Tee Hee

Gift behold gif . . . . . . . . . t

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t. . . .ee Hee

:O)

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Me ~ Oh I’m Justa ~ Fire Within Birdy

Love this chick

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Further Changes 2 . . . or not

Last night whilst I was hosting my twins tenth birthday-halloween sleepover party, some bad news came in.  R came in from the office and said I have some bad news to tell you, I immediately went like jelly.  This phrase has been said to me on several occasions before (even at a young age) and every time it has prefixed the notification that someone has died or has been taken seriously ill.  That period of time between the “I have got some bad news to tell you” and the actual telling of the immediate news to follow is both timeless and yet forever.

News came in that on the evening before ~ Mittia (R’s Slovenian business supplier) was killed in a tragic road accident leaving behind a young wife in her late 40’s and their 2 teenage sons.  His life will be both celebrated and mourned.  He lived fast, he was a fit and healthy 50+ man, skied, flew, was sporty and drove too fast.  He was the most talented designer and producer of furniture and R was the English middleman who sold some of Mittia’s products to some English furniture manufacturers, supplying chair legs and frames and some complete products.  His loss to all his many friends, family and business colleagues will be of course devastating.  His loss to manufacturing and the world of furniture design will be devastating too.  I never personally knew him, but had received gifts of Slovenian honey and other goodies on a few occasions.  Apart from the absolute shock and absolute heartfelt sudden drop of gravity of everything inside myself (which only shock has the power to do) in response to his wife and children’s grief and loss ~ I felt incredibly sick.  R was clearly shaken.

His company employed many skilled Slovenian workers.  He supplied both German, Slovenian, American and English manufactures, and R was the middle man on some products to England.  R visited and took buyers out to Slovenia to see the factories, and when in Slovenia he was driven about by Mittia who also entertained R and the clients. He also came to England half a dozen or so times a year to meet the English clients, discuss potential designs and attend furniture exhibitions, then R would accompany, drive and entertain him.  It always amazed me just how many chair legs had to be sold in order to make any profit at all, and it always amazed me at just how small the profit was for the two middle men (who share their small profit) after transportation and import costs.  The trick is in the continual trickle of orders from several companies.  R has meetings with the british furniture manufactures, who draw up their designs and then decide it would be cheaper to import certain components, rather than pay out for the tooling to be made up, and for the other manufacturing costs of producing it themselves.

Business is forever tight, to buy in Euro’s and to sell in pounds means that when the rate of exchange is not good the middleman looses out ~ as the Slovenian business man sells for his agreed profit, and the manufacturers order at a set prices ~ but after the prices have been agreed, if the exchange rate changes, it is the middle man who sometimes sells at a loss, after all he can not change the cost agreed with the buyer nor the seller.  Neither does he want to loose their longtime custom on one deal.  Over the past so many years, business with the recession has fallen dramatically, with some English manufactures going completely out of business – then sheer volume becomes everything, but R is small fry.  Other manufactures cut their costs at no notice at all ~ cancel their orders ~ and then buy from china where R can not compete with the ridiculously low prices, however their standard is poor and they do not deliver at short notice.  R offers an old-fashioned business etiquette, often calling on his customers at the drop of a hat, and the traditional company’s buyers appear to feel secure and like this personal relationship with the middleman.  Despite things forever being dangerously tight, it means at least that R forever has a batch of rejected samples which fuel the log burner and keep us warm throughout the winter months.

Last year for some strange reason was a better year, not that it ever puts money in our pocket.  Just that it covers all the outgoings as opposed to making the overdraft and debt grow bigger, and then even though I see none of it, the family tax credits are cut.  I hate it. This year is diabolical and ends have not been met.  Then in an already devastated financial climate I have been told that we have to try to cut all costs even further.  I hate the fact that my life is governed by 1) lack of money and 2) by someone else’s choices and decisions, ~ where once I made my own choices and decisions, and even though I never had spare cash previously, I was never in the negative. Ironic that my choice not to possess a credit card and be in debt, once made me an unsuitable person for any credit!

That being in my position means that I can not make the independent choices that I so long to make is an absolute frustration.  The fact that feeding, keeping warm, clothing, keeping a roof over my children’s heads, and trying to keep them educated in the Catholic faith is my priority, means that I would have chosen to move home a long time ago.  To be closer to the schools, closer to a town with affordable rail travel, with all amenities within walking distance so that car costs can be cut, so that I am closer to my family, and closer to where my children could be better accommodated by a vibrant youth service.   And so too that I would be better situated for my London bound course, with more opportunity for future employment, is forever restricted by being stuck where I am.

Instead on more accounts than one I am frustratingly held other by others.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

But for now I am breathing and alive and inspired ~  I am grateful for so very much ~ but there are some things imperative that I would change if I could.  I recently read a post about peace, and so on account of my reading this I meditated upon any lack of peace I may have in my life.  And any lack of peace in my life appears to stem from an absolute sheer lack of effective communication from others.  Speaking in riddles, subliminal, not communicating effectively, not communicating at all, blanking, avoiding, ignoring, mis-communicating, and not being full of clarity, openness, honesty or integrity.   I pray for you.  I pray for me.  I pray that God who is Love makes my Charism work inside of you, and I pray that it changes the way you choose to communicate with the world, and with me.   For somebody that absolutely communicates transparently and is authentic and true in her communication, I find this very difficult and frustrating.  For those of you who know that you communicate with integrity and honesty, well God bless you, and keep your communication skills just as they are.

God is Love and I will forever keep turning towards the Love . . . because of Love.  I will never deny the authentic magnanimous God bestowed Love that I feel and know,  in order just to fulfil others images of what they perceive ‘Love’ to be.  I will never be a convenience that fulfills others Cynicisms . . . .

. . . . because to deny God and to deny Love is against everything I Am.  But I shall forever be True to myself and True to Him.

And then theres whether to apply for that job, or not . . . that is the question?

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Further Changes 1

There has been a further change to The Way of Love Charism, because of a very valid and educated point highlighted by my parish priest.  He said that we are not rewarded with virtue, God does not reward us with virtue for the repentance of our sins.  The repentance and forgiveness of our sins is one thing ~ and then to live in virtue is a conscious choice (maybe with God’s help)  but is not rewarded to us by God for the repentance of our sins. Everybody who has repented of their sins and been forgiven by God does not necessarily go on to live a virtuous life.  They are two separate things.  Of course.

I absolutely have to agree, and now I wonder why I didn’t/couldn’t articulate this myself in the way I had written the words – before it was pointed out.

Previously it said –

‘The virtues each become a stepping-stone to fill us with the fullness of freedom from cast out sin. Recognise your vices, repent, accept forgiveness, and be rewarded with virtue.’

And so after a week of re-thinking I have changed it to something which actually feels much warmer, and I think acknowledges both Gods grace and our effort too, without presuming that we have already got there, whilst absolutely encouraging our aspirations.

‘The virtues each become a stepping-stone to fill us with the fullness of freedom from cast out sin. Recognise your vices, repent, accept forgiveness, and be blessed in virtue.’

The Way of Love Charism NEW JERUSALEM

The Way of Love Charism KING JAMES

The Way of Love Charism NIV

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Coincidence or Holy Spirit?

Today at Mass something beautiful happened.

I sat next-door-but-one to a young Italian woman.  I have seen this woman cycling her bicycle before now in carefree flight through the village, and I have seen her twice at Mass too before now.  There was something about her on each of the three previous occasions that caught my deeper attention.  Today after Mass, I said hello – It was noisy and I lent close almost cheek to cheek so that I could speak into her ear, and she thought I was going to kiss her in continental greeting and she responded by kissing my cheek – complete stranger friend.  Italian.  :O)  An English person would not have responded in this way . . . unless like me you are tactile and open.  I smiled so ~ inside.  I told her ‘you have a very beautiful face’ and she responded with ‘your eyes ~ you have very beautiful eyes’.  She teaches languages and so I said that I could introduce her to my Sardinian friend a linguist who speaks Italian as a first language, and in true coincidental style it turned out they happen to share the same name too.  All three of us live in a home with someone who doesn’t share our Catholic faith – they are both happily married.

I often look at people with beautiful eyes ~ and it is not their eyes that are beautiful ~ but more often that, whatever-it-is that is inside is shining out.  You can even look at beautiful sad eyes ~ but still it is something of the inside that somehow pours out in beautifulness. Someone once said to me that the eyes are the windows to the soul.

This week a job has been re-advertized, it could be my spiritual, financial and practical ‘get out of jail free’ card.  A lay Chaplin post in a secondary school has become available ~ but I have lost my confidence. Where once I would have applied for it in great confidence without thinking or doubting myself (even without being qualified),  I now am scared to apply for it.  And yet even though I know that I could bring a gift to the table that nobody else might bring, I am scared of falling short of what everybody else could offer – and of what I couldn’t.  My university degree means that I should be qualified to take such a post, but I feel as if I would need a little training on the job.   It would be perfect as it is a full-time post with most holidays off, so I could be off with the children in the holidays. It is great money for me and could offer me independence.

It would be working within my faith, and I would be sharing that faith by accompanying others. Exactly what I want.  Though I am maybe less administratively organized than some, and possibly less computer literate than others, my spelling and mildly dyslexic written tendencies are less conventional but are a gift.   I am a great warm people person, who would exclude no-one, and could help bring many closer to God through Loving kindness.  The deadline for application is November the 4th.  However one day per week I am now training on my Ignatian spirituality & spiritual direction course, and unless they would consider taking someone for 4 days per week (valuing the benefits of my training) things wouldn’t work.  ~ Maybe God is telling me it is just wrong timing and I need more training. ~ And then I think of the money that could save me from a certain death and offer me a certain independence, new life and resurrection, and I want to run ahead and apply for it without looking sideways, backwards or down.

Help!

Another coincidence, in fact 2 coincidences happened last week.

On my course we did this brilliant exercise that involved making a visual ‘mood board’ of our image of God – without having time to process our thoughts.  You see at high-speed we were charged to tear things out of many magazines from a heap in the middle of the floor.  We had to grab a magazine that caught our attention, and scan quickly page after page tearing out any images (and afterwards words) that made us think of God.  All 20 or so of us rip rip ripping away at high-speed.  Overtime as we began to slow we were jeered on faster and faster again, until suddenly we were to stop.  We were then given a large white piece of paper where we were to arrange our images.

Interestingly enough my ‘mood board’ of course included the clichés of mountains, bridges, lamps, piers, candle light, solitude, and waterfalls etc,  but also was one of much greenery, peace, nature, wildflowers, gentle windmills, babies ~ and then more interestingly still, the soft and feminine images of a mother breastfeeding her child and the beautiful images of intimate togetherness and love-making.   The words ‘guide’ ‘Love’ ‘interior’ ‘the call of the wild’ ‘experience’ and ‘direction’ were all words that caught my attention. In completion my mood board of ‘God images’ completely took me aback because of their equal soft femininity, and gentleness ~ Being a  daughter I have always consciously looked at God as Male, Father, Strength, Protector, etc, and yet I look at my Lord Jesus as my beautiful Beloved Rabboni, my Lover, my Spouse, my Companion and my Soulsharer who is intimately and eternally ever-present and ever loving and arousing.

When reflecting upon my board I voiced my surprise at how gentle and feminine my board was, then somebody said to me the breast-feeding image on my mood board reminded them of the beautiful short Psalm 131.  As soon as I got home I looked it up and right there was one of my images.

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.

Then on Friday of last week I went on a quiet day with the Canonesses, and in one of the small pieces of liturgy compiled by the Canonesses there it was ~ Bright, Bold, Beautiful and waiting in Holy Spirit/coincidence just for me ~ Psalm no. 131.

This week under tension I fell out with Mum.  Sometimes compassion and praise are hard for her to give, she is not a woman of great maternalness (despite having four children and 11 grandchildren) neither a woman of artistic nature, neither a woman of spirituality or faith – but of a practical and secular world point of view which mostly involves regular daily living on a tight budget (retirement age), keeping her house and garden immaculate, frequent socializing and celebrating with friends, and living a beach and social life in Goa. She finds it difficult to accept the choices I have made because of my faith and because of authentic Love – and has no problem in telling me so, whether I want to hear it or not. She praises R and criticizes me and the way I choose to live my life.  She dislikes the Church for their stance she sees imposed upon a family in second marriage.  I tried defending the church and my choices, but she has a point.

She lives in Goa for 6 months of the year and so this makes it especially difficult that on the 3 or 4 times that she visits my home (in the 6 months that she is back) is often ungenerous and lacks compassion. However this week instead of my taking her criticisms on the chin as I usually do, I finally at 43, instead of just getting huffy, lost my temper and criticised her back.  I tearfully blurted out how I felt hurt and let down, and of how critical she was, and she didn’t like it and abruptly left.  I have never ever done this before.  And it of course is held in absolute tension with what the bible teaches us about respecting our parents. However it was really quite a releasing, purging and purifying experience, I suddenly for once felt like an independent adult – free of my Mum’s wrath and disaproval.

