Friday, 30 May 2008

Spiritual Reading for the Day, Husband Style!

At breakfast my dearest was reading today's spiritual snippet from the book, "A Year With the Saints"; there is usually a short piece from some saint regarding the month's chosen Virtue, this month's being obedience, followed by one or two anecdotes from the lives of the saints which show how they put the virtue into practise. First I hear this quote from St. Mary Magdalen de' Pazzi -"A little drop of simple obedience is worth a million times more than a whole vase full of the choicest contemplations". Followed by the first anecdote of a holy nun who, whilst enjoying the company of the Infant Jesus in her cell, was summoned by her Superioress. After obeying the summons, she returned to find Jesus as a full-grown youth, thus He showed her how much her prompt obedience had caused Him to grow spiritually in her heart in so short a time. Next I hear the story of a saintly wife, who, while saying her prayers, was interrupted five times by her husband asking her to switch the Sports channel over for him, and she willingly obeyed...

I wonder if he does it to see if I'm truly awake and listening at that time of the morning!!

(The real story is of St Frances of Rome who was reciting the Office of the Blessed Virgin, she was interrupted four times by the voice of her husband calling her. Each time she answered promptly, and when she returned the fourth time, she found the antiphon written in letters of gold. So that's why all that gold writing keeps appearing in my prayer books eh?).

Friday, 23 May 2008

Calling on the Queen of the Realm

James Mawdsley has written to the Queen re the latest bit of devilish legislation in our country, see his post here; it may be worth following his example, perhaps some Bishops would like to join in too?

Edited to add:- James has started a petition which can be signed here. Please add your name to the list, if you are a British subject.

Treats for Corpus Christi

This is an example of some fine craft work we did a couple of years ago in honour of the Feast of Corpus Christi, at a lovely home-schooling group we used to be able to attend. The boys would generally run around being hooligans, whilst the girls, and one or two of the more "arty" boys would diligently create masterpieces. My dear son, to my chagrin, was never one of those diligent, arty children, but I think he did occasionally come back to help stick some bits on here and there, so let's say this was a combined effort. I like to bring it out around this time of year, just to remind myself that we did do crafts, once!

My husband has been in London for an examiners' meeting for a few days. He was rather miffed, at first, that he had been given a more 'downmarket' hotel to stay in, than on previous occasions. We were discussing his visit a week or so ago, and realised that he would be away over the Feast of Corpus Christi, and wondered whether he'd be able to get to Mass on that day. Now we knew that some of the "big" Churches, like the Brompton Oratory would probably have Mass in the Extraordinary Form, but he wouldn't be near there. When we looked up the Mass times for Corpus Christi, we found there was a Church named Corpus Christi, in Maiden Lane, which was having an Old Rite Mass for the Feast Day - guess where hubbie's hotel was positioned? within walking distance of said Church. The Lord provides!

My son and I managed the hour's journey to the Birmingham Oratory, as we did on the Ascension. Although we are not in the parish, my son often serves the EF for one of the priests who was to be officiating at this Mass, and he invited him to serve if we came. I was rather concerned that as it was rather late he might disgrace me and fall asleep in the sanctuary, but he rose to the occasion and made a perfect accompaniment for the other little boy who was serving (son of a famous large-familied blogging mama , methinks!) On the journey down, I quizzed him about whether he'd be ok serving, and his reply was "oh it's alright serving at these big Masses, all you have to do is sit on the sub's bench and look holy"! There you go then!
(He wants me to add "but we did end up being acolites this time, so there was more to do").

Saturday, 17 May 2008

So-Called Catholic Adoption Agencies

I've just come across this post on a nice blog I jumped into today - The blog owner writes,

"It appears that the new “Cabrini Children’s Society” (while maintaining “CCS”) is no longer the Catholic Children’s Society, and has ceased being “catholic” in any sense while still expecting the bishops to “continue promoting funding from the Catholic community”. The Catholic Faithful need to know that they’ve just lost £10 million (the society's assets), and been sold down the river of political expediency as it is now technically outside Church jurisdiction. We know what that means, then!
We are now living in a country where much that was good and wholesome has been sacrificed to the gods of 'progress' and 'equality'. The debacle, recently, over the status of Catholic children's agencies is just one attempt by the godless and secular state to destroy the family. This behaviour has to be intentional; no one could be so dumb as not to recognise that current government social policy is behind many of our nation's ills.

