scripture very well (better than some Christians sadly). He recognises that in the Sermon on the Mount the addition to the Law is Christ Himself and Neusner understands very well what this means. But in the end the Rabbi chooses to walk away.
Pope Benedict writes:
"This dialogue is conducted with great honesty. It highlights the differences in
all their sharpness, but it also takes place in great love.
The rabbi accepts the otherness of Jesus' message, and takes his leave
free of any rancour; this parting, accomplished in the rigor of truth, is ever
mindful of the reconciling power of love."
Earlier the Holy Father has explained that Rabbi Neusner has decided not to follow Jesus, rather to remain with the "eternal Israel."
I find this a struggle. The rabbi has, it seems, almost met Jesus-perhaps he HAS met Him for he has certainly dialogued with Him through the Scriptures and yet despite his apparent search for truth the rabbi chooses to walk away from Jesus, preferring to leave things unfulfilled. My initial reaction was that the rabbi's book was just an intellectual exercise and he hadn't understood who he was talking to.But the Holy Father has read the book and says otherwise. He says it is done in the "rigor of truth". I am perplexed therefore at why the rabbi has chosen to reject Jesus-because that is surely what he has done.
I know that after the huge miracle of the feeding of the 5000 Jesus said 'Eat my body and drink my blood' and many walked away. They had seen and yet still did not trust enough to listen and hope.
Obviously Rabbi Neusner has not seen Jesus in the way those with him that day saw Him-but he has understood Him.
I am concerned-how is Rabbi Neusner to be saved?

Monday, 16 July 2007

Poison in the water

AS I am a member of the Couple to Couple League I get their magazine 'Family Communications'. It's published in the USA. Ages ago they did an article about how chemical contraceptives were putting oestrogen's into the water and this was effecting the fish.

Last night I noted that the issue has come up again. Antonia has noted that even more research is coming up with the problems of contraceptives in the water. Trout are changing sex and you would think that environmentalists would be up in arms about this. But there is a strange silence.
It will never cease to amaze me that a woman's dubious right to wreck her body by taking in synthetic hormones to damage her reproductive ability is so sacrosanct that it cannot be questioned no matter what damage is being done.

The effects on the rest of us having to drink this stuff is unknown, but if it's damaging fish it wont be doing us any favours.

We know that both male and female infertility is rising rapidly. We see increases in breast, cervical and ovarian cancers.

It's time to challenge this damage to our drinking water.
Want clean water? Use NFP!


Today I went for my driving assessment with Motability. I was looking forward to this but quite nervous as I haven't driven since I became disabled.
The world of crippledom has come on since the days of those huge basket chairs that littered Lourdes.
The car had all the adaptions the average disabled driver might need. There is a special nob that fits on the steering wheel which has a little keyboard complete with lights and indicators. It costs £800!!! Thank heavens I wont need that!
I will need a gas peddle that works on the left side and a steering nob without the extras on the wheel. I'll need indicators on the right. So long as we have an automatic I should be okay with just those adjustments.
Then I'll need lessons again just to get used to driving with bits of me not working right. Motability have recognised instructors for crips like me.
Then I should be okay! Whey-hey!
Of course I will have to leave out the opiate drug to drive...but maybe my Consultant will change my meds if I ask nicely.
I'm looking forward to taking the kids out for a trip...

David Cameron Tory Leader on Disability rights.
While I was waiting for my assessment there was a magazine called "Able" to read. Inside was an interview with David Cameron. Now, I have to admit I don't have much faith in Mr Cameron who seems far to quick to jump on bandwagons and nowhere near willing enough to THINK about them first.
Nevertheless he gave a rather interesting interview about treating disabled people with "dignity and respect" and allowing them (us) to have independence and dignity in our lives. Umm, this is a new idea in the Tory worldview as I worked with disabled people (yep I know, irony) when they were in power and taking away long term disabled people's independence and dignity was the order of the day.
Will Mr. Cameron remember his promise if he ever gets elected?
Does he understand what dignity and respect are?
Ummm. The Thinker

Saturday, 14 July 2007

We went pick your own

After meeting up with grandad we took the children and their auntie to pick fruit. This is an ideal 'all the family' activity. It wasn't wheelchair friendly, but I managed on crutches and the little one had a wonderful time.