Then I thought of the piece of scripture that says family will be divided ~

Luke 12:51-53

Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

and I know it so.

The following day I took myself off to Mass to be consoled.  And in true coincidental, Holy Spirit style the above reading was the Gospel of the day.

On Saturday we were suppose to be celebrating ‘Christmas’ at Mum’s house before she goes off (on the 1st of November) to Goa for 6 months.  I of course was worried about going, having not spoken for a few days.  I considered whether it would be kinder for me to stay away or to go, and whether my presence would make things too uncomfortable and ruin her enjoyment of the special family day before she leaves for India.  I prayed Mass whilst R got all the children together, and then I decided to go.  I wasn’t scared should one of us die whilst she is away, as I know (that we both know) that we Love each other – and that Love is the death of death.  But still I prayed about it.  I wanted her to see that in God I would do what was right, even if she and I were struggling to.  However despite the initial awkwardness of eye-contact, within 5 minutes everything was just fine, and the early Christless Secular Christmas celebrations were great fun as always.   There may have been no Christ, but there was much Love,  with 21 of us in total including 10 children.  It was slightly awkward at first but we were both forgiving and gracefully ignored any awkwardness and at the end of the evening we parted with a hug.

So often I wonder about the Holy Spirit ~ coincidence is just that ~ coincidence ~ but the Holy Spirit does follow me ~ and surprises me ~ and startles me ~ and convinces me ~ and takes my breath away when I am least expecting it ~ time after time after timeless time.

Seduced.

Dearest God, please be a shelter and safe-haven to us all in these storms.

And dearest St Francis Xavier please keep my Mummy safe ~ and in spirit and truth closer still to God ~ especially whilst in Goa.

Amen

In Love and wonder

mags †

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Is Your Heart in The Right Place?

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Joy ~ Sticks

Joy
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God’s Benefactors

Its been an impossibly draining and exhausting few weeks.  I long for the weeks where I write in the fruit of the Spirit.

I could give up everything tomorrow and return to R as a humble wife who accepts her situation unquestioningly ~ and I know my life would be happier and easier once again. Walk away from all the silence and be back in the world, family, human, ‘alive’, real.  But I don’t ~ I hold out despite it all.  I wonder so often why.

Tonight after Mass one of my children who was serving at the altar asked me ‘Mummy why do you hold your hands like that during Mass?’   It brought me suddenly to attention, I know I hold my hands that way ~ as if only I can see it inside of myself, without being self-conscious that those on the outside can see it too.  Silly Me.  I think deeply and thoughtfully about it before I answer, and only then I tell them.

I don’t remember why or when I first began to cup my hands in prayer,  just that now I do, as if I always did, because it feels like the most natural thing to do.  I cup my hands together against my tummy ~ where my womb carried the God bestowed treasure of my babies.  One hand sits within the other, and when they are unfurled they make a cross, palm in palm facing upwards, and there they soften into a warm curved bowl shape.  I recall the childhood hymn which I remember from being a tiny infant school child.   ‘He’s got the whole world in His hands’.

When I go to Mass I am carrying the weight of my whole world in my hands and I bring it to Him ~ All of it.  I offer it up, only it isn’t just my world ~ held in my fragile, strong hands is my heart, with all its sorrow and Love, with all its pain and hope and sometimes joy, and I hold it all there in stillness, for Him to take or leave, and do with it what He will. I give Him my heart~ it is His ~ and in the fullness of my cupped empty hands He reaches me in deepest most Holy Communion.  And now wherever I am, whenever I cup my hands He steadies me ~ and Communes with me, in a more concentrated focused way (on my part). I now consciously cup my hands when I need a more formal conscious Communion. This is how I pray.   I do it like putting on armour when I am nervous or need assistance.  I do it to focus and to be secured. I do it to draw up physical spiritual energy ~ if this is possible.  Its my call to Him when I need Him.  But when I am at Mass I do it automatically as if it is my neutral stance ~ without thinking.

The children think I look like Oliver asking for more gruel . . . .  it’s as if through my hands there is an energy of prayer in concentrate ~ as if the very heart of my being is naked and exposed and revealed inside and outside of myself, and offered up and He takes the weight of it from me. And now on deeper reflection I think we use our hands cupped to scoop living water up to our lips to drink when we are parched . . . so maybe I Am like Oliver asking for more.

If truth be told I don’t think about where my hands are in Mass . . . they just are.

Its been an utterly draining few weeks, the children have gone up a gear for some reason, and there is unrest in the camp.  I have noted this happen from age to age, at times there is harmony, at times there is unrest and conflict or jarring.  The ages are suddenly this week grating on each other and on themselves.  Children are busy plotting their birthdays and when they are not plotting their birthdays they are plotting revenge on each other ~ I am busy unplotting them, the birthdays and the unrest ~ the birthdays all fall between now and Christmas.

I have no money.  I have a Big overdraft.  R has debt and keeps on paying for things with debt, because he has to.  He is a traditional man and never shares the finance details with me, even on asking.  I’ve given up asking.   I used to be an independent woman with a small 2 up 2 down cottage and no debt.  Here there is no shared finance, no shared conjugal marriage, and no shared faith to fill the poverty.  It sucks.  But still on one hand he says he loves me, if even on the other hand he hates what I’ve become,  and sometimes he says he loves me and wants me to ‘return’ and sometimes he is very angry and shouts and bangs everything.

Meanwhile the years are flying by.

A little while back I discovered The White Rose.  I have been so deeply touched by some of the things that I have read about this courageous young woman.  Since I first read and learned of Sophie Scholl I have come back to her profound words as a comfort many many times.  I feel inspired to look up more of her.  I have been so moved and comforted by Sophie’s few words that I have read.  Her firm Christian belief in God and in every human being’s essential dignity formed her basis for resisting Nazi ideology, and I hold on to that.

Sophie Scholl – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

‘How can we expect righteousness to prevail when there is hardly anyone willing to give himself up individually to a righteous cause.’

I think of the countless deaths that I have had to endure.  One figures that if they are countless I never fully died.  Oh but I do die,  day by day.   On days I feel like suddenly living again, claiming back my life, being alive, feeling the earth touch me, making me real again.  I can’t afford my rail travel at the moment, it might be a good excuse to go off the rails  :O/   On days I feel like running Ffwd ahead.  On days I feel like strolling in the autumn sunshine, slowly backwards, maybe without ever wanting to belong or converse ever again.  Sometimes I want to shake people up to converse properly to talk, listen, hear, question, enter the dialogue, go deeper, talk things through deeper still, look from all sides, check every perspective, see, share, engage, and only then take your stance.

Sophie Scholl says ‘Somebody, after all, had to make a start. What we wrote and said is also believed by many others. They just don’t dare express themselves as we did.’

I wish people did.

Her final words before they beheaded her were ‘Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?’

I consider her words Gold Dust.

I look around ~ and I see & hear the words of St Francis come back to me this week through Papa Francis “While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”   I think it through again in the light of  The new Charism  “While you are proclaiming Love with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.”  I look around at the judgements quietly cast, the untruths believed, the unkindness shown by some brothers and sister in Christ,  I feel their withdrawn reserve.  I see God in All His radiant majesty ~ Shining ~ radiating Love ~ where others fail to proclaim and express that Love, by turning away ungenerously in consecrated unlove.  And I feel sad for God, like they fell short of His commands.

And then all at once last week there was a wonder to behold.  After being dismissed and asked to come back the following year, the first year of my Ignatian course suddenly was paid for by a private benefactor.  I have no idea who.  Dearest Lord shower upon my benevolent friend my most humble gratitude, and Love absolute.   My prayers are for your kindness ~ which shall never be forgotten.  And one day re-paid.  And then I think what God wants ~ God will find a way to get ~ regardless.

Today The Way of Love Charism is dedicated to you dearest kindest benefactor.  Bless your heart.  If I knew who you were I would send you a beautiful pink copy, sealed and ribboned with Love,

The Way of Love Charism – NEW JERUSALEM

Thank You †

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The Priestless Parish

Celibacy is indeed a gift for some, but when contemplating the future of the priestless parish within the Catholic Church, I think we have to consider why it is that less priests are being called to the priesthood.   I know that numbers are on the rise once again, but sadly we are loosing more priests each year due to retirement and death than we are currently recruiting new ones.  From my own point of view it would be far more preferable to extend the priesthood to allow for married priests who bring with their lives such a rich ministry, rather than to have priests decreasing in numbers.  Married priest are needed as a committed living example of Faithful Catholic family living, which the Catholic Church so fervently upholds and promotes. We know that Peter was a married man, and that it was Jesus’ Will that he was to become the rock on which His church was to be built.  How ‘we’ ever thought ‘we’ had the right to re-define this ministry exclusively other, when Jesus showed us the way, I shall never understand.

We absolutely have to address the reasons for the decline of vocations to the priesthood.  If priests just come into a parish to administer the Sacraments, the integrity and the wholesomeness of their vocation is put in grave jeopardy.  The shepherd of each flock will cease to be a pastoral presence fulfilling their pastoral ministry, and therefore the priesthood ceases to be the vocation that is written and defined in the scriptures.  If a priest is absent how will he intimately know his flock, let alone be able to find the ones who stray or are lost.

Luke 15:3-7 – The parable of the lost sheep. – ‘Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.’

Although this parable is about repentance, I think it is important for us to understand and acknowledge that without a priest being present in the parish it would be very difficult for him as pastoral leader to build up any trust within his relationships, especially new ones.  An absent priest could not find people whom are lost.  It is his pastoral care, observation, spiritual understanding and loyalty to his parishioners that allows the parishioners to place their trust in the priest, and this trust then allows him to be intimately aware of where people are in the development of their practical personal and spiritual lives.

When working on this reflection, I found a piece of scripture which really challenged me, and I realised at times just how much I struggle with some of the content of scripture alone, and also of how I struggle with tradition picking and choosing which parts of scripture it wants to uphold and follow as absolute, whilst choosing not to uphold and follow other clearly laid out scripture.  Dei Verbum 24 from Vatican II says that the Sacred Scriptures not only contain the Word of God but ‘really are the Word of God’ (‘vere verbum Dei sunt’) and yet when I read the book of Lectivus 21 I found I had several issues with it, which I cannot apparently ignore.

I consider myself to be in an infinitely deep and committed relationship with God and much of what I found in Lectivus 21 has so very much judgmental human nature in it, far different from the nature that I have met in Christ and His teachings.  In the broadest sense I do see the inspiration of God in Lectivus 21 in the beauty of having priests who are God-fearing men who strive to be pure and who are not ‘ceremonially unclean’. However the fallible human error that comes through the writing of Lectivus 21 for me makes this one of the least God inspired books that I have discovered in the bible so far.

If we were to follow Lectivus 21 absolutely as the authoritative word of God, tradition would still allow for priests to marry as in (1 Corinthians 9:5) rightly so.  But should their daughters sadly fall into prostitution they should be burned in a fire as in (Lectivus 21:9). For a God who is Love this does not equate.  We would discriminate against people with a physical disability (even poor eyesight or an eye defect, and height and deformity) despite the fact that a man could be a most holy man, and called to his vocation by God, as in (Lectivus 21:18-23) his interior life is regarded far less than his physical imperfections. Priests would neither be able to enter a room with a dead person in it, or to be cleanly shaven, and all our priests according to (Lectivus 21:5-6) would be bearded.

These issues inspire me to want to find out how these contradictions are dealt with in today’s Catholic Church and who in authority raises and addresses them?  I am interested to know who is having these discussions or if they remain unchallenged and unaddressed in the church of today.  It is of course a concern that we as a Catholic Church have possibly hindered the course of history year upon year by failing to allow priests to be married.  Especially when we know that Peter had a mother-in-law therefore was married, and that it was Especially a married man who was appointed by Christ to be the rock on which the church was built.  This is backed up when it tells us in Lectivus 21 whom priests are to marry.  This is surely an opportunity for us to re-look at these books and re-open fresh conversations about the relationship between scripture and Tradition when it comes to the Sacrament of marriage and the priesthood.

The two pieces of scripture below both point us towards the apostles and their wives.

Matthew 8:14-15 – When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.  He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

1 Corinthians 9:5  – Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?

God intended that priests were to live a life which represented the richest life of holiness in the fullness of their humanity, an example of chaste Christian living for us all.  I am sure He did not intend for priests to be unrepresentative of family life, by remaining single and solely celibate at the heart of our communities.  Our priesthood can surely not continue to flourish, else continue to aid the church to grow by living one lifestyle, and yet preaching the benefits of another lifestyle whilst professing the Truth of the scriptures, and yet being made to live out only part of that Truth

It surprises me how strongly I feel about the fact that in the bible I can see with so much clarity the exulted example of both male and female in relationship, friendship and companionship being lived out in such an interdependent way together.  Jesus appointed Peter who was a married man, and then there is the example of the apostles and their companions in the upper room, and the example of ‘the women that ministered unto Jesus and His disciples of their substance’, and yet the Catholic Church has segregated male from female and made the priesthood a bastion of celibate males, this surely undermines God’s example of males and females complementing and interdependently living and being a help-mate for each other.

