Saving Graces

new mercies each and every day

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

                      

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’…

Advent is here

Dec
03

So besides learning carols and Advent hymns like Veni Emmanuel and Adeste Fidelis, I finally completed the advent wreath yesterday! JPII said “Advent is a period of intense training that directs us decisively to the One who has already come, who will come, and who continuously comes. ” And I say Amen and it’s been so good thus far. We light our candles and read a bit and do reflections and pray together. What can I say?… I love it!!!!!! 😀

We went to Jo’burg Gen for the kiddies party! Wow, indeed Veni Veni Emmanuel! Am chanting today with the schola in a concert hope it goes well. Been practising Iustus Ut Palma because he threw a hissy during practice on Sunday 😀

Pics below of my advent wreath and some of the kid’s party 😀 The middle candle is for our numerous intentions 😀

How can i stand here with you and not be moved by you?

Aug
05

I was introduced to the song Everything by Lifehouse at the SFC camp. I have just one word to say; astounding. OK, maybe one word is not enough, fascinating, profound, amazing, breathtaking overwhelming… it was that good especially because the skit accompanying it was very relevant. It was like Jesus is always here beside me, God is all around me, and yet I do fail to be moved by the awesomeness of all that. The skit and words are below.

And TOB yesterday was difficult and yet easy… it had a message of how to be naked without shame, about the fall of original man due to original sin, about how we have run away from God because of shame and yet shame should bring us to God and well, a lot of things came up to show me that maybe I have not healed as much as I would like to think I have. Which makes me very sad. Yet I am happy that it just showed me that I have to keep going to God with my hurt because as Bronwyn said, He won’t allow me to heal away from Him because He is a jealous possessive God. And because He is standing right here beside me there is no need to hide. We were given so many verses on how we are beautifully made, in His image, how can I ever doubt my beauty with so much evidence of it again… how? I don’t know but I do. So Lord, this be a heartfelt plea, remove the ugliness I perceive and show me the beauty You see.

As an aside. I’ve decided to try writing again. Why oh why do I do this to myself? It’s just that the stories are in here and they are bursting to get out. They don’t seem to understand that the process of getting them out is arduous and painstaking and aaarrrggghhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s hard work! And no one has ever accused me of being a hard worker.

Everything by Lifehouse

Find Me Here
Speak To Me
I want to feel you
I need to hear you
You are the light
That’s leading me
To the place where I find peace again.

You are the strength, that keeps me walking.
You are the hope, that keeps me trusting.
You are the light to my soul.
You are my purpose…you’re everything.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms, and you give me rest.
You hold me in your hands, you won’t let me fall.
You steal my heart, and you take my breath away.
Would you take me in? Take me deeper now?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Cause you’re all I want, You’re all I need
You’re everything,everything
You’re all I want your all I need
You’re everything, everything.
You’re all I want you’re all I need.
You’re everything, everything
You’re all I want you’re all I need, you’re everything, everything.

And How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?
How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Singles For Christ Camp!

Aug
03

So I’m back from this weekends camp and it was an awesome God filled and blessed weekend. SFC = Singles for Christ… and no that’s not a dating club or anything, it’s a Catholic family ministry that has, Couples for Christ, Singles for Christ, Youth for Christ and Kids for Christ specific programmes. Nyashmi has always been involved.

I have been looking for fellowship and boy have I found it of late. If I take it all up I’ll have Young Adults on Monday, Theology of the body on Tuesdays, RCIA type Formation on Wednesdays (found out about this one on Sunday so want to start this week), SFC on Thursday, also starting this week, then of course Young family Sunday afternoons and teaching Catechism and Youth mass, plus Saturday mass here and there coz that’s my cantor slot now.

Hey, ma I think I’m living as close to a religious life as I can out of a convent! And loving every bit of it. Now to sort out logistics; if only I had a car.