We put the baby on a towel on the ground as we went - so at one point she was the baby found under a gooseberry bush.
We came home with an abundant harvest of strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and blackcurrants.

This is one of those home ed kind of activities in which the children get to understand where some of their food comes from. We do grow a few things in our small garden, but this was a chance to really see food growing.

And you simply can't help wondering at the generosity of God.
Farming is a tough job and the farming community in the UK have had a lot to contend with. St George and St Isadore the Farmer are the patron saints of farmers.
So the freezer is full and I am stocking up on pectin sugar - I use half and half with normal sugar. We will have jams, jellies, smoothies and icecream with plenty to give to friends and family.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Last night's House

I must admit I have been getting bored with House recently. The formula is...well, formulaic and I was getting a bit irritated with the lack of depth in the character writing.

But last night I must admit I was surprised and pleased by what I saw.

A pregnant mother was the patient. Now, it seems impossible for the writers to ever have a mother who got pregnant the conventional way and I have been a bit irritated by this-but I do wonder if there is a message even in that- bypass God in conception and there are likely to be problems. This is true, it is why He asks us to do things His way.

House who has made it clear in previous episodes that he is pro-choice. Each 'baby' episode has been interesting in that it is made quite clear there is a baby to consider, not just the mother.

This time the mother is adament she wants her baby to live. She refuses an abortion despite the pressure House puts on her.

He is left with doing a fetal operation to save both the baby and the mother.

They put in the moment the uterus is opened and the baby boy puts his hand out and clutches House's finger. Of course this is a very famous photot from a real operation done some years ago by that equally famous doctor of fetal medicine. I watched the actual op at the time and I remember the moment he held that tiny hand on his finger-astonishing.

In this re-enactment House too is astonished and moved by the experience. He stares in wonder at the little hand clutching his.

In the end mother and baby live.

Although House does not appear to have properly changed his mind, he argues with his boss Dr Cuddy at the end about how really it was luck that anyone survived etc etc. But Cuddy points out that it mattered to that mother and her son and she gets the last word.

I am pleased and surprised that a mainstream drama has handled this issue so well and with honesty. Even though the story is unlikely and extreme they managed to say something important and I haven't seen any complaints - mainly I think because the pro-baby killers can't complain about something so carefully written.

I always wear this:- the precious hands badge. I also have precious feet. They show the exact size and shape of a baby's hands at around 10-12wks gestation.
I've had to buy mine from the USA. I got my children's chastity rings from the same place. PRO_LIFE STUFF HERE
Perhaps when I get my Dream (see previous post) on the go I will sell them over here...
Anyway, to get back to the point. I think there is going to be more willingness to show unborn baby's on TV as what they are -people.
I don't think UK programmes will catche up for a while-we are apathetic about the slaughter here and the Govt is all for it-but we buy programmes like House from the USA and I reckon the gauntlet is down.
Is it a baby? Yes it is. So if you want the choice to kill it, you cannot pretend it isn't a baby.

I have a dream

God has called me to be a wife and mother and so I spend my day caring for children and being a housewife-but I have a dream...
One day I would like to start a FAMILY FESTIVAL. 'Family' could stand for Faith And Mission In Life-and something beginning with Y. Can't think what so ideas welcome.

There would be Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, Rosary Procession and prayers of Divine Office going on.
I would invite speakers to offer seminars and there would be activities for the children and adults such as crafts and a clay area.
There would be a shopping area for Catholic books, items and Fair Trade stuff. A cafe or two for people to meet, chill and chat over coffee.
I would invite LIFE, SPUC, Courage (if there is a Courage in the UK). I would invite ACN and some of the local little charities including the SVP and other parish run groups.
I would have the new orders come on down including the Franciscans of the Renewal.
There would be Bible study, Catechises -and I mean using the Catechism not some how-dose-it-feel-for-you programme.