The implications of this are far-reaching: a priesthood in decline, a Catholic Church that appears out of date and out of touch with the contemporary world, preaching one way and living another, and then there is the women who feel the need to become women priests.  I am almost sure that this would not have been the case, had women rightfully not have been excluded from the conversation and community life of the ‘priesthood’ in the first instance.  It is apparent from scripture that at the very roots of Jesus’ ‘Church’ women and men were both present in the upper room and elsewhere supporting one another.

There are more conversations to be had, and a voice that needs to be heard within the Tradition of the Catholic Church.  I have also learned that this voice does not have to be academic, but that it just needs to be able to see with certain clarity and to be brave enough to speak out and expect answers with the same clarity.  There is still much scripture I need to contemplate and have yet to discover, and how when I do contemplate on scripture led by the Holy Spirit, so much more insight is received. Tradition has for many years been set in its ways, and these ways are not always God’s intentions as recorded clearly in the bible, yet they will continue to be lived out and unaddressed if we do not re-imagine the relationship between tradition and scripture.

Lectivus 21 is the main piece of scripture that I choose for this reflection, because it covers all of the points on the marriage of a priest, and is perfect scripture to support the above reflection.

1 Corinthians 9:5 Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas?

Matthew 8:14-15 When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

“You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.”

Christ Jesus

Beloved

Pray for us All †

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Fallacy of love

I could get really angry.

I could get really angry at old men, who once-upon-a-time with no happy ending, held a professional job and high office in public life, and then beyond in private life allowed physical sexual immorality to devastate the human kindness that was afforded them in the name of Christianity.

I look at Jesus and we cry and we pray together.

I could get really angry that someone who knows not the defilement of rape, neither the decimation or desperation of suicide – has the audacity to hold an opinion on one who has encountered either experience, and responded to their experience in equal decimation and desperation – only then to be potentially rendered guilty of committing the highest gravest possible sin and selfishness against humanity – without their same accuser (else society) being held accountable for the victims response.  Thank God I see outside the box!

I look at Jesus and we cry and we pray together.

I could get really angry with some, especially whilst others are reprimanded for being scum of the earth, a disgrace to their children and spouse, whilst married trapped and celibate in order to prevent all from committing a mortal sin, whilst living under a co-habitio order – and banished for being upheld as sexually immoral.

I look at Jesus and we cry and pray together.

I could get really angry  for not being afforded (or affording myself) physical affection because of acute faithfulness to Love – whilst being upheld accountable and punishable for something forged, which is potentially prosecutable – threatened liable for this ‘crime’ – whilst being nothing other than God bestowed Love.

I look at Jesus and we cry and we pray together.

I could get really angry that families are to be an example of commitment and unconditional fidelity which allows children to flourish, be nurtured and prosper for the greater good of the building blocks of society.  When by obedience those whom we love and respect and aspire to, are exempt from practising what they preach – whilst living a life of obedient independence, social graces, and privileges – whilst holding in sublime transcendent contradiction the tension of poverty, wealth, obedience, and freedom, above and beyond the other family which they ‘sell’ in minions to the trillions.

Thank God for the Ordinariate.

I look at Jesus and we cry and we pray together.

I could get really angry that my whole being, my whole person and many of my relationships, are restricted and discriminated against because of the way my body is perceived by man – When growing up in a big family with boys and girls, and being a swimmer as a child, and an actor with costume changes, and having a big family of both sexes of my own – that means communal dressing and undressing, made any bodily nakedness and function absolutely a non-sexual necessity without repercussions – And yet as an adult fully clothed my modesty is judged and labeled for the shape of my body, and so too for the Love which I emanate.  One wonders if I would be judged the same if I had a disability, were obese, unattractive, disfigured, flat-chested and yet still the same person emanating the same Love.

I look at Jesus and we cry and we pray together.

I could get really angry that in the name of ‘Jesus’ and ‘spiritual growth’ (just as it was in the secular name of  ‘growth’ in drama school) some want to break the ‘perceived shit’ out of you by grinding you down to the darkest depths of your most ‘despised’ self (or more to the point to the part of you most despised by others) in order to build you up, then crush you, in order to make you die to self, (is this murder I ask, or assisted suicide/euthanasia?) in order for you to be resurrected, to rise above and live a selfless life-giving life, in the name of the king and conqueror of sin and injustice – Jesus my Beloved – In order to live in empathy with those in  poverty of the most impoverished kind.  When actually Jesus’ mercy and forgiveness is one of Love and not blame, humiliation or murder.

I look at Jesus and we cry and we pray together.

Thank God in my Sanctuary for the blessed – mystical – alive – tangible Aggemian print of my Beloved.  It  is the last light that I see each night before I drift off to sleep, and the light that I see each evening should I stir in the darkest night, and the first light which I see in the earliest morning when I first awake.

Love.

That talks by the expression in His eyes.

That communicates.

That holds me.

That is mystically alive.

That Loves me.

That makes Love to me.

In Truth.

Thank God ~ that my first and last words of each and every day be ever my affirmation.

I Love You.

I Love You.

I Love You.

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Sermon by Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ

To read the Sermon please click on the link below:

It was the clarity ~ the poise ~ the dignity ~ the seriousness ~ the humour ~ in moments the tongue in the cheek ~ the passion ~ the pure desire and the Divine that made the deliverance of this sermon so special.

It was the perception ~ the knowing it already ~ the being chosen by God to be the one that had already written it in her heart ~ and then to receive it as a gift ~ lived ~ composed ~ belonging to ~ shared ~ and delivered by someone else, that made it so very special.

A Spiritual Sister.

Understanding.

Understood.

Sister Gemma Simmonds CJ Sermon

This isn’t mine to share . . .  so I take a risk of being repremanded . . . but God would want me to share it as far and as wide as I possibly could

In deepest faith, hope and love

And the greatest of these is . . .

Love

mags

This is why the Holy Spirit is so very important ~ This is why the being there in the moment is so very important ~ because to be in the right place at the right time ~ hearing the bits that we hear ~ and seeing the bits that we see ~ so all powerfully ~ and so all inspiring ~ is Divine.  I just re-read it and it is still wonderful ~ but so much less than it was in its delivery ~ in situ ~ in God ~ and in Me ~ on the day ~ in the Cathedral.

My Dearest Heavenly Father ~ Please let me be free again ~ to be inspired so ~  by all the talks and lectures ~ that I am so-called and inspired to have the desire to want to hear ~ and to see ~ and to perceive ~ and to be energized and fuelled and stoked by ~ that is all I want.

For the Holy Spirit does not reach me written flat ~ undelivered ~

Dead.

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Holding Everything In-Tension

 

T’is not working.

Yesterday I shed tears.  Tears of frustration ~ tears of sadness ~ tears of hurting ~ tears of rejection ~ tears of humiliation ~ tears of anger ~ tears of dignity ~ and tears of Love.

I am human.

When I was crying, too much salt bled into my mouth, and instantly I thought of Jesus.

‘You are salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people’s feet’. ~ New Jerusalem

I thought of it and the tears came more profusely ~ flooding everything most of the way home down the A12.  The traffic stopped ~ the tears never stopped ~ and then I got home.

‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot’. ~ NIV.

I thought about that long and hard.

If we stop feeling ~ if we loose our compassion ~ if we no longer feel pain ~ or empathy ~ or the touch of Love ~ if we loose the capacity to shed tears ~ tears which stabilise ~ then we truly are lost.

“Sodium chloride is one of the three or four most stable compounds in the world!!    Virtually no natural reaction can cause salt to turn into any other compound.” ~ chemist.

I thought about that too.  Funny that if we should cry we are considered ‘unstable’ and yet I believe it is the opposite ~ we are not unstable when we cry ~ but we cry only when we reach that absolute level of stability that knows entirely how oneself feels ~ and there is nowhere else for it to go ~ but an absolute feeling secured and made tangible through the stability of the compound of salt.

We are the salt of the earth. But if we lose our saltiness, how can we be made salty again? We are no longer good for anything.

It was a pants day all round.  It was the first day of the new course ~ the course that was to be my saving grace for the next year at least ~ possibly three.  It was the course that was going to take the spirituality of the Pope, and spiritually direct me forward ~ thus empowering me in service to others.  It was the hope of a vocation where my faith could be central to the income that would one day afford me the roof over my head, an independent income ~ whilst being in service to others and my Lord.  It was my freedom and my way forward beyond my restrictions.  And now it is not.

Wicked how it worked out ~ from one day to the next it all seemed to come my way as if it were the work of the Holy Spirit.  Heythrop finished ~ I had looked at other courses, and one which was recommended to me led me to this one, which seemingly presented itself to me from beyond the periphery of my research.  This interview by default was the one that I got unexpectedly ~ I couldnt afford it but was told it didn’t matter ~ not having the money shouldn’t stop me from accepting the offer, as anyone that couldn’t afford the course would not be held back from doing it, had they been offered a place.  It all seemed a little unreal.

After being encouraged to apply for a grant I attended the orientation day, and after being let down right up until the final hurdle by my referees, who in the end fulfilled the request asked of them, I was to be denied the funding.  Then I was told to still come to day 1 of the course whilst a bursary was being investigated for me ~ only to purchase all the necessary books required (even though things are painfully tight) ~ I was keen to show my enthusiasm.  Then on the first day after the orienteering day, the train lines were down because of signalling failure ~ so after paying for an £18.00 ticket ~ then having to put £25.00 of fuel in the car to be stuck in traffic for 2 hours ~ only to have to pay £6.00 parking ~ catch a train from a different destination and miss the first hour of lectures ~ I sat through the rest of the mornings class, only to be told at lunch time, that I was welcome to stay for the rest of the day, but that I could not get a bursary this year after all, so could not continue ~ but that I could re-apply for it and proceed with the first year of the course next year.

Very difficult.  Not easy to go back into a classroom of 20+ people and sit head held high through an afternoon of emotional Ignatian videos, and a workshop about his feelings of failure, rejection and disappointment and of how God was right there in his suffering ~ and then have to explain to your fellow students that having emotionally invested in the first two revealing, exposing and ‘opening’ sessions that I would not be able to return.

But even still after hugs from people, who in just two days I had bonded somewhat with, I discreetly escaped and walked up the road tearful ~ feeling strong ~ empowered ~ a little more alive ~ awake ~ raw and dignified.  It didn’t matter that any emotion was clearly visible ~ as if the bitterest wind had made my eyes water ~ even if there was no wind.  I felt beautiful.  It didn’t matter that I was in the city and the city gents and ladies were heading home.  It didn’t matter that the eyes of humanity met mine ~ feelings exposed are ok.  It didn’t matter that randomly my eyes glazed over on the train as I recalled the pants day.

Because God thank God blessed me.

You see there was a little foreign boy on the packed rush hour train home.  He was wearing a grey school uniform blazer with bright yellow piping.  He was sitting opposite me in a set of 6 seats.  I noticed his hands ~ the skin was patchy ~ it was skin coloured with much white discolouration.  I looked at his little hands, he was holding an old paperback book.  He was very sweet ~ he must have been about 11 and was travelling alone.  We accidentally knocked each others knees and smiled ~ and apologised ~ and then something wonderful happened.

The busy train pulled away and he began to read his very thick book out loud.  His accent was not English, and he read with all his might ~ faltering here and there in a staccato manner ~ regardless of who was listening.  Some people appeared irritated that he was reading aloud.  I though he was courageous ~ trying so very hard to learn and understand the English as he read the words.  I thought of the first time one of the saints (I can’t recall who) maybe Augustine? recalled seeing somebody reading aloud.  The moment passes quickly.

Several times the little boy on the train couldn’t quite work out a word, and I knew what it was just from having heard the sentence ~ so I told him.  On another occasion I wasn’t sure and he looked up at me and his eyes met mine ~ and so I leant forward and upside down read the word back to him ‘telescopic’ ~ and in concentration his eyes smiled ~ and so he read the sentence again focused out loud without stumbling upon the word ~ telescopic ~ and to see that little boy read, was worth living every moment of that blasted rotten day over and over and over again.  I barely remember him leaving the train ~ only that we never acknowledged that we were parting ~ because the heart had done its work ~ and there was no parting.

An angel in the most human of places.

Today was a salty day too.  My beloved beach-hut has to be sold ~ to pay off debt ~ debt that was never shared with me.  My beach hut which I brought when I sold My own house, for me and the children and the wider family.  It was the place that my Daddy said from his hospital bed,   ‘I just want to get back to that beach-hut and do a spot of fishing’ ~ one of the last things he ever said to me before he died ~ other than ‘I just want to see an angel’.   The day we scattered his ashes off the boat in the Colne River, we also threw some roses into the sea along side them ~ and a miracle happened.  Of all the places, the roses washed up on the little handkerchief patch of beach right outside Our beach-hut, one yellow rose and one red rose.    He made it back to me ~ here.

