Sunday, 29 June 2008

SS Peter and Paul

Happy New Year The Year of St Paul begins.
Today the Holy Father prayed for Christian Unity.
Peter and Paul were the dynamite of Christ that really got the Church founded.

I am in an awkward position for typing - sleeping baby moment-so here are links and stuff to start the year:

Inside Scoop

VIDEO from Catholic online

Catholic Culture does us proud on this subject.

The CTS offers stuff.

That should get the year under way.

God bless you and may you be showered with graces this year and may many I am praying for be knocked off their horses!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Okay-no more pity party

I am so grateful for the kind words from Karen, Kit and Philip after my last post. I was feeling quite worn out and just a little self pitying at the time. In a really odd coincidence on the same day I made that post I discovered a book that has helped me a great deal.


Meanwhile as my last hosptial appoitment was so bad I nearly left the room in tears I have decided to be pro-active. This is the internet world and patients have access to all sorts of information that we didn't have before. Instead of trying to avoid information in case Iupset my already rude and incaltricent doctors I have decided to get myself fully informed and even look for answers elsewhere.

So today I had my first visit to a Chiropractor.

First visit was free. The Chiropractor took my history and the first thing I noticed was he LISTENED to what I said! He asked questions and listened to the answers. If I asked questions he answered them clearly and did not once try to dodge the question.

He poked and prodded me much the same as the neuros do but with a few extra things I've never had done before. Then hewas a bit bemused.

You see it seems that it could all be .... a trapped nerve!!!!

Now then; I have been in pain DAILY for over five years. I have been using crutches and a $*&$"* wheelchair because I can't walk properly or far. If it turns out this is all due to a trapped nerve that should have been straightforward to diagnose I'll...I don't know.

Even though I would be really, really angry I would also be exstatically pleased because the chiropractor can sort it out. If it IS a trapped nerve I am looking at being able to walk again and be pain free!


He wants to see the MRI done in 2003 so I have phoned my GP and asked for it. I'll let you know how that goes.

One of the things that has struck me is the attitude of the staff at the Chiropractor clinic. The receptionist was kind and polite. The chiropractor himself was polite and greeted me with a handshake. He did not once treat me like an idiot.

What has happened to the culture within the NHS, that patients are treated so rudely; discarded; ignored and generally seen as gettin in the way? And how many die or are killed because treatment is too much like hard work?

I saw it back when I was a nurse and I thought it was awful then, but now it is all over the place. My friend has cancer. Her treatment has been nick named the "Economy Package" because of how she is being treated.

All I can say to anyone going through something like this-try and find the energy to fight back.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

The Ones He Didn't Heal

I was teaching dd her RE lesson yesterday and we happened to be looking at the story of the Centurion who came to Jesus and asked that his servant be healed. He then came out with those timeless words said at every Mass "Lord I am not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the Word and my servant will be healed."

He has made it clear in his previous statement that he recognises the authority of Jesus.

Then, because of the faith of this gentile Jesus does as He has been asked.

We see in other parts of Scripture that lack of faith means lack of miracles.

These days whenever I read a story like this I am left a little saddened and wonder about all those people who did not get healed.

Was it simply lack of faith on their behalf?

In my nursing days I did come across people who actually wanted to stay ill. The secondary gains from their illness were so great they resisted all attempts to help them overcome their problems. In His ever polite way, I assume Jesus would leave people like this alone.

But I can't believe it was simply this and lack of faith that prevented-and still prevents- healing.

There has always been some form of medicine of course. God has provided plants and chemicals that over the years have become ever better forms of medication and these alongside increasing knowledge of how the body works and can be chopped up, sewn up, replaced and patched. So God offers healing through the skill of others.

But there are still plenty of us who are ill and are seeing doctors and getting nowhere.

I did not ask for healing to begin with because I had the belief I was meant to be this way and that's that. But then it became less obvious, I suppose, that being like this was any use at all.

So I have prayed for healing.
I do believe God can heal me if He wants to.
And here I am left with a sense that He doesn't want to.
Do I doubt that He loves me? Yes, honestly, sometimes I do. He heals others. I have seen it and heard about it-but so far He has not healed me.

Blessed Margaret of Costello was never healed either. In fact it seems her disabilities were used by God to help Him reach others who were wounded by life and sin.
She granted healing to a woman against her better judgement, as she believed the woman's disability was saving her from various sins she would otherwise be prone to.
Perhaps I am not to be healed because of sins I would otherwise commit.
During a really bad patch recently I was getting very frustrated and told my daughter I wished we could somehow find the money to let me go to Lourdes.
Fat chance!
However, the next morning I received a letter from a friend sending me a little bookmark that said "I prayed for you at Lourdes."
Perhaps I will have to carry this cross for the rest of my life. Perhaps I will not get worse-but chances are I will. Sometimes I am afraid I will not be much of a mother and will not be able to continue homeschooling. I worry that I wont be there for the children when they are adults-and I know all too well the pain of no parental support.
Or perhaps in the end a day will come when God will heal me.
I do know I am grossly unworthy to have Him under my roof-but if He would only say the Word I would be healed.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Ban homeschooling- it leads to intolerance!

