Saving Graces

new mercies each and every day

In thought…

Feb
05

thought photoWhat have you done in your thoughts? I’ve done a lot ‘in thought‘. Every Sunday, well most Sundays, we say the Penitential Rite and the usual prayer used is the Confiteor, i.e. the “I confess”. It starts

“I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do…”

And the thought part just got me going. I mean who has control over their thoughts? It’s hard enough to remember when I’ve done wrong on spot now I gotta remember the thoughts too? Truth be told, I probably murder and disembowel some people in my thoughts. I don’t think it will ever spill over to real life but it made me wonder. Why is it so much harder to control my thoughts? Why is it so much harder to also feel sorry for them? Why confess them?

It’s true the more I dwell on a thought the more likely it manifests. I either will then say it, do it or see it. So comes in the skill of having mastery over my wayward mind. I have an extremely loud and noisy neighbour. It’s meant that I’ve been out of the house I pay rent for, more than I am in it, squatting at friends and neighbours. Midnight brawl like sounds are not unusual and so the place feels unsafe. In my mind, I tell him off and am so not charitable.

One way I’ve been trying to be a bit more in touch and to make sure that my mind better governed is by doing the Examen. The result is that I am now more aware of my thoughts when they occur, and I am more aware of the thoughts I should not be having. As a further result, I have become a bit more contrite for them.

But till the time such thoughts will no longer come to my mind, I will be one of those fervently repeating that part of the Confiteor and doing a mind cringe as I think of the person I dressed down so uncharitably in my grey matter… noisy neighbours top of the list…. in thought…

Motherhood of a different kind

Oct
09

 

motherhood photo

Photo by rahego

Part of the feminine genius is that we are called to motherhood. This is motherhood in all it’s different forms, physical, spiritual, emotional ad infinitum. Sometimes that’s hard to see especially when single and waiting and praying to one day be a mother. I came across the quote below recently from The Great Divorce by CS Lewis.

 

“And who are all these young men and women on each side?”
“They are her sons and daughters.”
“She must have had a very large family, Sir.”
“Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.”
“Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?”
“No. There are those that steal other people’s children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.”

 

After reading this I was so struck! It made me stop. I want to be like this woman. So I started reading The Great Divorce; well listening to the audiobook.

I’ve always wanted to be great, not necessarily famous, though that would be nice sometimes, but great at something nonetheless. Great enough at it so as to make a difference in the world we live in and when I pass-on for people to say, she did well and impacted our lives, she changed them for the better. That morphed over time too, I still want to be great but maybe not great here on earth in a tangible to the masses kind of way, but great by having been a mother to all who encounter me, a nurturer, an carer a bringer of life, not one who destroys it or takes it apart, or leaves other desolate and sad. I want to bring happiness, kindness, patience, to bring life and love into the world.

In my own little way, I do, when I mother the children around me. There is this Africanism that it takes a village to raise a child, and where possible I try. Today’s world makes it no longer so easy, people do not like you in their children’s space or correcting their children, but at Guides and Brownies, when teaching or tutoring, I become a mother for a little while, showing the girls, to be honest, and true, making them laugh, teaching them a skill, taking them camping, hiking and rock climbing and praying no-one has more than scratches or grazes to show for our adventures. When babysitting or visiting friends with babies, I become a mother for a little while, when distracting them for mom or dad to do something, when tickling them to make them laugh, when feeding and burping. When teaching or tutoring I become a mother for a little while as I practice patience, showing them over and over again for the umpteenth time how to do something just so. In mass, I smile and make funny faces at the toddler just about to cry so that he stops and wonders who is this crazy lady and may even forget why he was about to be upset anyway… doesn’t always work, but when it does yaaay. A motherhood of a different kind and I love every bit of it.

But with the little people, it’s easy, it just happens and comes naturally. It’s with the bigger people I struggle to practice the feminine genius of motherhood. I am not as patient with them, I am not as loving, I am not as open to bringing new life into theirs. They do not leave me to go and love their parents and loved ones more for having encountered me. Case in point I just hung up on a young woman who made me agro because she swore at me. I will see her later today and have no idea what to say to her to diffuse the situation, I want a good outcome but I find it hard to love her as she should be loved. I find it hard to practice this motherhood of a different kind. So Holy Spirit and Jesus give me the right words to say.