There would be Confessions and I would like to have a marriage encounter group thing going. I would offer pre-Cana, Post-Cana and some stuff about baptism.
I would also like to be able to offer a wedding to a couple who would not otherwise afford the silly costs of these things today. We could get a dress borrowed and all the other stuff donated and available for the special day.

We could have puppet shows, drama, music and films on the go.

I would love to do this-one day, one day....

Thursday, 12 July 2007

My parish priest visited today.

My PP popped over today out of the blue. We had a chat and he is very open to the Motu Proprio and is already thinking of introducing a TLM at our church. Whey-hey Thumbs Up He said rather ruefully that he never felt it was right to say the Eucharistic prayers in English. He always preferred the Latin.

I did open my big mouth and offered to help with some basic catechises and working with marriage prep couples teaching NFP. LOL. I think God made me.

ONE, Holy, Catholic and APOSTOLIC CHURCH

There has been a lot of silliness over the new document full of old good news coming out of the Vatican. The Russian Orthodix get it, and I bet a lot of other Orthodox Churches get it too.

But the World Council of Churches of course doesn't get it. Or rather they don't want to get it. Many of those 'churches' have dropped the Creed in case it offends anyone. At my dh's church they made it more or less your choice whether you wanted to believe in God, or Jesus is the Son of God. The Holy Trinity too hard a concept? Don't bother with it.
It was less than inspiring.

So, in a nutshell; Christ is the Bridegroom and He has ONE bride, not lots of them and that bride is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It's the Church He founded on Peter the Apostle (Mt 16:18) who with the other apostles passed on the Good News as both oral Tradition and Scripture and it's what St Paul tells us to hold fast to.(2 Thes 2;14/15)

It is the Church that St Paul tells Timithy is the piller and foundation of truth. (1 Tim 3:15)

It is the Church with all those amazing saints like St Peter and Paul, St Francis of Assisi, St Teresa of Avila, my own beloved St Birgetta and her daughter St. Katrin of Sweden.

It's the Church with all the miracles inc the incorruptables.


And I think this is why the Orthodox get it. They have maintained the apostolic succession and have Christ as the source and summit of their life and worship.

To those who really don't get it- start looking for the Truth. Ask God to show you and He will, but you had better be prepared to see whatever He shows you. Do not be afraid. The treasure is so worth whatever sacrifices you have to make believe me. I have it and I've given up everything I once thought was important to me-and I have more than I ever hoped for.

Ask God. I dare you. Be Shocked

I'm praying for the Cardinal

I was still smarting from the decision to keep +Murphy-O'Connor when I saw someone called Argy had decided to offer one rosary a month for the Cardinal as a support to him in the hope he will receive the grace of courage and vertebrae. I have decided to join him in this endevour. So prayers begin for the Cardinal today. Anyone else want to join in?

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

St Benedict

It's the feast of St Benedict today. Love this piccie of him- doesn't he look like Fr Benedict Groeschel there?- Well I think so.

This is the saint who held firm as the Roman Empire collapsed in on itself drowning in its own immorality. Benedict saw his fellow students living the life of the secular modern world and was so horrified he left and went to live in the mountains.

He wanted to live as a hermit and God did permit this for a time but God has His own plans and in the end Benedict founded a whole order of monks and priests who renewed the face of the earth. It was their monasteries and schools that helped Europe stay sane.

Benedict had a twin sister called Scholastica who followed her brother to the mountains and with his support she set up her own order. So they worked side by side to bring people to the Gospel and out of the darkness around them.

Benedict wrote his RULE which is about love of God, obedience and humility as well as prayer and work. It is a simple rule which we can all learn from.

