Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Reflections on the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Good Morning

As I was lying in bed last night, not sleeping (if anyone cares to say a prayer for me regarding this vicious worsening of my chronic insomnia troubles, I would be greatly appreciative) I was thinking about children.

Last Sunday's Gospel, Mark 9:30-37 was about people receiving a child in Jesus' name, also receiving Jesus.

Father delivered a delightful homily which was a bit of a variation on what is often presented as the message of this Gospel passage.

One often hears that this reading is talking about being open and welcoming as a child is in order to receive Jesus. Father's perspective was that it might also mean having a good sense of humility. After all, welcoming a child is not always convenient...his illustration of this was humourous and, to me, familiar. Parents go into the room of a child who was sleeping only to discover that the child has been quietly creating a disaster which can sometimes be unsanitary. Think: paint by numbers, where the only number is "2". Having to deal with child disasters can happen when one is all set to go out for an evening. I envision an old "Family Circus" cartoon which shows the mum, dressed up in a long elegant evening gown, plunging out a plugged toilet and opining "For this, I went to college?". Parents must be willing to change plans at a moment's notice.

I suppose that welcoming a child could also go back to the child's very birth...or conception.

I had another thought about children and faith. We who have been involved in religious education have often heard, or said ourselves, the importance of "understanding" in preparation for sacraments. This is particularly said for First Communion. The implication is that a child shouldn't be too young.

I would first ask if any of us really understand what it is that happens during the confection of the Eucharist (Communion). By some God-powered miracle, Jesus becomes the bread which we later consume.

But, to a young child, everything is a miracle and most things are hard to explain. How does a car work? Why does rain fall from the sky... sometimes even when the sun is shining?

Might it not be that a child is actually more likely to "understand" what is happening when Jesus gives His body to us in the Eucharist? After all, a youngster's mind may not yet be bound by the rules life imposes...laws of nature and all that.

As I think a little more, I realize that my thoughts also focus on humility. We grown-ups often do not like be taught. We think we know it all already. It can be hard for us to accept miracles; things we cannot explain or understand. Children are accustomed to not understanding things, so they accept what they are told by people they trust. It is sad if we grow and become jaded to truth. The Gospel of Luke 18:16 comes to mind.

We should become like children, to accept and be accepted by Jesus. For such as these is the Kingdom of Heaven!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Comment worthy?

HI Folks

I have recently been informed that I had created no way for people to comment on my blog.

I have attempted to remedy this so please let me know (I know some people have my email address) if you are still not able to comment.

There is a little pencil at the end of the posts...beside the envelope for emails.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Behold Your Mother

Well, I've again been reading "Plain Reasons Against Joining the Church of Rome" by Richard Littledale.

Some of the arguments (and we still hear this ALL the time) made against the Church are with regards to our veneration of Mary, Mother of God.

I think I've already discussed some of our treatment of Mary, but this time I am going to address our belief that Mary is not only the mother of Jesus, but also the mother of all believers.

In the Gospel of John (19: 26-27) Jesus, while dying on the cross, speaks to the Beloved Disciple (John)and tells him that Mary is his mother. He turns to Mary and tells her that John is her son.

This is a practical move. If Mary had children other than Jesus, and the Church states that she did not, Jewish law would insist that she be cared for by them. John was now tasked with her care, in lieu of other family for her.

The Church also teaches that this gives Mary to all of us as our mother. For me, this is not a hard thing to get my mind around.

We are told that the Church is the Body of Christ. After all, we do Christ's work in the world. Mary is the mother of Jesus. Jesus is the Christ. We are the Body of Christ. Therefore, is not Mary our mother, too? I do not see where the problem lies.

Mr. Littledale's book is giving me much fodder for research. He mentions names and makes arguments which I have not heard before. Some of his arguments are based on fallacy, which amazes me for someone who was apparently a lawyer. Perhaps saving souls entitles one to fabricate a little? Nah.

I have just found the reply which John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote to the work of Littledale and look forward to reading it.

(edited insertion) The article I linked to above is not actually by Cardinal Newman. Sorry about that. It would seem I have not yet found his article, if it even exists, as other sources indicate it should! (end of insertion)

I am not yet familiar with Newman's works (shame shame!) but from a quick reading of the introduction of the reply, I think I will enjoy his style. Already it reminds me a little of GK Chesterton.

I spoke to my father a couple of weeks ago. He gave me "Plain Reasons" a couple of years ago when I saw it on his bookshelf. I have since found out that this book was from the library of his father, who was never Catholic. This really piqued my interest.

Kinda gives me a connection to the Oxford Movement!

God Bless

Friday, September 04, 2009

Motherhood and the Environment

Good Evening

It occurred to me today that stay-at-home motherhood might be beneficial to the  environment.

I hope no one goes "Duh" at this personal revelation. Maybe I haven't been paying attention.

So, where has this come from?

Well, I was collecting clothes off the clothesline, which I've been using as much as possible during our wet summer. Why do I do this? Well, it saves money by not using the electricity that the dryer would. I have the time to do this because I do not work outside the home.

We don't have a vegetable garden for a lot of reasons, but next year I would like to try a small one. Maybe we'll get it right this time! I do know that other people have gardens. I do not know anyone who keeps a big garden while also working full-time. Growing our own veggies would save money and also provide produce which would, hopefully, be of better quality than that which we've been invited to purchase this season. If we grow things we can preserve, we can eat some of the produce through the Winter, too, when food is even more expensive.

We will not be able to produce all our own food, but the time I can put into growing our own food will help.

How is this an environmentally sensitive practice? Well, I would not likely be using chemicals, so that footprint would be smaller. There would be no fuel involved in shipping the food. If I preserve, the food will quite possibly end up in glass bottles which have been used and re-used many times.

I can often go days between trips into town. If I worked, I might need another vehicle, and would definitely be burning more fuel getting to work and back.

As an at-home mum, I have the "luxury" of choosing cloth diapers, cloth dinner napkins, and rags instead of paper towels, without having to worry about the increased laundry load.

I also think I can get by with a smaller wardrobe, so fewer resources used there, too.

This would be stewardship, I think. Not only can I care for my family in person, but I can use fewer of the resources God has given us.

That many of these practices also save money, it helps extend the single income on which we rely. Money saved not earned is money not taxed.

I realize that working or not working is not a choice some have the option of making for themselves, and the Church does not, as far as I know, have a position on this. But I think the ideas I present might be new to some people.

God Bless.