Monthly Archives: May 2012

Home Education; Government want to “support” us??? I doubt that.

Local Authorities are still breaking the law on Home Education. I personally wouldn’t mind being “monitored” nearly as much if there was any real support for families who home educate and any real care for children in school who are being seriously abused either at school or at home. The fact is, I am not alone in having seen Social Workers, Local Authority staff and even the police betray seriously abused children and children in extremely difficult family situations simply because of being idle, while these same people are all too willing to bully innocent families. I can’t even blame it on lack of training any more. It’s a basic lack of decency and integrity.

So, it would be good to think the present Government might have some kind of committment to cleaning house in Local Authorities, Social Services and the police, especially where children are concerned.

Well they haven’t. Instead they are coming after Home Educators again.

The Education Committee have announced a new inquiry into Home Education looking at what “support” we receive from Local Authorities. The short answer is “NONE AT ALL”.

I would truly like to believe that this “inquiry” really was a way of trying to clean house, but I simply don’t.

It’s  time they just left us alone.

Marriage and children: claiming it back

Catholics, both Latin and Eastern and Orthodox have a massive advantage over most other Christians in that marriage is a Sacrament. Not only do we have all the graces God gives in that but the other Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist through Mass or Divine Liturgy gives even more grace.

This is not a magic potion to make marriage “happily ever after” however. The graces God gives in the Sacraments are tools we can use or discard. If we choose to use, gratefully, that which we are given it will certainly make marriage easier, but there will still be challenges, hard work and bad times to get through.

So let’s start with the Catechism:

1601 The matrimonial Covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole life, is by it’s nature ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children; this covenant between baptised persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a Sacrament.”

So what do we see?

First marriage is a Covenant not a contract.  A Covenant can only be given freely and we see that the man and woman bestow the Covenant and therefore the Sacrament upon each other.

Second marriage is for the good of the spouses and the ultimate good of any person is making it to heaven, so spouses are to mutually assist one another on that journey.

And third; marriage ordered through nature and natural law to having and educating children.

Both spouses are supposed to love and educate the children. That means mum and dad need to be there. To be there, the couple many very well have to struggle through some horrendously difficult times and suffer because of the responsibilities and commitments that come with marriage and family life.

Believe me, whether you intend to or not, all parents DO educate their children, either for good or ill.  In order to educate our children for good, we need to love them by doing love even if that means saying “No” rather a lot (to them and to ourselves).

All the research, even that which comes from secular sources, show that children need a mother and a father, both girls and boys. It shows that children who grow up without a parent because one parent has died, find life harder, but children who grow up without a parent because of divorce or abandonment, do far worse, educationally, socially, emotionally and mentally over all. The exceptions in no way disprove the research.

As adults we are to protect the rights and needs of the children we are given. We are to sacrifice things we want for what they need.  It might mean small sacrifices such as giving up those toxic TV programmes that we’ve been having on in front of the children.; taking the TV, games console(s) and computer out of the their bedroom and guarding their dignity and innocence.

But there’s a lot more…

Least expected little holiness

Mass was pretty frenetic today. The children from the local primary school were making their First Holy Communion and so the Church was packed and loud.

From my little corner by the Confessional (what I call ‘crip corner’ because all us cripples congregate in that area) I could see the back door and enjoy the light breeze.

At the end of Mass as many people were getting louder and restless- not being used to attending I assumed – a man walked in through the back door. With his slightly “bulky” walk and mostly shaved head he looked “well ‘ard”. He turned to the little votive place, plopped some money in the box and quietly lit a candle under the statue of the Madonna and Child and then he quietly looked up at her and her Son, made the sign of the cross, half genuflected and bowed and then left the church.

I thought it was a truly beautiful moment.

Home Education Book record and the Sacraments and a bit of history. (freebies)

LITERATURE and READING NOTEBOOKING PAGES that I made are up at That Resource Site. I have included some covers of books we are or have used to get y’all started. Just cut out the covers and stick them in the boxes or get your children to draw the book cover if that works better for you.

I have only a couple of lines for each book to help encourage the “Don’t make me write!” children in our families. It will hopefully encourage even young ones to keep a record of the books they love and hate.

You might also like my 19th Century timeline notebook. I’m presently working on a 14th century timeline which covers especially the events around the mother’s of Europe SS Bridget of Sweden and Catherine of Siena.

For those of us preparing children for the Sacraments there’s Kalei’s great little lapbooking and worksheet resource SEVEN SACRAMENTs LAPBOOK and this SIN AND FORGIVENESS worksheet and this little prep booklet for the Sacrament of Confession (scroll down the page a bit).

Finally a bit of history.

This Youtube video gives an excellent story view of the Cristeros in 1920s Mexico. It’s a part of history I know nothing about and the tellers of the history here admit it an astonishing story that has been forgotten. A new film is being made For The Greater Glory. This vid is great for teens (I personally wouldn’t show it to my younger ones as the violence is obvious and worse because it really happened).

Marriage and children: a side topic from contraception and abortion to polygamy/

This excellent article covers in a few short words why polygamy doesn’t bode well for women and children. While all of this looks like common sense and anyway history gives us a clear view of the problems that went with (and go with) polygamy, not just in child survival and care but population imbalance, I have another question.