I have had to learn obedience and humility coming out of the Cafeteria where disobedience and being one's own pope was a way of life. It's been a tough lesson and I hope I will learn it well enough that in the end I will be worthy to receive a new name on a white stone.

The present Holy Father took the name Benedict after spending some time at his grave I believe. Bizarrely I had predicted he would take that name-but was quite stunned when he did. LOL. I thought that whoever took over from John Paul the Great would have the task of renewing the Church in a modern world that seems to be imploding on its own nastiness.

I jumped for joy when I saw Joseph Ratzinger step onto the balcony that day and then he said his name would be Benedict.

The last Pope Benedict- Benedict XV- took us through World War I and worked incredibly hard to put a stop to that war and broker peace. It will be to our lasting shame that the Brits, mainly I am sure because of the inherent anti-Catholicism here, refused to listen to him and the slaughter went on. I believe that is Papa Beni XV had been listened to WWI would have ended sooner with a lot less bloodshed and WWII may never have happened.

Our Papa Beni is leading us to a war of peace. In humility and obedience we need to listen to him.

Too many children LOL

I was listening to the podcast of the Doctor Is In - Dr Ray Guarendi. He talked about how people like to comment to those of us who have...erm...too many (sic) children.
He said a man had emailed him.
An old woman had come up to him and his children in a shop one day and said to him, "Surely you wont be having any more!"
His little girl immediately answered, "Oh but we still have space in the van!"
As the old lady's jaw began to drop, the little girl in all innocence turned her father and asked "Daddy, can you drive a bus?" ROTFL

We've had similar events. People are always so shocked and horrified by more than two children.
The usual "You do know what causes it don't you?" or "This is your last one isn't it?"
My husband took the car in for a clean yesterday.
Seeing the 3 kid seats in the 8 seater car the lad said "How many kids you got mate?"
"Six." says Dh cheerfully.
Horrified the lad replied "Don't you ever just watch TV?"
DH said only later did he wish he'd retorted that he had better things to do. Winky 2

This morning I had a back clinic appt. The poor doc got very confused about my pregnancies and epidurals, c-sections and spinals. He had assumed I had at the most 3 children and when the history went on he got confused.
"I have six," I explained.
"SIX!!!!" he responded and then realising that must have seemed rude he got a bit flustered and tried to cover up his response. Bless him.

I do know this rudeness can work the other way too. Too many people will assume that Catholic couples with no children or only one or two are contracepting. They often are not. They are living through the hell of infertility and being judged as not good enough Catholics because they haven't been blessed with a quiver full is extremely painful.

Personally I don't care about the rude remarks over too many children, but I would be devastated if I was judged for not being able to have enough.

God has been generous with me. I am now in the sad position of being told I can't have any more in case I bleed to death. But I am ever optimistic and hope in a couple of years another doc might have a different view. Who knows?
I still have love to give you see.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Whispers in the Loggia say the Holy Father has asked Cardinal Cormac Murphy-o'Connor to stay on past 75. Now I know this could be only for an extra year or two and I know he isn't that bad, but why? Is there no one in the UK ready to take up the massive massive task of getting the church here back on track? Perhaps not -or perhaps there is, but not yet.
I confess to being a bit confused by this move.
Still-the Vatican does tend to behave much like an Ent Moot-so I will try and learn patience.
But I want it now.

How INSaNe are you?
Quirky - You are only insane very rarely and when you do go insane it is hilarious.
'How Insane are You?' at QuizGalaxy.com

I'm not as mad as I though I was.
H/T to the Roving Medievalist

Monday, 9 July 2007

Papa Beni on Blessed are the Peacemakers.

I am on chapter four. Yeah, yeah, I know I am a slow reader, but I only get to read between doing stuff. (hence blog entries take a long time to write too-thank God for draft).