I pray that I know no parting here too, when and if My beloved beach hut gets sold off against My wishes.

God hold all the tension.

For the salt, it is stinging.

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The Way of Love

The Way of Love Charism – NEW JERUSALEM

 

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†’is Crystal Clear

†’is crystal clear . . .

. . .  all experience  . . .

. . .  †’is purely fuel for more Love †

. . . †’is purely fuel for more Love †

. . . all experience . . .

. . . †’is crystal clear

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Returning to the Earth

Today I went on a walk.  I passed by a field.  It was no more a field but beautiful dark freshly finely ploughed earth, which still had all the grooved lanes in it, as if a huge giant had run his fingers through grain – leaving his multi clawed trail. It was a warm dusty morning and something deeply childlike within me wanted to wander off course into the soil, lay down on my back and make angels in the dusty earthiness.

I wonder what it is in us that longs to be one with the earth, to feel the humus between our fingers and toes, to bond with the dust which one day we too will become a part of, by no longer being apart from it.  Its deep.   Its base.   In fact there is almost something about the very sexuality of our nature that wants to breathe in and touch the earth, keeping us real.  And in doing so sewing, reaping, and becoming somehow a part of her fertility – a part of her pregnant fulness – a part of her birthing – a part of her nurturing – a part of her richness – a part of us returning to her womb Mother Earth.  There is something quite arousing about freshly ploughed earth that speaks of our much deeper existence, and actually if you are a woman the brown freshly ploughed earth can feel quite male.

I remember a wonderful few days of family camping (in the woods belonging to Worth Abbey)  a couple of years back – where by night the children and I had a wonderful bonfire, sitting on logs all singing the brownie of the family’s camp songs, and playing games.  However the enchantment came the following day when my youngest son was covered from head to toe in pewter coloured ash.  He had somehow like a magnet found his way back to the place where the night before we had much fun and revelry, and he lay down in the silky soft remnants of the night before and was amusing himself intensely by driving his cars through droves of ashen made roads.  It was a game (observed by me, in his absolute unawareness) that he was utterly mesmerised and ‘lost else found’ in.  A game that could very well have become endless had I not later pulled him away for shower and shared food. He was happy there, playing in the ash and the dirt, being one with the earth.  That time the gentle ashy earth was absolutely nurturing play in all her female motherliness.

Home.

This is a difficult week – a very difficult week.  A few weeks ago I thought we were going to lose our eldest family pet.  My dog has lived for the past sixteen years through thick and thin with me, she was with me in my first year of being a mother, and through every pregnancy since.  She has been with me through the knotted twisted grief of divorce and through all the turmoil that preceded it.  She has been with me through the deepest most heart-wrenching loss of my father, and sat by my side in the deepest darkest most lost desolate hell of grief after loosing him.  She has walked with me daily, miles and miles and miles off the lead – on the lead – but mostly off the lead, by country, road and bridle way.  The trust we have shared has been silent and of the eyes.  It has been of touch and of sense, of body language and of vibration.  The beautiful wordlessness has made me think often how perfect creatures truly are – living in gentle humble kindness all the days of their life.

We think she had a stroke a few weeks back – she could barely move at first, or seemingly lift her head – then she could barely walk – and then miraculously she did. She began eating and drinking again, and her strong mutt heart has seen her somewhat return to her elderly state, a little wobbly when she stands, slightly thinner, and a little absent-minded, but she is happy.  She even walks in and out to the garden now and shares affection with Papa the no 2 dog.  However slowly over the last few weeks (despite her strength returning) she can not always hold her bladder and more frequently leeks urine when she is laying on her sleeping bag bed.  She does go out to pee and poo, but when she is laying on her bed she leeks.  The vet told me, at her age this will not improve.

Her bed of course is washed daily and being a ‘human sleeping bag’ is very padded, but I have noted an increase in the soiling.  So today I phoned the vet for some advice – how long could she go on like this for?  She isn’t in any visible pain or discomfort, in fact she is happy.  I told them obviously of her age and of the events leading up to today, and the kind lady said to me ‘if it were my dog I would say a happy goodbye to her – and before she deteriorates any further I would have her put to sleep – a healthy dog would not choose to soil her own bed’.

I look at my dog she is still happy, there is still a light in her eyes, I don’t think I can do it to her.   R offered to take her to the vet but she has been through thick and thin with me, and I don’t think I could not be with her – to hold her paw, as she has held mine so loyally for so many years.

I don’t morally feel as if I have the right to call the shots on somebody elses life.  I did it once with the ancient elder still cat, and was left so doubly shocked at the easy serenity and ‘kindness’ of it – whilst yet deeply devastated by the ‘wickedness’ and stress of it – by taking the creature to the vet – where I know they can smell fear and death – It was impossibly heart-breaking having been the one that was responsible for ordering it. Which of course being a Catholic, no, re-phrase,  being a human, has made me think intensely about the euthanasia debate.

If Jadey were a human I wouldn’t do it – So for any of Gods creatures I shouldn’t – all life is life.  At this point I wish I never had any pets which is a shame as there are others. Your prayers and thoughts at this point would be greatly appreciated.   Euthanasia is wrong, surely everybody has the right to die when death alone calls the shots.  Surely even creatures have the right to travel that journey of life over the threshold with God to the very last.

?

But then I think of the dignity of man’s best friend, and of saving her the ordeal of having to lay in her own urine, until I awake in the morning to give her a clean bed.  I think of the earth as a mother welcoming her home once and for all – and I wish every night that God would just take her in her sleep – Tonight.

IMG_3014

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The Way of Love – Charism

This post is dedicated to my Dad whose Love is steadfast, and whose heavenly 68th birthday it is today.  My Dad who taught me that Love is Eternal.

mary

 

The Way of Love Charism – NEW JERUSALEM

The Way of Love Charism – KING JAMES

The Way of Love Charism – NIV

 

The slightest change is made.   Each of the 7 S†a†u†e’s have their own absolute principle or pillar, which is such a very important part of the Charism.  A Charism is steadfast if it has active/contemplative principles or pillars, which fulfil and behold its s†a†u†es or constitution – its very essence and nature.  Previously Love was used twice in two separate contexts, and in the context of  S†a†u†e 3 it did not express the fulness of being Loved and in Love with our Lord, and so the Love in S†a†u†e 3 has now been perfected to Belovedness.

Prayer.  Worship.  Belovedness.  Benevolence.  Virtue.  Forgiveness  &  Love.

This is the Way of Love †

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Wild is the Wind

‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’

The Word fills us with Light each and every day.

And then there are other words each and every day, that fill us with a spirit which is not of the Light.  These words we turn away from.

Proverbs 9.1 – 6

Wisdom has built her house,
she has hewn her seven pillars.
She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
she has also set her table.
She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
from the highest places in the town,
‘You that are simple, turn in here!’
To those without sense she says,
‘Come, eat of my bread
and drink of the wine I have mixed.
Lay aside immaturity, and live,
and walk in the way of insight.’

Wild is the wind,

But gentle is the breeze.

 
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A Change in the Charism ?

After a few weeks of unrest at one niggling glitch in the Charism, and after much contemplation, prayer and discernment, I think I need to change one word?  This is both a problem for me – seeing as I have sent it out as perfect :O(   and a delight to me seeing as then I won’t have a niggling spirit constantly bothering me :O)   Knowing that the change of this one word would bring an even deeper revelation to the Charism is All important.

It is not such a big thing and yet at the same time it is enormously important.

The change is on the bottom of    S†a†u†e    3 & 4   where it says Love & Benevolence, I think ? instead it should say Belovedness & Benevolence. ???

The reason being is that to love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength, is truly not just love alone, but is Love so fully and so deeply, that we know that blissful feeling in absolute totality.  And that Ecstasy is only reached as our direct response in absolute total return of His Loving us – of loving Him with everything, and of being Loved in Him more in return.  That is Belovedness.  That is Eternity.  That is the highest Love – Heaven on earth.  Absolute Love is the fruit of Loving and knowing we are Loved so absolutely.  It is a continuous and absolute infusion of Love where each is reaching out so intensely to the other, that instead of being two you become One.

This is what true adoration of the Blessed Sacrament can evoke.

Do I go back and change the word on the past document?

I am obviously not quite 100% sure this is right.  If you agree/disagree please feel free to let me know.

The Way of Love Charism – NEW JERUSALEM

The Way of Love Charism – KING JAMES

The Way of Love Charism – NIV

or

The Way of Love Charism – NEW JERUSALEM

The Way of Love Charism – KING JAMES

The Way of Love Charism – NIV

?

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Formal Vocations for Women in the Parish

Each week at University we had to keep a Theological Reflective Journal – This reflection is from my final weekly log.

Week ending 22nd May 2012    Formal Vocations for Women in the Parish
What is the pastoral situation that you are reflecting on?(Briefly outline the context, who was involved and what happened?)

Today I am reflecting upon the lack of formal vocations for women within parish life.  If a woman at present is called to exercise a deeper vocation in loyalty to her Catholic Faith, there is no official formal vocational route within the parish, unless that women either leaves her parish to join an order, becomes a consecrated individual with no vocational structure, or becomes a member of a lay fraternity, else a member of a third order.  Permanent deacons are allowed and supported by their diocese to formally practice their vocation without leaving their family home, but still are privileged to have a formal pathway down which to travel, supported by their deacon brotherhood, the diocese, and the bishop.  They have a formal training and a formal role in which to exercise their deacon ministry, in order to serve others, serve the church, and fulfil their spiritual and practical calling.  It is a wonderful presence to witness this vocation, which is a visible physical and spiritual bridge between the secular world and the spiritual world, and one that our young men can be affirmed by, and aspire to.  Women need the same affirmations and aspirations.  Women bring a different ministry to the church, which at present has not yet been fully realised.  If we are to really transmit the Catholic faith to so many families beyond today, we absolutely need to embrace women with a new Charism, and new formal vocation as I have been writing about on my blog for the past couple of years.  I do not feel the need for there to be women priests, the ministry of a priest is not translatable between genders. Mothers are different from fathers, but no less.  Just as the first woman was inseminated by a male seed, and so gave birth to the whole of mankind, just as the Virgin Mary was inseminated by God, and so gave birth to God, so did Mary Magdalene give birth to The Good News; the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and so is a woman’s role already written by God.

What issues / concerns / opportunities / questions did this situation raise for you?

I have prayed about this deeply for a long time now.  I have written to people suggesting my ideas and often have been humoured (in a kind way) and listened too and then gently dismissed (always with kindness).  I wrote a letter to Pope Benedict 3 years ago and received a kind reply, but no advance, so I took to educating myself a little by studying at Heythrop.  I wrote to the Arch Bishop who kindly personally wrote back to me, but to date there has been no formal redress of the situation.  So I took it upon myself to pray, and read the Gospels in great detail, and then I recorded all of my thoughts, my imaginings, and my dreams, and the answers that I have received in contemplation and prayer enabled me to write a Charism to live by, and so now I have decided to live by this new Charism.   The Charism that came to me is called  ‘The Way of Love’.

The biggest issue for me is the pure frustration of trying to get someone to take me seriously.  A working class aging mother and recent convert is not a seemingly usual else acceptable candidate for a formal vocation.  I am not a theologian and so my lack of intellectual academic theology behind my ideas means that I am seldom taken seriously.  But Jesus called fishermen, not intellectuals.  My concerns are absolutely for the future of the Catholic Faith (which my children and grandchildren will inherit) and especially for the future that Jesus Christ envisioned, that He put the foundations in place for. His Church was one of shared Love, one that upheld the inter-dependence of males and females in different ministries, but very much in companionship and working together as One, despite the social norms of His day.  A church where male and female complemented each other, to make one wholesome balanced Kingdom for the Love service and salvation of All.

Were there any aspects of the situation or this reflection process that surprised you?What conclusions can you draw from your experience in this pastoral situation?

Two/three years on from where this part of my journey began, and we have a new pope.  A pope who is embracing poverty and embracing the Love that such poverty demands.  To watch this unfurling before me has been amazing.  I am absolutely sure that he will embrace and address in his Love, the poverty of women, who have been excluded formerly from a deeper vocational life within the parish, within the Catholic Church, and I am sure that he will re-define women’s spiritual vocational integrity and unity, by re-uniting women by Charism to the Catholic Church, which ever their vocation.