Oldest Daughter is running a little magazine for our homeschool group and she asked me to contribute an article on bullying. She has given me a deadline-she can be like a proper little editor at times!! LOL!

Now I was vaguely aware that for those parents in the UK who are registered as homeschoolers with their Local Authority the most common reason given for pulling a child out of school was bullying, but I wanted to do a bit of research.

I was interested by what I found as I pottered around the net looking at bullying and homeschooling. There are a few very keypad happy people out there who want homeschooling banned. THEY personally disapprove of the system and said parents who homeschool are 'fundamentalist', 'biased' and children brought up this way would be...wait for it...intolerant of others. There was some mockery over a home educated child reintroduced to mainstream education who found a lesbian couple's rather unpleasant behaviour difficult to handle.

I know a lot of homeschoolers. I can assure these dictatorial people that most of the children I know who are homeschooled are very well socialised thank you. Research from the USA and Durham Uni here in the UK would suggest that on average homeschooled children are better socialised than school children.

When it comes to 'tolerance' I have to say that while there seems to be a lot of people out there ready and willing to BAN homeschooling and force parents to send their children to school no matter how damaging that might be to the child; I have yet to meet a homeschool parent or child demanding that schools be banned, no matter how bad those schools might be.
So, I just have to wonder, who the intolerant ones are.

Monday, 16 June 2008

In Praise of Dads

When my husband gets home from work, the little ones are in the habit of rushing to the door to meet him shouting "Daddy, daddy, daddy!" Even the baby is beginning to join in, toddling after them saying "Dada, dada" as she goes.

The older ones, being teens, are not quite so highly expressive in their greeting, but they do show pleasure at their father's return.

The little ones like to try and be up early to have breakfast with daddy before he goes to work. If they sleep over and miss him the 5yr old Superhero can be quite upset. He in particular likes his 'dad time'. I think it is important for boys to have that 'dad time.'

I don't think it is very easy to be a dad these days. Working close to home is a luxury most men don't have these days, so little ones often find dad is a distant man they see briefly before bed. We are lucky that my dh gets home at a reasonable(ish) time and I keep the little ones up a little so they have time. Dad then puts them to bed and prays with them. It is very important that the children have prayer time with dad.

He leads Grace at meal times.

He has less time with the older ones and this has caused some concerns now and then.They get a bit cross when they want to have time with their dad-and there isn't any. As a result he has had to make a special effort to make the week last out so everyone has time with him.

Meal times are important as all the family sits around the table and we get to talk about our day, ideas and plans. This, too is important dad time.

A great deal is said these days about the dads who are not there for their kids, whether they live with them or not-and yes, we've all seen these dads; but there are dads out there trying to do their best in a society that thinks putting your family first is daft.
So, God bless them and St Joseph pray for them.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day 3 To all you dad's out there. Happy Father's Day!
The children here made cards and put little gifts together for their dad. We had a good day even The Bearded One got in touch from America.

Not much time to blog today so that's all folks. Father's Day 4

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

The art of forgiveness

I think it was Oscar Wilde who said something along the lines of "Forgive your enemies. There is nothing that annoys them more."

Forgiveness fascinates me, mainly, I think because I don't really know how to do it. I am not altogether sure what it is. My main confusion comes from the point of, what to do with forgiveness that isn't wanted. God forgives us all. He has paid a very, very heavy price for the privilege and yet we are not forced to accept this free and gracious gift. We can forgo the obligation and retire to the pit of hell if we so desire. While the Church does not tell us WHO is in hell, She is wary of saying no one is. While God loves every person He has made with infinite burning love and certainly wants us all in heaven with Him, we don't have to go, and I think it is fair to say a lot of people choose not to. When Our Blessed Mother showed the three children at Fatima what hell was like-it was not empty.

But we are all called to forgive; "Forgive us our trespasses," we pray, "As we forgive those who trespass against us."
So what do WE do with forgiveness that is not wanted?
I am assuming that forgiveness is as much a good for the forgiver as it is for the forgivee. It is about an act of will in which the wounded party decides they do not want revenge, nor even justice-but mercy for the other person.

I think part of my own confusion comes from being told that forgiveness included two things; forgetting and carrying on with the other person as though nothing had happened. Well okay, there are times when forgetting and carrying on are easy enough-those times are when the other person is sorry, or the offence was small or the offence was such that the other person couldn't possibly know how offensive it was.
But it's the BIG stuff I wonder about. Who can forget abuse? I mean for so many the abuse went on over a long period of time and was habitual in the abuser. How can you forget such a huge chunk of life? And HOW is it possible-well it isn't is it?- to carry on with an abuser as if nothing had happened even IF (and it seems to me to be as rare as hens teeth) the abuser is actually sorry.
What does a person do with forgiveness for that sort of thing?