Anyway he was talking about how the meek inherit the earth. He wrote:
"...there is a sense in which the interplay between 'meekness' and the promise of the land can also be seen as a perfectly ordinary piece of historical wisdom: Conquerors come and go, but the ones who remain are the simple, the humble, who cultivate the land and continue sowing and harvesting in the midst of sorrows and joys.
The humble, the simple, outlast the violent, even from a purely historical point of view."
The meek are the peacemakers who mourn. They suffer because of the persecution and anger of those around them. But they hang in there, quietly until all those who are full of sound and fury have blown themselves out.
As Catholics in the UK, and I suspect especially those of us who home school, get targeted more and more often for the anti-Catholic, anti-family vitriol that spews from those pushing the gay agenda and other anti-family policies, we will have to stand quietly and stand firm. In the end we will inherit the earth.
They are aborting, contracepting, suiciding (that's a new word) and sterilising their way off the face of the earth.
In the end it will be families with children, quietly trying to lead their lives that will be left to inherit the earth.
Family 4 Do not be afraid. Family 2 Family 3
Weekend Camping

Two of the children went camping this weekend. I was expecting a mud-fest for them all but the sun was shining and the ground was only damp. They even got a bit sun burned.
It poured with rain the minute they set foot back in the house last night.
Is that luck or grace I wonder. Winky 2

Sunday, 8 July 2007

I am going to dare to say what I love about the Novus Ordo Mass.
First of all I do love my Church which has not suffered a wreckovation (apart from a missing altar rail). I love the fact that the statues, stations of the cross, stained glass windows and pictures all help to focus me on what is happening-and are great tools for teaching the children.
The bell rings until Mass starts.
There are candles, flowers a proper processional crucifix and a thurable.
We have incense!
I love the tabernacle with its liturgically correct coloured curtain.
Bells and gong at the elevation so even the neighbours know when Christ is present. (I like that-it's a proclamation).
Sung Latin once a month
Sung English once a month
Traditional hymns once a month
Modern hymns once a month-not my favourite but the music director uses her discretion and we rarely get the awful stuff.

My favourite part of the Mass is it's 3 yr cycle (plus the 2yr for daily Mass) which starts with Waiting for Christ the already but not yet in Advent of Year A and ends with the revelation of heaven at Christ the King Yr C. It's a complete story arc of Salvation History.

I have attended the sumptuous NO Latin at the Oratory in Birmingham a couple of times. It is very beautiful and very holy.
The NO at Maryvale is usually in English when I've been there-and also very holy.
I've been to a Mass in a 1970's ugly brick thing that was done well- but spoiled by the hideous building.
Been to Mass in a pretty little fairly modern church and it was done well but lacked incense and bells etc. Sad really.
Jesus was there though truly present in the Eucharist.
I've seen the NO done horribly (a church in Edinburgh which will remain nameless) and utterly beautifully -Birmingham Oratory and 'normal' -my own parish and a tiny church some where in Shropshire-can't remember where.
It can be done well and when it is, it's holy.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

The Moto Proprio- a little hope.

It's out and the champagne corks have popped around the Catholic blogosphere. Cheers

Over at the Closed Cafeteria there is an excellent overview and posting on the MP-with the English translation. here and here

English translation here.

Mark, over at Rise and Pray also has an excellent post.

I commented that I was not convinced the MP would make much difference to the abundant abuses of the NO Liturgy-but he quite rightly pointed out that new priests were being ordained and trained who would be ready to say Mass properly. I just have to wait and pray.

You see, for me the old Missal is something I have no experience with, and although I would attend such a Mass out of curiosity, what I really long for is a Novus Ordo Mass said with reverence, solemnity and without the...extras.

We don't need EMHCs in half empty churches, and we don;t need them giving blessings to the kids like pseudo-priests and priestesses.
The Holy Father knows what we have been through. He says:

Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope ...

This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.d the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them.

Oh yes Holy Father, indeed a deep pain.