How has contraception and the wholesale slaughter of unborn children affected the balance for men and women who are called to marriage? It has been mentioned fairly often that the shortage of priests and religious has something to do with the sheer number of children killed before birth.

We know that the mass killing from World War I left many women with dead husbands and fiance’s so that many women never married or had children.  Just from my gran’s family we can see the devastation. There were 8 girls and 1 boy. The boy was killed when he was 16 at the front on the last day of WWI (something my gran never got over). Of the girls only gran and one sister married. My auntie Gwen’s husband was killed or died early, so she had no children, and my auntie Eileen’s fiance was killed and I have no idea whether the other aunts ever had a boyfriend or fiance. My Gran had three sons, one of whom died at aged 6.  From just one family you can see that killing off a proportion of the population had a sad knock on effect.

What has the refusal to even have children done? Surely there are less potential marriageable people out there, and then the ones that make it to adulthood are often so seriously damaged by their parents “Me Myself and I” culture that they are hardly fit for friendship let along marriage and parenting.

So next – some solutions to consider.

Marriage and children; what went wrong and when (II)

There are parts of Scripture that are very difficult to understand and we should be grateful that Christ gave us the Church, His bride, to lead us to all truth, because otherwise we could go around interpreting Scripture pretty much as we like and as St. Peter warns, doing it to our own destruction.

From the very beginning the Church disallowed divorce and remarriage, contraception and abortion and treated children as blessings, not inconveniences or commodities.

No matter how people in the Church sinned, the teachings never changed. Even when pope’s were sinning against the 6th Commandment, they never changed the teachings of the Church.

But something gave way seriously in the 20th Century.  As the First World War ended a culture was growing in which adults were becoming more self serving and less willing to have and care for children.

In 1930 the Church of England’s Lambeth Council declared that married couples for very serious reasons could contracept. Some commenters have suggested this door was pushed open because many clergy were already contracepting in the face of Christian teaching. Christ was shoved aside for personal convenience.

Pope Pius XI responded immediately with Casti Connubii on the sanctity of marriage and reiterated the 2000 year prohibition of pushing God out of the bedroom with contraception.

You see the authority Christ gave to His Church in binding and losing was limited by His Will. She has no authority to go against God, which should be obvious, but we have lost the ability to reason.

So the C of E opened the door and all the consequences followed. By the time the 1960s arrived with “find yourself” and “how does it feel for you?” mantras even Christians were buying into the culture and divorce and remarriage, contraception kept God out of marriage.

The end result is as we see it today- and it’s an ugly mess. But we can’t point fingers at gay people wanting “marriage” or even couples playing “marriage” without actually making the Covenantal vows, when we Christians and that includes Catholics, have ditched Christ’s teaching for convenience sake.  The fact that many protestant churches have actually enabled divorce and remarriage, deliberately sterile marriages through contraception and even given a nod and a wink at adultery is shameful.

By the time Pope Paul VI published Humanae Vitae  in 1968, a lot of damage was already done to Christianity and the rejection of HV by so many Catholic priests and bishops sent us hurtling down the same road.

The prophecies of Humanae Vitae have all come true and the damage to women and especially to children can hardly be denied. Even secular research is admitting it.

THIS IS A GOOD OVERVIEW OF the teachings on marriage with some studies on how divorce is hurting families at the end.

So that’s how we fled down the slippery slope. How do we climb back up?

Marriage and children: what went wrong and when? (I)

I’m sure most of you are well aware that marriage took its first major hit in the Garden. The consequences of the sin of Adam and Eve are very much in how their marriage was now to be conducted and how fallen human nature would affect marriages from then on.

By the time Jesus is preaching on the subject and raising marriage to the status of Sacrament a lot of poisonous water has gone under the bridge. The last Old Testament prophet, St. John the Baptist is martyred for defending the sanctity of marriage. There is definitely a sign of things to come there, as the Bridegroom takes up His mantel.

Jesus was asked about the Rabbi Hillel’s view that a man should be able to divorce his wife for any reason. Essentially they were asking if “no fault” divorce was allowed by God.

The answer was a very clear “No.” Jesus explained that Moses only allowed divorce because the Israelites were so hard-hearted. I have heard more than one Biblical scholar comment that Moses allowed divorce to prevent the even worse sin of wife murder. Israel became so sunk into the blood thirsty and nasty pagan culture that killing your wife to get a better one would have been a genuine problem had it not been for the “get out clause” Moses allowed.

But Jesus raises the bar again for His Church reminding us of this:

Have you not read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female? For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united with his wife and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, what God has put together, let no man put asunder.

(Matt. 19:4-6)

So a man and a woman who are free to marry (I’ll come back to that) go before God and take their vows and so God puts them together and therefore they cannot be separated. That means that even if they divorce they are still married and not free to remarry. In fact Jesus Himself clarifies that point when He said

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.

(Luke 16:18)

The “get out” clause that has been overused and misinterpreted has been the “except for unchastity” that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 5:32. I’ll come back to that.

As the Church grew it was well understood and written in the Didache c.80 AD that marriage was a Sacrament and that no Christian couple could divorce and remarry or use contraception (St. Paul called it pharmakai) or abortion.

But things are very different now. What went wrong?