Thursday, 22 April 2010

Sayings worth saving

Every so often I come across an inspirational quote, a pithy saying, a thought provoking remark.
Sometimes I overhear an amusing exchange or the children say something funny.
I have tried different means of keeping them, whether it's in a file on my computer or on paper,but overtime they just get fragmented, lost or just too well tucked away somewhere to ever see the light of day again.

It occurs to me that my blog might be an excellent way of keeping some of these. By assigning categories to them it shouldn't be too difficult to find them again.

Pardon me while I indulge myself.

Here's one to kick off with:

"Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to
shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of
suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile
persons of little generosity:
The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer,
and to suffer together." Benedict XVI

Pro Life witness Oxford

Amanda Lewin sent this on to me:

Pro-Life Witness in reparation for
abortion, and prayers for
all unborn babies,
their mothers and fathers

24th April
29th May
26th June
(The last Saturday of the month)

Venue- The entrance to the JOHN RADCLIFFE Hospital, Headley
Way, Oxford.
We stand just in front of St Anthony of Padua Church.
( Car park available)
Refreshments available afterwards.
Email- Amanda Lewin –

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Top Gear

Gabriel went to Brands Hatch.

"Negatori on the cost of this mochine there Red Rider"
Thanks to auntie shirleys beloved Mark, whose shiny mochine this is.

No idea about cars myself so I can't throw words like throttle, thrust, torque and turbo around with ease. Not a clue.
As Mr Clarkson says
"A turbo. Exhaust gasses go into the turbocharger and spin it, with a supercharger, air goes in,witchcraft happens and you go faster."

Boys like this kind of thing apparently.

I am devoted to Johnny Cash however, and a car post is as good an excuse as any for this:

Monday, 19 April 2010

Peter Wept

Fr Z has helpfully translated a piece in La Stampa which gives an account of the Holy Fathers meeting with Maltese clerical abuse survivors.
Lawrence Grech said
"I saw the Pope weep from emotion and I felt myself freed of a great weight."
Read the rest here.

Anna Arco gives a detailed account of his visit in her diary. Here she describes a group of young people putting their questions and concerns to the Pope. It is really worth reading it all.

In this image on Anna Arco's blog, Terry Nelson is reminded of the Pope of Don Bosco's dream.

"On the whole surface of the sea you see an infinity of ships, all ending in a beak of sharp iron that pierces whatever it hits. Some of these ships have arms, cannons, guns; others have books and incendiary materials. All of them are thronging after a ship that is considerably bigger, trying to ram it, set fire to it, and do it every possible sort of damage. Imagine that in the middle of the sea you also see two very tall columns. On one is the statue of the Blessed Virgin Immaculate, with the inscription underneath: “Help of Christians.” On the other one, which is even bigger and taller, there is a Host of proportionately large size in relation to the column, and under it the words: “Salvation of believers.” From the base of the column hang many chains with anchors to which ships can be attached. The biggest ship is captained by the Pope, and all his efforts are bent to steer it in between those two columns. But, as I said, the other barks try in every way to block it and destroy it, some with arms, with the beaks of their prows, with fire from books and journals. But all their weapons are in vain. Every weapon and substance splinters and sinks. Now and then the cannons make a deep hole somewhere in the ship’s sides. But a breeze blowing from the two columns is enough to heal every wound and close up the holes. The ship again continues on its way. On the way the Pope falls once, then rises again, falls a second time and dies. As soon as he is dead, another immediately replaces him. He guides the ship to the two columns. Once there he attaches the ship with one anchor to the column with the consecrated Host, with another anchor to the column with the Immaculate Conception. Then total disorder breaks out over the whole surface of the sea. All the ships that so far had been battling the Pope’s ship scatter, flee, and collide with one another, some foundering and trying to sink the others. Those at a distance keep prudently back until the remains of all the demolished ships have sunk into the depths of the sea, and then they vigorously make their way to the side of the bigger ship. Having joined it, they too attach themselves to the anchors hanging from the two columns and remain there in perfect calm."

Tens of thousands of Maltese turned out to welcome His Holiness.
This short video includes footage of an enthusiastic crowd singing Happy Birthday greetings to him.

For all his exalted state, the Shepherd of the Universal Church, Peter the Rock is, nonetheless, an actual flesh and blood human being. The responsibility must be crushing at times.
And he is 83 years old.
Small wonder he gets tired.
Peter slept.

