Saving Graces

new mercies each and every day

Instruction for altar servers



Indeed! ‘nuf said.

Rosary Trimmin’s – poem


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


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.

From Papa Ben on the church


“The reality that is the Church transcends any literary formulation of it. Of course, what she believes and lives can be, and is, contained in books. But it is not totally
assimilated by these books. On the contrary, the books fulfil their function as books only when they point to the community in which the word is to be found. This living community cannot be replaced or surpassed by historical exegesis; it is inherently superior to any book. By its very nature, the word of faith presupposes the community that lives it, that is bound to it and that adheres to it in its very power to bind mankind. Just as revelation transcends the limits of pure scientism of historical reason. In this sense, it can be said that the inner nature of faith justifies the Church’s claim to be the primary interpreter of the word and that this claim cannot be abdicated in favour of enlightened reason without rendering questionable the very structure of faith as a possibility for mankind. Community of faith is the situs of understanding. It cannot be replaced by the science of history. ”

Conversions: Why I am Catholic 2


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 😀

Confession: Why I’m Catholic 1


I get to work and find my sister has sent me an email with the subject line, “watch it all please with an open mind” and I just know its something to do with the Church or its a joke. It was the former and in the body was a link to I decided to do so with an “open mind”; which I did, and then I decided to “reply” her. I also decided why not start a new mini-series on it about why I am Catholic because there is no way I’d respond to everything in one email, or as it may be here, in one post. Hence this is instalment one of ‘Why I am Catholic’. Be warned I am no scripture scholar so if I am wrong do post a comment. I sent her the following:

I have come across some of these “ideas” before this and I did read with an open mind, so here are some counter arguments. If you will allow me to do so I’ll write this over time and give a bit of info in each session, I’ll probably post on my blog as well 😀 I know its a long answer, but do read it, it may not be eloquent but I’ll give it a bash, even the links are important so click through…

One main point raised is:
Only God can forgive sins – and I say right on! Yes only He can forgive sins, and He said anything you ask in my name will be granted you. During confession the priest says “May God forgive your sins in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit….” we invoke His name, how is this different from someone who commands a devil or sickness to leave someone else in the name of Jesus… when we sin it is like a debt to God, if I have a debt to you can I give the money to someone else and say the debt has been paid? No! I have to give back to him I owe, to God who can forgive me my debt or accept the payment for it. He and He alone.

Here is a link from the catechism. It explains better what we actually subscribe to.

Our Lord tied the forgiveness of sins to faith and Baptism: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved.”Mk 16:15-16 Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that “we too might walk in newness of life.”Rom 6:4; Cf. 4:25. After his Resurrection, Christ sent his apostles “so that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations.”Lk 24:47.

This article is a bit more learned than I am 🙂

Another reason I’m catholic goes not only on what i believe, but what god has revealed over the ages. we do not discard lesson from Genesis anymore than we discard what He gave to the first Fathers of the church. Yes we move with the time as long as it does not move us further away from God. Confession brings us closer to God. For instance in this article God’s truth does not change with the weather and fashions. But as with most churches now and even more Christians, even those who say they are catholic, being gay is OK and not a sin; contraception, most of which is abortive is OK and not a sin. I say we love the sinner not the sin! And my thinking is God is the same yesterday today and forever, what He calls sin is forever sin. How can i trust in someone or anything that changes doctrine at a whim? and the Lord said let there be leaders, judges, teachers, bishops among you, this is reiterated throughout the new testament, He gave the early apostles great power, why should i limit Him on giving that great power to His apostles today?

We say Christ is the church and the church is Christ for we are the body of Christ. Can we not forgive those who trespass against us and when we forgive them are we not extending God’s forgiveness thereto… confession is not about someone saying you are forgiven because i say so; its about the priest being a conduit like the prophets of old, Elijah, Elisha, Isiah, its about being given a sacramental grace to help you not sin again, it also has its psychological benefits if you want to go all new age. We are charged in the bible to be held accountable for our actions by our brethren, so it forms a part of accountability, it also introduces humility into the picture. If you cant be honest in your confession and in examining your conscience, your soul and your actions using the ten commandments when can you be honest? Confession is also all about getting spiritual direction, where a priest who is a scripture scholar, spiritual director or anything along those lines can hep you discern what the Word tells us or tell you where to go. We are not always well equipped to interpret what the bible says and may not have the gift of interpretation which another has, are we not supposed to use our gifts for the body of Christ and hence partake of others gifts for the building of the same body?

Well I’ll stop here for now and continue later and i think the next one will touch on contraception another reason I’m still catholic…. below are links i found useful so here’s me hoping you read them… with an open mind 😀

1. Sacrament of reconciliation – a large directory on the sacrament
2. Some Catechism
3. On sin and an examination of conscience
4. Another examination of conscience