At work it’s also very hard to be nurturing, giving, everyone has their own agenda, I included. And suddenly an opportunity has come up for me to teach full time, little people. I know it will change me, life will be less complicated in some aspects and more difficult in others, money being one as a teachers salary will be a shadow of what I earn now. But maybe it’s time to step back and allow God to work on my heart and be more patient with older people, to have fewer stresses of a corporate nature and have simpler stresses, of forming young minds, ha as if that’s simpler but you know what I mean, I hope. Maybe it’s time for me to step up that motherhood of a different kind and know I am changing lives, something I am not always sure of at work. Maybe… if only God’s whispers were louder, you know like shouts. Should I pursue this new opportunity or not?!?!? One day I’ll be sure what He wants me to do. For now, I’ll ponder this passage and finish reading The Great Divorce, well listen to it.

waxless xoxoxo

Photo by rahego

More WYD Catechesis : by Bishop O’Malley

Jul
26

I’m really enjoying these catechesis sessions. More notes from the session by Bishop O’Malley 🙂

The new evangelization is being a missionary at home, in a world that is dormant in its religion. Do we still have a sense of Eucharistic amazement?
Poor park, the evangelised person is an evangelist/er.
Jesus gives us a command, a new commandment, to the disciples, those of the household of the faith, love one another, the way that I love you, and this is how they will know that you are my disciples. How does he love it’s, Gore loves us first whilst we are still in sin etc, he wants us to love first, don’t wait till Apple are nice first, forgive first, extend first,
He loves us to the end
He gives a the give of the Eucharist, the strength and the means to live out the command, to be able to make a gift of ourselves.
At ascension, the command is the great commissioning, go and make disciples of all nations teaching them what Jesus taught. And premises is the holy spirit the gift to strengthen us to help us be enable to follow that command. So often we take for granted we forget the giver of the gifts who is our loving God who wants to give us so much more. We are to introduce this anonymous benefit who is our God, who creates us, lives us, forgives us and calls us to share on his life. We are to get people to reconnect with him, our evangelizing job.
We need to have compassion to move us to see those who see the Jesus in distress. We need to have the same sense of urgency for the spiritually naked, starving, sick abandoned as those in Haiti.
We need to be quick to help with spiritual needs as material needs.
The knowledge we have is a responsibility to be used for everyone, we have an obligation to share that knowledge with everyone, else we are like a criminal scientist who keeps the cure to cancer to himself.
Many who were evangelists lost their lives as martyrs. 2000 years later that commissioning is being repeated, we have a great obligation to help people find God on their lives, and hence fulfill Jesus wishes for us. We need to overcome sin and selfishness in our lives, our own conversion. Don’t make just a show of religion, actions speak louder than words. If we are willing to put ourselves out there people will be more willing to listen, we need to cultivate virtue so that we can be credible whiteness of the hostel. Don’t apologize for our faith, fir the gospel, just for the sins committed but our brothers. Apologetics it’s about speaking about our faith in reason, speak about our faith in a convincing way, defend it not be defensive, a laity not arrogant not rash in speech, but men and women who know their religion, know their faith so well they can task about it… how faith and reason stand to each other, cardinal Newman…
Catholic voices _ how to send the faith without raising your voice, to be effective evangelists begins with our personal conversion
When we climb the mountain to help our neighbour to save his soul we save our own, or faith is strengthened when we share it.
We need to outreach to our peers.
Jesus did not come and die so that we could have the warm fuzziness, we have a responsibility to God and to one another, by being part of a community that speaks the same language. We have to work hard to build strong communities of faith, strong parishes. We have to discover God’s plan and will in our life. Avoid the trap of the hookup culture, of cohabiting, when long for a spouse pray to the holy spirit to help yo find the right person, and pray to be right person, marry someone because yo share the same faith, the sane idealism, the same sense of mission, and get married to have children, and yo will be a blessing.
Without God we can do nothing, but without us God will do nothing, st Augustine.
7 percent of committed Catholics make it happen, Matthew c, ongoing faith formation key to apologetics.

