Monday, September 27, 2010

What an orderly GOD

Someone sent me this in an e-mail.  I have no idea where it comes from or who wrote it, but it was interesting to tread, so I thought I'd post it here:
God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.
For example:
-the eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days;
-those of the canary in 14 days;
-those of the barnyard hen in 21 days;
-The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days;
-those of the mallard in 35 days;
-The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven , the number of days in a week!)


God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant.. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.


The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first. A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first. How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation!


God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains.


-Each watermelon has an even number of stripes on the rind.
-Each orange has an even number of segments.
-Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
-Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.
-Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.
-The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.
-All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks, and the Lord specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundredfold - all even numbers.


God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day, so that Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!


Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange the life that is entrusted to His care in such a way that it will carry out His purposes and plans, and will be fragrant with His presence.


Only the God-planned safe life is successful. Only the life given over to the care of the Lord is fulfilled.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pray and Act - day one

http://ht.ly/2H36M


Longing for His Word

God’s Word is an indespensible part of genuine, lasting revival.

Preparation

• Praise God for who He is
• Confess your sinfulness and need for cleansing
• Allow His Spirit to draw you near
• Listen as He speaks to you

Ask God to...

• Give you a deep thirst for His Word
• Reveal Himself to you as you read His Word
• Reveal the beauty of His Word to you
• Help you apply the truths in His Word to your life
• Show you areas of your life that need to be surrendered to Him
• Help you realize the depth of His love as you read His Word
• Help you trust Him more as you learn more about Him from His Word

Thanksgiving

• Thank God for hearing you
• Trust that God is at work to accomplish His will

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You know you have Catholic kids when...

... one of them looks up at the moon and says, "That looks like a Jesus's body."

On the war path

I have declared war.

Now all I need is an army.  And the arsenal.  If you are the praying type, please leave me a message and I will let you know what we are going to war on.

I'm going to need:

Scapulars
Holy water
Blessed oil and salt (where the heck do I get those?)
Novenas
lots and lots of prayer

We've got some pretty powerful "heros" on our side:

St. Therese (of Lisieux), Patron saint of missions
Sts. Rita and Monica, patrons of impossible cases and difficult marriages/disappointing children respectively
St. John the Baptist, Patron Saint of converts and French -Canadians (among many other things)
St. Afra, Patron Saint of converts
Elizabeth Leseur
St. Mary Magdalen, Patron of converts
and many others...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Dear Saint Monica

To you I fly for aid and for instructions, St. Monica, wondrous exemplar of unswerving prayer for children. Into your loving arms I place my (child) children _______, that through your powerful intercession they may obtain the graces for genuine conversion to Christ Our Lord. To you I also humbly appeal, matron of matrons, to ask our Lord to grant me the same spirit of ceaseless prayer He granted to you. All this I ask through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

O God, Who observed the devout tears and pleading of St. Monica and granted to her prayers the conversion of her husband and the penitential return of her son, Augustine, grant us the grace to implore Thee also with earnest zeal, so that we may obtain, as she did, the salvation of our own soul and the souls of those belonging to us. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Pansy, you are my hero(ine)

Because if all this had happened to me, I probably would not have reacted the same way, nor prayed so hard.  And the end result would not have been the same.

Actually, I'm amazed.  I think the "power of prayer" has pretty much been, for the past 10-15 years, something that "happens to someone else".  I have been stuck in this rut, where I don't really believe in the power of prayer, and I will offer things up, out of duty, and I offer up my mass for the same intention weekly, and I pray from time to time for the same thing, just in case, you know, it might work, but I don't really put my heart into it, and most of the time I don't pray.

If there is one thing that has been "taken away from me" it is my spiritual life.  I used to pray, first thing when I got up in the morning, and read the bible.  Now, I get up, get the children up, and the prayer in the morning is limited to a hurried blessing as they run out the door to catch the school bus.  Then I can read the gospel of the day in my e-mail, although sometimes that doesn't get read until the afternoon, (sometimes not at all).  I used to always pray before going to bed too.  I pray every night with the children, but the prayers often become mechanical, the same thing said over and over, sometimes the intentions change, sometimes they are the same ones over and over.