Pope John XXIII famously said "Sometimes I just kneel down and say, Lord, it’s your Church, I am going to bed".
I hope Benedict XVI can do likewise.
I am praying for him more than ever.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Happy Birthday Papa!

On the 15th April Pope Benedict XVI turned 83. Here is a short biography.
Pope Benedict Fan Club have a great little round up here.

Lucy baked a birthday cake for the Pope. Isn't this lovely?
Many other bloggers I enjoy also remembered him.
Like Mulier Fortis, and Fr Ray Blake, who put up this video on his blog:

Terry Nelson at Abbey Roads, wishes him a happy birthday, and also writes a lovely post about St Benedict Joseph Labre, whose feast day is on Pope Benedicts birthday.

John Michael, at St John Bellarmines put up this video in honour of the Popes birthday.
How well do you know the Pope?

The three brianiacs at The Sacred Page have written a nice tribute to him here.

Faith and Family Live, a great little online magazine, also send their greetings. They suggest emailing him too at: Great idea!

Gabriel made a card for him and I liked it so much I wanted to keep it.
But that would be missing the point. So I photographed it instead ( using Patricks handy dandy i phone natch)

I just love that he included a map of Great Britain ( ahem, it has an extra 'I' in there Gabriel!) which he drew freehand.
He helpfully included a few major cities so that His Popiness can find his way from A to B. There's a little colour coordination going on there too. Check out the orange six counties. Interesting that Scotland and Ireland are both different shades of green.

I hope that the recent and ongoing savaging that the Pope is getting in the press will remind us to pray very much for him. He needs our prayers.

“Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the cardinals have elected me - a simple, humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord...
The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers,” the new pope said in his first public address. “I entrust myself to your prayers.”

Prayer for Pope Benedict XVI

Lord, source of eternal life and truth, give to Your shepherd, the Pope, a spirit of courage and right judgement, a spirit of knowledge and love.

By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care may he, as successor to the apostle Peter and vicar of Christ, build Your church into a sacrament of unity, love, and peace for all the world.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

The Exorcist

Last year I signed up with LoveFilm.
I pay the minimum monthly payment of £3.99 and for that I can rent up to 2 DVDs a month. I thought this would be an excellent way to kickstart a little judicious film watching into my "downtime" ( ha! such optimism!)
The problem I have been having is that the start time of my "downtime" is getting later and later, and if it's after 10pm before all interruptions have ceased, the dishwashers running, table wiped and other sundry chores are done , I'm not wanting to commit another 2 hours or so to staying awake long enough to watch a film.
And so I start to resent the dratted little envelope with the DVD in it.
It feels like another job waiting for me.

When I added The Exorcist to my wishlist I was thinking that, since it is a film "classic" that is often referenced in popular culture, not having seen it was a bit of a gap in my cultural education.
Furthermore, being in the bad habit of scanning and not reading properly, I misunderstood this website as saying that The Exorcist was on the Vaticans "top 45 recommended films" list ( I was wrong. That list is here) That misunderstanding emboldened me somewhat.
But I don't like scary films so when it actually arrived ( around September last year. Yes, that would be before I even had the baby ) I couldn't bring myself to watch it.
It just sat there on my bookshelf reproaching me, while £3.99 continued to be deducted each passing month for the DVDs I was no longer renting.
I know. I should have just sent it back and let the other films on my wishlist roll, but I didn't want to do that either. Darn it. All I needed was 2 hours to sit and watch the blasted film and the monkey would be off my back.
But every time a moment did present itself, I'd find something else to do with my precious leisure time. Like blogging.
I was a bit scared of watching this film . Husband dear didn't want to watch it and I was scared of watching it alone.
Tonight I decided not to be such a big girls blouse.
Reader I finally watched The Exorcist.
I'm glad that's out of the way.

It was ok. I coped. But I did hold my rosary beads throughout and make the sign of the cross several times.
Yes, I know it's a film and not 'real'. But being mindful that the forces of wickedness are not merely a Hollywood fancy, I was reminding myself to Whom I belong .

Until about 17 years ago I was inclined to believe that the being we called "the devil" was likely to be a rather crude explanation for the potential for darkness that lay within all of us. A sort of personification of all within us that opposes the good.
It's another long story that I may tell later, but one night back then I was fully persuaded that the devil is more than a psychological construct of our imaginations.