This Charism has to be so absolutely carefully thought out and rightfully formalised.  I am concerned that should any formal document have the wrong focus, the wrong message, and the wrong aspirational role-model heading it, or if it is a document drawn up solely by the male Roman Curia, that it will not inspire women, or be embraced by women who need motivating by re-imagining the pathway from a secular world to a faithful one.   Mary Magdalene being the closest beloved of Jesus has to be the head of this Charism for women – if the women of todays world are to embrace, pass on and rekindle the Love of the Catholic Tradition, and be the bearer of the good news, and bring other women (thus whole nations) to faith, it has to be headed by Mary Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene has so very much to teach us about Love, first-hand.  If all women could Love as she Loved, Jesus’ vision would be being lived the world over today.  Mother Mary is our Mother, full of Love and compassion and cares for our welfare, but it is our sister Mary Magdalene that holds the contemporary mind and has the sacred power to lead the secular world back to a deeper spiritual life and to become beloveds of Christ.  Whilst Jesus’s mother is our Mother too, it is Mary Magdalene that was the person whom was entrusted by the Lord, with the special ministry of delivering His Love to others.  It is thanks to her example of perfected Love, devotion, action, and contemplation at the foot of the Lord, which today holds the imagination of contemporary women, and the contemporary world.  She knows first hand the mercy, salvation and Love of the Lord.  She Loved Him with her whole heart, her whole soul, her whole mind, and all her strength despite the tribulations of her time.  We would all do well to Love the Lord and each other in the same way as Mary Magdalene does, just like in the two greatest commandments, as Jesus demands of us.

Mary Magdalene having seven demons cast out of her in no way points to any sin or fault, but to her perfected Love.  The number seven in the bible represents God’s perfected work, if there is no darkness there is only light.  What a powerful role model for the transformation of the women of the world today.

What were the three most important things you took away from this situation and how has what you are learning influenced how you dealt with the situation?

  1. Being a woman, a mother, a child, and somebody who knows great poverty because of life’s tribulations and grief, and at the same time being somebody who knows great Love, and knows true forgiveness, and being somebody that has journeyed from a secular world to a faithful one, I believe I know what is needed.  And regardless of others embracing it, I feel adamant that this is how God calls me to evangelise to others.  I cannot force others to listen, I cannot demand their response, or for them to act, or to take on board what it is that I have come to know, but I am empowered by God to teach my children to live by this Charism, and to live The Way of Love myself.  And I will live this Charism myself, and serve others under the Charism’s seven statutes, and I will encourage others to live their life in the same way, whilst all the time I am learning how best to implement this.
  1. God calls me not to give up hope.  I have learnt that one does not need to be an academic to see the world with a spiritual mind.   I have learnt that one does not have to be a theologian in order to see God in every detail of life.  In order to witness as God calls us to, I have had to learn that Love and poverty go hand in hand, and only then there is less poverty and more Love.  It is not enough to relieve poverty with aid alone.  It is by instilling Love, friendship, kindness and compassion, and by sharing God’s mercy with others that restores them to dignity.  It is Love that reduces poverty.   All poverty stems from a lack of Love.
  1. I have learnt that God calls the Catholic Church to re-embrace the needs of the people today.  Women and their formal vocation by way of a new Charism is the way forward, I have been saying this publicly for the last few years, and I think that the recent changes in the Catholic Church will amount to amazing changes, and is of the Holy Spirits work.  Bless Benedict and pope Francis for realising this, and being open to fulfilling another step of Gods plan.
Which scripture passage would you say could be relevant to this situation?Further additional comments may be included here

Romans 16: 1-27

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well. Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. …

I choose this scripture because it supports women’s ministry and vocation in the early church.

Jesus’ two great commandments that contain the whole law of God are

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength; and thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Mark 12:30-31 and Matthew 22:37-40

I choose this scripture because Mary Magdalene lives her life this way.  This is what the Charism stems from.

As is 2 John 1:6

His command is that you walk in Love.

There are only two direct descriptions of God in the Gospels.

1 John 4:8

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is Love.

And

John 4:24

God is Spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and truth.

The Way of Love Charism is based upon this scripture along with 1 Corinthians 13 instruction on Love.

 

https://thewayoflovecharism.wordpress.com

 

 

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When Words Fail.

I was looking for an image on the computer to represent some thoughts and words that I had for my next blog post – by default I was led to this.

 

 

It summed up everything I was feeling.

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Reading Between the Lines

 

Painting in numbers and reading in pictures.

Spiritual bride of Christ Jesus.

Holding hands in the safety of beautiful spiritual intimate friendship – a soul-mate.

Growing old in friendship, supporting one another in spirit despite life’s ailments.

Sounding Love for one another.

Grief and bereavement at loosing those we Love in life, to death.

The break-down of relationships.

Divorce, Separation, Co-habitation.

Violence, Sex, Threats – a tower of evil raiding the goodness of life.

Sharing a life-time of faith together in faith a life together.

Facing the fascism with Love alone.

Being able to give – without being able to take.

Giving.

Receiving.

Grace bestowed – in the elements of being.

God-fearing – not human fearing.

Endurance despite others not being able to read with the heart, for their over-inflated cynicism and cerebral heart failure.

Putting on the armour of God’s Amour.

Being Love.

Loved.

in

Spirit

and

in

Truth.

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Irony Figures

It’s ironic that in the last post I wrote about never quite making the mark.

Having been desperately disappointed at not getting the grade which I was expecting to get in my degree, and not understanding why, today I did a little investigation.  You see I knew I had to get above 60% to = a  II.1  as my tutor had told me.

My grades went like this

1st year

module 1    63%, 65%, 67% = 65% average

module 2    63%, 64%, 66% = 64.3% average

module 3    56%, 54%, 67% = 59% average

Total 1st year average = 62.7%

2nd year

module 4    58%, 58%, 60% = 58.6% average

module 5    61%, 57%, 59% + 59.3% average

module 6    63%, 60%, 65% = 62.6% average

Total 2nd year average = 60.1%

My 6 modules combined = an average  61.4% .

I celebrated a Merit = II.1   I was over the moon.

However my celebrations were a little premature. – When the classifications came out I was only a Pass = II.2

I am so disappointed.

There were three Distinctions in the class, most people were a Merit, and then there were just three Passes.

I was absolutely gutted.  After such a stressful 2 years and working so very hard, it was the worst news.   I felt incredibly disappointed, disheartened and embarrassed; more than I ever realised I would.   On Saturday my whole class were to meet for lunch, I wasn’t quite sure whether I could face everyone, but on the day I decided to get it over with.  The graduation is in December.  I so wanted to do well for myself – but most especially for my children.

Today this is what I learned.

On investigation, my 1st year = an average of 62.1%

On investigation my 2nd year = an average of 60.1%

My total average =  61.4% .

However the total average is not considered.

In my 1st year I had 2 individual modules over 60%.

Unfortunately the classifications are based upon whether you have two modules of 60% or over in your 2nd year.  A 60% average of all 3 modules in the 2nd year is neither considered.

You = only a pass if you score between 40% + 59% on two modules.

To say I am gutted is an absolute understatement.

Why do we set our sense of self-worth, and judge ourselves upon these successes and failures, and feel so inadequate when we fail to meet our hoped for expectations – and yet not judge our sense of self-worth upon how much we Love and care for others – which I think is maybe how God will judge us.

And yet when we admire others we admire them for their Love and warmth, and not for the grade of their degree.

Food for thought . . .

We pray for Grace.

More ironic still – this is blog post number 77

The number of  †en-fold forgiveness.

The number of Perfect Love.

Grace

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These Weeks & Nazareth

What a momentous and unusual few weeks.

First there was the submission of the deferred assignment, with all the relief and celebration at managing to complete it, and then the pursuing period of all the angst of waiting for its mark.  Then there was the realization that my degree averaged (a good for me) 61.5 %, only to then be disappointed with my final grade in comparison to the rest of the class. That the final grades are purely based on academic ability (for someone dyslexic like me) and not practical contribution, dedication and input, attendance, enthusiasm, passion, practical presentation skills or any other criteria is a frustration.   Alas I now have a good University of London foundation degree, something which 3 years ago seemed like only a remote possibility for me.

Then there was the unrelenting endless whisper calling me to make tangible from prayer ‘The Way of Love’ Charism.  And all the wonder and peace at having done it, and of having printed and posted off several carefully presented copies, and now my continued determination to live my life in witness and commitment to it.

Then there was a house of 8 children instead of the usual 5 for two weeks, whilst my inspirational friend, who has bone cancer, trains in a different part of the country for a new business which she is beginning with her husband.  Beautiful courageous woman.  We both believe in miracles.  It has been a very blessed and special few weeks in this little ancient cottage with less room and more Love.  It’s intriguing that God can expand Love without making  any less of the Love before, after he has expanded it.  Miracle.  Like a mother who has each time another child, loving no less the child before, but having expanded her Love for the new child.  Amazing Grace.  God who is Love and Spirit.

The weekend before they came, I went to a beautiful discernment weekend in Hammersmith with The Sisters of Nazareth.  I had been to the beautiful spirit imbued convent before, to their spirituality centre on a day retreat with Uni, so I was familiar with the serene surroundings.

It has forever been a frustration to me that I constantly fall outside of the age group for everything that is of interest to me at any one moment in time!  Else I forever fail to meet the criteria needed, in order to be accepted.  For e.g Growing up my eldest sister worked in the same place as my mother and father, and so she was invited to all the formal and informal social events of the company and it’s staff.  I never was, and so on these occasion I would baby sit the younger two children, and although disappointed at not getting an invite, it was a very special time for me as we got treats, and I got to choose my pick of the t.v and stay up extra late.

I was forever the one sharing a room, my big sister got her own room because she was studying for exams, then when that room became available my brother got it because he was a boy, then when I moved out my younger sister got her own room, and only then I finally had a room of my own.  Before that I was always sharing a room for three.  My sister usually got the high fashion things, I was blessed with the quirky alternatives probably because they were less expensive, and Mum and Dad struggled with finance as do many, especially those of us with many children.  My baseball rollerboots were one quirky present that I was blessed to receive over her ‘blue with yellow stripe’ roller disco boots which everyone had  :O)  I so Love my big sister, she is straight down the line, a modest good and humble women xxx  We had a close and happy family life.

Then I auditioned and got into drama school, but the I.L.E.A wouldn’t give me a grant because I had left home and had only lived in central London for 11 months at the time of my application, and not 1 complete year.  So instead I took a place at Salford University which was the then polytechnic, with people who were a couple of years below me  (it seamed like such a big age difference at the time).   In order to do this I had to give up my Islington council flat,  but after one year with no maintenance grant I could ill-afford to live in Manchester any longer, and so I returned back home to my parents, before settling down in life.  Anyhow this is all irrelevant life twaddle, just to show you that one way or another I never quite fit the bill, most often the age/criteria/financial bill.  I am sure at times this has been the same for many of us, especially for the working classes.

Now twenty years down the line and with my current interests and frustrations, upon seeing the advertisement for the discernment weekend at Nazareth House (with no age limit) having complained about ageist discrimination at other vocational events,  I took the opportunity to write to their dear Sister Frances

‘I am presently writing a Charism for people who want to live out their (more formal) vocation whilst still living in their parish.  I personally have been looking at third orders as I have 5 children who are growing up fast, however God calls me not only as a mother, but as a woman of determined and strong faith.  I wondered if the ‘come and see’ weekend would be appropriate for me to come and experience the formalities of vocational life, as I am sure that it would give me direction for my Charism and formal prayer life, beyond daily Mass? I have just finished a foundation degree in Pastoral Mission at Heythrop, and we came to Nazareth house for our retreat day.’

Sr Frances was lovely and very open in her response, and so despite my situation I was warmly welcomed to join them.  My weekend was so very special and I shall remember it for a long time.  Coincidentally out of the 6 girls present, one of them was from my own tiny parish and one was from my diocese, this was such a blessing and I am sure providence.   I never told anyone I was going on this weekend and so it was a complete surprise to me.  I now have the close experience of knowing 3 different communities of Sisters and I can honestly say the Sisters of Nazareth were simply full of warmth and Joy.

To attend Mass in the beautiful Church at Nazareth House is such a very special experience.  You see the convent has a dementia home within her grounds, and the residents are either accompanied into Mass, or pushed into Mass in their wheelchairs, where they sit at the front of the church.   These residents are shown so very much Love by the care staff and the Sisters, I watched them disoriented, shouting out before the service things like, ‘somebody take me home’ and ‘where am I’  and other random outbursts, it was heartbreaking.  Each time a resident dribbled or sneezed or slipped down in their chair, or leaned over in sleep as if to fall slightly too far, a gentle hand from a nurse, carer or sister would suddenly appear (as if from nowhere) to gently support the resident and correct their posture, so as to make them more comfortable.  And the glazed over look of the person gave off nothing more than a look of dignified helplessness in response to the Love and kindness they had just received.  It was so very moving and touched something deep down in the depths of my being, to be witness to nothing but Love beyond response.

I had just been reading Chesterton’s Orthodoxy where there was a moving and thought provoking reflection on people who have lost their mind.  I know that God is Spirit, and in people of dementia when all else is stripped away absolutely something of  Spirit alone is present.  At Mass I just happened to be sitting  directly behind the first row, I naturally walked to the front and offered peace to the wheelchair bound residents.  One man held onto my hand without letting go, he looked into my eyes and without even moving his mouth his soul held mine in smile, way beyond the surface of his eyes.  So deeply dignified.  He was not old by any means.

