Saving Graces

new mercies each and every day

Trepidatious excitement – books

Jun
05

Trepidatious excitement. Oxymoron.

I’m choosing books this week for book club! Yippee yippee ya ya!

Thing is, as excited as I am, I am a bit concerned as to what books to get, hence the trepidation. The books will after all be mine in the end so it should be something I like, and should be something the book club has yet to read, which already narrows down the field considerably. It also has to be something that at least half of the book club would want to read methinks. And my weekends are so busy, finding a quaint bookstore is nearly impossible without wheels, so I shall hunt online. Now if only I had a credit card…

On my list for now is It’s Not about Me by Max Lucado

Pentecost!

Jun
01
 Yesterday was Pentecost and it was beautiful. I was totally blessed and managed to give my talk which was a blessing from the holy spirit because I would not have been able to do it without Him!. ‘Tash came and gave the second half of the talk, I talked about what spiritual gifts were in the Catholic churches context and I had a blast! Then of course, there was food after, always a highlight 🙂

Yesterday was also the first day for the full schola cantorum to sing together and I say it went well. Not super to the discerning ear with perfect pitch but grand non the less. I love chant and what can I say, the love of Latin is growing. Now to juggle scholar and catechism classes in between learning Veni Sancte Spritus.

Yesterday was also another confirmation of what I’ve been trying to get a grip on for a while now. Discerning God’s will for my life and my unique purpose. Over time though I have begun to worry about it less and just letting go. I have been focusing more on trying to allow God to use me as He wills in my current situation…and i think i’m somewhat succeeding, my problem is I am one of those dramatic people who like stuff to be larger than life, so I want to be given a larger than life purpose too. But I’m leaving that more and focusing moe on living the ordinary in a holy way.

In order to discern God’s will easier though I believe I need a spiritual director and so I will be proactively seeking one. Another thing ‘Tash said struck me, to wake up everyday and say Come Holy Spirit fill my life today; an OK what’s next God approach methinks. To let the Holy Spirit fan into flame my gifts, and to use it for the greater glory of God and the ministry of the church. And how scary that can be. Yet i’m not scared I’m just not there yet. I’m thinking I need to be there before my purpose is revealed, yet how do I get there; mmm hence the need of a spiritual director. I have a someone in mind. Whom I’m a bit apprehensive to approach. Why is life so fraught with useless worries?

 

My recital – a poem

Jun
01

I have created my recital and my talk for Pentecost tomorrow yay! The recital is below… modge-podge from me and other various sources. Most of the bottom part is not mine and I have borrowed it from a poeI i saw online…

The dreariness of the morn draws nigh,
The dragging of day that brings sighs;
the hopelessness of a hungry cry

The barrenness of the mind,
Near deafening silence
And the emptiness within becomes so loud
The loneliness that crushes the heart

The screams of the murdered
The howls of the oppressed
The cries, oh the cries!
That say evil has been here

There is no light,
Total darkness abounds,
In this total darkness,
We fumble about uselessly,

There be no peace here,
There be no joy,
There be sadness,
There just be bleakness.
And despair!!!!!
Deathly despair

A beam of light shines
Into that darkness,
And from this total darkness
The beam is a beacon calling out,

Arise from the grave and aspire
ARISE AND ASPIRE
Arise from the grave and aspire
Arise and aspire

Pursue the beam as it shines out,
Onwards as far as it goes
Back to the Source from whence it comes

I, the Lord, am the Source of light,
From whom light shines forth

There Beams of hope God freely gives,
Little treasures in life He fills.
Reaching out to the oppressed
Shinning beams of tenderness.
Giving hope to all in need,
precious gifts from God above,
His perfect love

There’s a Cathedral in all around me,
And it’s under an open sky,
Where creation sings God’s praises
To whoever passes by.
The stars display His Glory
For every eye to see,

While the wind tells of His Love,
As it goes from tree to tree.
No choir could match the beauty
Of this Eternal song,
While all Heaven waits expectantly,
Knowing Jesus won’t be long.

A sunrise
A sunset
A smile
A hug
A kiss
A heartfelt laugh

The twinkling of a love in the twinkling of an eye
And in the beauty of that moment
You might glimpse the Fathers Heart,
As His compassion flows from Heaven,
As I reach out and do my part.

So, take me to the Father,
To His Throne above,
And let me sit upon His knee,
And know His tender Love.