So after watching the film, I said my prayers and then watched this interview with Fr.Thomas Euteneuer. As a palate cleanser, and also to get a little perspective on the whole exorcism business.
( Fr Euteneuer is President of Human Life International and an exorcist authorized to perform exorcisms in several states, and highlights in his books/work the connection between the Abortion Industry and demonic influences.)

And I'm hoping that LoveFilm will have lined up A Prairie Home Companion for me next. I don't think that will sit on my shelf spooking me

Sunday, 11 April 2010

SPUC: Nationwide pro life witness 24th April

I've just seen this on John Smeatons blog.

On Saturday 24 April*, SPUC supporters will form a chain, standing at intervals holding placards which bring home the reality of abortion. The event is known as the Pro-life Chains and will be held from 11am till 1pm.

If any of you are free on 24th April in the following locations you might consider adding to their number.

Ashton-under-Lyne - 1 May
Balsall Common
Birmingham, Edgbaston
Birmingham, Erdington
Birmingham, Handsworth
Liverpool, Crosby
Liverpool, Wavertree
Newcastle under Lyme
Newcastle upon Tyne
Nottingham -17 April, 10am to 12 noon
Vale of Glamorgan

(* 17 April in Nottingham and 1 May in Ashton-under-Lyne.** except Nottingham on 17 April, where the event will be held from 10am to 12noon.)

For more information on the event, visit SPUCs website here.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

I do not spurn modernity

You know you're getting a little old when you find yourself regularly announcing that technology is marvellous. But, well...isn't technology marvellous!

Husband dear has recently been issued with a i phone. He's not much of a gadget man at all and would be perfectly happy with an ancient old brick really, but one has to do ones best to keep up with the new fangled contraptions beloved of the moderns.

We like to adopt a lofty tone of detatchment from gadgets that borders on being a little sneery. But I'm making an exception for the i phone. I am not sneering at the i phone. The i phone is a decidedly useful little gadget that fits into the "Isn't technology marvellous" category.
Here's why:

Such cuteness!

This is Honor on her way to bed tonight posing for photos with Marie-Aibhlinn. The simplicity! No wires and USB cables to hunt down and fiddle with. Just emailed to me, and bingo! a bloggable photo sans faff!
I think this could catch on with me. There may be a little self indulgent cute photo posting going on around here in future.
Modernity, I embrace you! I kiss you on both cheeks. Mwah!

Friday, 9 April 2010

Just for the record

All eight of us stayed up all night for the Easter vigil.
We arrived at the church just before midnight and got home at about 6am, whereupon we tumbled into bed, and slept the sleep of the just until noon.
For the baby it was business as usual; feeding , playing with her toes and sleeping.
Comcille napped on the floor for about 40 minutes.
Gabriel snoozed where he sat for a while..
Honor, who had been put to bed at 7pm and had 4 hours sleep before the vigil, stoutly refused to be coaxed into napping. Mostly she was fine until about 4 in the morning when she started plaintively calling out "Car! car!" which meant "Take me home!".

Even though we were daunted by the idea, lots of people had told us that it was unmissable and I'm really glad we girded our loins and went for it. The church was packed, there were plenty of other families with young children, in fact so great was the attendance that there was a simultaneous vigil going on in a nearby convent to take the overflow.
At times I was really deeply moved by the beauty and drama of it all.
All night, despite moments of great yawning tiredness, I had this bubbling, happy feeling throughout.
I just love being Catholic!
I love how the church helps us to experience the mysteries of our faith through the liturgy, through the seasons of the liturgical year, through fasting and feasting, through art, through music, through food. These sacred ceremonies, which are celebrated today around the world, go back to the time of the ancient church. They make visible our supernatural unity with the mystical body of Christ across time.
How did I miss this first time round? Why didn't I see and appreciate then what I do now?
This is a question that still baffles me and I don't have any answer. I just don't.
I once was blind but now I see.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Good Friday

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Holy Thursday

Before He was given up to death.

From my Magnificat this morning:

"When the Lord of the world comes and undertakes the slave's task of foot-washing - which is an illustration of the way he washes our feet all through our lives - we have a totally different picture. God doesn't want to trample on us but kneels down before us so as to exalt us. The mystery of the greatness of God is seen precisely in the fact that he can be small...only when power is changed from the inside, and we accept Jesus and his way of life, whose whole self is there in the action of foot-washing, only then can the world be healed and the people be able to live at peace one another."

Pope Benedict XVI