It seems to me that a lot of ordinary Catholics just don't have a clue as to what charities containing the name Catholic, really are, or have been doing with their money. If these organisations change their names, and no longer adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church, then they should no longer expect Catholic financial support.

WhiteStoneNameSeeker comments on the post:-
I don't know what's happening. I just remember my deep disappointment when I heard [an Archbishop] glibly mentioning that Catholic adoption agencies already hand over children to single gay people for adoption as though that was okay somehow. I've seen adoption close up both as a professional and as someone who just sees families with adopted kids. Sometimes I think social services actively LOOK to put kids where they'll be the worst off and refuse to put them where they'll thrive. God have mercy!

My comment included the following, which will show why this subject is so dear to my heart -

When we were in our previous diocese (Clifton) my husband and I, wanting to become adopters, had some dealings with the Catholic Children's Society. We found out that they were not averse to placing children with unmarried couples, as to not do so would "seem discriminatory"! We contacted our (then) Bishop - he never replied. We mentioned it to our PP, who told us he'd "back us all the way" in our opposition to this policy, yet several years on, he was still putting out the collection box for them as the Crib offering. We went with the Local Authority to be approved as adopters, as we were not comfortable with going with an organisation that compromised the name Catholic. Our social worker, who was very unknowledgeable about Catholicism, went (without our knowledge, but later told us) to a Catholic Children's Society social worker, to ask what she thought about us - given that we'd been foolish enough at that stage to admit to going to daily Mass etc. The CCS social worker informed her that that was definitely "not normal". However, our social worker, eventually getting to know us, managed to see enough positive things in us to get us approved. We never had a child placed with us though, even though we moved and became re-approved by another Catholic Agency, where our lapsed Catholic social worker (who "wouldn't necessarily agree with all your Church teaches") did mention that we were a rare couple for the Agency to have on its books - ie a practising Catholic couple. (As I've mentioned in earlier posts,)We've withdrawn from the process now, six years on, but we do feel aggreived that these agencies are still taking funding from Catholics, when they are frequently not at all Catholic in their policies.

When will those in authority DO something?

Thursday, 15 May 2008

My Secret is Out!!

Several people I know have found out I keep this blog - now I have to be very careful as to what I say, ha ha! Still, if the two ladies with whom I was talking about it tonight (and they know who they are!!) manage to find it I'll be surprised (and delighted, of course) - neither being computer whizz kids as it were, to their credit, as they spend their lives doing far more important things. As to big sis, hello there too - how's things going, down in Brissle?

We had a lovely day today, attending a once a month homeschooling group, where there is always an activity to do with the Church's calendar, as well as an opportunity for some silent Adoration of Our Blessed Lord in the Church next door. Today we were treated to a talk on Our Lady of Fatima. Then the little ones could do some colouring in, and paper flower making, whilst the older ones made Marian posters. Afterwards we ended back up at one of the most hospitable homes in Shropshire, where there is always a good meal to be had, and where I revealed all about my clandestine blogging experiences. I hadn't bothered to tell anyone I knew, because I wasn't sure whether I'd keep it up, but I seem to be fairly hooked, and since I was already rumbled a month or so ago, by another homeschooling mum, who happens to be the sister of one fairly famous Priest blogger, I thought it best to let some of the other gals know too.
Anyway, I'm off to bed now, got to get up bright and early to prepare for the dreaded French lesson tomorrow!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Hello again, here's a meme.

Hello my vast readership, I've been feeling down lately, due to my own obnoxiousness, and lack of discipline, so although I've been doing things, like,


having a birthday,


and occasionally, homeschooling,
I thought I'd pick a nice meme to do, which I found on UKOK's blog, and as she said,

"Feel free to pick this meme up if you feel so inclined, but please remember to let me know in the combox that you are doing it, so that I can read your responses on your blog!"