I think of the inspirational Iris Murdoch and I wonder private wonders to myself.

I know that whatever happens the peace and stillness that God brought through Mass to those residents was visible like no other peace.  Absolute.  Once Mass had begun, there reigned peace supreme, and the residents from their confusion were stilled.  Who could have thought that people with dementia could bear such beautiful witness to the tangible presence of God’s Love and Spirit.

It inspired me this week to complete my no. III purchase of the Divine Office.  A complete life-time investment.  Now I just need to be taught how to find my way around it properly.

Please may I ask for you all to remember me in your prayer.   Having been wondering what was to be next, and dreading the void left by my beloved Saturdays at Heythrop coming to a close, I have spent many weeks praying for direction, where seemingly there was none.  I looked at different Spiritual Direction courses as I thought it would be a brilliant process to go through myself, and then to be able to use those skills acquired to help my children in their spiritual journeys, and to also have a deeper insight in order to support any one who might be inspired to live ‘The Way of Love’ Charism.

I found no affordable or immediate courses beginning on which I could be welcomed. And then as if by pure accident a course caught my attention, for which there is possible funding.  This course would be perfect for me as I was so inspired by the spirituality of all my Jesuit lecturers at Heythrop, which itself is a Jesuit run College.  Having nothing else planned I phoned up and enquired and immediately within days an interview was booked for me.   I went last week and was absolutely unsure as to how it had gone, however by 7.30 that evening I had an offer.

This course is perfect for me, it takes me back to my beloved London once a week on a Tuesday, thus leaving me the weekends with my children.  The course is 3 years long.  The first year is a foundation year in Ignatius of Loyola Spirituality, he is the founder of the Jesuits.  The second year will see us examining the texts and ourselves in intimate detail, and the third year will equip us to take retreats and lead us to spiritually direct others in the exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, and the art of Spiritual Direction.  Each year is subject to fulfilling the previous year successfully.  This course will be brilliant for me, it will equip me to serve others in ministry beyond my own parish and diocese and can very much become a part of the way I live out the fulness of   ‘The Way of Love’  Charism.  And how fitting that Papa Francis is a Jesuit, and that my favourite piece of spiritual writing is by Pedro Arupe.

“What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what gets you out of bed in the mornings, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” – Pedro Arrupe

Thank you dearest Lord for this wonderful unexpected Holy Spirit led opportunity.

Please may I request all of your prayers that the funding will be made available to me; as without it I will not be able to afford the £1300 fees each year, along with the travel expenses, and therefore could not accept the otherwise unconditional offer.

It has been such a time of unknowing where yet again I have been held suspended, gently transcendent in the hands of someone else.

I wait in wonder and in Love.

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My Cyber Soulmate

It came into my iTunes account upon the 13th hour, having forgotten that I pre ordered it. And as I awoke at 3.00 this morning I lay somewhere floating out in the cosmos listening to Janelle Monae’s new intelligent and ecliptic album.  It’s galactic come starry canopy encased me it that ‘wondaland’ where waterfalls refresh the soul and distant suns and distant sons kiss the skin a little deeper than anyone else dares too.

Feeling Kissed.

‘Her intoxicating will not be denied’

With lyrics such as in Sally Ride you can not fail to be inspired

Take me to the river
My soul is looking for a word from God
Ooh, god
Like a rose in the cold will I rise
I’m packing my space suit
And I’m taking my shit and moving to the moon
Where there’re no rules
Wake up, Mary
Have you heard the news
You got to wake up, Mary
You got the right to choose
I tried and heard the pride
But the way the stars look into my eyes tonight
Tell me who can, who can I trust?

To get lost in your thoughts
Is a very very complex thought?
And the things that you thought are surprising
It’s the way you believe
That becomes the very thing you see
Take a ride in the sky
It’s just calling

But all your friends are gone
And the trees will burn while the comets play on
Tell me who can, who can I trust?
I wanna fly
Fly
???? ???? to the stars

Just wake up, Mary

Have you heard the news?
Oh, just wake up, Mary
You got the right to choose
Just wake up, Mary,
There’s some amazing news
Just wake up, Mary
You got the right to choose

Then there is Look into My Eyes which is all Cindi Mayweather, and reminded me of the magical mesmerizing Gene Wilder singing to me as a child in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

There are so many beautiful things to breathe in from Monae’s faithful world just as there were in Archandroid.

Get the album, come fly with an Electric Lady

What an Experience . . .

I can’t live without your Love.’

It is a beautiful reminder to rejoice.

“Rejoice only that your name is written in Heaven!” (Luke 10:20).

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The Way of Love – Charism

IMG_3203

 

This is the new Charism.

 

The Way of Love

 

The intimate nuances amidst the three different translations – breathes a wonder and Love in to each – bound by their own language.  Each is of God.

 

The Way of Love Charism – NEW JERUSALEM

The Way of Love Charism – KING JAMES

The Way of Love Charism – NIV

Time for a retreat.

 

 

Yours in deepest Love

In deepest faith

And deeply in Him.

 

 

I Love you

mags †

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P.S

Today’s

Second reading

Hebrews 12:18-19,22-24

What you have come to is nothing known to the senses: not a blazing fire, or a gloom turning to total darkness, or a storm; or trumpeting thunder or the great voice speaking which made everyone that heard it beg that no more should be said to them. But what you have come to is Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem where the millions of angels have gathered for the festival, with the whole Church in which everyone is a ‘first-born son’ and a citizen of heaven. You have come to God himself, the supreme Judge, and been placed with spirits of the saints who have been made perfect; and to Jesus, the mediator who brings a new covenant and a blood for purification which pleads more insistently than Abel’s.

Miracle; the radio is playing in the background and just as I finished typing the second reading my favourite song came on . . . enjoy

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Im All His Papa Franci

– Pope Francis (World Youth Day 2013)

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“We need saints without cassocks, without veils – we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music, that hang out with their friends. We need saints that place God in first place ahead of succeeding in any career. We need saints that look for time to pray every day and who know how to be in love with purity, chastity and all good things. We need saints – saints for the 21st century with, a spirituality, appropriate to our new time. We need saints that have a commitment to helping the poor and to make the needed social change.

We need saints to live in the world, to sanctify the world and to not be afraid of living in the world by their presence in it. We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, theatre. We need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions. We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane.

We need saints.”

Hooray!

All Saints † Pray for us all

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Home is Where the Heaven is

lost in thought

I Am already dead.  I Am already alive with God.  I Am already Spirit.  Already Word. Already Love.  A gentle breeze.  I Am sitting on the right.

And then my mother gives birth to me – human.

All at once I was born a baby.  Perfect.  Love.  Then I was forced in a series of persistent contractions down the birth canal –  Adult.  Alive.  Dead with God.  All earth-Spirit. Undiagnosed dyslexic fumbling outspoken falling short word.  Love kept getting spoiled with unLove.  I hung to the left in a skirt.

And then beyond childhood He was born – 2000 years ago before the future – Divinely Human.

He shows me the way home to myself.

I will swim with the nucleotide through my own DeoxyriboNucleic Acid – to the last molecule – where I will jump off the end into . . .

He will catch all of my nothingness

On Earth . . .  as it is in

Heaven.

Home from Home.

Alive.  Body.  Spirit.  Word.  Gentle.  Breeze.  Right.  Love.

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Examine. The Gospel + The Good News

I have been examining the Gospel.   I could spend my whole life doing this.  I just Love looking at Jesus’ life so closely.  That He could teach us to Love in such a profound way amazes me.  I am sure that the Gospel will forever speak to me anew, and that that is the entire Divine magicalness of it.  That is the work of the Holy Spirit, that in each stage of our lives, a new depth of understanding can be gleaned, for every situations that we are living through at any time. That Jesus should know such Love by 33, in such a profoundly perfect way – is supernatural.

My examination so far has involved going through my four little individual paper back Gospels, and highlighting in yellow light everything that at first spoke to me, namely Jesus’ every quote.  Everything He said I highlighted.  As a result of this I then looked deeper into different passages and themes.  I looked up references and cross references, and different interpretations, I meditated upon different passages and visualised myself being present.  Different readings would speak to me from different places over the following days, and they would all appear to magnify the same passages or subject or theme that had inspired me, this is surely the Holy Spirit at work.   Lectio Divina coming to life, The Word made flesh.

Over the past two years at different times I have looked deeply into parts of the Gospel whilst sitting in my little room, whilst on the train to London Town, whilst in bed at night, and whilst in my favourite spiritual places, and still I open it today and there’s something I have missed or something new I discover, something I never previously noticed, a new depth of understanding or wonder.

I am but a working class uneducated woman who did a foundation degree in Pastoral Mission, because I wanted to learn about the Catholic Faith, and because I wanted to be received into the Catholic Church, as were my children.  It is obvious that I  am not an intellectual.  I have a pants memory for facts, poor writing skills, and was never good at exams.  All I can claim is that I am a mother of 5 children, I am 43 years old, and I Love.

I Love, and have been awakened because of that Love.  And because of this I can see so much more in the Gospel than I have ever seen before, or than I have ever heard spoken.   I have always known, and I have always taught my children that the most important thing in the world is Love, and if you were to ask any of them today ‘what is the most important thing in the world?’ without a doubt I would guarantee that each child would tell you that it is Love.  It is in moments the easiest thing in the world to do. To Love. And in other moments it is the hardest thing in the world to do.  To Love.  I have witnessed that for some people it is easier for them to Love their neighbour else a stranger, than it is for them to Love their own kin, or to be Love to the people they Love.

It could be said that living within a family first, or a community, or even within the world at large, is exactly like the story of little jagged blemished pebbles, tumbling around in the machine that polishes stones. Pebbles thrashing together, chipping off the rough edges, smoothing the surface, tumbling away.  But on being extracted from the machine, the pebbles are no longer dull blemished pebbles, but polished to perfection, a new brightness – like jewels.  I could challenge this story as so often we see people in the world not like shiny bright new jewels; but dull, damaged, hurt, broken, cold, hardened and stone like.  And sometimes it appears they have been broken purposefully so.

An interesting Richard Rohr meditation yesterday pinged into my inbox, about transforming our pain and our wounds from normal wounds into sacred wounds, so that we don’t project our pain onto others.  It said that if religion couldn’t help us to achieve this, then it was a bad religion.  Somebody a few days earlier on another blog that I read had asked this question, ‘I have a theological question that I would like an answer to, what is at the heart of Jesus’s Passion?’    I am no theologian but I know the answer.  It is simple, but often these things are lost in long theological examinations and complex descriptions which don’t nail the point, especially when people just need to hear the simple truth.  I knew the answer because I had been looking at scripture on forgiveness in the bible, for draft 2 of  The Way of Love Charism, and so I answered his question.

The simple answer to the question is Love and forgiveness over and over and over again.   In Luke 23:34 – Jesus upon the Cross says ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

In Matthew 18:21-22 – in The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant it says;

21′ Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.’

Seven is the number of perfection in the  bible.  So the number of 77 is the number of ten fold perfection.  The number 10 being the fullness of Divine Order.  7 + 7 = 14 and there are 14 stations of the Cross.  If Jesus, who in His last seven sentences (whilst being murdered upon the Cross) insists on asking God for the forgiveness of His persecutors, and if we ourselves are to learn to forgive as God forgives us, then it is vital that we understand that absolute forgiveness is an essential component of perfect Love.  Just as it is to know that we are absolutely forgiven ourselves.

This is what Love is.

The theology of the Cross is Love and forgiveness over and over and over again.  It is perfect Love.  This is why the examine of our conscience before God in prayer is so important, and why the Sacrament of Reconciliation is encouraged and practiced in the Roman Catholic Church.  It is how we know that Mary Magdalene was perfected in Love. The statement where Jesus was said to have cast seven devils out of her, in no way points to Mary Magdalene’s faults or sin, but points entirely to her perfect Love.  If there is no darkness there is only light.  She was perfected in Love, which is why she was the one chosen to deliver His Love to others.  Just as a woman was inseminated by a male seed, and so gave birth to the whole of mankind, just as the Virgin Mary was inseminated by God, and so gave birth to God, so did Mary Magdalene give birth to The Good News, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Mary Magdalene  †  Jesus Christ    Pray for us †

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Love

The Marriage of Psyche
by Kathleen Raine

He has married me with a ring, a ring of bright water
Whose ripples travel from the heart of the sea,
He has married me with a ring of light, the glitter
Broadcast on the swift river.
He has married me with the sun’s circle
Too dazzling to see, traced in summer sky.
He has crowned me with the wreath of white cloud
That gathers on the snowy summit of the mountain,
Ringed me round with the world-circling wind,
Bound me to the whirlwind’s centre.
He has married me with the orbit of the moon
And with the boundless circle of the stars
With the orbits that measure years, months, days, and nights,
Set the tides flowing,
Command the winds to travel or be at rest.

