Wednesday, 30 June 2010

How a Rabbi led me to Rome

I've written before about my interest in Judaism and how it led me to a new appreciation of the liturgy, the sacraments and eventually back to the church that I'd wandered away from some years before.
I appreciated the way the observance of the feasts and seasons strengthened the Jewish identity and acted as a teacher of eternal truths in every generation.
I recall reading about how, for Jewish people, celebrating the  Passover meal was seen as a way of being mystically present, across time, at the moment when the children of Israel escaped from their Egyptian pursuers across the Red sea..
In this way,  despite the accident of separation by time and space, each generation could, in a sense, "be there".
I couldn't help but be reminded that Catholics view the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a similar way. That through it, the veil between time and space is lifted and we become mystically present at Calvary.
What hadn't made any sense to me at all as a cradle Catholic, suddenly fell into place as an Evangelical with an interest in the Jewish people.

The pennies, once they started to drop, all fell pretty quickly. And having meandered slowly and  carelessly away from the church, I sprinted back to it at quite a lick.
Having arrived, I was fascinated, and delighted to find that I was not alone. That others had found their way back through discovering the Jewishness of the Catholic church.
It really makes sense to me that what went before, while a shadow of what was to come, was not simply thrown overboard, but found it's fulfilment in the light of recognising Christ, his passion, death and resurrection.

Taylor Marshall is one of my favourite bloggers. He took the circuitous route to Rome and writes eloquently about the reasons why. Here is how his story starts:

"I was not always drawn to the Catholic Church. I once resisted it with great force. As a college student I believed that Pope John Paul II was the Antichrist, and boldly concluded that the Catholic Church was the Scarlet Whore of Babylon described by Saint John in the Apocalypse. I even handed out Jack Chick tracts and left them in the toilet stalls of the dormitory (looking back, a rather suitable place) for fellow students to read. Today my wife and I (and our five children) are Catholic, Roman Catholic..."
Read the rest here.

Today on his blog, he makes this announcement:

I'll be on Al Kresta's nationally syndicated radio show today (June 30, 2010) talking about "How a Rabbi led me to Rome," at 3:10 pm Central Time.
If your city doesn't have Catholic radio, you can listen live through the internet by clicking: here

I'm taking my laptop upstairs with me so I can listen to it while I'm giving Marie-Aibhlinn her last feed of the night.She gets kind of tetchy when I try and read a book and breast feed at the same time. She keeps reaching round and grabbing at the pages.
So I'm looking forward to just sitting back and listening to Taylor Marshall instead.
I just thought I'd share in case anyone else would find that as interesting as me.
Goodnight all!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Come on!

Three lions on my shirt
Jules Rimet still gleaming
Thirty years of hurt
Never stopped me dreaming...

I'm not really all that into the beautiful game as it happens, but since I met Pat it's been a part of my life. Sometimes in the way that Camilla Parker Bowles was a part of Dianas life. But nonetheless, in between complaining I budged up and made room for it. At times I even took a secret grudging pleasure in it.

The snobby killjoy in me detested the football aesthetic ( the nylon!) and the fact that a big game always seemed to be the occasion of a rambunctious gathering in our sitting room. A football gathering  always necessitated the kind of  snacks that I disdain.
Post match clean up usually indicated the carefree strewing of something like tortilla chip confetti all over my soft furnishings, oh and the sticky drinks and the bottles of beer . Ew.
My doomed efforts to encourage crudites as a match snack caused the house to ring with snorts of derisory laughter. Celery and carrot sticks simply didn't cut the macho mustard on a big match afternoon. And so the crudites were repudiated.
Of course the children are accessorised as well. With squeaky polyester scarves and sweat bands and woolly hats. Oh and (sob) Arsenal pyjamas too ( *cough* thank you Noreen, mistress of the subversive gift!)

But I'm such a conflicted snob because, well, I like it too. I can't help myself.
All that laddish male bonding has an innocent sweetness about it that makes me smile. And there is something about hearing my family roaring together as they jump from the sofas in perfect unison, or even slumped  and groaning in misery together, that makes me grin inwardly.

Musuing about all this made me think about this terrific Baddiel/Skinner/Lightening Seeds anthem.
Can it really be 14 years ago?

I love Frank Skinner.
America, you can keep your Brad Pitt and your George Clooney.
Come on England!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Israel and the Gaza flotilla raid.

Here's an excerpt from the BBC's report on the Gaza flotilla raid :

Israel has set up an internal inquiry into its deadly raid last month on a convoy of Gaza-bound aid ships.
Israel earlier rejected a UN proposal for an international probe, but has now agreed to include two foreign observers in its own inquiry.
Nine Turkish activists were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the ships in international waters on 31 May.
Meanwhile, Middle East peace envoy Tony Blair says he hopes Israel will allow more humanitarian items into Gaza.
Washington welcomed the announcement of the inquiry, describing it as "an important step forward".
But Turkey's foreign minister said Ankara had "no trust at all" that Israel would conduct an impartial investigation.