I've pottered around the blogs and see the hope and expectation of healing and renewed liturgical reverence and I want to join in with the that joy and hope. I want to believe that even in the UK we will see a real cleaning of house and refilling it with flowers and incense and giving to God what is His and receiving Him, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in a state of Grace-rather than pain and irritation.

I'm not complaining about my own parish. Yes, there are things I wish didn't happen-mostly around the over use of EMHC's - but we do have a fairly abuse free Mass and we get the smells and bells and proper attire and the Tabernacle as the focal point of the Church. I can't complain.

So roll on Sept 14th. and the Barque of St Peter and God bless all who sail in her (It is seafarer's Sunday after all Smile)

Here I sit in the quiet. Oldest son is at work. Next two children are at camp; next two are out with their dad and the baby is alseep!
Me time!
Shh! I'm going to read some more Papa Beni's Jesus of Nazareth.
Today we pray for the souls of all those killed in the 07/07 terrorist attack in London two years ago. We pray for the families of those killed and for those recovering even now from the injuries and trauma they suffered on that day.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Sister's for the Gospel of Life

There's a new blog started by the Sisters for the Gospel of Life . Have a look. They have a charism with mothers in crisis pregnancy.
If you ever get the chance to offer your home to one of those unwanted babies don't pass up on it. Even if the mother still chooses to go ahead with the abortion-you will have tried, and just maybe you will be given the gift of that child, or maybe the mother will keep her baby.
It's worth a try.
My husband and I have tried twice. Sadly both babies were killed, but I still think of them.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

More on Sex ed and Eric Hester's article

More on the Eric Hestor article; Him in Blue me in purple

Nor would I personally nowadays recommend the local state school as an alternative. Some of the teachers there are good people, but they are completely under the thumb of the local education authority and, apart form other considerations, the sex-education programmes alone would render them entirely unsuitable for Catholic children.

This is the crunch paragraph. CatholicMomof10 was asking what other parents experience has been of sex-ed in Catholic schools.

Well in primary my older three had a kind of personal hygiene and menstruation session. Nothing I had not gone through at home, but probably useful and reassuring. The two older ones got the 'talk' in year 6- boys and girls separated, but my third child got her 'talk' as a whole class and in year 5.

Now, I have mixed feelings about this. There was nothing unsuitable in the talk, nothing that would be difficult for children at different stages of development, but I would have prefered the class to be split even at that age. I think they chose to do it earlier because many of the girls start their periods in yr 6 and the school didn't want anyone to be unprepared.

It can be scary to have a first period with no idea of what is happening.

In secondary school the older two received what I think was basically a secular sex ed with the teacher saying in passing that the Catholic Church didn't approve. They were told about all the contraceptives out there, but NFP was not explained. Condoms were explained and then a video cartoon of a couple having sex.

Yes - Catholic school and it was Yr 7.

My oldest child went on some kind of contraception bus that came to the school. He was in yr 8 I think at the time.

I was never given prior notice that these things were going to happen.

I Home educate. None of my other children will be exposed to this or the bullying or the other stuff.

The sex-ed question

Didn't know what to blog about today until I popped over to CatholicMumof10. She has written on sex-ed and posted an article by Eric Hestor. I'm posting some of his article here with comments:

This article is based on one originally published in The Universe newspaper in 2002.

Eric Hestors words will be in BLUE and mine in purple

Catholic schools
Two strange things happened recently when there was a call for parents not to send their children to Catholic schools. The first strange thing is that this call was not from the National Secular society or similar gangs of tin-pot atheists. The call was made by a lady who is most experienced in Catholic education and is a Catholic of the Catholics. The very reason she gave was that Catholic schools can actually damage the faith of children.

I do remember this letter which was published in the Catholic Herald. Mrs McLeod pointed to alarming statistics that showed the vast majority of young people educated in Catholic schools stopped practicing a faith they were largely ignorant of anyway. So schools are/were not teaching it.