I am of the opinion-and I am still not sure about this-that remembering what happened is not a sin. It is not possible to forget. Living as a victim, blaming it all on the abuse IS a sin. Perhaps it is through the offer of forgiveness not taken that grace to survive is received. But even for the person who accepts grace and works to overcome the abuse there are times when it all just seems to be there again.
Sometimes the anger comes back. I really can't see if that is a sin. Dwelling on it probably is-but there are times when something happens that causes frustration; places that can't be visited; people who can't be trusted-because of the situation.

Then in the end if the abused person wants mercy for the abuser does God give it-or must those who refuse mercy always receive justice?
It seems to me that many people who have abused others and think they can do this with impunity are so sure God will simply let them into heaven that they see neither the need for His mercy nor fear of His justice.

I am not sure what God expects of us-apart from prayer I suppose.

Friday, 6 June 2008

10 People I would like to spend 10 minutes with

Esther has tagged me for this meme.

I am to name ten people I would most like to spend 10minutes with.

I am going to choose people I have never had any minutes with and would like to:

1. Mother Angelica

2. Fr Benedict Groeschel

3. Charlotte Mason- Although reading so much of her work is like spending time with her.

4. G.K.Chesterton- I wouldn't speak I would just listen.

5. Papa Beni. OOOh the things I would like to ask him.

6. Some of the bloggers I have only managed to talk to online. Is that a copout answer? It's true though.

7. The Duggers. I would just LOVE to.

8. My children's future spouses; oh the questions I would ask!

9. I would like to spend more than 10 minutes with some of my ancestors who kept the Faith during the Reformation and the persecution of Catholics that followed. I would ask them about how they survived.

10. Dr Ray Guarendi- well I just had to include him didn't I? :)

My dd would like 10mins or more with her beloved Ainsley Harriot. DS would spend ten days with Stan Lee and knowing my dh as I do I am sure he would like at least 10minutes with Dr Tanya Byron.

Consider yourself tagged. Yes YOU.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Don't do it! Don't have a vasectomy!

There was a tragic case on the news tonight of a man who wants to reverse the vasectomy he had after his second child was born because one of his children has died. I think he wanted the reversal done on the NHS and has been refused on the grounds that only one of his two children has died.

These situations are all too common. The biggest side effect of a vasectomy that is recognised even by the doctors (who try to underplay other nasty side effects) is it is so difficult to reverse!

No one can be so sure of their future that they can take such drastic action to wound their own bodies so permanently. I have seen so many stories where the man wants to try and have more children-for whatever reason and then finds that even if he can get the reversal there follows massive heartache as infertility remains.

In the story on the news I was wondering how many women are turned away from NHS abortions. Haven't heard of any. This man who wants to father another child will have to find the money to reverse the awful decision he made so long ago before he realised that life happens even to people who don't plan for it to happen.

Vasectomy has been linked in some controversial studies with prostate cancer and it appears there are more studies that show prostate problems and vasectomies do go together. Then there's the link with autoimmune diseases because the man's body builds up anti-bodies to sperm. If that wasn't enough there has been a new study that suggests some dementia's are linked with vasectomies. That research is contentious to say the least.
Contraception is sacrosanct somehow and no matter how much misery it causes; infertility, cancer, depression, general family destruction-it still HAS to be a good thing, doesn't it?

Meanwhile from what I have seen in my quiet corner of the world, more and more people-especially women, are saying to hell with it-out with the horrible stuff and in with a thermometer and a chart.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Those who DO the will of God

I love the way the Scripture readings at Mass always fit together so well. Four readings; four threads that weave a theme. God offers His People His Law and with it comes a "Blessing and a curse." The blessing for those who obey God and a curse for those who go after other gods (or make themselves gods). We avoid the curses by remembering to take refuge in the Lord as "The Lord is my rock of safety."

Then we hear from St Paul that works of the Law will not save us-Christ has superseded the Old Law; fulfilled it. Then in the Gospel we are told what the Lord expects of us. The Beatitudes have just been preached (as Father reminded us in his homily this morning) and then we hear the words of the blessing and the curse. Jesus is rather clear when he says saying "Lord Lord" and making out we have done stuff in His Name will not get us into the Kingdom. We have to do what He tells us to do-not what we would prefer Him to have told us to do. We can prophecy, cast out demons but if we haven't built our house on HIS rock then it is work in vain. Remember the man who built his house on the sand was just as busy building his house as the wise man up there on the rock-but all his work crashed around him when the storms came.

And the storms came to both houses.

So we have to DO what God tells us to do-not make up an idea of Christ and do what we would quite like it if he said. That's a false god isn't it? And we have to be where He says we should be. Get out of that sand.

Here's a nice big house on a great big rock.
St Peter is buried under here so the rock is rockier than ever.
Jesus chose Simon and changed his name to Peter (Kephas) and said He would build His Church on that rock.
He said to the apostles "He who hears you hears Me and he who rejects you rejects Me."
It is really straight forward when you look at it. We are called to obey the Church. I am grateful to say I no longer find it as hard as I used to. I understand now why marriage is so Holy and contraception so unholy and I even understand why men are priests and ontologically women just can't be-but really I had to give assent before I fully understood. Faith seeking understanding.