Friday, 30 July 2010

Prayer meme

What a lame and unreliable blogger I am.
Over a week ago, Mac at Mulier Fortis tagged me on the meme that she started. Then, about a week later, Epsilon tagged me on the same meme.
Now Mac has been tagged back on the same meme.
I think it's time I got cracking at this now or I'll have forgotten how to put up a post. I'm blaming the sudden gear change that comes with the summer holidays. That always throws me.

OK. The meme rules, as set by Mac are as follows:

"The rules, which need to be posted: Name your three most favourite prayers, and explain why they're your favourites. Then tag five bloggers - give them a link, and then go and tell them they have been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you've completed the meme... The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. I'm more interested in people's favourite devotional prayers.

Righty Ho then.
First up:

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.

I think, for sheer  frequency of repetition, The Hail Mary has to be in my top three. These days it's often on my lips and in my heart.
During the years I spent outside the church I stopped saying the Hail Mary because I had become confused about praying in that way ( just in case it came under the category of "heaping up meaningless phrases") And also of course, the role of Mary is very much diminished in most protestant circles, and those I moved in were no exception. Saying a Hail Mary in my home group would have been a big no-no.
In fact, the only acceptable prayers, apart from the Lords prayer, were the extemporaneous ones that you made up yourself ( albeit usually according to something of an unwritten formula which one quickly adopts largely by imitation)
Sometimes, like for example when an ambulance siren went off nearby, or I passed an accident scene, I remembered, almost wistfully, that as a child I had a habit of saying a Hail Mary at those moments.
When I was ill and pregnant with the twins I had a new insight into the consolation of having favourite prayers stored in ones memory bank. It's hard to be good with words when we are frightened or depressed. Traditional prayers of the church are worded with great care and are very theologically sound, unlike some of my own homespun prayers which I suspect included some heretical notions here and there despite my best intentions.

"O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins and  for the intentions of  our Holy Father."

Although there are lots of lovely devotions and prayers, if I have to pick just three I have to include our daily morning offering. I pray this every morning with the children and even though sometimes it can be a bit mechanical and rushed, it often isn't. We try to light a candle and kneel together before the crucifix when we pray this. Often we will add our own litany of the saints at the end, naming our own patron saints, the saint of the day and any other saints whose names my children happen to call out.

"O God, who gave us our children to raise for your honour and glory
Help us to teach them to know, love and serve you
Help us to be gentle yet firm in correcting their faults
Help us to be an example to them in following the way of your Commandments
And in the daily acceptance of your cross.
And, if it is your will,  grant to at least one of them the great privilege of a religious or a priestly vocation
That our family may share more fully in the spreading of your kingdom on earth"

A friend of mine shared this prayer with me.
Many years ago, I think when she was first married, she and her husband picked this up somewhere and it became their habit to pray it together at bedtime.
I thought it was so beautiful, and so perfectly expressed the virtues that we want to be at the heart of our family that my husband and I are trying to commit to praying this together daily.

And now I tag:

Lisa at Mama Says

The Bookworm

Thinking Love No Twaddle


Elena at My Domestic Church

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Detachment parenting, loving and letting go.

I like to imagine the wind that was blowing on that sparkling fall day, tousling my mom's strawberry-blonde hair. In the photograph, she's holding my older brother Jason, who was around 3 at the time. You can see he has his mother's eyes -- almond-shaped, dark brown eyes that are smiling. My mom's arms draw him in, and they're saying, "I love you and always will."
A mother's saving embrace.
I take the photograph off the shelf and examine it more closely, trying to see if I've missed something, if there are any clues, any hints to what lies ahead. But there's nothing in Jason's boyish grin that says anything about his future drug addiction, the lies, or the shame.
My mom has always kept that photograph prominently displayed in her kitchen. I once told her I loved the photograph's innocence and its glittery gold happiness; the way the camera captured the sunlight shining in her soft hair and the way her unconditional love for Jason is almost palpable.
"That's my favorite picture of us," she once told me. "It offers me hope."
Later, when I became a mother myself and had an innocent baby resting in my arms, a miraculous vessel of hopes and dreams, I winced at my mom's hope. I'd finger my own treasured photographs of me embracing my firstborn and worry that one day these snapshots might also convey only hope and serve as a reminder of when things were better, happier, and a mother's love was enough. I wanted my own old photographs to be what they were supposed to be: Merely nostalgic, sepia-toned glimpses into a happy past. I wanted more than hope for my own children. I wanted assurance that my love could and would save them.

A thoughtful and inspiring reflection by Kate Wicker. Read the rest here.

( Hat tip to Thinking Love No Twaddle)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Nora. This is your song.

The late Joe Dolan, the Legend from Mullingar, the Irish Tom Jones.
Laydeez, check out the moves.The yelps. The... scarf ?

The don't make them like this anymore.
"Yeow! you're such a Good Looking Woman!"

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The view from the kitchen sink.

Bathtime tonight. First for the muddy veg, then for the pots and pans, and lastly Her Majesty the Baby.
Occasionally it's nice to be chained to the kitchen sink.

Friday, 2 July 2010

The Truth About Abortion

I'm not sure if it's a breach of blog etiquette to copy paste an piece from elsewhere in it's entirety. If it is, I hope I'll be forgiven and an honorable exception made for this post. For so long I've been frustrated by the apparent apathy towards the scourge of abortion in the UK.We pay for this barbarism to be delivered by the NHS. Why are we so quiet about that? Why are our church leaders so quiet?