There is something to be said for being able to pray without having to hide to do it.  I think wanting to avoid conflict has, in some ways, made my life harder.

I obviously need to pray a lot more than I have been doing, more earnestly, and with more faith.  I've become a rather cynical christian, and what good is a christian with no hope?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dresses vs Pants

I have always loved dresses.  There is just something so romantic, so flirty, so feminine and girly about a nice dress.  When I wear a dress, I'm a princess, a lady, a classy babe.  You could twirl me around a dance floor or take me to tea.  We could walk down a red carpet or take the boardroom by force.

I also like my jeans.  When I wear my jeans, no mountain is too high to be scaled; no children's toy too lost to be found; no river too far to walk; no chore too hard to be done.  When I'm in my jeans, I'm your best friend, the one you're comfortable with.  We could curl up in a corner and chat or roll in the autumn leaves. 

Clothes are just clothes, but they have the ability to take us places in our minds and in our hearts.  Clothes reflect how we feel about and perceive ourselves.  Clothes are fun.  Clothes can take you away from reality and inspire the imagination.  Why else is Hallowe'en (and the ensuing costume parties) so popular?

A friend of mine posted something on facebook today that led me to this travesty: (No, sadly, I am not making this up)
REGARDING NOT WEARING THE PANTS



Consider the following food for thought, rather than a hard-and-fast directive. Ladies, please, discard your pants. Instead, consider wearing comfortable skirts or dresses whenever possible, which means, in practice, in pretty much every normal daily circumstance. Consider the following:

Actually, personally, dresses are not comfortable to me because of all that annoying chafing.  Which would probably not be an issue if I wore nylons which aren't mentioned here but only because he probably thinks those are a given.  But who wants to wear nylons in 30+ celcius and humidity?  I am currently looking into buying boxer type underwear for women to avoid the chafing problem in future.  Nylons and tights are fine for winter and fall.
1.Regardless of your size, shape, or age, the attractiveness of your female figure is virtually always enhanced, while adding to your modesty, when you wear a dress.
Only virtually?  How pray tell, does a dress "enhance" my female figure better than pants?  (Or in my case, my non-existant female figure.)  Now if dresses could suddenly give me that curvy, feminine figure that I'd love to have, then I'd be at the stores now, investing in a bunch of them.  Unfortunately, I have looked at my curvy sister and myself in the same mirror, wearing essentially the same dress and I still looked like a pillar and she still looked like an hourglass.
2. Do this for us, the minority of chaste men who merit the gift of enjoying your beauty in such a way as to be grateful to your creator without temptation. Make it so it is good for men to look upon you, rather than requiring us to look away (which is a tragedy).

If you are tempted by me wearing ordinary well-fitting (not too tight) pants, then the problem is within you and not me.  If you see temptation in everything, you will be tempted by everything. 
3. The godless, sexed-up, secular fashion industry is out to make money and convince you that vice is virtue. They, and their damned pants, accentuate your flaws. If you think the fashion industry is about beauty, I have two words for you: The Seventies.

I have two more words for you:  The Eighties.  No wait, that's off topic.  So what you are saying is that pants accentuate my flaws?  This makes them immodest?  Which means my flaws turn you on?  Forgive me if I am a bit confused.
4. Sadly, and we understand you may not be aware of this, but almost every style of pants reveals private information about your figure (by way of contour) what only your husband (and if not him, no man, including your sons, if you have sons) should perceive.

Anything short of a burka will reveal private information about my figure by way of contour.  Do you propose I go out and get one?  (More about that from this blog)
5. Thus, even a woman endowed with the most spectacular genetic form, in the bloom of her youth, can be given the illusion of ugliness, if not cheapness, by wearing pants. Likewise, pants rarely do anything but exaggerate extra volume on our figures.

One could also say exactly the same thing about dresses.  Take for example, the recent sorry version of a dress that unLady-like Gaga wore.  The animal lovers' fury over that is equally as ridiculous as your drivel over modesty.
6. While some styles of pants can be attractive, in terms of beauty, pants will never trump a tasteful dress or skirt of similar material, pattern, and quality.