Back to the camp…
So I only arrived Saturday morning because I was singing for St Ignatius feast day on Friday and could not miss that. Cameron would have minced me, literally. So I wake up Saturday morning just before 6 and its raining, in winter in Johannesburg!!! It’s not supposed to rain. So I prepare to leave, had slept over at the church due to mass being late and all so I am the only one awake I leave the keys were I’m supposed to and I slip out and realize I don’t have gate keys but maybe there is a guard…. umm NO!! so I am stuck outside in dismal drizzle with no keys to get back inside and no gate keys to leave … so I go ring the bell at the priest house. For a good 15 min before someone comes to help me get out. I am losing heat by the minute.

I finally manage to get into town, hunt for taxis to Krugersdorp. Which takes me another half an hour and then I get there but get to the wrong gate and Nyashmi comes to get me and I’m practically wet through.. and the temperatures are steadily dropping and the drizzle is turning into rain…. so I get there, I get assigned to a group and the rest was fantab, besides the soft ice rain that is. It was literally little balls of ice that are not hail. And of course I get my period. On the coldest day in winter which just means dysmenorrhea. Thank the Lord for blankies and hot water bottles 😀

The messages were profound esp one by this guy Kirk. I have to get his notes. Will ask for them Tuesday at TOB; how to love the way God wants us to love, the Christian way. There was this cute couple who are recently married who gave a talk on married life and of course the wife is a girl guide 😀 and I met the coolest girls this side of the world! yes i still think of myself and peers as girls.

The music was good too, quite a bit of it local compositions. It’s the good Lord affirming all my decisions and I gotta say you gotta love it! Now for me to do my part and actually put into practice what I learnt. And my confession was grand too. Not just cleansing, downright fun! The penance is going to be challenging though, when did priests move from just telling us to say little prayers for penance to telling us real life day to day penance type acts. Like, go apologise to so and so etc lets hope this time it takes longer to get back into silly habits. With God’s grace of course!

life is interesting… and happy!

Jul
14

So me being me, crazy me I attend two parishes. Why? Thing is when I started going to mass again I began attending at Holy Trinity, because it was right at the campus I work, therefore weekday mass was a possibility and it was easy to get to over the weekend. And I decided to get involved, when do I ever not? Started teaching catechism and singing in the schola, (which has its own clash stories but that’s another story) and joined the young adult family for Sunday fellowship.

Then Nya and I moved to Northriding, very close to the parish there, St. Johns. And one of our book club ladies goes there, she’s the one I borrowed three awesome books from Catholicism for dummies, Rome Sweet Home and Catholicism Answer book! So we visit ever so often and we joined the young adults’ group there for fellowship.

Thing is I’ve attended mass in both places, sometimes going twice on Sundays and this past Saturday a new priest was ordained at St. Johns, which was totally fabulous. I missed the ordination but hearing about it leaves me in awe. I went to St. Johns this Sunday as I had no singing or catechism obligation at Holy Trinity, and got even more involved. I joined one of the youth choirs. I think. And yesterday was a Young adults meeting at which there were others who had gone to the last Theology of the Body course that was held at the church. And I want to be a leader at the next one which is being held at St John’s. It was awesome meeting like-minded!

Next week we are planning to do outreach to the homeless, bring clothes, food and stuff to the streets in this bitter cold! The last time we could not go because mhamha mai Nya had just passed away. I’ve been asking God to help me do more and to bring me opportunities and this is a prayer He has answered! As He always does yay!

And today I am meeting someone at Opus Dei in my quest for a spiritual director! I am still to get feedback from the Jesuit society after the interview I had for a spiritual director but I keep waiting 😀

Basically, life is good, I’m happy… with me crazily choosing more things to do… he he he! Can’t wait!

Conversions: Why I am Catholic 2

Jul
10

OK, so I am feeling pretty lazy to go into the details of being Catholic today… and anyway I am supposed to be working, detailing business processes and cleaning data migration specs (such fun! not!). So instead today I’ll focus on the amazing conversion stories and journeys others have been on. They have elements of what has gone on in my life and are part of y strengthening in faith. To this end, I’ll just link to my favourites and you can go there and browse them and all.