Honestly, I can hardly bear to hear about another emetic bidding prayer about overfilling kettles or not switching off lights. Small people in our country are condemned to a grisly death on account of their parents "choice" and we are blethering on about being good stewards of the earth.

I'm sure I wouldn't retch and choke with indignation quite so much if the concern for being green was even matched just a bijou amount by concern for the smallest, most vulnerable and most utterly dependant whose lives have barely begun and who are talked about and regarded as just another right in our panoply of rights. A "choice" to be farmed, cloned or exterminated . Longed for, or discarded as an unwanted "consequence".

Listen. Abortion is wrong because it's a baby. And it is ALWAYS wrong to intentionally kill a baby. Always.

How did we get to this point in history where 1in 5 pregnancies are aborted? What kind of savages are we that we just live with this?

I think abortion is so deadly because no one likes to talk about it. So many people have had an abortion that we are afraid of dredging up some crippling guilt if we call abortion what it is. Murder.

And we can't see abortion. Even the doctor performing the abortion doesn't really see it. It's all hidden.. The dark sanctuary of the womb is invaded by blind tools guided by the unseeing hand. Aborting the baby is like an excision. It's merely a polyp to be whipped out and carried off in a clinical waste bag.

When Marie Stopes aired it's infamous abortion advert recently I wondered if this might in fact, perversely, be positive for the cause of Life. Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.
I'm an optimist and I do believe that the night is darkest just before the dawn.
For the first time, I am able to have proper conversations about the reality, especially with young people. The buzz that the advert created has created conversation fodder. Usually it's pretty hard to bring up the subject of abortion in polite company.
So thank you Marie Stopes, for providing the talking point.
Robert Colquhoun of Love Undefiled really has his finger on the pulse of the pro life issue.
This evening I noticed that he had put up a link to this new website. It's very slick and very contemporary and what makes this site really interesting to me is that it's British.
It is about time that we caught up with the much more active pro life movement in America. For too long the stalwart soldiers of the pro life movement here have been elderly women.
This is an issue that the younger generation should be profoundly galvanised by.
I have a feeling that their moment is arriving. This issue is the most pressing civil rights movement of our day.
The unborn need heroic men and women to champion their cause, to be a voice for the voiceless. There is a generation of young people who are ready to be stirred to speak out, to act and to challenge the cruel indifferent apathy of the last 42 years.
Abort67 is named for the year abortion was legalised in this country. It pulls no punches, and it's about time.

If you are fine with abortion,
if you think it's "complicated",
if you think you wouldn't have one, but you "wouldn't tell anyone else what to do",
if you think "it's ok in serious cases like rape" ( that is, if the father was a rapist then it's ok to give the child the death penalty)
then you need to know the truth about abortion.
Dare you?

The following is from here:
The day Marie Stopes International were planning to advertise their deadly services on Channel 4 we took four of our banners outside their Brixton clinic. We had asked them if they wanted our help in advertising their services as they had announced on their website that:
We believe that every woman has the right to accurate, unbiased information about all of her pregnancy choices, including abortion.

After telling us they would get their marketing department to contact us we heard no more from them. We can only assume they were too busy to get in contact so we went ahead anyway.
We were told over and over again by women who had experienced abortions that they were totally unaware and uninformed that abortion did what it did. After seeing our pictures they all agreed they would not have gone through with it. Wait a minute, perhaps that's why Marie Stopes never got back to us. Marie Stopes doesn't care about women's choices, only in promoting abortion.
Marie Stopes display Brixton

sorry this   ride is now closed

What do you do if you don't like the answer to your question? Well if you are part of Marie Stopes, you stick your head in the sand and change the subject. Recently, Marie Stopes ran a poll to demonstrate the support for legalised abortion in Northern Ireland.
As the results were clearly showing that they were struggling to find this support we emailed Marie Stopes for a comment and of course we heard nothing. Bernadette Smyth from Precious Life, an anti abortion group in Northern Ireland managed to take them up on this.

On Tuesday 9th March, Director of Precious Life Bernadette Smyth went head to head with an agent of Marie Stopes on an Irish radio station. Bernadette let the Marie Stopes agent dig her own trap by allowing her to say their first poll result “..had to be taken seriously”; “..the government had to act on it”; “..87% of people couldn’t be ignored”; …etc, etc. But then Bernadette sprung the trap by asking “What about the 82% of people who are currently voting on your website poll saying NO, abortion should not be legalised in Ireland?” The hypocrisy of Marie Stopes was exposed live on air when their agent said that poll result could not be taken seriously. Bernadette retorted “Then why are you taking your first poll results seriously? Why are Marie Stopes not issuing press releases stating that that 82% of Irish people don’t want abortion legalised? Do Marie Stopes only issue poll results when it suits them?” The Marie Stopes agent was totally lost for words.
By the time Marie Stopes realised what was happening and pulled the plug on the on-line poll the "NO" vote had reached 94%. When we tried to find the poll on their website the page came back saying "OOPS - You have arrived at this page in error; it may be that the page you are looking for has been moved during recent improvements to our website." Oops indeed!
This isn't the first time Marie Stopes have struggled to gather support for killing unborn children. In 2007 they ran a petition for a year but only managed to get 498 signatures. 77 of which were Marie Stopes staff, 14 from IPAS and 3 from Abortion Rights.
Will Marie Stopes stop pushing their unwanted and deadly trade on the world? I doubt it. Not until there is enough resistance to what they are doing. Will you join us in standing against them?