Monthly Archives: December 2008

10 Years Service; Silver medal of Guild of St Stephen.

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I wish you all a HAPPY and HOLY CHRISTMAS.

It’s the feast of St Stephen today (the Second Day of Christmas) so off we went to Mass this morning.

The boys received their silver medals for 10 years service in the Guild of St Stephen today. I was very proud of them both.

What Are We Waiting For?

I notice that the msm has reported on the Holy Father’s Wednesday Audience of 12th Nov 08 in which, no doubt because he mentions the End Times, they manage to use headlines that completely misrepresent what the Holy Father said. Weird.

What is it about the End of the World and the Second Coming that gets people all twisted in the underwear?

I wont comment on some of the weirder views some people have expressed about the Holy Father’s straight forward and rather beautiful escahatological teaching.

As Advent continues we are awaiting the Parousia and the Holy Father talks of St Paul’s teaching on this. We have to remember that for the early Church the imminent return of Christ came with the Parousia in 70AD when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. By this point nearly all Christians who had seen the Signs of the Times had sold their property, distributed their wealth and got well away from Jerusalem.

We are taught that from the days of the Resurrection we had entered the last days and are now living in what one priest I remember described as “The Already but Not Yet” of the Parousia-the coming of Christ. This could be another way of saying as the Holy Father did that “The Three moments” of salvation history; Creation-Incarnation-Parousia “Are not understood simply in chronological succession.”

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I am not sure why some commentators got so irate that the Holy Father should say we still don’t know when Christ is coming (as the Just Judge)-we don’t. We do know all the prophecies that Scripture warn us about-the AntiChrist for a major example-have yet to be fulfilled.

There is no sign of Enoch and Elijah just yet.

There are many many signs that the end is on its way, but there are a lot of things yet to happen.

I think the Holy Father is simply saying we need to put our trust in God and not think too much about stuff we don’t need to be fretting about right now.

Jesus is coming. He is Present in all the Tabernacles East to West. That’s good enough for now.

And don’t forget; St Faustina was told we are living in a time of Mercy-let’s not be too quick to wish for judgment.

O Clavis David

I know I am a bit behind. The others are

O ADONAI,

O RADIX JESSE

O Sapientia!

O WISDOM!

First day of the O Antiphons today.

Catholic Culture has some good resourses including an O Antiphon House like an advent calender.  And then there’s the chance to practice “O Come o come Emmanuel” or Veni Veni Emmanual.

Go HERE to click on the youtube vid and hear the beautiful chant for today.

The screen is finished!

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The great art project is finished! At 8:30 yesterday morning Alex’s tutor arrived in a scarily small car to take it to college. There was a rather tense few minutes while she and Alex tried to work out how to fit the screen into her car.

Sunday: Alex got up early(!!!!) and went to 9am Mass. The rest of us went to an 11am Mass for a friend’s baby’s Christening. We didn’t stay for the party afterwards, but went home. I got lunch on the table with alacrity and then it was all hands on deck as the last bits of wax from the batik were ironed off- the wooden frame laid out and the screens attached with upholstery pins.

Finally-late Sunday afternoon the whole thing was complete and Alex only had a whole lot of other art work to do.

He finishes Wednesday and we all get to relax then.

Immaculee’s Story pt 2

Scroll down my blog a bit for part 1. This is a fascinating interview -probably the most in depth one I’ve come across. As you watch spare a prayer for the people of the Congo (Zaire) suffering the same massacres for the same pointless reasons.

Immaculee’s story Pt 1

Advent Reading and Prayers for the Congo

I posted about the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza some time ago. Well I have bought the books and am reading them as Advent reading.

Continue reading

Discernment in the minefield of faith

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In Familiaris Consortio we are told that parents have a “RIGHT AND DUTY” to educate our children. The major role of that education is to help make our children fit for heaven-and what with Original Sin, concupiscence and Free Will, that can be one difficult task.

In the end no matter what we say as parents, our children must grow up and form their own relationship with God and make their own decisions on how or whether they will follow Him.

I remember long ago someone saying they assumed I was Catholic because I grew up Catholic and had never questioned it. The remark struck me as shallow (and a bit crass) as at the time I was going through a huge questioning process and looking all over the place-even at Islam-for answers. I could never simply be Catholic because of my parents. I had to KNOW that was the Truth. This took a number of years of searching and praying. Lots of people had lots of answers and all the answers were contradictory. It was a confused and confusing mess.

Continue reading

Homeschool term ends.

2008_1211decadvent080006I have decided we have reached the end of term for formal education.

Yesterday was the last Wednesday Homeschool group and we had the end of term show. The children did very well and even the little ones coped with being on stage in front of mums and dads and some other reli’s.

This morning I got the little ones dressed up Icon style as the Holy Family with a cute sheep strangling angel. We have started making a rather fiddly nativity scene. It’s one of those  push out the bits and fit all the tabs together things.

We will still be doing little sessions with the children when the Ladies Who Lunch are here-but they will be aimed at Advent and Christmas.

Iona has work to be getting on with including her mental health project and her essay on Lady MacBeth as well as making chocolates and sweets for Christmas gifts. She also has quite a bit of evidence writing up to do for her work with children.

Meanwhile Alex is in the final panic stages of getting all his art work finished and ready to hand in on Monday. Screens to paint; sketch book to complete; art history to complete and so on. He looks a bit stressed at the moment for some reason!

The screen is something special. When it’s finished (and it MUST be by Sunday night!) I’ll post a photo.

Happy birthday Avila

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Avila had her 4th birthday on Sunday. We had some friends and family over on Saturday and she had a lovely time. We had planned some party games like pass the parcel, but the children were playing so well together and having such a good time we left them to it and forgot all about the ‘party’ side of things.

