Monday, 28 June 2010

St Peter & St Paul

Feast day approaches.

You may enjoy the excellent catechisis to be found at the following site, here. There are excellent talks on both St Peter and St Paul.

Of particular interest is the talk near the bottom of the page done by Fr Guy de Gaynesford on the Second Letter of St Peter. It has particular relevance since that survey was done regarding American attitudes to the Second Coming.

I'd have a listen soon, if I were you. I think the parish is getting a new priest soon, he may not leave these up on the interwebs.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Identity theft

Our parish priest, many years ago, asked us where we’d been for our holidays and whether we’d enjoyed it. We told him we’d been to Spain and had enjoyed pottering round the interior of the country, well away from the tourist traps. He “hummed and haad” for a bit and finally said that he didn’t think he’d be going there for his holidays as it was full of Catholics.

I can sympathise more and more with this point of view. There have been times recently when I’ve been close to going on a guided day retreat and then decided against it, for very similar reasons. I simply didn’t want to be with other Catholics.

You see, I have a big problem here. I’m quite antisocial, a loaner by nature and rabidly dogmatic in opinion when confronted face to face. I feel I do not come across as a good advert for the faith amongst my own. If a Catholic starts talking about how the Church should change, or makes what I consider inappropriate jokes about the Holy Father, or uses the word “yet” with reference to womens’ ordination, I’m like a dog with a bone, and will not let go until they have tired of their stance (or backed off with acute embarrassment). Traddies get my goat too, cos they never speak, it is like I’m a bad smell in the room, they back off before I’ve had a chance to pucker my face into a semi-convincing smile.

Naturally, I’m sweetness and light with non Catholics (though I made an exception for the guy on the train this morning who was being very rude, and I told him so, to some Japanese tourists- actually I feel a bit bad about this, but he was out of order, and I did give him my seat to avoid the conflict escalating).

So, problem one; I can feel very uncomfortable amongst other Catholics.

Problem two. I can feel incredibly uncomfortable in the company of women. My place of work is planning an event of such stupendous girlyness, I’m convinced the oestrogen levels in the atmosphere will get significantly higher as a result. Girly things tend to be organised by women who think everyone so gendered will love such things. I’m reluctantly getting involved, but increasingly I’m finding myself wanting to scratch my midriff, pick my nose and grunt.

So, here I am, a Catholic woman who is not very good at being either all-embracingly Catholic or an enjoyer of femaley pastimes.

What am I then? Hmmm….probably a rather fragile, reluctant worker, grumpy relative, distant friend and all round sanctimonious pain in the butt.

None of this would matter much if it wasn’t for the state of my head. The low blood sugar may be beginning to have a permanent effect on my brain, getting the doctors to take this seriously is a problem. It is getting increasingly difficult to do things without getting confused, tired or agitated. My personality is changing, and there is nothing I can do about it. So, dear reader, if a future post seems out of character, it probably isn’t, it’s the new me.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Well, dear reader, I'm back here again. Brain and body definitely not functioning as they should.

This is a shame because I was just beginning to feel alive again.

Can't read well, can't write much, struggling with my usual prayer routine...

May God bless the work of Lawrence Lew OP. At times like this, his photos are just about the only way I can start to connect with everything I hold so dear. The Dominican priory in Oxford is just about my favourite sacred place. This is one of his finest shots.

Lawrence Lew OP

Saturday, 5 June 2010

No, this isn't a meme

My dear blogging friend, Autumn has put up an interesting post on blogging and anonymity. It got me thinking more generally about how we conduct ourselves in the blogosphere (oh how I hate the “o” in the middle of that new word). I think we all have an unwritten set of rules, what I’ve tried to do is write down my code of conduct, anyone else want to have a go?

1. I never ask anyone to publicise what I am writing. As a self-diagnosed sufferer of the Cassandra complex (one who constantly knows nobody is listening to them especially when they have something really important to say), asking for publicity would feed my complex, especially if the reader stats didn’t go up post-publicity. It is self-preservation and keeps the reading figures low. If anyone has a link to my blog it is because they want to, it is nothing to do with me.

2. I never reveal my location, my name or photographs I have taken. More self preservation. Wessex, the county that doesn’t exist, is where I live, and that paints a realistic enough picture of the true nature of my existence. Also any vignettes I post ought not to refer to recognisable people, that is not the point of my little ramblings. That would be wrong.

3. I think honesty is vitally important, it is far more important that “e-friends”. And I endeavour to be honest and anonymous….

4. I will not use Facebook. It is a sad and dangerous world of hubris and superficiality that can really hurt the unsuspecting.

5. Never stick anything up you wouldn’t want someone reading when your’re dead but do not become deluded enough to believe blogging is a route to immortality.

6. Have a maxim and try to stick to it: hence my quote from St Rita in the side bar.

7. If I were a stick of rock, I’d have Catholic written all the way through, fine and dandy, this is a Catholic blog. Sadly, I’d also have “teacher” written all the way through. I constantly war with myself to stop myself going all teachery, and this battle isn’t always successful. Never pander to your personality traits.

8. If posts take up more than a page of A4, they are too long.

9. Never take sides in an argument, especially in matters religious, it simply ain’t Catholic.
10. Do not blog whilst praying but pray whilst blogging.