I say take me to The Father,
To His Throne above,
And let me sit upon His knee,
Yes on daddy’s knee

In His perfect love

Mortal Sin or Venial Sin?

May
14

I’m part of this Facebook group called “We are not Crazy, We’re just Catholic” and there is this thread that discusses purgatory in a way that is so clear it’s full of ‘aha’ moments. But most profound was a post by Andy Simms which I

just had to quote… the thread had somehow lead to explaining the meaning of mortal sin and venial sin…

From Andy: ” As I understand them, Mortal sins are any sins that take glory or power from God and transfer them to those to whom it does not belong. For instance, murder is a mortal sin. The authority to determine the life cycle of a human being belongs to God alone, but when we end the life of another with intent to do so we are taking that authority upon ourselves. To worship another god is a mortal sin. It is transferring glory and honour due to God alone to another. Contraception is a mortal sin. It places the choice of when life is created on the person rather than on God. Mortal sins are sins against God Himself.

Venial sins, however, are not as damaging to the soul as mortal sins, but an abundance of venial sins could amount to a mortal sin. In this case, willful and repeated refusal to follow the commandments of God, even though these are minor in nature, adds up to a denial of the supremacy of God. Back to venial sins, though. Venial sins are those that violate the spirit of the laws of God but do not replace the authority, glory or power of God. For instance, lying about how much money is in my wallet when my wife asks me is a venial sin. Intent is very key in determining severity of sin. If I tell a lie with the intent of keeping money to myself, it is a venial sin. If I tell a lie that ultimately leads to the expected result of death to another, for instance false testimony in a capital murder trial or telling a drug dealer that someone else stole the drugs, that would likely be a mortal sin.

It all sounds very legal, but the best answer I can give you is that mortal sins are direct affronts to God and venial sins are affronts to fellow men or indirect affronts to God.

Mortal sin speaks to death to the soul, not death to the body.”

That just jumped out at me, mortal sin speaks death to the soul. If I don’t hearthat then I’m doomed. It makes me want to go to confession like now! not that I have any mortal sins that need confessing but the more often I go to confession the more grace I have to not commit the same sins over and over again… I am so going to try and memorise most of Andy’s post to make sure more people know and that I never forget… a mantra of sorts; ‘Do not commit mortal sins, for mortal sin speaks death to the soul.’ Hell is real Y’all!

 

sin photo

Photo by bionicteaching

 

Prayers of Praise

May
13

So I’m on a hunt for prayers of praise, and I mean praise alone no asking in between or at the end, just prayers that focus on God’s awesomeness. I am yet to find any.

Why do I suddenly need praise prayers? God has been especially good to me and hey give praise where praise is due! I finally have my permit! Who would have thunk! Just goes to show ha, it will happen when it happens and not a moment sooner.  Living in Africa one would think I’d have that down pat, but no I’m still pretty impatient most of the time. Always wanting things to happen now.

We have also moved out Nyashmi and I. Fa is here we have our own little house going on, the Lord has blessed us that we pray together and if all goes well I’ll soon have my own wheels such that we’ll be eating together always too. Wunderbar!

Doogie has gotten married which is an utter blessing and she is catholic to boot! The lobola was steep yoh!!! to my mother’s utter despair, her eldest is not yet married 😀 Soz mom you may hav a long wait for that one.

I have a thousand and one things to be thankful for and to praise and worship Him for, hence the hunt for praise prayers. Till i find one or make my own, the psalms and songs will have to do 😀

Doogie is getting married!!!!!!

May
13

My lil’ brother Doogie is getting married! I know shock horror right! Haha, no I’m happy for him because he seems to have found a good catholic girl. That sounds so condescending… 😀 what more can we want?!?! It’s not the wedding or anything like that, it’s the traditional customary wedding, where the roora (lobola or bride price) is paid

And I’m missing it being down here with no permit hope to see her and get to know her proper like soon, till then there is Facebook!

It makes me realise that I’m happy I’m not gallivanting around the dating circles and affirms for me that marriage is a sacred covenant of which I hope to be a part of one day, but I’m not letting anyone get me worried on the when and to whom, coz the Lord’s timing is perfect! Also whoever I get married to has to have enough money to pay for over 20 cows for roora… so I’m giving him time to find the mula!

Veiling!