What time is your alarm clock set to? Don't have one, but Mr and Mrs Blackbird, who are nesting in our hedge (and we don't have double glazing, so we hear them whether the windows are open or not) seem to start their morning racket around 5.30, 6 a.m., most mornings. (Whether or not I get up then is not to be revealed at this juncture).
What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Ah, 'tis the eyes, always the eyes. (That goes for the female variety too!!)
What movie do you know every line to?/What is your favorite movie? Might as well lump these two together, since I've just asked my dearest what my favourite film is, and he, with his usual candour answered, "you don't really have one, do you?" so that's why I wouldn't know the lines to any (although I could sing you quite a few of the songs from "Mary Poppins", if you'd like).
Is anyone in love with you? Well, my faith tells me that Jesus is, but I can't ever really "feel"that, except when my darling hubby forgives me my transgressions, and then I know He does too. But I feel that my husband is.
Do you eat breakfast daily? Dead right I do, it's the only thing that gets me out of bed, some mornings, the thought of a great big cup of dark STRONG coffee, and some toast (with raspberry jam on).
Do you sleep on your side, stomach or back? I'm a fidgeter. When we were first married, my darling husband used to call me the "Fidget Midget". So that tells you something about my stature too.
Who was the last person to make you mad? Me, moi, myself. Of course, I blame 101 other people, but deepdown, even whilst I'm doing it, I know who's at fault.
Are you a lover or a fighter? Tell you what, sometimes, I LOVE a good fight!!!
Are you a morning or evening person? As long as I've had enough sleep, I'm ok either way.
Are you a cuddler? Yep, with those who are dear to me.
Are you a perfectionist? I'm afraid so, which is why it takes me so long to post anything - I have to at least attempt to get the punctuation right!!
Have you ever wrote a poem? I have never, in my life, to my knowledge, ever "wrote" anything. However, I have written a poem or two, in my time.
Do you have more guy or girl friends? I have very few of either, I have the ideal husband (who is shouting from the bathroom as I write, "don't say it, do it, do it," , but I suppose I have more girls than boys as friends - mostly homeschooling mums. (And I'm happy that way).
How many tickets have you gotten? Very few, we rarely go out. (You mean, for the theatre, of course?).
Piercings? Yeuch. (I am appalled at people who stick things in their tongues, around their eyes, and in their noses - for the latter, doesn't the snot get stuck in it?).
Do you have a tattoo? What do you reckon?
Are you patient? Ha ha ha ha ha, manic, hysterical laughter - you should've seen me this morning, in rush hour traffic, having left less than half an hour for a good half hour journey. 'Nuff said.
Do you miss anyone right now? Yes, but I won't go into that.
Tea or coffee? Thick strong Italian coffee in the morning; a nice refined cup of darjeeling in the afternoon.
Regularly burn incense? Nope, I let the thurifer do it.
Ever been in love? Still am.
Best room for a fireplace. Well, ours is in the front room, which seems fine to me, only we're having problems with it at the moment. But I won't go into that.
What do you do when you’re sad or upset? Cry. Eat sweet things. Talk to my husband.
Afraid of heights? Not particularly.
Can you change the oil in your car? Don't know, never tried!
Favorite flower? Ah, there you have me. I love blue flowers, and white flowers, and I keep trying to get my garden to grow with an abundance of blue and white flowers. I've just sown some Himalayan Blue Poppy seeds, let's see if they grow. I am partial also to aubrietia, growing down a sandstone wall, although my sandstone wall is in the shade, so the aubrietias ain't doing too well. But I make do with the flowers that I can afford, or that I am given, so if they aren't all blue, it don't matter, hence the rather gorgeous pink and deep purple tulips in the garden at present.
Favorite hangout? I love being at home, and in the garden.
Middle name? Anne.
Most romantic sounding language? Italiano.
Ever been overseas? On numerous occasions. Holland (aged 14 - got very drunk on Amstelbier) France - miserable school exchange, but I did improve my French, Germany, miserable meeting up with a boyfriend from university who was about to dump me, and who did so when we got on to Italy. But Italy was great, so who cares about the ex.! Spain, restoring an old Church, up a mountain - beautiful setting, if primitive living conditions. Spain, France and Italy on several other occasions. Croatia, Belgium, Ireland, Guernsey, Jersey, the USA, and Mexico. But I've also been to Scotland, and Wales, and they deserve a mention even if one doesn't have to cross any seas to get there. Last year we went as a family to Rome, and hubby and I both, for the first time in our lives, felt an inordinate fear of flying, so maybe our days of roaming are o'er! But, I'd still like to see bits of China, and New Zealand, and maybe Canada.

Friday, 2 May 2008

It WAS Ascension Thursday!

