Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
And continuing that homeschooling fashion theme..this is what this homeschool mum wore today, here getting heels on for Sunday Mass, coffee with friends from the parish and family time....
The reading at mass. About Our Lord calling the apostles to their vocation , and they left their nets to follow Him.
It was mentioned that the nets were figurative nets , that is to say, not real fishing nets but nets of hatred, unforgiveness, selfishness. The kind of nets in which we humans become ensnared.
Well, no. Yes, we humans do become ensnared in these kinds of nets and perhaps the disciples were experiencing these human problems. But the nets were real nets. These were real fishermen, called to leave their fisherman work and follow Christ.
As we are called, to follow Christ.
And if we are talking about nets, well, how about leaving behind the net of sloppy liturgy? How about celebrating Holy Mass as the rubrics describe, so that priest and faithful alike are given opportunity to be Christ-centred, to receive the Eucharist with reflection, to be in communion with Our Lord and thus follow Him in our vocations.
Because if the liturgy, the sacred arts, are not important why has the Church devoted her energy, her resources , her time, her priests and religious, to ensuring the perfection of the Divine Liturgy, of her public worship, if not to give God due worship and to help the formation and beliefs and lives of the faithful?
Saturday, January 22, 2011
I found a lovely blog the other day. A week in pictures . Of long skirts every day. Of how this homeschooler goes about her busy week, looks gorgeous and feminine, and never wears jeans.
Now, I am not a member of the no jeans long skirt homeschooler club. I do wear skirts more than jeans and rarely wear long skirts. And I don't look gorgeous. But I thought it would be fun to do homeschooler mums and clothing posts.
So this is today, clothing for mass, appointments, grocery shopping. And dinner at the beach. On a hot Saturday.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Are they mutually exclusive ?
I tend to have an attraction to contemplative prayer, to be, in my very imperfect way, with God, in prayer. Being inspired by St Teresa of Avila amongst others. Her "Interior Castle."
My vocation and my personality, however , can seem to be the antithesis of contemplation.
So what do mothers and wives, working mothers , Homeschooling mothers, volunteering wives, we home managers... do?
In other words, how do we live balanced lives. For life should be lived on a fairly even keel. Yes , I can be a person of highs and lows. That makes life interesting. But there shouldn't be Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde highs and lows. People , our husbands, our children , our friends , our colleagues , our fellow parishioners expect that even keel. That balanced life.
And our spiritual life , our interior life of contemplation, should reflect this. Loving Our Lord and being faithful and then serving with a smile reflects our joy of contemplative prayer . Regardless of current , perhaps passing, emotions. Even regardless of feelings in prayer.
Mother Teresa, in fact.
(My words or motto for this year. But that's another post)
How do we do this? It has been said of me that I work hard, I play hard, I pray hard.
But to keep that even keel, to serve Our Lord and others, I need the grace of God.
An excellent, inspiring homily that I heard yesterday , in Epiphany-tide , addressed this. Reflecting on the First Letter of St John, on love. If we abide with God, if God abides with us , we should share His grace and love , with love, ourselves.
As Father said , we may not like our neighbour, we do not even have to, but we do have to love him as Christ loves. Perhaps showing this love simply by praying for another.
In a similar fashion , we may not like some of those tasks on a mother and wife's to do list. We can, however , still execute them with love.
Perhaps contemplation in action.
Sometimes in prayer I feel like I am somewhere else ( a Battlestar Galactica cylon experience for sure ! )
The trick for me to learn is to take that experience of being caught up with Our Lord, that joy, that peace, that lack of tiredness, into all the other spheres of my life .
Except it is not really a trick, is it? It is a knack, a skill, a grace that many mothers and wives possess and develop . Bringing God's love to those around them, in their daily tasks. In that tidying up. In going to work when tired . In offering up that criticism and answering with a smile. Even when , especially when, we don't feel like it . Even when, especially when, we lose that other world feeling in prayer and experience dry toast in our prayer life.
Ask Mother Teresa.
January is a month of resolutions. Those New Years resolutions. And so, maybe, a mother and wife's resolution can be that even keel, that sharing God's love, that contemplation in action.
I think it is possible . Not on our own strength but with the grace of God.
I perused self help books at Borders yesterday. In that effort to balance my life , to be better, to think of my motto or words for the year (think New Years resolutions). Most of the advice was superficial or anecdotal or, worse , bringing ideas of corporate goals and action plans and strategies into our families and personal lives.
And later, when praying the Evening Office, when thinking about the masses I had prayed at on our holiday , the homilies I had heard, the books I had read on break ( Mother Teresa, celebrating the liturgical year ), I realized that the ultimate self help books for we wives and mothers are our spiritual lives ... Our contemplation in prayer , in the Rosary and in the Divine Office, our experience of God in Holy Mass, our listening and learning, our daily offerings, our reading of the saints, our living the liturgical year.
These can help us reach that even keel, that contemplation , that loving of others.
So maybe contemplation and go-go-go can walk together , in our vocations.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
There is s trend in society, in communities and, yes, in churches for the theory of lowest common denominator to apply. Standards and tastes and habits drop to the lowest standard acceptable to most, to the most common amount of people.
You know , we humans can have a bit of a tendency to be lazy or to take the easy way out , to want to be entertained. Sometimes we want a challenge and sometimes we just want to go with the flow. Whatever!
Which is why society at large and the church in particular provides guidelines, laws, practices, to help is do that which is right. To help us rise out of ourselves and be our better selves . To think . To be more altruistic. To live the life of free men, in a democratic society , to not give in to carnal desires.
But, of course, there is also that tendency for the lowest common denominator to come to the fore .Pleasing the majority of people by giving them what they appear to want, what is easiest , to keep them happy.
The trouble with the use of the lowest common denominator theory , applied in this way and outside mathematics , is that it becomes self fulfilling. In other words, once we give people the lowest common denominator in, say, entertainment for example, because it's easier and cheaper to produce a reality TV show, to provide teasing sex scenes, well providing this lowest common denominator in entertainment , means that the appetite for this type of entertainment is fed. We want more, we come to expect this, we can no longer , generally, be bothered to make an effort for a TV show or a book that requires mental effort, that makes us think .
The same happens in our churches when it comes to liturgy. If we feed people jokes during mass, if we see the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as a vehicle for the show man priest to air his talents, if we make people laugh and chat and never question themselves ...well, here too, we find that the lowest common denominator means that people forget the real purpose in coming to mass, in adoring God. They come instead to be entertained ..." I wait for the joke at the end of mass." And so the faithful miss the opportunity to really hear the word of God, to really hear Church teaching , to adore Our Lord and really be with him upon receiving Him in the Eucharist .
Just as tastes in TV can sink to that lowest common denominator, so that people say they don't understand Shakespeare and don't want to make an effort to do so, so tastes in liturgy can be formed, for the good or for other , by the priest's respect for the liturgy and it's rubrics . If the faithful are given that lowest common denominator, that pandering to self and jokes and not worship , then they do not want to make an effort to pray and pay attention in reverent masses. Where is the joke? That was boring!
The lowest common denominator in liturgy is, in fact, a disservice to the faithful ... They miss out on the opportunity to enjoy Our Lord, to be comforted, to be challenged, to be given hope, to be given a chance to step out of the everydayness of life.
And it does a disservice to the Church and society as a whole.
And to the next parish priest , faithful to Church teaching on liturgy , who tries to encourage the faithful to worship , to pray, to believe as the Church wishes. The lower appetites have been fed and it is hard to exhort the faithful then to make an effort , to active participation .
But not impossible. Deo Gratias.