More WYD Catechesis : Discipleship

Jul
25

More notes form WYD catechesis 🙂

Submitting yourselves totally as, a disciple, body, mind soul.

Imitate the teacher in everything, scripture and its interpretation, imitation of every detail of life.

Questioning from the master to the disciple. And vice versa. Community of so-called is necessary yeshi_va, in today the church, the Lord, that which brings to the Lord. Our presence means we want to surrender totally. A commitment for life, for eternity, to be with the master to live with him.
A few differences, we don’t choose Jesus, he chooses us, we never take our leave of Jesus and make our own disciples, but for him. Who is Jesus?
First he is not a pale faced role model, Christianity is not a moralisation, trying to imitate Christ in a way that we know we never can. Not just a wise teacher. He is crucified and risen! He went to the very bedrock of human darkened and destitution, he is here in presence and power to command or whole lives, and can give us all we can imagine and more, ha makes us all more than just human zombies. Christianity is not just a religion, it’s an experience of encounter of jc crucified and risen. When you see him it blows your mind. We experience amazement which is the gospel, which is Christianity. We are afraid to really become disciples, to entrust all, we are scared to lose too much. In fact we lose nothing and gain everything. Think again and take the risk, say yes to his call and yo will be treated with all to can scarcely imagine. I’ve yo Becq11ker a disciple you are equipped to become a disciple maker.
Pray
Read the scripture
Read the catechism
Serve the poor
Charismatic leadership is strong as such not only clerical leadership so why be priests.
Ecological conversion jp2

WYD Catechesis by Cardinal Dolan

Jul
24

So I’m gonna be typing on the main points of catechesis by Cardinal Dolan because it all sounds AMAZING!!!! In random fashion no full sentences here goes…

I am work of art, I am loved, I am God’s work of art, I am unique.
Faith – we believe that there is a God
Hope – that God makes and keeps His promises, who is a person, who is intimately involved in my life
God asked Abraham not to fear him but to trust him
Act of hope (Google it)
We live in an age of new atheism, the chic and intelligent find it very in to be an atheist
Hope in talents satisfaction work family wife etc
There will always be an ultimate we can hope in that is good. Thirst fir God is part of poor DNA, we are hard wired to want him, a restlessness that is never satisfied in this world
We are restless oh God and our hearts are restless until they rest in yo, st Augustine
Nothing else can satisfy it
I an the Lord your God and though shalt not have other gods before me, we tend to make other things our idols.
Thomas Merton,
Threats to hope:
Ourselves_ our sins, imperfections, failures
Other people _ don’t put ultimate trust in them because on occasion they still let us down, I have overcome the world…etc
Time _ God tends to take his time, who thinks on terms of thousands of years, we are microwaves and God is a crockpot. God always triumphs even if only in the next life on eternity in heaven. some problems and tragedies are only answered in eternity.

Hope is the muscle of faith.

Immigration of Christ, Thomas akampis
Don charter, soul…
Thomas Erwin 7 storey…
Introduction to divine life

We want God to be our father and us the only child
Jesus and the church is one
The dictatorship of relativism, Pope Benedict, faith in nothing or everything. We need to concentrate on a recovery of the truth, of Jesus Christ. The truth why’ll set yo free, nothing more enobling, liberating etc. Faith and reason are not enemies they are best friends, lumen et fidei, Pope Francis
St Ignatius, God talks to us through our desires and hopes, discernment is an art of trying to get God’s will, ultimate peace. Give it time, ask what will help to get to heaven first, what is best for your salvation, sometimes it’s the harder one, being called to the cross.

Is it irresponsible to trust God too much…

Mar
31

Is it irresponsible to trust God too much? That is the title of Jen’s post over at Conversion Diary.