I have blogged before on some of the things our local Catholic Comp teach at A'level- not good. Grrr

The second strange thing was that no one in Catholic education wanted to respond to the call for parents to take their children away, not even the Catholic Education Service, which, when it was called by its previous title of the Catholic Education Council, would have thundered to defend Catholic schools from any slight, like a husband defending his wife’s honour. Why the silence? Is the good lady so obviously right that no one will spring to the defence?

I think the CES would indeed have a difficult task in defending themselves.Mrs McLeod does not throw around accusations without good research and evidence to back her up. I do have some doubts about some of the things from Mrs McLeod, but on the whole she is straight up-and perhaps those areas where her frustration shows through are understandable.

First, I think that Mrs Daphne McLeod is right in most of her diagnosis of the problem. Mrs McLeod, a head teacher and teacher for 40 years, says:
“All the RE schemes produced in this country over the last 35 years have presented teachers and pupils with a travesty of the divinely revealed truths of the faith.”

I agree that this is true. The central truths of the faith are not properly presented in Weaving the Web, Here I Am and Icons.

IMHO Icons is not quite as bad as WTW and I haven't seen much of Here I Am. Icons is however wishy washy and inaccurate. It inists on referring to the Church as 'it' rather than 'She' largely because it wants to give the impression that the Church is a man made institution rather than the Bride and Body of Christ (which of course don't get a mention). That's just one example I remember from borrowing Icons books when my kids were in school.

There have been many detailed examinations of these texts to prove this, not least by Mrs McLeod herself. However, I should just like to mention three vital and central Catholic ideas that are missing. There is, first of all, no sense given that the individual has a soul which he or she must save in order to go to heaven to all eternity and to avoid the horrific alternative of hell. The word “soul” itself is actually difficult to find in modern RE texts. Next, the concept of Christ’s redemption is not fully explained.

Partly I believe because redemption seems to be the 'bad news' to the writers and the word 'SACRIFICE' must never be used. I am a writer and have been involved in rewriting a First Communion book which is used in Catholic schools. My rewrite was heavily edited and I was told quite categorically that the word 'sacrifice' was not allowed.

There is no proper mention of sin, let alone original sin, and so no explanation of the sacrifice of Calvary. Many other items are omitted but the final one I should draw attention to is that there is no sense of The Catholic Church as being the Church of Christ and, therefore, being the only one possessing the full truth. Papal authority is hardly mentioned, let alone infallibility.

Sin was banned in the 1970's. I have a book (Peter de Rosa of course) with some nun saying sin would be bad for self esteem. It was one those things edited out of the book I worked on; kids make 'mistakes' (that need confessing)-they don't sin apparently.

The present holy father has devoted much time and energy in his pontificate to try to put right the teaching of the faith to the young. In his great apostolic exhortation, Catechesi Tradendae, he insists on the following:

"In order that the sacrificial offering of his or her faith should be perfect, the person who becomes a disciple of Christ has the right to receive the word of faith not in mutilated, falsified or diminished form but whole and entire, in all its rigour and vigour. Unfaithfulness on some point to the integrity of the message means a dangerous weakening of catechesis and putting at risk the results that Christ and the ecclesial community have a right to expect from it."
In Scotland, the late Cardinal Winning admitted the problems before the Synod of European bishops referring to "the catechetical desert" and admitting that "teachers (my italics) and parents are now being asked to pass on a faith which they barely know themselves." There has been no admittance of any failings in England and Wales.

I am afraid my view is that is because they couldn't care less.

On the bright side many parents of my age (40's) are realsing that they don't know the faith and are turning to the Catholic sourses on the Net such as EWTN, NEWADVENT and many of the excellent Catholic stuff from the USA and we are learning our Faith and passing it on to our children. This means we can correct what the schools teach. In the end it will be in their homes that children get the faith. Of course life would be a lot easier on this front if we had some support from priests let alone bishops, but that will come too- I think I have seen some signs.

