Saving Graces

new mercies each and every day

Adoration and Divine Shortbread

Aug
28

Yesterday for TOB we went for adoration.  It was in this beautiful adoration chapel and the traffic was amazing, so many people came. We generally have guided adoration, which sometimes grates when all you want is silence but because we were visiting an already established adoration hour silence ruled….and I couldn’t deal. I was just so tired, my mind kept wandering and then I decided to give up trying.

At first I people watched, one man had his arms up in adoration the whole time and his lips moved in silent fervent prayer. An elderly lady came in with a cushion to sit on, showing she was going to be there a while, Mimoo knelt in the aisle as usual and so did this man behind her and they were so close to the ground as to be almost prostrate, a sign of submission. That in itself was beautiful I became filled with awe. Because my mind was tired I then decided to just be a part of this body of Christ and help offer up their prayers, whatever they were; to just be and realise that He knows my needs even when I don’t; to just be and worship with my posture and by being there no matter how distracted; and just be and rest in His presence.

When I realised that I was in danger of falling asleep I began to read and pray prayers from Pure Faith and came across a novena by the “Prayers when in the presence of the Blessed sacrament”. As I prayed this novena there was a place to put in my intention and marriage just popped into my head. I lately had not been praying fervently for marriage but yesterday it felt just right. After adoration we all migrated to the hall where a TOB session was in progress so we sat in as they ended and participated in the wrap-up and it was amazing, the insights people have, the thirst for truth the openness… and to be a part of it all wow.

Then afterwards everyone mingled… I can’t remember the number of times I said we had to go because honestly there were people to see and chat to and fellowship with, whilst we ate the most amazing desert which MA told me it’s called Millionaire shortbread… and I loved the name. It reminded me of the sweetness of the Lord, the richness of His mercies and of a recent reading, “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord”. Well in His creations He sure is sweet, in adoration He is sweet enough to let me be,  and in the rest I will trust it will be just as decadent. Now to get ingredients for some divine shortbread!!!

Coincidentally MA felt led to pray for marriage for us all as well during adoration Smile Oh well…
 ht

Theology of the body in SA!!!

Sep
19

And I’m back… after a bit of hiatus and it’s because I am bursting! Bursting with evangelical spirit and wanting to share everything I learnt this weekend. We were highly blessed to have Jason Evert here in South Africa and we were hosting him! Well specifically MA our TOB mentor and we went around with him to the school and different parishes as he gave his talk “Romance without regret” and even though I’ve heard it all before it came at a time when I needed to hear it again… and again and again…

What I specifically needed to hear was that I am NOT too fussy, that I deserve the best because I am a daughter of God, that the Lord has a plan for me, that I should seek the Lord in all things and the details will be taken care of, that if I run after God I will not need to go hunting of this “perfect spouse” (no such thing)… all I’ll have to do is look to my side and see who is running with me…and to work on becoming the spouse I want to get, to become the woman of God that God wills me to be. Smile I’ll be posting a lot on what struck me most soon.

On my amazon wish list is this book that Jason and Crystalina wrote called “How to find your soul mate without losing your soul”… and I have been telling myself I’ll buy it… then Jason came with copies and I never had cash on me… finally got the cash and just plum forgot and then it was too late coz I was singing in the band so when I got to the back the books were finished arrggghhh!!! So I still need to get the book and here he was autographing them too. well, I got the “Pure womanhood and Pure manhood” books autographed so that’s ok. Here is a clip they did quite recently on their book

                      

Reasons to NFP or not to NFP…

Mar
24

So Simcha at I have to sit down has this most brilliant post. I just spent an hour reading comments… and its amazing. She has based it on why doesn’t the church make a list of”grave/just/serious” reasons to not use NFP. Go over there and take a gander! Inspiring!!!

Jen again… on what makes abortion acceptable

Jan
27

I love reading Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog, Conversion Diary. She has fascinatingimage insights and now here is an article which makes so much sense… It’s in line with the recent American Marches for life which took place and on being pro-life or pro-choice. It can be found here at Inside Catholic.
The part that resonated with today me is :

“In every society, there are two critical lists: acceptable conditions for having a baby, and acceptable conditions for having sex. From time immemorial, the one thing that almost every society had in common is that their two lists matched up. It was only with the widespread acceptance of contraception in the middle of the 20th century, creating an upheaval in the public psyche in which sex and babies no longer went hand-in-hand, that the two lists began to diverge. And now, in 21st-century America, they look something like this:
Conditions under which it is acceptable to have sex:

  • If you’re in a stable relationship
  • If you feel emotionally ready
  • If you’re free of sexually transmitted diseases
  • If you have access to contraception

Conditions under which it is acceptable to have a baby:

  • If you can afford it
  • If you’ve finished your education
  • If you feel emotionally ready to parent a child
  • If your partner would make a good parent
  • If you’re ready for all the lifestyle changes that would be involved with parenthood

As long as those two lists do not match, we will live in a culture where abortion is common and where women are at war with their own bodies.”