I love dresses because dresses are ever so much more romantic than pants.  Pants will never be romantic.  They will never be faeric, they will never be etherial or fantastical.  But pants can be just as classy and tasteful as a dress or skirt.
7. Furthermore, we must reject the counter-argument that pants are more comfortable; as a kilt-wearing Scotsman, your author roundly rejects this claim. In the immortal cry of Braveheart, dresses and skirts offer FREEDOM!

As I mentioned before, CHAFING is not comfortable.  Also, both kilts and dresses make it an awful lot easier to,... you know,... without even getting undressed.  Talk about accessible!  Also, little boys don't try to look up girls' pants.  However, many of them DO try to look up dresses.
8. Of course, we defer and appeal to our male readers to make clear your moral clothing preferences to the women and girls within your realm of responsibility or influence.

In much the same way that muslim men keep their women under burka's?  More about control freaks from this blog.
9. We understand, ladies, that changing what you wear on a daily basis is a major change. If you forsake pants, it will be a big, big deal. Even financially, as pants are so commonplace that skirt and dress wardrobes may need to be rebuilt.


10. Yet, ponder this: the biggest impact for upgrading to dresses may be the change in how you view yourself, and perhaps as crucially, in how you are looked upon and treated by men, which profoundly influences how you view yourself and your value.

I respect myself.  I expect that the respect that I receive from the vast majority of men around me reflects the fact that I respect myself.
11. Also, you, as a Catholic lady of dignity, are responsible for avoiding any practice or habit that increases the likelihood of being viewed as an object by men. You are also responsible for presenting the best, most beautiful, most chaste version of yourself to the world.

I have said this before.  False modesty is the same as immodesty.  Letting it all hang loose is pretty much the same as covering it all up.  Both extremes make the body out to be an object of sex.  One considers it evil, and the other uses it in a search for pleasure.  Both are wrong.  The body is a body.  It is neither good nor evil.  What is good or evil is how you perceive that body and how you want to use it.  Clear the garbage out of your mind and your body will be just fine.  This blog has some very good insights into that.
12. There is a myth that men determine the fashions women wear. In the depraved business sense, this is superficially true in the sense that clothing is often designed to appeal to the lower, if not lustful, appetites of men (and not all lower appetites are strictly lustful). In the day-to-day reality of the suburban lives most of us live, men almost always delegate the purchase of clothing to their wives. Women then make virtually all the fashion choices, mistakenly relying upon the opinions of other women (who know either too little or too much about how fashion choices affect men morally). Good women are always tempted to buy the styles they see other women and young girls wearing; inevitably everyone, men and women, are pulled downward by the undertow of the constantly lowered bar of our sexualized and superficial culture.

This sort of implies that women (even good women) have no brains to think for themselves and therefore cannot really go out and make decisions about how to dress themselves because inevitably they will make bad choices.
13. Do not misunderstand us: we have no problem with men delegating clothing purchases to their wives; we only object to men who abandon the responsibility they have to guide and influence the moral, psychological, and practical implications of clothing that is purchased. Men should set the highest standard for their wives and daughters in this respect.

Uh huh.
14. May we suggest (or perhaps you wives and daughters might suggest) that your husbands and fathers take you shopping for the expressed purpose of choosing everyday clothing for you. Men, for your part, be sure your women love the choices you make with them. No woman or girl can deny that there is a superb and wonderful emotional benefit to donning an outfit that was chosen to enhance your beauty by your beloved husband or devoted father. Ladies, when he chooses an outfit for you, you know beyond doubt that in his eyes, you are beautiful in it. As a rule, men abhor shopping, but in our experience, this practice proves the exception if the man is the final arbiter on fashion choices.