We went through yesterday thinking we wouldn't be able to get to an Ascension Mass. It's funny, but the hierarchy don't seem to have learned from past mistakes. Most would acknowledge that after the introduction of the New Rite of Mass in the 1960's there were a few problems caused amongst the laity - it was all very sudden and people were totally unprepared for what was to hit them. It caused a lot of devastation. We used to hear a lot about "collaborative ministry" in our last parish. We were frequently told "this is the age of the laity". How come then, the laity were never informed as to why little additions were creeping into the Mass - such as the priest waving a giant host around BEFORE the consecration. I realised how ridiculous this had become when at one weekday Mass, since there were no altar servers, one of the elderly ladies, Kitty (RIP), who used to ring the bell at the consecration, started vigorous ringing BEFORE the host was consecrated. It wasn't because she was old and doddery, and didn't know what she was doing, it was because she had not been informed of the novelty of Father wafting the unconsecrated host around, so she thought, as she was bound to do, that he must have got on to the consecration early! I don't remember the laity being asked whether they wanted their Feast Days moved. I know a lot of devout Catholics who attend both rites who are, frankly, cheesed off with this removal. This is because they try to live their lives in union with the liturgical seasons, and they are trying to educate their children in the richness of the Church's liturgical life. It makes sense to children, that if Jesus ascended 40 days after his Resurrection, the feast day should be on that Thursday, forty days on. It makes sense to children, that if the first novena to the Holy Ghost/Spirit, (call Him what you will) was NINE days after the Ascension, it won't fit in after Ascension Sunday!!!!
Anyway, we were EXTREMELY blessed last night because the school Parent's Evening, that my husband had had to attend, didn't go on too long, and he was able to get to the friend's house where my son and I were visiting (which is much closer to Birmingham than where we live) in time to pick us up, and get us to the Oratory for Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form - and it truly was Extraordinary, and the music was sublime, and raised our hearts and minds to the Ascended Lord. Even the traffic queue from the one accident that could have held us up (a bashed car at some traffic lights - don't think it was too serious, please God) was beginning to clear, and we got to the church with a minute to spare. After Mass was finished (although it was so wonderful, it seemed to stay in my soul) it was late, and we had to stop for something to eat (poor hubby had had nothing after his long day at school) so we stopped at a drive through place and they had burgers. (Dear son had had food earlier, but is a growing lad, so needed more!).
I wondered why my son came down to breakfast with his pyjamas inside out this morning - he'd been so tired last night that he hadn't even put the light on to see what he was doing before getting in to bed!

So now we can celebrate the transferred Feast of Saint Joseph the worker today too!

Praying for Saint Joseph's intercession, that all those who are out of work, especially husbands and fathers, will be able to find employment and be able to support their families. Also for all those people who are in difficult work situations, and would like to find other employment.
Here's a lovely prayer for all of us :-
Glorious St. Joseph,model of all who pass their life in labour,obtain for me the grace to work in a spirit of penance to atone for my many sins; to work conscientiously, putting the call of duty above my own inclinations; to work with gratitude and joy, considering it an honour to use and develop by my labour the gifts I have received from God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience, without ever recoiling before weariness or difficulties. Help me to work, above all, with purity of intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must render of time lost, talents wasted, good omitted, and vain complacency in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all for Mary, all after your example, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my watchword in life and in death.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Bring Flow'rs of the Rarest..

I thought, instead of bemoaning the fact that one can no longer celebrate Ascension Thursday - unless one has access to a city where the EF is being said - I would give honour to Our Blessed Mother at the beginning of this month of May, which is especially dedicated to her.

I love this hymn:-

Bring flowers of the rarest,bring blossoms the fairest,
From garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
Our full hearts are swelling,our glad voices telling
The praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Their lady they name thee,their mistress proclaim thee,
Ah, grant that thy children on earth be as true
As long as the bowers are radiant with flowers,
As long as the azure shall keep its bright hue.


Sing gaily in chorus;the bright angels o'er us
Re-echo the strains we begin upon earth;
Their harps are repeating the notes of our greeting,
For Mary herself is the cause of our mirth.


I'm afraid I couldn't find many rare and fair flowers that I could bring to Our Lady, so I made do with bringing her to the few I have in the garden, at present.

Then she got a little bouquet, when I brought her indoors!