It touched me to my core. Why because I have issues trusting God. I mean I trust God, I do but I don’t TRUST God. I used to work with a guy who is training to be a pastor now and he used to say “I don’t get sick, because I trust the Lord to never allow me to be sick, I walk in His presence and since sickness is of the devil I will never get sick if I trust in God.”  That used to and still does scare me.

I trust in the Lords provision but that does not mean I will not work for my food and rent etc., I trust the Lord protects us but that does mean I’ll walk in dodgy areas at night, I trust in the Lord’s love and that it is sufficient for me, but that does not mean I don’t worry about earthly love and if I will ever be found by ‘the one’. image But Jen’s post is on another level. She expands on how she thinks trust in the Lord hinges on

  1. Who God is
  2. What God wants
  3. What the meaning of life is

It’s the second one that I find major challenges with.

Discerning what God wants; being under the mantle of His will. Because if I am doing His will and following my purpose then He will provide for all I need right there. Trust would be so easy if I just knew His will. I trust His will true, but not knowing it makes that trust an active challenge each and every day. So go over there and read her thoughts and peoples comments on whether it is irresponsible to trust God too much.

ht pic

Dry season…

Feb
08

…spiritually that is. I have been having problems praying. Last year I imagehad gotten to a rosary a day plus a divine mercy in there, family prayer and was working my way up to morning devotion. But it’s all gone south somehow. So I need to get out of this dry season funk that I’m in and I was blog surfing instead of studying, as usual, and I came across two posts. one is 7 Reasons I Stink at Praying over at NCRegister, and I got 6 out of 7, maybe 7 out of 7 coz when have I ever lacked pride. The main ones are that I am lazy to the point of being slothful sometimes, I am a thinker, I get super distracted and everything seems honkey dory in control right now.

There is so much I should pray for and I have every intention of doing so, but the prayer is very nearly none existent or very distracted if I’m not saying it aloud in some group or the other. At TOB yesterday we did the Song of songs and the marriage of Tobias and Sarah anI i read out Tobias prayer, he was so in touch with what the Lord willed. I need that; to be in touch, to know what He wants, but I’m very nearly apathetic at the moment, it would be scary if not for the apathy.

The other post was by Fr. Longenecker called The Problems With Possession. Closer to the bottom he mentions that the first demonic level is temptation and the second level is obsession. To say i have an addictive obsessive personality well… lets say its goes without saying. The apathy does not help much and when the temptation comes… and yes it comes. It’s not even a struggle to say no coz it seems like I don’t even try to say no. I accept it for the temptation it is and all my Jedi temptation fighting techniques I put on the side and just give in to the temptation. It made me realise that not only do I need to pray but to try and overcome these 7 reasons that make me stink at it. I mean I don’t wanna become demon possessed now do i…

image ht

the war on work

Jun
07

Oh no. For a master procrasitnator, I seem to have a talent for getting onto websites that will just make me procrastinate more!!!! besides that though, Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs has some interesting insights on the War on Work. Now TED is another site I will have problems getting off of… darn!

Thin places

Jan
10

Thin places

…those places or events in life where the dividing line between the holy and the ordinary is very thin… to the point that the ordinary becomes holy and the holy becomes ordinary…

imageI got his definition from Roy Donkin’s blog.  I have been feeling like everywhere around me is a thin place of late, as if the Lord wants me to hear something He is saying and I just need to really listen and it will be so loud and clear there is no way I can mistake what He is saying to me.  I’ve read of thin places. It’s an Irish thing I believe and I don’t want to lose the “thin place “ feel before I hear what God has to say. Why am I so aware, what am I supposed to discern Lord?

We have been studying Job at home. YOH! Job was extreme in his faith, he feared the Lord. and the talk makes us so more open and it’s good I love the fellowship. Within the family it’s just so rich 😀 mmm maybe that’s why the places are so ‘thin’…

For man it is impossible…

Oct
12

I heard the 28th sundays readings four times this week. On Wednesday during Faith class, Saturday evening mass, Sunday morning and evening mass, and it comes down to one thing… it is impossible for me to get to heaven alone, to reach my potential alone, to minister to others alone… but through God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!