In Catachesi Tradendae, the Holy Father asks the following question:

"What kind of catachesis would it be that failed to give their full place to man's creation and sin, to God's plan of redemption and its long, loving preparation and realisation, to the Immaculate One, the Mother of God, ever Virgin, raised body and soul to the glory of heaven, and to her role in the mystery of salvation, to the mystery of lawlessness at work in our lives and the power of God freeing us from it, to the need for penance and asceticism, to the sacramental and liturgical actions, to the reality of the Eucharistic presence, to participation in divine life here and hereafter, and so on?"

The Holy Father's question is rhetorical but he almost describes Icons. Yet Icons is endorsed by, it seems, just about every RE adviser of every diocese in England and some take dictatorial measures to try to prevent the poor teachers even looking at other material. When the Holy Father last met the bishops of England and Wales, he specifically told them of what ought to be included in religious education. The current recommended RE texts do not obey the Hoy Father’s orders.

The Icons I borrowed had a glowing intro from Archbishop Nichols of Birmingham. This was a disapointment to me because I had heard he was keen on eductional matters. No

The recent dispute, where the Director of the Catholic Truth Society publicly complained that a new series of books for schools by that organisation had been banned in some dioceses, even though it is personally endorsed by his Grace the Archbishop of Birmingham, shows what a bad state we are in.

But as I said the Archbishop endorsed Icons too.

This is just the approach of those who used to forbid the real teaching of reading – forbid anything but the versions approved by the bureaucrats. If a book, is good, of course, then teachers will want to use it and need not be threatened and forced to use it. Even the inspection of Catholic maintained schools, which does not actually address whether children know the faith, has been used to try to force teachers to use the official material, which so many teachers know to be of little use. In one diocese, a letter from the diocesan advisor stated that RE inspectors would be checking to see that Icons were used. Interestingly, if an OFSTED inspector had tried to insist on the use of a particular book, the inspector would have been sacked.

I agree, therefore, entirely with Mrs McLeod’s diagnosis but would have some differences about her remedy. Should conscientious parents take their children away from Catholic schools?

Some of us have had to for a whole load of reasons; bullying; inability to meet SENs; bad RE; bad sex-ed...I could go on and on and don't even start me on the National Curriculum...

I do not disagree entirely, but I would argue for more discrimination. There are Catholic schools and Catholic schools. I agree that some would actually damage the faith.

And it got a bit wearing having to correct so much..

However, many, despite, the poor RE materials imposed upon them, still manage to teach the faith.

Yes this is true and in my local Catholic Primary this is the case. The head is a good man and support his staff in teaching the Faith properly. So they correct and supliment the silly books they are supposed to use. One of the teachers there was not Catholic when she first assisted in Sacramental prep- she is now. Bounce

I should make a comparison with the teaching of reading in primary schools. For years, schools were forced to use hopelessly inadequate materials. Yet good schools, while paying lip-service to using the official methods which did not teach children to read, quietly taught the children about the sounds of English and helped them to read. Similarly, I agree that a Catholic Secondary school which relied upon Icons would never teach children the faith,(my emphasis) but I know schools where, for example, a good Chaplain with his proper approach to the sacrament of Confession has done amazing real teaching. Many Catholic teachers by the example of their own lives (this is true of the teacher in our local primary; it isn't just that she knows the Faith, she lives it- and she doesn't show off) actively teach the real Catholic faith daily, despite the poor official materials.

I should not, therefore, recommend home-schooling, with all its attendant difficulties, unless the local Catholic school is very bad.

I disagree with Mr. Hestor on this. Home education is difficult and I have seen very bad home ed situations-but on the whole home ed is better for a number of reasons which I will deal with later.

I hope I am not guilty of prejudice if I state that Mrs McLeod’s experience has been mainly in the South of England and mine mainly in the North. I find that sensible head teachers and their staff, together with a good input from parish priests with common sense can overcome the undoubted deficiencies of the official RE programmes, which most parish priests, in my experience, deplore.

I do know some priests like this.

Okay more later-this is a long enough post!