Last week I started to write a post about Haiti and then deleted it. I had heard a "good news" story on the radio about a two year old called Mia Charlotte who had been rescued and reunited with her mother. It just made me feel more anguished. All I could think about was the many other little ones, presently alive who were dying alone and uncomforted, no one to cuddle them or even give them a drink of water. Alive now and scared, but hidden, unreachable and dying alone. I thought of my own little two year old, and how scared and panicked she had been last week when she caught her foot in her little dolls buggy and found herself momentarily trapped and unable to free herself.
( Oh dear God, send those babies a ministering angel! ) When I re read what I had half written, my pained musings sounded self indulgent and mawkish to me. Besides, thinking about it just plain hurt and I couldn't stand it. I can't be a rescue worker making a difference on the ground, and my tears here in London aren't going to help the trapped and the terrified and the grief stricken. I avoided reading the news about it because it tears at my heart to know about so much suffering and not be able to do anything but send money or pray. Dammit I want to lift rocks and get the babies out and into their mamas arms, and if I can't do that then let me send my money, look at God with blank incomprehension...and then turn away.
I've been thinking lately about how the abortion issue seems to have become pigeonholed as a niche religious concern. Did that happen with the anti slavery campaigners? I suppose back then more people identified themselves as Christians anyway so perhaps not. But it bugs me that the human rights issue of abortion hasn't, it seems to me, made a dent in the secular consciousness. It's just a non issue, something that some 'religious folk', mostly elderly catholics are 'against'. It's made me think that perhaps pro life Christians ought to more careful about how they frame the argument. Bringing God into it makes perfect sense to us, but not to a non believer for whom appeals to God are irrelevant and alienating.
Nate is not a Christian, he is a gay man and he is pro life. He writes about the experience of being pro life but outside the mainstream pro life world of evangelical Christians and Catholics. Personally it gives me a lot to think about, and I'm really happy to know that there are people like him who turn up to rallys to champion the cause of the most defenseless little human beings. Abortion, like slavery and bride burning, is unambiguously wrong. You don't need to be a signed up churchnik to be clear about that.
Here's a snip of Nate:
First of all, I love the people who put on the Portland Roe vs. Wade rally, and so I have nothing against them. They simply organize the event. I was grumpy well before I got there.
I was first-and-foremost annoyed that I did not take my beloved sign to the rally–the one that said, “It Doesn’t Require Christianity or Heterosexuality to be Pro-Life”. While the reasons for not doing so are somewhat personal, let’s just say that it was enough to make me not want to go there at all. I show up, and it’s rainy (Oregon, right?) and they are singing “praise” music, which doesn’t annoy me but, of course, at the same time annoyed me. I said hi to a bunch of friends.
One of the things that is always powerful is the pro-choice protesters’ reaction to our memorial. We ring a low, loud bell for each million kids aborted–that was 51 tolls this year. The pro-choicers decided to cheer after each toll of the bell…Read the rest here.
I'm confused and on the fence about vaccines. I acknowledge the world changing, epic contribution that they have made in eradicating some of the most feared, lethal and devastating communicable diseases. But do we really need to be vaccinated against the panoply of bogies that are in the ever growing line up of the bloated vaccine programmes?
Instinctively it feels wrong to challenge a small babies immune system with such an overwhelming cocktail. I'm also cynical about the powerful hand of big pharma. And the latest brouhaha about the HPV vaccine and it's aggressive marketing campaign has moved me further into the cynic camp. Ditto the swine flu "crisis" and the vaccine panic buying. Some men in suits must be looking forward to big bonuses this year.
Here's Dr Mercola on "Why we need a fearless conversation on vaccines"
Gabriels Godmother Kate writes poetry. Last week she sent this one for Marie-Aibhlinn. It feels quite a privilege to have a bespoke poem, rather like the Queen having an appointed Poet Laureate to write for special royal occasions. This one is lovely:
For Marie Aibhlinn
Longed for child, a garden of blessing
Born beloved, prized so tight
your breath is fashioned for the light
finger tips like pearly beads
are counting Aves in your sleep
The clock upon the nursery wall
The angels stationed for your call
Are watching too, are nursing close
Your budding heart into a rose
Kate blogs here.
Speaking earlier of Haiti, I subscribe to an organic 'box scheme' called Farmaround.
On their homepage recently they have had this announcement:
Sign up today and we will donate
4 organic cotton 'T' shirts to the people of Haiti
Organic cotton t shirts? Am I wrong in finding this bizarre? Am I missing something? How is that an incentive to sign up? I realise that perhaps, once they have been dug out of their ghastly tombs the traumatised Haitians will need clothing among other things, but won't packages of "organic cotton tee shirts" just be another thing to manage? I imagine packages from concerned groups might just clog up the works.
Shortly after the disaster I heard someone from a charity explaining how they were sending colouring pencils to Haiti for the children. Colouring pencils.
I totally get the need to feel like you are sending something personal to those that need help and money is, well, impersonal and feels detatched and a bit like a cop out. But since most of us can't get over there and dig with our bare hands, much as we long to, surely we need to send first money. and then money and then more money. Let the charities on the ground buy the t shirts.
Confession. The wondrousness of the sacrament of reconciliation was totally lost on me until I returned to the Catholic church. I look on my old self with fascinated befuddlement that I just didn't get it. The past is indeed another country, they do things differently there.
Here are some posts that I wanted to save to read again, so I'll share them with you dear reader.
Saint Francis de Sales on the sacrament of penance. And some tips from Fr Z on making a good confession.
I have a couple of really lovely old French linen sheets that I bought on eBay. One has lovely delicate ladderwork and the other a very grand, deep red, hand embroidered monogramme. The one with the delicate ladderwork is starting to get a bit holey and fragile so I've been casting around for an alternative that will be up to the wear and tear of umpteen in a bed and the slash and burn stain removal tactics required to zap dear little miss babys mustard coloured nightime nappy leakages.( I do wonder if breast fed baby poo ever served as a fabric dye in the ancient world? Surely it must have, that stuff doesn't wash off!)
Anyway, I found this fabulous website that sells Frette sheets at a great price. And even though it's a UK site, shipping is free worldwide. My sheet arrived very quickly and it is worth alot more than I paid for it. So if you want a little hotel lux when you hit the sack without breaking the bank, I can really recommend them.
(For more quick takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary.)