At the ring’s centre
Spirit or angel troubling the still pool,
Causality not in nature,
Finger’s touch that summons at a point, a moment
Stars and planets, life and light
Or gathers cloud about an apex of cold.

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Non Sum Qualis Eram Bonae sub Regno Cynarae

At the age of 23, Earnest Dowson fell in love with the eleven-year-old Adelaide “Missie” Foltinowicz, the daughter of a Polish restaurant owner. Adelaide is reputed to be the subject of one his best-known poems, Non Sum Qualis eram Bonae Sub Regno Cynarae.  He pursued her unsuccessfully, and in 1897 Dowson was crushed when she married a tailor who lodged above her father’s restaurant

Ernest Dowson died at the age of 32, he is buried in the Roman Catholic section of Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery.

When Dowson died, Oscar Wilde wrote: ‘Poor wounded wonderful fellow that he was, a tragic reproduction of all tragic poetry, like a symbol, or a scene. I hope bay leaves will be laid on his tomb and rue and myrtle too for he knew what love was.’

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The Gentle Breeze

“Then the Lord Himself went by. There came a mighty wind, so strong it tore the mountains and shattered the rocks before the Lord. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind came an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came the sound of a gentle breeze. And when Elijah heard this, he covered his face with his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.”

— 1 Kings 19:11-13

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The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

 

 

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With the Wind

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Short Sighted

When everything is reduced to the sex you see in others, you have missed the point.

When every poem you write is about physical urges being overcome, you have missed the point and the pleasure,  You are stuck lower, man.  When all you can see is the act of sexual instincts in others gratifying themselves, you have failed to see the intimate Love of a woman, a child, a mother, a companion, and beloveds.  When you can only see the sex between humanity and not the Love, then the plank in your eye and in your groin is yours alone to overcome.  Whether you have overcome all urges and abstain from sexual activity or not,  you have sadly not overcome the urge to view the world or others beyond a sexual nature.

Our senses are not separate from our soul or our spirit, they do not belong solely to our body.  They are extensions of the body, like pathways taking us from the physical to beyond the physical.  The nerves of the senses do not end with our body or end at the gratification of self.  They do not end where the body ends, they extend beyond.  If you are hurting then my senses like receptors draw me out towards you.  If you cry then my senses at once beyond my skin draw me out to receive your pain in a compassionate extended reach.  My senses extend beyond self to hold you and comfort you and share your hurting, even in your physical absence.  My senses are not bound to my body alone. but reach out to yours and yours and yours and yours and his.  My senses are not just to receive, they are not reduced to sexual pleasure, I am not a man, I am a woman.

The touch of Love from me to another is not about sex.  The touch of Love from me to him is Higher and then Higher Still.   It has everything to do with Him.

I am a celibate women at present.  I have 5 children.  A mother over and over.  I observe my children and how physical contact makes them thrive, touch, warmth, flesh.  I have male/female twins whose un-self-conscious touch is everything to do with divine human-nature, and nothing to do with sex.  That they touch and intimate is intrinsic to their divine nature. They are comfortable with skin to skin touch, with no shame.  This is wholesome, they breathe each other in, they share without fear.  They will never live fully alive without the uninhibited intimate touch of another intimate human being, sharing in each others divinity and humanity.

It is not about sex.  It is about Love.  It is about Loving.

You can take away sex, you can not take away the desire to be fully alive or to be intimate.  You can not take away the need for intimacy, to be held close, to share souls, to be soul mates with a beloved.  The God-given right to hold and breathe and share and be close, the need to intimate.  When we Love so deeply human we Love so deeply Divine. You can not take away Love from souls that have found Love.  That alone restores it a Higher Love. You can not kill the human desire to intimate in God, with a God bestowed other.

It is Gods gift.

It can not be reduced.

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Devil’s Dyke England

A place I Love.

IMG_3203

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Celebrate?

This month I finished my degree.    The assignments carried on beyond my last days at university, and beyond everyone elses deadline.  The deferral used all of me up, when I was already spent,  stealing me of my climax.  Disappointingly, sharing any interior celebration in its fulness with myself alone.  The achievement was made not in the achieving – but in the (at times) bloody wicked and (at times) beautifully beloved journey before hand.

Having swapped morning Mass for study and valuable writing time, whilst the children were still at school, I released myself from a certain juxtaposition of unfair dialogue. Man gets to speak in a homily spiritually, subliminally, freely, directly, wily in an indirect way, and her being open to obedience, open to listening, is to receive without reaction,  no return, no response, one way, no conversation.  Even if a later response is given, un-acknowledgment may reign supreme.   She is eradicated of any pride, ignored, deprived of any inspiration,  broken down, broken in Spirit, soul dragged through the dust which one day she already is.   Thats man.  Then there’s my sisters in faith.  Some women I have encountered are few beautiful souls, and few are a different kinda kettle calling pot altogether,  preaching a pretence of love whilst behaving in a wily un-loving way. Tripping in their dis-loyalty to women, in loyalty to their own need for recognition and affirmation.  Why would anybody want to live in such a way.

Upon my return from the mini sabbatical, another contradictory homiletic breath builds me up, tells me that now I should look forward, follow my ambition – having previously been told that ambition is wrong.   However the sacred acute belonging, that I felt so intensely  before and after my reception, that connected me so deeply to my Mother Church and my fellow Catholics, and made me want to give everything that I had to give, for her future,  appears to have abandoned me in the spiritual processing of rejection.

I wonder if I will ever know that deepest sense of being Loved and belonging ever again, or if as it feels all the while now,  just to be an intense belonging between me and Him alone. Where ever I am.  I have felt so utterly let down and disappointed by the human nature of the very people who I put all my trust and faith in, that any sacredness now appears to lie way beyond church or any space that man inhabits.    Oh how I want to be proved wrong, how I want not to mourn, how I want to trust again where once everything was pure and filled with Love.

Manna is swallowed by man,  sealed, meld and fortified – All dissolving,  like in the empty casket of Newman and his beloved friend whom I have nothing but affection, happiness and smiles for.  Whilst at the cost of my own Love disallowed, I die again and again.  Where now all I see are lovers secretly gay with loving.  Their hypocritical affections guarded in the weight of purple, green, and red, guarded beneath the poetic pretence.   

Purest Gold and White are what you and I are bound for.  The white of Linen we are clothed in, enshrining our skin, binding it Golden in togetherness – just like Jesus’ bronzed skin, through the simple pure white garments opaque Gold.

Love.

In classic ridiculous irony one evening, the parish priests had a beautiful Mass and garden party celebrations.  Many parishioners joined him as he celebrated his ten-year anniversary of ordination to the priesthood, whilst unbeknownst to him in the same month it was my ten-year wedding anniversary.  For his special occasion I made my party piece beautiful heart-shaped berry flan, meanwhile my ten years went by un-celebrated, unnoticed in tears.   Catholic.   T’is a wicked and cruel life at times.

What next.

I keep my mind and my heart turning towards Love – the loving kindness that life still has to offer me, and that life still needs from me.    I Mass anonymously in another Church and  I hear your voice again God, so clearly beyond the prejudice back home. How will I ever trust in anyone other than you ever again Lord.

I thank you God.  I thank you for my honesty.  I thank you God for my wisdom.  I thank you God for my eyes that see, and ears that hear.  I thank you for the humility to be saddened without being unkind to others.  I thank you God for my courage and my voice. I am wearied at you making me see the revolution required like a prophet before the prophesy.  I thank you  for my strength in my failings.  I thank you  for my Love which never fails, and dear Lord I pray that you lift the burden of being a good, honest and faithful person – to allow for me to find physical affectionate Love once again – else I don’t want to be anymore.

For to live in a way which denies us our humanity is nothing to do with your Will God – but is everything to do with man controlling man.

This I know because you teach me so.

I am missing touch.

The touch of imagination is not enough.

But then there is a Godsend – when my desperate physical longing causes a bodily convulsion of ecstasy.  An ecstasy which uncontrollably washes over me when my beloved unexpectedly infiltrates my mind, it is the most intimate encounter.  This is not premeditated, often it happens when I am driving and my concentration is completely elsewhere, and all of a sudden from the tip of the hairs on my head to the follicles on the skin of my inner thigh,  everything sings in an instant –  every single goosebump on my body, in togetherness – singing as if orchestrated.  An exhilarating electric charge neither hot nor cold zinging alive right through me, equipping me with nothing but surrender; and in those eternal seconds stealing me of my every breath.  It is then that I know that everything that I am, and everything that I feel, and everything that I am called to be belongs   in my eternal vow to my beloved.   Loyal.  Faithful.  My life would have been easier to have turned away,  to have walked in the other direction, easier to have stayed upon the other path, to have kept on receiving the level of love that I assigned myself up for.  But this is a Will beyond my own, this is Gods Will,  Gods choice,  Gods Love chosen for me. That I should  Love you in Him.

And then I see once more.

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.” (St. Augustine)

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Please

https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=494748280602313

For Love

†hank you.

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Faith - Patrick A. Lundquist ~ awesome!!
 
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Letters To A Young Poet – Rilke

Letters to a Young Poet: Rilke, Rainer Maria/ Burnham, Joan M. (Translator)/ Nerburn, Kent (Foreward By)/ Kappus, Franz Xaver/ Burnham, Joan M.

If there be only one book that you could ever afford to buy yourself in any one year, then for me it would have to be this book.  It is Gold-dust.

It is the very first chapter of this beautiful book that absolutely sung from the rooftops with each note plucked from the harp of knowing, aimed directly like a swiftly fired arrow straight into the heart. It captivated me because I knew every sentence to be true, and yet never in such compact self-contained pages had I ever known it.  Just in all its fullness to be true –

– I know.

‘All of us who labor in the arts know that it can be a lonely existence.  We often find ourselves living a life of solitary dreams, disconnected from others, and driven by a vision that no one else seems to value and share. On some days, this can become overwhelming.  We then thirst for a single voice of understanding that will reach into our solitary lives and reassure us that the path we have chosen is worthy, and that the rewards it offers are worth the loneliness it entails.’

How true is this, not just in the arts, but most especially of a life in Him.  And then you see, that is where prayer becomes something completely other, it crosses worlds, and breaks bounds.  It becomes not a private dwelling place at certain set times throughout the day, but it seeps into every breath and accompanies us in every deed and every gesture and every imagining.

And there you see I feel triple shot,  because when I first read this book I thought it mirrored the voice of someone who has had an all-powerful conversion, and if you are in my position well then that is exactly how you would feel.  Then there’s the added utter paradoxical bonus of being a women and a mother in my position, who yearns beyond yearning for beloved intimacy.  And then there comes the triple added bonus of staying awake to two in the morning and walking for miles and miles upon end for a little solitude, in order to contemplate and recall her inspiration, then to write.

This beautiful little book is simply a set of ten letters written from Rilke to an aspiring young poet named Franz Xaver Kappus.  ‘The letters range freely over a variety of subjects, from the dangers of an ironic world view to the value of faith and the close link between physical and creative ecstasy.  But always, they come back to the fundamental theme of the aloneness of the creative spirit. and the demands it makes upon the lives of those who labor in its service’

‘I know of no other advice than this:  Go within and scale the depths of your being from which your very life springs forth.’

‘Things are not as easily understood nor as expressible as people usually would like us to believe.  Most happenings are beyond expression; they exist where a word has never intruded.  Even more inexpressible are works of art; mysterious entities they are, whose lives, compared to our fleeting ones, endure.’

On advising Kappus he suggests that he should not look outward toward publishers,

‘There is only one way to go: Go within.  Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write.  Put it to the test: Does it stretch out its roots in the deepest place in your heart? Can you avow that you would die if you were forbidden to write?  Above all, in the most silent hour of your night, ask yourself this:  Must I write?  Dig deep into yourself for a true answer. And if it should ring its assent, if you can confidently meet this serious question with a simple “I must,” then build your life upon it.  It has become your necessity.  Your life, in even the most mundane and least significant hour, must become a sign, a testimony to this urge.  Then draw near to nature.  Pretend you are the very first man and then write what you see and experience.’

The cause is Love.   God who is Love.   I avow that I would die if I were forbidden Love.

‘The letters are also the result of a unique conjunction of circumstance that created an almost magical alchemy of thought and feeling.  And it is in this magical alchemy that their enduring significance lies.  The three circumstance that came together to create this alchemy were Rilke’s background, his age when he wrote the letters,  and the great looming shadow of the sculptor Augustine Rodin.’

It goes on to say;

‘Rilke came from a background that made him deeply sympathetic to the struggles of anyone striving to be an artist.  His father has been a career military man and had sent his son off to a military boarding school with the intention of training him to be an officer.  Rilke, weak of constitution and romantic in temperament, was ill-suited to the physical rigors and severe discipline at the school, and was subjected to numerous cruelties by his classmates and teachers.  Still he remained there for five formative years of his early adolescence before, humiliated and physically and spiritually exhausted, he was allowed to return to his native Prague to continue his studies at home.  During these five trying years he found his greatest solace and self-expression in the act of writing poetry.  It was his only means of shaping what he called the “damnation” of those years into something of meaning and beauty.’