It’s so true, abortion has become a form of contraception, a way in which to live out a lifestyle that goes against what nature has ordained. Now she didn’t present what the two lists would have been before, but I though I’d give it a shot…
Conditions under which it is acceptable to have sex:

  • If you are married

Conditions under which it is acceptable to have a baby:

  • If you are married

mmmm is it just me? maybe let’s look at marriage conditions then…

Conditions under which it is acceptable to get married:

  • If you’re in a stable relationship
  • If you feel emotionally ready
  • If you can afford it
  • If you’ve finished your education
  • If you feel emotionally ready to parent a child
  • If your partner would make a good parent
  • If you’re ready for all the lifestyle changes that would be involved with parenthood

Ergo no need for contraception! Cool!

Playing catch-up….

Jan
08

clip_image002Here is a catch-up blog post. I am actually supposed to be studying. Did I mention that I have exams in 3 weeks such as Prolog programming which I have not even touched! 6 exams and I have read at most 2 chapters.

Any-hoo… A lot has been happening since early December. Mom came over YAY! She had to get a hysterectomy! NAY! She had fibroids the size of cricket balls which were distorting her abdomen and giving her immense pain. It was scary. So I was designated chauffeur. Am I so glad I have Alto now. (Alto is my car). Actually clocked 3500km in one month! Ouch! The operation went well and made me realise I could get them too as they may be hereditary. Please Lord not before my dozen babies or so 😀 She sailed through and is actually back at home and doing well. So much energy now, praise the Lord, Jehovah Rapha the Lord our healer.

clip_image006And Del-del was here! With blonde hair and she’s a school clip_image004prefect to boot. She loved lighting all our advent candles! Mom helped us with all our cakes, the icing and all and they came out well if I should say so myself, which I do.

 

 

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Doug came with his wife Eve! So I finally met my brother’s wife! She is sweet, hopefully, can light a fire under that man LOL. Then they all left and Kudzi came. Christmas was laid back, sang for schola, had lunch and vegetated for New years! clip_image020Chiedza was here and we puzzled forever! It’s a 3000 piecer and no end in sight. The puzzle is called ‘Breath of life’ and is a depiction of the Garden of Eden with Adam alone in the centre contemplating

clip_image018Alto got a booboo. Bumper bash all by myself. I forgot I was driving manual again. But it’s getting better. Thanks St Christopher! And it made me realize I drive too fast.

And I seem to have gotten my cooking vibe back 😀 I made wraps with a mixed meat filling the other day; then baked potatoes, rosemary chicken, cheese sauce with sour cream and mixed veggies 😀clip_image021.

Cooking is so grand when I’m not too lazy and definitely healthier for my waistline And so that’s the quick catch-up 😀

Yes and Windows Live-writer works. It makes putting in pics so much easier.

Rosary Trimmin’s – poem

Oct
29

Love, Love, LOVE, this poem! got it from What Does Prayer Really Say:

THE TRIMMIN’S ON THE ROSARY by John O’Brien

Ah, the memories that find me now my hair is turning gray,
Drifting in like painted butterflies from paddocks far away;
Dripping dainty wings in fancy – and the pictures, fading fast,
Stand again in rose and purple in the album of the past.
There’s the old slab dwelling dreaming by the wistful, watchful trees,
Where the coolabahs are listening to the stories of the breeze;
There’s a homely welcome beaming from its big, bright friendly eyes,
With The Sugarloaf behind it blackened in against the skies;
There’s the same dear happy circle round the boree’s cheery blaze
With a little Irish mother telling tales of other days.
She had one sweet, holy custom which I never can forget,
And a gentle benediction crowns her memory for it yet;
I can see that little mother still and hear her as she pleads,
“Now it’s getting on to bed-time; all you childer get your beads.”
There were no steel-bound conventions in that old slab dwelling free;
Only this – each night she lined us up to say the Rosary;
E’en the stranger there, who stayed the night upon his journey, knew
He must join the little circle, ay, and take his decade too.
I believe she darkly plotted, when a sinner hove in sight
Who was known to say no prayer at all, to make him stay the night.
Then we’d softly gather round her, and we’d speak in accents low,
And pray like Sainted Dominic so many years ago;
And the little Irish mother’s face was radiant, for she knew
That “where two or three are gathered” He is gathered with them too.
O’er the paters and the aves how her reverent head would bend!
How she’d kiss the cross devoutly when she counted to the end!
And the visitor would rise at once, and brush his knees – and then
He’d look very, very foolish as he took the boards again.
She had other prayers to keep him. They were long, long prayers in truth;
And we used to call them “Trimmin’s” in my disrespectful youth.
She would pray for kith and kin, and all the friends she’d ever known,
Yes, and everyone of us could boast a “trimmin”’ all his own.
She would pray for all our little needs, and every shade of care
That might darken o’er The Sugarloaf, she’d meet it with a prayer.
She would pray for this one’s “sore complaint,” or that one’s “hurted hand,”
Or that someone else might make a deal and get “that bit of land”;
Or that Dad might sell the cattle well, and seasons good might rule,
So that little John, the weakly one, might go away to school.
There were trimmin’s, too, that came and went; but ne’er she closed without
Adding one for something special “none of you must speak about.”
Gentle was that little mother, and her wit would sparkle free,
But she’d murder him who looked around while at the Rosary:
And if perchance you lost your beads, disaster waited you,
For the only one she’d pardon was “himself” – because she knew
He was hopeless, and ‘twas sinful what excuses he’d invent,
So she let him have his fingers, and he cracked them as he went,
And, bedad, he wasn’t certain if he’d counted five or ten,
Yet he’d face the crisis bravely, and would start around again;
But she tallied all the decades, and she’d block him on the spot,
With a “Glory, Daddah, Glory!” and he’d “Glory” like a shot.
She would portion out the decades to the company at large;
But when she reached the trimmin’s she would put herself in charge;
And it oft was cause for wonder how she never once forgot,
But could keep them in their order till she went right through the lot.
For that little Irish mother’s prayers embraced the country wide;
If a neighbour met with trouble, or was taken ill, or died,
We could count upon a trimmin’ – till, in fact, it got that way
That the Rosary was but trimmin’s to the trimmin’s we would say.
Then “himself” would start keownrawning – for the public good, we thought –
“Sure you’ll have us here till mornin’. Yerra, cut them trimmin’s short!”
But she’d take him very gently, till he softened by degrees –
“Well, then, let us get it over. Come now, all hands to their knees.”
So the little Irish mother kept her trimmin’s to the last,
Every growing as the shadows o’er the old selection passed;
And she lit our drab existence with her simple faith and love,
And I know the angels lingered near to bear her prayers above,
For her children trod the path she trod, nor did they later spurn
To impress her wholesome maxims on their children in their turn.
Ay, and every “sore complaint” came right, and every “hurted hand”;
And we made a deal from time to time, and got “that bit of land”;
And Dad did sell the cattle well; and little John, her pride,
Was he who said the Mass in black the morning that she died;
So her gentle spirit triumphed – for ‘twas this, without a doubt,
Was the very special trimmin’ that she kept so dark about.

. . . . .

But the years have crowded past us, and the fledglings all have flown,
And the nest beneath The Sugarloaf no longer is their own;
For a hand has written “finis” and the book is closed for good –
Here’s a stately red-tiled mansion where the old slab dwelling stood;
There the stranger has her “evenings,” and the formal supper’s spread,
But I wonder has she “trimmin’s” now, or is the Rosary said?
Ah, those little Irish mothers passing from us one by one!
Who will write the noble story of the good that they have done?
All their children may be scattered, and their fortunes windwards hurled,
But the Trimmin’s on the Rosary will bless them round the world.

I want a Joseph

Oct
28

I was just reading posts on Facebook and I came across one that was interesting. As single young catholics, we are encouraged to discern our vocation, our purpose in life and God’s will. YAY… if only it was as easy as writing this post. I tell you now it is not. Anyway I am leaning towards my vocation being married life and all. There was a time I was scared it was religious life. Scared you ask? Thing is it was scary thinking about the commitment required, the sacrifice, the obstacles. But after some Theology of the Body I am actually OK with it. I have actually explored it and now I am at peace in that today I feel God’s call to me to be a wife and mother, if tomorrow that call changes I will be happy with it and say servium for it will be God’s will. I live to serve Him as best as I can in my current space and all to His greater glory.

What does that have to do with me wanting a Joseph?  To get the right man whom I may marry and fulfil the vocation of marriage with, I have to know to recognise said right man, and what the ‘right man ‘ is. I don’t believe that there is only ONE right man out there for me and that only by cosmic fate will we meet and have a grand life and 12 babies. I give God more credit than that. God knows the right man for me at any particular time and according to His will we will meet and marry, so any man ordained so by God will be right for me. So I ask “God, tell me of this man so when he finds me I will recognize him” and today I got an answer. A Joseph. No, I don’t mean I have had a vision of him or anything, his name will not necessarily be Joseph, although it is a strong and dependable name. I digress. But he will be a man with the characteristics of Joseph the husband of Mary.