My husband would hate you.
We hope we have provided you with food for thought in your discussions with your loved ones. As for men's fashion, we have one word: Jacket.
I suggest reading the following blogposts. 

http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/2010/09/act-of-sartorial-seduction.html
http://www.bettybeguiles.com/2010/08/my-new-wife.html
http://ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com/2010/08/excessive-modesty-makes-me-feel.html
http://ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-love-hate-relationship-with-modesty.html
http://simchafisher.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/pants-a-manifesto-2/
http://markshea.blogspot.com/2010/09/go-simcha.html

Here in Canada, the whole dresses vs pants thing isn't even an issue.  It continually amazes me to come across stuff like this from American Catholics.  They can be so extreme in their ideas.  My friend tells me it's because American culture is Puritanical in basis.

Monday, September 06, 2010

God moves in mysterious ways...

I had this old book Minute Meditations for Each Day, published by the Catholic Book Publishing Co, copyright 1982, and I hadn't picked it up in a very long time.  In fact, I am not sure that I ever really took the time to read much out of it before.

Then, this past summer, Maryssa picked the book up, from the shelf beside the computer, brought it upstairs to her room, and asked me to read the meditations at night, after her prayers.

There are days when I ask myself, how can I carry on?  How will I teach my children about God and instill in them the desire to keep up a relationship with him when it seems like everyone is against me?  I feel like I am constantly fighting a battle, and every time I turn around, the enemy has closed in on me even more.  I feel like I have to sneak around teaching them in secret and even become crafty in getting them to mass and other events. There are days when I have no more hope that my children will grow up to become faithful christians.  There are days when I want to stop fighting, to just leave them all at home and go to mass by myself.

But I can't.  My greatest fear is that the enemy will win and that my children will become spiritually dead.  God gave us a soul, and like our bodies, it needs to be kept healthy.  I can no more stand by and watch my children die spiritually than I could watch them die physically without doing a thing.

Every other day, it seems that the minute meditation we read was written just for me.  Like today's for example:

They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  Is 40:31

REFLECTION.  Those who do not want to succumb in the hard fight for life and eternity need their strength renewed each day.  For God does not generally change the circumstances and the persons who are part of our life and who sometimes cause us suffering.
However, to those who trust in Him without reservation, God gives the strength they need.  Do I trust in God even when He makes me wait for a long time?

PRAYER. Lord God, forever faithful, restore and kindle my soul every day.  Grant that I may run swiftly to meet You.

I talked to Maryssa about this, and hopefully, through positive feedback, and because of my appreciation for what she asked me to do, she will continue to show interest in her faith.

My children see the difference though, between those of faith and those not of faith.  More than one has made comments.  I pray they continue to notice the difference and choose faith for themselves.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Men have a say...

The following is copied and pasted, but comes from letters to the editor of St. Catherine's Standard:

Men have a role ... and a say

By Paul Keetch
St. Catharines Standard
August 31, 2010
Re: It's not your place (Aug. 17)

According to Laura Ip, men should have no say in the abortion debate. How arrogant to dismiss a demographic that represents almost 50% of the population.

Men are fathers, citizens, taxpayers, and even abortion providers. But I guess that part is OK and convenient for Ip.

Using her own rationale, should unemployed people not have a right to vote?

If you have not worn a military uniform and served your country, should you not be permitted to comment on foreign policy?

If you are not of Jewish descent, then what possible knowledge, wisdom or opinion allows you to comment on the Holocaust?

After all, to coin Ip's phrase, "it really isn't your place."

The biggest irony of all is that the vast majority of aborted fetuses, especially in places like China, are actually female babies. Talk about a paradox.

Paul Keetch Port Robinson ON
He forgot to mention that, as former foetuses and persons concerned for the well-being of their own gender, men certainly do have a say in abortion.  Abortion affects everyone, regardless of age or gender.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Nicky, on babies and marriage

Nicky:  We should move.
Me:  You want to move?
Nicky:  Yeah, we should move to a bigger house, for when we have another baby.
Me:  You want another baby?
Nicky:  I want another sister.  (Pause)  Why is Elodie a girl?  Why did they have 2 girls and 1 boy?  Why not 2 boys and 1 girl or 2 boys and 2 girls?
Me: I guess you get what God gives you.
Nicky:  They didn't even get married before Elodie!
Me:  You think you need to get married before each child?
Nicky:  When you have something coming out of your belly, you should get married quick.