Saturday, 30 August 2008

Routine

Developing a routine can be very difficult when everything has been turned upsidedown. I think things will be better once I'm back at school. Work is great for focusing the mind and time spent in prayer becomes so precious and special because you simply have to make time for it.

My current prayer life is scrappy and lacking routine yet I'm finding it easy to thank God and praise God and I feel very much at peace.

My study in the new house is the smallest bedroom, it only has a velux window so I get no dreamy views. Also with it being a rented property, I'm reluctant to cover the walls with blu-tac and prayer cards and posters as I would in my own home. However, it does have two small wooden shelves that are practically useless for holding anything.

They have become something of a focus my prayers as they contain:

My late grandfathers's freestanding crucifix.
An icon of the Virgin and Child surrounded by the Apsotles that my parents brought back from Poland for me.
My St Michael prayer card (given to be by DH's 91 yr old auntie)
My small plastic statue of St Rita minus halo (she lost it when we were rewired a few years ago)
My late grandfather's wormhole ridden Missale Romanum given to him by his Latin teacher in Ipoh when he converted to the Faith in 1930. This contains various memorial cards for the deceased.
Next to this is a small rosary belonging to my late maternal grandmother and next to that is a small wooden statue of Our Lady given to me by my paternal grandmother.

The display forms a good focus for prayers and constant a reminder of prayers for the living and the dead around the world.

Thursday, 28 August 2008

meme thing

AR has tagged me for my "quirks". I'm sure my DH could think of others, but these are the ones that come off the top of my head.

Da rulz R as shown below, but I don't like rules so consider yourself tagged if you want to be:

1. Link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged

Here goes:

(1) I love crows. They are an much maligned bird and given the correct circumstances they have some pretty disgusting habits, but don't we all...It is currently a good job I do like them as one has taken to tapping on our window at 6 am each morning...I couldn't ask for a better alarm clock.

(2) I always tend to pick physical solutions to problems rather than chemical ones e.g fly swat rather than fly spray, leg warmers for night cramps rather than quinine.

(3) I really dislike TV and film period adaptations and spend most of the time moaning at the telly when they have costume and hair styles all wrong.

(4) My sneezes waken the dead.

(5) I dislike technology; cars must have wind-down windows not electric ones, my mobile will only send and receive calls, I refuse to have one that will do more than that.

(6) I finish off other peoples' sentences whilst they are still speaking...and I really dislike it when I do this...

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Well, we've now moved house! We managed to find somewhere reasonably cheap but in the countryside. DH has got used to hearing owls at night and talking about ferrets with the locals...he'd struggle to be back in a large town. We're pretty exhausted after the unpacking and de-spidering.

Thank you all for your prayers. You remain in mine.

God Bless

Friday, 15 August 2008

Someone's turned gravity up...

The contrast between the sublime covenant between God and his creation that is manifest in the Feast of the Assumption, and the crud in our daily life just couldn't be greater. It is as if the gravitational field strength on Earth has increased to Jovian proportions, keeping us well and truly glued to the mundane, the irritating and the soulless.

(1) Banks remove money from your account instantly, why does it take them 4 working days to get funds into your account? What are they doing with the money in the mean time? Could a good Catholic girl's money (or lack of it) be being used to finance drug companies involved in contraception or armament sales or worse.....

(2) You cancel a standing order with an insurance company, they charge you £8 for doing so even though their insurance won't cover your change of circumstance.

(3) You set up a direct debit to pay an insurance company, they charge you £60 for doing this as a direct debit rather than paying in one lump sum. They say it is to cover inflation: running at 13% ?!, go tell it to the marines!!!!

(4) Water rates....don't talk to me about water rates.....

(5)You are moving to another Diocese, just as infatuated as your last with Parish teams and collaborative ministries and committees, crap clip art and "seeking". You just want a parish where the Sacraments are available and reverently ministered, where there may be a chance of Exposition, Benediction and the rosary, where the church has a confessional.....

Your bloghost will be taking a week off whilst the move is under way. No, we have not sold our current house, don't ask how we are funding this....
Love to you all, you remain in my prayers,
Rita
xxx

Monday, 11 August 2008

Why go to Mass?

I recall a few years ago hearing a 70+ yr old revert to the Church (he'd been away from her for 50 years) trying to persuade some of the other men at the Catholic Club to go back to Mass. The men were grumbling that Mass was boring and they couldn't see why they should go, they didn't feel any different for not going, God hadn't smited them.....