By all rights, Mary should have been stoned to death. Honestly, a girl pregnant out of wedlock in those times was beyond the height of shame, hey these guys threw out their blind and lame for to them disability was an affliction of the highest order from God because of grave sin. Pregnancy out of wedlock meant adultery, adultery meant death. But did Joseph get her stoned? No he was agonizing on how to divorce Mary quietly so that she would be spared death. That is either a man in love or a ‘just’ man. How would getting her killed better the world?

I see him as a man who was in despair wondering what to do and then the angel came to him.  Oh boy must he have been relieved! But what strikes me more is he ran to obey the will of God. Mary was pregnant before he had gone to take her as his bride. Betrothal was a binding marriage contract only broken by divorce. It was an unconsummated marriage if you will. So people probably speculated and frowned upon them for ‘having gotten pregnant’ before the final marriage bit, but he did not care. He obeyed God. He sought to protect Mary before she was fully his, he sought to protect her.

He offered her kindness and love and cared for her and the baby, he was her defender. Even when they were to flee to Egypt after Jesus birth, he did so leaving country, family and friends. He sacrificed all. And later on to Nazareth as well.  A man who listened to God to defend and protect his family. A most chaste spouse. One who reared Jesus in a holy family. Who taught his son the trade of being a carpenter, one who was worthy to be called father by Jesus.  A just man. A man who took his family to worship and followed the law. A man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome, a very godly man who had a great belief and trust in God.

Ahhh the stuff of romance novels is our Joseph 😀

So yeah I want a Joseph, with a dash of Joshua, Jacob, Caleb thrown in for good measure. A mighty man of God. A just man.

Now I’m off to go try and be a Mary so Joseph can find me!

BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN SISTER – a poem

Oct
14

BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN SISTER
By Maya Angelou

‘A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ
That a man should have to seek Him first to find her.’

When I say…. ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not shouting ‘I’m clean living,’
I’m whispering ‘I was lost, Now I’m found and forgiven.’

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say. ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I still feel the sting of pain…
I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say… ‘I am a Christian’ I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a simple sinner Who received God’s good grace, somehow!

Pretty is as Pretty does… But beautiful is just plain beautiful!

Oh precious! Marshmallow test

Oct
05

This Marshmallow test is soooo cute! And they say don’t shelter them but put kids in real life (read tempting) situations. No sirree i’I’monna keep mine away from temptation till they can stay away from the marshmallow!

The new me?

Sep
15

I don’t know how much of this is really new, I mean this is stuff that has always been in me but is being shown more expressly. I have always wanted to write but this is becoming more of an insistent longing in my heart, I’ve always wanted to follow the churches precepts but it has become more clear and somewhat easier of late…case in point on modesty… I no longer wear clothes willy-nilly, I first ask myself is it appropriate, modest, will it lead another to sin etc. and although I have slacked a bit, I want to veil in church at least and this quote from “The Mystery of Femininity” (from Women and the Priesthood, p. 65) by Alice von Hildebrand:

“. . .

It is not by accident that women traditionally wore a veil, and that, up to Vatican II, they wore veils in Catholic churches. This custom was deeply symbolic, and alas this symbolism is now lost. Under the influence of feminism, many Catholics were led to believe that veiling indicated some sort of inferiority, and for this reason it was abolished. This interpretation rests on a misunderstanding. Far from indicating inferiority, the veil points to sacredness. While we do cover what is ugly or decaying, we also veil what is sacred, mysterious and sublime. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he covered his face to hide the glow that was apparent because God had deigned to speak with him: Moses’ body reflected the depth and mystery of his experience. Every woman caries within herself a secret most sacred, mysterious and sublime. This secret is life. . . .In the mystery of the female body, human life finds its beginning . . .There God creates a new soul which is exclusively his work, and in which neither father nor mother has a part. . . .at that very moment a closeness exists between divine action and the female body which marks the latter as sacred ground

…”

This just reiterates what I have been learning from Theology of the body and NFP, that I am sacred, holy and my femininity sets me apart and is holy and sacred, all for God’s glory!

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I love discovering writing that seems to get to the core of my own longings and desires. It is as if I am meeting a long lost favourite family member with whom I shared childhood secrets and they are reminding me of them. It tells me I am not alone in life’s journey and each day is a day to discover more kin in spirit! how awesome is that!