She is very proud of being 4 and believes this makes her a big girl now.  Happy Birthday 

It’s Mother’s Week.

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It is definately Mother’s week this week. Yesterday was the feast of the Immaculate Conception, then today we celebrate the feast of St Juan Diego of Guadalupe and then on the 12th – Friday- it’s the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I have a special love for her, patron of unborn children and pregnant mums. I have her picture up my kitchen.

I told the children the story of her appearance to Juan Diego and how he wore the cape of cactus fibre. I told them of the roses on the hill and taking them to the bishop and how there were no roses when he got there but the beautiful image of Our Lady was on the cloak-and remains there to this day.

The Immaculate Conception.

This is one of those Church teachings that even in my dodgy days I never had a problem with. I struggled with the idea of Mary being Ever Virgin, but it stood to reason that if God had created His own Mother, she would have been free of Original Sin.

I know a lot of people-even Catholics-get muddled over the Immaculate Conception and think it was when Mary conceived Jesus. It is in fact when Mary herself was conceived and was protected by God-she later calls Him God my Saviour- from the loss of grace that is Original Sin.

Through God’s saving grace she remained sinless and was referred to as ‘Full of Grace’ by the Angel Gabriel at the Annunciation.

There are theological arguments out there as to whether Mary HAD to be free of sin to be able to conceive the Son of God or whether it was merely fitting that she was.

There are those who say Jesus lived and worked among sinners all His life and therefore God could have chosen a woman with sin as His mother. However others say there is only perfection in heaven and so Christ HAD to be conceived in a sin free woman.

The Ark of the Covenant was lined with purest gold before the Law (Word of God) and manna(Bread of Life) were allowed inside it. ark_of_covenant_high_priest_2

The expensive items-the purity of the Ark materials would indicate that God expected that of the place He would dwell within.

The History of the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is pretty straight forward. I’ve explained it to the children in the light of God wanting the very best for His mother; that He set up the typology with the Ark and that Our Blessed Mother has a specific role in salvation history. Her assumption body and soul into heaven is a direct result of her having no sin. Adam and Eve were never meant to die and lie in the ground.

Then St John tells us what the Ark of the Covenant looks like in heaven (Rev 12) and he describes the Woman Clothed with the Sun. It has been noted that the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is of a pregnant woman clothed with the sun.

Catching up on Tags.

Philip tagged me some time ago for the Meme Six Things That Make You Happy. It’s about time I got around to that!

And Ginnyhas put up a lovely Award for all “bloggers who share their Faith and love of God with others”. If you have a blog that expresses your Christian love of God then I reckon she means you.

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Meanwhile Six Things That Make Me Happy:

  1. My Home: This is my sanctuary place. I love having the fire lit in the living room and sitting with the children reading stories or when Iona sits and toasts marshmallows and hands them out. I love the space we have around the dining table for all sorts of activities and the fact that loads of people can fit in our house and feel welcome.
  2. Chocolate: I’m a woman. What do you expect? Chocolate makes me very happy. Green and Blacks is my favourite.
  3. Time to read: Since I’ve been going to the chiropractor and the pain has reduced I can read in the evenings!!! I’m not so utterly shattered all the time so I can relax and enjoy a good book.
  4. My Family around the dinner table: When Al and I both worked shifts as nurses getting to sit down together for a meal was difficult and getting to do it with the children was even more difficult. But since he no longer works shifts and I am no longer in waged employment we have the evenings and weekends-especially Sunday- to sit and eat as a family. It’s not 100% because Josh and Alex both work and as Josh works shifts as a care assistant he isn’t always here. But we still manage it quite a bit and we have others over for meals with us a lot. I love that.
  5. Cuddling a baby in bed. I love having Heleyna come into bed early in the morning for a feed. She’s all warm and woolly with her fleecey stretchsuit and silly morning hair.
  6. Silence: Okay, this one is a rare event. But just now and then when all the children are in bed or elsewhere I get to sit in front of the fire and there is no sound. I think prayer would be easier if there were more of these moments-but as it stands most of my prayer is done along with the housework-but those moments of silence are special indeed.

Advent activities

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Advent is under way. We got out the rather ridiculously huge Advent crown again this year and Iona has decorated it. We need to take the children out to gather some extra greens for it.

PURPLE is the colour of advent. While this is one of those basic bits of information that is good to teach the little ones; there is no harm in reminding the big ones about the symbolism of the liturgical colours. The purple is a symbol of preparation and repentance.

Advent and Lent have a lot in common although the secular ‘advent’ tends to be more about parties and retail therapy than true preparation for anything much.

Advent has a joyfulness about it that Lent doesn’t really. It is the joy of the expectant mother; the joy of knowing a Light is coming to break the hold of the darkness. I love the business of preparing the house and making the cakes and chocolates. It’s like the nesting of a mother about to have her baby.

It is a time to get to Confession (if you can find a Church willing to offer the Sacrament at a time it’s possible to get there!!!) The joy of getting those sins forgiven and the Graces God offers with that Sacrament leaves a wonderful sense of new beginnings.

The children will make a Jesse Tree . But our Jesse Tree will include the O Antiphons

More JESSE TREE stuff.

Kathryn Faulkner’s JESSE TREE stuff.

O’Antiphons

SPARKLEBOXalso have some great Christmas activity things to print including THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS a beautiful poem I am helping Ronan to learn at the moment.

We have lots of cooking to do with the children, including making buscuits to hang on the tree.

Then there’s the nativity scene to make. This year I Have bought an Usborne one the kids can put together.

Finally they will make Christmas decorations and a special present for Jesus to take to Mass on Christmas Eve.

That’s a lot to do in two weeks!