Apr
28

Yay for me! Veiling has begun, that is wearing a chapel veil 🙂 I bought me a couple of headscarves at the Oriental Plaza and had my head covered this Sunday during mass yoohoo! And Class was good, I bought chocolate for my girls and scented candles which smell oh so divine and then we started a new ritual of bringing light into the dark areas of our life. Totally grand!

Good Friday is nigh…

Apr
09

Good Friday photo

Good Friday is upon us. I have been coming across this verse so often it has finally dawned on me that the Holy Spirit must be trying to get my attention. Now to only figure out what He wants me to do…

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.
Stay here and keep watch with me.”

I so hope that I am able to watch at least one hour with Him…

On Saturday for the first time, I am going to a vigil mass with baptisms and all. I can’t wait!! I am also practically wetting my pants thinking of the Psalms I have to chant solo, of which I can only partially remember one tune thereof…

 

Girl meets God – Book

Apr
07

I have been reading “Girl meets God” by Lauren Winner, it is so real to me it’s as if a part of me may have actually taken part in its writing. Here I was thinking how books that I like most are ones that I relate to, that I see myself somehow in the protagonist or that I want to see myself in, like a few years from now or how I’m trying to model myself and then a few pages later Lauren writes about how the students she liked were usually ones she saw herself in a few years back, ones who when they read a new work or concept they have never come across they find themselves suddenly hunting down material to get to know more about it, immerse themselves in this subject matter till their amateur gurus… the exact way I do… and my current topic? Judaism, because they are way too many references in her book that I do not get so I feel as if, if I am getting so much from this book at this exact moment when all these Jewish refs are over my head how much more would I get if I could understand all her references to seder, tzniut, niggunim, halacha etc. “Girl meets God” is definitely one I should get for my library. The library I’ll have one day when I can actually afford to buy books, at the moment I am ever grateful for book club (from which I took 15 books this month) and public libraries.

Revival retreat

Apr
02

The Lord knows what we need even before we do. It’s up to us to follow His will and be abundantly blessed therein. So last weekend was a Revival Retreat, for the ‘youth’ in our deanery. To say I was a bit sceptical of the whole thing would be an understatement. I was to go and practice on Friday afternoon with the praise and worship team but I was just too bummed so I did not go, for which I ended up feeling a tad guilty so got up with the cocks crow on Saturday morning got there at 7:30 and lets just say my scepticism had not abated. I would have liked to practice songs beforehand but there just didn’t seem to be time and then we had a leader’s group prayer, which I found a smidgen long. Don’t I always? And the participants just …trickled in. Finally, it went underway with praise and worship and I was getting this feeling of the Lord has brought you thus far for a reason so… be expectant.

The first session… A quarter of it went over my head coz arrogant fool that I am I was half the time correcting the speakers English and then that would lead me off into a major daydream and before you know it I have to drag my mind out of whatever land its currently in to the talk which was about waking my slumbering spirit. And I found it too long. But all in good time. So we split into groups, gender and age-based. As there are quite a number of females present I got roped into leading a group. I was thanking the Lord that I have somehow escaped leading the young ones (teeny boppers) and I have my own peers which is grand.

We begin discussing a topic to which I had only listened with half an ear. But the Lord works His miracles as always. It seems a quite number of the ladies in my group have never been to a retreat of any sort so they have no preconceived notions; like Di here who is expecting reverent coaching on how to get in touch with God (again). So we discuss the topic at hand of awakening our slumbering spiritual beings and talk as only girls together are wont to, about the relevance of our lives and we learn. Boy do we learn. It was such an eye opener and took me off my backbench and wanting to be “done” for and got me thinking on “doing for” the others. I wanted the ladies from my group to leave with extra knowledge on living Catholic lives on knowing the joys of being Catholic and on having fellowship that is second to none. And I wanted that for myself too but in this instance that was secondary. Was I ever grateful for having started teaching catechism lessons for then I actually had real catechism truths for some of the questions posed… whew!

As is wont to happen at most youth meetings relationships were talked about. Hey it’s a fact of life we love to talk about our relationships don’t we. We were taught to seek relationships in which we did not use others or allow others to use us, where love was the paramount love that was Free, Total, Fruitful and Faithful. Now I will happily say this is the love I have been seeking in any romantic liaisons I may have later and if a criterion was not met then sayonara. But I am sad to note this was not necessarily the same FTFF love I was seeking in my platonic and familial and friend relationships. Which I have charged myself to endeavour to change.