A new one I’ve just discovered is Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall. the link goes to one post I absolutely love of which an excerpt is below-

Fundamentally, I am a Catholic because I believe with all my heart that the Church is the Body of Christ. As Saint Paul once wrote, “Love believes all things” (1 Cor 13:7), and I believe that the Church isn’t merely an an institution, but that it is the Mystical Body of Christ. He is the head of the Body, the Church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything He might be pre-eminent (Col 1:18). Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of His body, that is, the Church (Col 1:24). That you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth (1 Tim 3:15).

The “Church question” is therefore unavoidable. The biblical concept of “Church” cannot be equated with “local congregation” or “voluntary club”. It is something much more. The Church is not the “invisible Soul” of Christ, she is the visible “Body of Christ”. There is no such thing as “an invisible Church,” because the Church is defined as “the Body” which is a visible, empirical reality.

I mean who can refute that!

Another favourite of mine whom I follow is Jennifer Fulwiler at Conversion Diary, which is a blog on her conversion story from atheism to Catholicism and what’s been happening since. I love her questions because they are questions I ask, or if don’t that I should be asking. Links to her conversion story and why she is Catholic are here and here.

Another one I followed is De Cura Animarum though Jeffewry Steel is taking a break from blogging, it has great archives.

And a whole bunch of them can be found here and here! Why am I posting and linking to these… it’s becasue the rationalising and logic many seek as to why one would even wnat to be Catholic is found ion these stories… and that I enjoy reading them 😀

away…

Jul
09

I haven’t blogged in a while and the irony is that I have had a lot to blog about but have not been able to do so. Partly because I am unclear as on what to feel and how to express it, mainly life and death issues as my aunt passed away on the 17th of June and I was devastated… and I’m not being dramatic either which I’m wont to be. But I will post soon on this topic which is taking up a lot of my think time… death and heaven.

Hidden in Christ

Jun
12

Our household has embarked on saying a novena, for our future spouses no less and it’s been 11 days. I know 11 is more than 9 but we skipped a day in between and hence started over. What I find striking is that when we started it I was doing because I know I am to pray for my future spouse and all, though not necessarily wanting one at the moment. But as the week has progressed I’ve begun to wish for the vocation marriage more… mmm.

And then i received this from a friends email… and the first line was what I found fascinating. I thus plan on hiding myself in Christ and the devout catholic man I desire will find me!

‘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!

The Eucharist – Flannery O’Connor

Jun
09

I was reading a blog about Father Jefferey Steel who is leaving the Anglican church to become Catholic, Deo Gratias 🙂 and I came across these two excerpts that are so profound to me. And here they are:

My children, we know when a soul has worthily received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it is so drowned in love, so penetrated and changed, that it is no longer to be recognised in its words or its actions. . . . It is humble, it is gentle, it is mortified, charitable, and modest; it is at peace with everyone. It is a soul capable of the greatest sacrifices; in short, you would not know it again.

-St John Vianney

The other is from Flannery O’Connor whom I have suddenly discovered and now is going onto my Amazon wishlist, if only some benefactor out there would reduce my list even by one… he hehe. From first read I thought she was male… just goes to show ha! Totally invigorating and affirming!!

“I was once, five or six years ago, taken by some friends to have dinner with Mary McCarthy and her husband, Mr. Broadwater… She departed the Church at the age of 15 and is a Big Intellectual. We went at eight and at one, I hadn’t opened my mouth once, there being nothing for me in such company to say…Having me there was like having a dog present who had been trained to say a few words but overcome with inadequacy had forgotten them. Well, toward morning the conversation turned on the Eucharist, which I, being the Catholic, was obviously supposed to defend. Mrs. Broadwater said when she was a child and received the host, she thought of it as the Holy Ghost, He being the most portable person of the Trinity; now she thought of it as a symbol and implied that it was a pretty good one. I then said, in a very shaky voice, Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it. That was all the defense I was capable of but I realize now that this is all I will ever be able to say about it, outside of a story, except that it is the center of existence for me; all the rest of life is expendable.”

Flannery O’Connor