And here's a video on the  raid that I found on Mommylife.

( HT Barbara@Mommylife)

Edited to add. After watching the video above, I saw this one of New Yorkers protesting the raid:

It never changes.
Everyone goes around thinking they know everything they need to know to be quite sure who the good guy is and who the bad guy is, and feeling mighty righteous for being on the side of the angels.
If only working it out were ever that simple.
I think "useful idiots" is the phrase that I'm looking for.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Pretend I'm a tree and save me

Most people I know are fairly comfortable being morally outraged about the rapine of the rain forests, the pillage of the oceans and the plunder of the environment.

Whether it's carbon emissions, bluefin tuna, melting polar ice caps, or the treatment of dogs in China, we can all shake our heads in grim agreement and be of one accord.
Causes which are widely espoused, especially those which have  been made groovy by the support of a  celeb, are even more likely  to win approval and agreement.

It's an easy kind of virtue that doesn't cost even a little independant thought, let alone courage.

Some, like these warriors, really let it all hang out when it comes to their passionate defense of nature.

With eco indifferent hearts of stone, we found it pretty funny seeing them all weeping and apologising to the trees. Those extreme tree huggers are Intense man.

So then I saw this on Breadgirls blog.

Thinking about it makes me feel like I have a stomach full of rocks.

The unborn are persons. Only they happen to still be inside and we can't see them. And if we can't see them we can pretend they are something else.

(  For those who are sensitive, as I am, to images, this video does not have any images of abortion. Just quotes and pictures of  the unborn at various stages of gestation. It is worth watching.)

Here is an interview with bio ethicist doctor Rosario Laris which helpfully discusses many persistent myths surrounding abortion and the "need to keep it legal" ( HT Love Undefiled)

So we can all agree that animal cruelty is wrong, but despite evidence that even the 8 week old fetus can experience pain, the abortion discussion is "controversial".
When are we going to have this conversation?

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Is Blogger eating my comments?

My dashboard keeps telling me I have 2 comments awaiting moderation, but when I take a look they are gone.
If you have left me a comment that didn't get published, please will you re send?

Zoe and Gary invite you to share their baby joy.

This is a screenshot from my son Dom's practice biology paper that he was doing online. It's last years GCSE paper,( the whole thing is here if you biology nerds are interested.)

Check out the happy parents!
Is it just me or do Zoe and Gary look like The Undead?
Is this subliminal messaging?
They remind me of those ads that showed the effect of smack on the wasted faces of users.
Zoe and Gary are straining to smile for the camera, but you know it's only a matter of time before the facade cracks and they turn into flesh eating zombies.
But maybe that's just me and my fertile imagination.

Friday, 11 June 2010

You love me! You really love me!

 I want to thank Johnny Cash, The Clancy brothers and Tommy Makem, Wham!, The Smiths, Aunt Kathleen, my sister in law Teresa, Sonia at Pro hands who threads my eyebrows, Abel  and Cole for delivering vegetables fresh and in season to my door, Fat Face and Boden for clothes that a  40 something pudgemama can wear and still feel like a fox, and most of all, thank you to the excellent Last Welsh Martyr for giving me this...

I love you! Last Welsh Martyr (  a mouthful, can I call you Nerys?)  I love you Nerys!
I love you, sistah! I love you! Everybody, I love you. I love you all . . . I love you. Everybody who's involved with this, I love you. I love you. Everybody I've ever met. Everybody I've never met.
It has been a long journey to this moment.

And now, I have to pass a little sunshine on.

I'm meant to choose 12. But I have ruthlessly excised 2 groups; the mega bloggers, because they are too busy being stars in the blogging firmament for passing awards around, and the men. I may be being a little sexist here, sorry chaps, you're terrific, but I feel that the daisies are a girl thing.
The daisies go to the following:



Sue in Japan

The Bookworm

Thinking Love No Twaddle

Lucy ( An Abundance of Rainbows )

Mulier Fortis

A shoutout to those who woulda been contenders:
Elizabeth, who has mothballed her blog and now Facebooks instead.
Tia and Sara (CatholicMom) Hens of my aquaintance who comment but don't blog (anymore)
Raising a  glass of vodka slushie to you all!

Oops. Edited to add The Rules:

1. Post the logo on your blog and/or within the post.

2. Pass it on to 12 other bloggers.

3. Add links to these 12 bloggers within your blog.

4. Let them know they are receiving the award.

5. Share the link of the person from whom you received the award.