Our zealous revert retorted with "Well shaving's boring, but you still have to do it."



Whilst it may not be the most convincing argument, it does hit on a few important facts. Firstly obedience - we have to, the Church tells us that we should go each Sunday. In a "me me" world, obedience is difficult, you will get a "But why?" and as your answer to that is not good enough a "prove it" will triumphantly be exclaimed. You will have no answers that will convince...Convincing a waverer of the importance of obedience is like convincing the child who has yet to burn themselves on a hot plate not to touch it.

Christ proclaimed "Do this in memory of me" at the Last Supper. We want to remember those we love, we should attend Mass as the greatest possible memorial of His death and resurrection.

Yes, but Christ didn't say go each week, put up with over long sermons and in-jokes from priests over chummy with the great and good in the front pew.

This brings me onto the second point made by my zealous revert. Routine. Consider our human selves; in adult life, prone to grow hair where it isn't wanted and lose it where it is wanted, we need grooming. If we leave ourselves to the tender mercies of all the world has to offer, surely our souls can become bedraggled and develop plenty of "unwanted hair". Mass, even if you feel unable to attend communion, even if your faith is flagging (especially if your faith is flagging because your effort is like the widow's mite) , must be good for your soul. Making the effort to leave the house, join others, trying to focus on the supernatural, loving Jesus and doing as he asked.....your soul will gain strength even if you can't feel the benefit.

St Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:8:
let us put on faith and love for a breastplate, and hope of salvation for a helmet.

When we lose our faith, or it starts to waver, we can still have love as a breastplate protecting our own hearts (love Jesus and do what he says even if you can't feel where it is going).

Protect our heads with the helmet of hope of salvation. All our rational thoughts and difficulties need prioritising, St Paul is not asking us to believe in salvation, just hope for it....Hope is expectation and desire.

What better thing to desire than heaven?

Mass should be a foretaste of the banquet of heaven, it may often seem to fall far short, this collectively is our fault, the fault of the Church, for not desiring heaven enough.

Please read terry Nelsons post here for further help.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

The Transfiguration

I love this feast! I can bore people stupid with why I think it is so wonderful.



Is not the reaction of Peter so human and understandable? Here is something truly extraordinary, brilliant and glorious, we want it to last as long as possible. Peter suggests shelters for Moses, Elijah and Our Lord to encourage them to stay. How many times have we been before the Blessed Sacrament and wanted it to last and last, even when our concentration wanders we feel we could live and die before the monstrance.

Look who is present, Moses, the giver of the Law and Elijah, the prophet who tugs at our sympathies and is hard not to think of as a great hero. Notice who isn't present: no Abraham, no David, no Aaron. No Father of the Nations, no King, no High Priest....but they ARE there as the Transfigured Christ. This is deep stuff, I can meditate on it for some time....

Then the Father call to them "This is my Son, the beloved; he enjoys my favour. Listen to him". Peter, James and John are overcome with fear when they truly realise what is before them. If we really felt the presence of the Almighty in the Eucharist, we'd approach on our bellies, if we dared approach at all. All those bold promises made before the Blessed Sacrament are as straw. Who were we kidding? Our concept of the Divine is truly pathetic, if the Almighty really did make his full presence felt, we'd probably die of fear before Him, as I doubt we have the strength of Peter, James and John.

Then Jesus comes to them gently, tells them to stand up and not to be afraid. The vision is gone. Jesus enters our pathetic little world and puts the stabilisers back on our bicycles, we're not ready for riding on two wheels just yet.

Few have the strength for a full beatific vision, how many of us would really desire it. There seems to be a connection between sensing God in his majesty and accompanying Christ on his journey to calvary. We're cowards. If we think about it we couldn't handle being united with Christ on the cross, crying out in agony "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?". Many of the Saints have done just this.

Absorb the majesty of this Feast and be prepared to love and follow Christ in the way that is best for our salvation, the way he desires us to follow him. Remember, he gave his own Blessed Mother to the youngest of those there present, the one who was at the foot of the cross. We are all treated with the utmost gentleness.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Was this the aim of the Lambeth Conference?



Actually I find all the goings-on tragic, it is just that I can't see what else they were trying to do. Very sad, very sad.