‘It requires great,  fully ripened power to produce something personal, something unique, when there are so many good and sometimes even brilliant renditions in great numbers.  Beware of general themes.  Cling to those that your every day life offers you.  Write about your sorrows, your wishes, your passing thought, your belief in anything beautiful.  Describe all that with fervent, quite and humble sincerity.  In order to express yourself, use things in your surroundings, the scenes of your dreams, and the subjects of your memory.  If your everyday life appears to be unworthy subject matter, do not complain to life. Complain to yourself.  Lament that you are not poet enough to call up its wealth.  For the creative artist there is no poverty – nothing is insignificant or unimportant.  Even if you were in a prison whose walls would shut out from your senses the sounds of the outer world, would you not then still have your childhood, this precious wealth, this treasure-house of memories?  Direct your attention to that.  Attempt to resurrect the sunken sensations of a distant past.  You will gain assuredness.  Your aloneness will expand and will become your home, greeting you like the quiet dawn. Outer tumult will pass by it from afar’.

Jesus knew.  Jesus was once asked when the kingdom of God would come.

The kingdom of God, Jesus replied, is not something people will be able to see and point to. Then came these striking words: “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

Luke 17:21

‘the kingdom of God is within you.’

‘Therefore my dear friend, I know of no other advice than this:  Go within and scale the depths of your being from which your very life springs forth. At its source you will find the answer to the question, whether you must write.  Accept it, however it sounds to you, without analysing.  Perhaps it will become apparent to you that you are indeed called to be a writer. Then accept that fate; bear its burden, and its grandeur, without asking for the reward, which might possibly come from without.  For the creative artist must be a world of his own and must find everything within himself and in nature, to which he has betrothed himself.’

I have betrothed myself to My Beloved.

I have looked deep inside for an age.  I was looking long before I ever came to the Church. I am a writer by heart and not a speaker, but deeper still I looked within the very depths of my being, I looked beyond everything that I am and am not, I looked beyond everything that I have to give, and everything that I fail to give, and everything that I want to give. And I looked into all my failings, and all my disappointments, and all my failures. And I looked at all my successes, and at all my triumphs, and all my gifts, and I looked above and below everything that I aspire to be.  And for me it has to be just one thing.  It is Love.  I am called to Love.  I simply must Love there is just no other way. Just as St Therese knew it and did it in her way, I have to do it in my own way, the only way that I can.  My vocation is to Love.  I already knew this before I even knew that it was a line in her book, because before I had ever even heard of St Therese of Lisieux, I wrote the line in one of my poems.

I am a vessel overflowing with your promise
I will pour the wine for many
My vocation is to Love.

The new Charism is to be called  –  The Way of Love.

I am going to end this post with the very first lines of this astoundingly beautiful book

‘For one human being to love another is perhaps the most difficult task of all, the epitome, the ultimate test.  It is that striving for which all other striving is merely preparation.’

Rainer Maria Rilke

P.s  It is fascinating to know that despite all of this understanding of the need for aloneness, that Rainer Maria Rilke indeed fell in Love and chose to so happily marry.

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Clitoris

A few years ago on magsmuse I wrote a blog about . . .

Female Genital Mutilation

It was a disturbing revelation for me to discover this appalling violation of the beautiful human form, to which I had previously been completely ignorant.  For anybody that has been through this disturbing cultural ordeal, or knows of someone who has been violated in this way, then please reassure them that there is still hope.  I have just read this – Please read to the bottom of the below article.  There are wonderful surgeons who are helping women in your situation.

THE INTERNAL CLITORIS

‘Dr. Foldès has been performing surgery on women who have suffered from clitoral mutilation, restoring pleasure to over 3,000 circumcised patients.  He also gets passionate about the lack of study with regards to the clitoris:

“When I returned to France to treat genital mutilation, I was amazed that they were never tried. The medical literature tells us the truth about our contempt for women. For three centuries, there are thousands of references to penile surgery, nothing on the clitoris, except for some cancers or dermatology -and nothing to restore its sensitivity. The very existence of an organ of pleasure is denied, medically. Today, if you look at the anatomy books that all surgeons have, you will find two pages above. There is a real intellectual excision. “’

God made you and designed you perfectly.

No one has the right to desecrate, decimate, or deprive another human being.

No one has a right to destroy any part of God’s design.

We are beautifully perfect just as we are born.

We are made that way with His greatest Love and intention.

God Bless you and heal you, Love mags x

For more information, support the END FGM European Campaign

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My Beloved Love

You spend my life teaching me how to breathe

So that I can live at once beyond breath.

You take my living and force me to die

And then you forge a life from death.

Life irreconcilable, unrecognisable.

You made so many faithful kin fail

By exacting their wrath against me,

Why – they know not of for sure.

But once – where my head, with Love was blessed,

Kind, unmarked and pure before,

Now branded, engraved by a jury employed.

T’is Love Not, from their eyes that stare

Their Love thus weakened, ill deployed,

And therein lies their lessons there.

My dear God’s work I clear can see,

T’is work of man beleagures me.

Adulterous stones at first are cast

On fallacy, man builds his caste

To make us fall and test our faith.

And yet Dear God no guilt at all,

Where Spirit and Truth do reign supreme

Where she Loved Him and I Love You

And there your Love seduces me.

Dear Lord oh how you Love me so,

As Eros Loves dear Psyche Free

Of death, irreconcilably.

Your Spirit Ruah, breathes life in me.

Dear Lord oh how I Love You so.

Oh God I Love him so.

 

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Ruah of Love

eron

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Ruah

eros_and_psyche_by_s0leilnoir-d3ex1yl

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Beloveds

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Loved

Antonio CANOVA (1757 – 1822)<br/><i>Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss</i><br/>Side view (detail)<br/>Marble - H. 1.55 m; L. 1.68 m; D. 1.01 m<br/>MR 1777<br/>Paris, Musée du Louvre

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Lovers

Antonio CANOVA (1757 – 1822)<br/><i>Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss</i><br/>Front view (detail)<br/>Marble - H. 1.55 m; L. 1.68 m; D. 1.01 m<br/>MR 1777<br/>Paris, Musée du Louvre

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Love

Antonio CANOVA (1757 – 1822)<br/><i>Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss</i><br/>Front view (detail)<br/>Marble - H. 1.55 m; L. 1.68 m; D. 1.01 m<br/>MR 1777<br/>Paris, Musée du Louvre

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Feast Day of St Mary Magdalene 7/13

What a truly special and beautiful day.  This glorious morning I awoke and took myself off to St James the Less for Mass, as my parish priest is away in Lourdes on pilgrimage. My first-born is in Lourdes for the first time too, I have yet to discover her riches.  It is the Feast Day of my beloved and graceful companion St Mary Magdalene. I can not explain it except to say that it was a deeply prayerful Mass, so much so that it felt as though I were not at all alone but in the greatest of company.

Whilst I was waiting for Mass to begin, in my mind’s eye I coated the Sanctuary and the church in a new crisp coating of fresh white paint, and I re-painted the garish-red ceiling in deepest most expensive Mary Blue, and I replaced the dour green carpet in the main body of the church with something that wasn’t dour and green.  And in my prayer I was suddenly in a church of my making fresh and crisp and white and breathtakingly beautiful, and the Sanctuary and all the stone work suddenly stood out far more beautiful than ever before, clean and breathing again, each slab purposely full of poise and prayer contemplating eternity.  And all the blue from the stain glass windows at once leapt up and danced with the blue in the newly painted panelled ceiling, and the red on the Sanctuary carpet became a warm and tangible echo of the richest garnet and ruby reds of the Saints garments, luminous in the glass . . . .  and all was well and heightened for St Mary Magdalene’s Mass.

After Mass had finished I prayed for my intentions.  I lit a candle, and instead of placing it in the wrought-iron stand, I placed it on the stone plinth at the bottom of Our Lady’s feet. I touched the hem of her chiselled and filed garment and I let her touch my soul through my fingertips back.  I looked up twice at her most beautiful young complection when I was on my knees in prayer, and such a gentle kindness smiled back at me with the slightest movement of her stone eyes, and all at once it were as if I were younger than her, and she a mother to me, an impossibility age wise, but it was so.

And then I left . . . after buying a little phial of holy water from the deacon.

This afternoon I went up to St Mary Magdalene Church.  This is the church that I wrote about a few blogs back, it is closed to the public but we are still permitted to visit the humble, tranquil, secluded grounds,  and I do.  They rather remind me of The Secret Garden book which my next door neighbour’s grown up children brought for me, after my neighbour died.  Today however I did something a little different, I made the sign of the cross as I passed through the gate, and I walked along the gravel path towards the far end (the back) of the building, and then as if by completely turning everything upon its head you arrive at the front door to the church.  Perfect.  Jesus would like this.

Instead of passing this ancient doorway by as I usually would, today for some reason I stooped low and spied through the keyhole . . . . and there she was waiting for me perfectly – all I could see was the corner glimpse of Mary Magdalene on the beautiful stain glass window, which from the outside one can barely make out.  Inspired by her presence I lay my pink cardigan down under the old yew tree.  I lit a little citronella tea light candle and then beneath that evergreen doorway to the other realm, I said my prayers and read through my little purse sized Mass card.   I then sprinkled holy water on all my saved and special writings and papers, and I asked Mary Magdalene to guide me, bless me, and to intercede for me whilst I sat contemplating and writing her/the/His Charism.

I fully understand the importance of not allowing anyone but Him to be at the very centre of us all, but of course more than anyone so did Mary understand this, and that is why she just has to be the very person who can lead us all closest to Him, more so than any other person.  For before she knew Him she was like us, compellingly observing Him from the safety of our lives, but the more she came to know Him just as we have, the closer still He drew her, and so she was drawn far closer to Him – closer than anyone else.  And in this intimacy she perfected her beloved relationship with Him, so much so, that when He was crucified and died, however painfully devastating to watch, she refused to leave Him alone.  And upon His Beloved return He chose at first to reveal Himself to her, and to reassure her, and to comfort her.  And it was her that He trusted with the most entrusted mission of them all – To deliver His Love.  I hope you remember in your prayers to thank her for bringing the Good News to you all.  Jesus never had to ask Mary ‘do you Love me’ three times as He did Peter, because He knew Mary Loved Him without even having to ask.  For Love knows Love through the eyes of the soul.

And so it was on a beautifully penetrating summers day that I began to make some sence and order of the Charism.  I let it seep into my bones like a Love letter – which was perfectly beautiful – as even in the deepest solitude I felt in Love and not at all alone. Which was a perfectly understandable feeling as I had been reading Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and I recognised so much of my childhood coming back to me through his insightful and eloquent words, where that loneliness of being an adult is at once as it were as a child – a friend again.  A magical or spiritual place with no aloneness only wonder.  I picked a little loose stone from the wall of the actual Church and suddenly through my mind sang the words ‘On this rock I build my church’ and I giggled to myself.

After I collected the triune of children from the primary school, we went back to the church on our mission.  We took an ancient flint cobble from our own ancient 550 year old cottage garden.  It was in the shape of a triangle, and my last-born chose the place on the front of the church, close to the ancient doorway, where we set it high up into a gap in the mortar, where in the flower bed below we took an ancient flint cobble that had tumbled from the church. We swapped cobbles and the ritual was written as if inscribed in stone, a covenant between me and Magdalene.

I then made the children squirm with laughter by sprinkling and flickering them with the rest of the holy water.  Then together we blessed some bread and a drop of red wine, just as the priest does.  The children know that it is not the same as the priest doing it in the Church, and so it may not become the true body and blood of Christ, but still we did it in memory of Him, just like He told us too, and even ‘littlest, too young for the Eucharist’ child was not to be excluded.  And how special it was.  Then after a little ‘Grave hide and seek’ which really is the most charming childhood delightful game, a game which I am utterly sure the residents in the graveyard Love to witness, we left to say hello to the family of goats.  This was truly wonderful, as the owner came out of the amazing manor house which is secretly nestled behind the trees, and he gave the children pellets to hold in their tiny cupped hands, and they fed the whole family of goats.

We arrived home drunk on the happiness of summertime and then indulged ourselves a little more drunk on fresh strawberry and ice-cream smoothies, with the strawberries I brought from the strawberry farm earlier in the day.  And so you see – today we all became just a little bit closer to Heaven.

What an enchanting and magical day, they really don’t come much better than this.

Thank You Dearest God.

The children and I Love you so very much †

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22.O7.13

A †ruly his†oric special of special days.

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Mary Magdalene beau†tiful  beloved Sis†er, Sain† and Shepherdess

†hank you for journeying with me

Pray for me

Love

mags

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