A blog where families who love and live the Catholic Faith can share, encourage and support each other.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A knot in my nun

By Anthony English

I'll let you in on a secret. We have six nuns at home and we take pleasure in tying them up. Don't be too shocked. We only do it in Lent. As penance.

Let me explain.

As Lent began, one of the mothers in our home schooling support group arranged for the children to colour in pictures of nuns. One nun each, and some of them were coloured a little ... exotically. Each of the nuns has a string hanging from her waist, and each nun has seven feet. So far, nothing unusual. (I know a real live six-foot nun).

Well, as children make little sacrifices during Lent, they tie a knot in the string of their nun. Typically the sacrifices are letting a sibling go first at some activity, or allowing someone else to have the last biscuit (which, as you might surmise, wasn't something to be given up for Lent). And the seven feet get coloured in, one by one, as each week of Lent passes. The good sisters don't seem to mind.

Bound for Easter

It's been encouraging to see that the Lenten momentum hasn't all run out of steam after Ash Wednesday. It's also good to see that the sacrifices weren't all limited to giving up something, but are focused a little on fraternal charity.

When Fr. Z asked his blog readers how their Lent was going, the most common response was "Okay. However, I have fallen down in what I planned, but started again."

I suppose we all can do with little reminders on what the Church calls "this joyful season of Lent", and a knot in your nun is as good a way as I can think of.

If you'd like to make your own nun please visit Raising Wahooligans in the Bohemian Desert

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Grandmother's Faith

By Erin

I've been reminiscing lately about my grandmother, Veronica Mary, whom we lost and Heaven gained two years ago today (17th October 2010).

It is a precious gift on this anniversary of my beloved grandmother to be the cannonisation day of our beloved Mary MacKillop, Nanna was educated by the Josephite nuns and in turn her own children and grandchildren.

My Nanna had a beautiful faith; a simple, strong faith. Her relationship with God was very personal, He was a loving, approachable Father. Her life was not easy, with many losses and disappointments, but through it all she clung to her Faith. At the age of 7 she lost her own mother an event that had an enormous impact on her life, Our Blessed Mother became her mother, she was strongly devoted to her.

A Grandmother can have a strong influence on her grandchildren.  Certainly mine did and she influenced my own Faith immensely, my own relationship and 'picture' of Our Heavenly Father has been heavily influenced by hers.  Nanna's God was a forgiving God; you sinned, you repented, you picked yourself up, dusted yourself off, said sorry and got on with life again.  He understood stumbles, He was always ready to accept and love.

For big events; a new baby, a death, she would call us all to prayer, we would gather 'round fall to our knees and pray the Rosary.  One of my most happiest memories is, when in my teens I joined the Legion of Mary with my Grandmother,  and her contemporaries, the other faithful ladies of the Parish. The strength of prayer in that little room, the home visitations, bringing a sense of God and community to the shut ins, seeing Faith in action was a powerful witness.

Nanna wasn't afraid to talk about God to my cousins and I; some were being raised in Catholic homes, some weren't, she just shared her Faith regardless, her Faith was a natural breathing part of who she was. Those lessons stuck with all of us, they took root, and one day..., well I keep praying and I know she is.

Nanna had many sad crosses; children who left the Faith, divorced, custody battles etc, she was a worrier. She made herself sick worrying. I remember her reaching breaking point in my teens, she said, "I've reached my limit, no more worrying, I'll just pray." And she did, from that moment she gave it all to God and trusted in Him. To this day when I start to worry, I stop and pray, worrying is useless, but prayer isn't.

Shortly before Cancer ravaged her, she had a triple bypass and three days later was out attending all the Easter ceremonies, nothing was going to get in her way she said. She succumbed to cancer shortly after and just kept offering her pain to God for all the Holy Souls,  prayer for her was, "just talking to God" and she did it well. She had developed a strong love of the Divine Mercy (as did my uncle just shortly before his death, when he died at 3pm on Divine Mercy Sunday.)

In the end she was longing to go to Heaven, to meet God and to see her husband, son and mother again.

I watch grandparents in my parish bringing their grandchildren to Mass and I know the seeds they are planting are taking root, no doubt they wonder at times if they make a difference (I know my grandmother did) but those seeds will bear fruit.

I love you Nanna, Rest In Peace.

Please read more of Erin's posts at Seven Little Australians and Counting

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Buttons for Dummies

I have been busy working on some posts about writing for the Bush Boys Online blog. This reminded me that when my daughter Felicity was a teenager, she wrote her own article about creative writing. Felicity wanted to write an article for the KIT newsletter but she had no idea what to write about. A helpful friend (who might be called Anthony) gave her the title "Buttons for Dummies" as a starter. Felicity's imagination got to work and she came up with this offering: some suggestions about creative writing for other young writers. I hope you enjoy it. Sue

In the dark of the early morning, summoned by your alarm clock, parent, child or annoyingly pious sibling, you crawl into consciousness. You reel to your wardrobe, clutch a fistful of clothes from a shelf and stagger to the bathroom. Fifteen minutes and one hot (or hot-cold-hot, or lukewarm, or, worst, cold) shower later, you attempt to clothe yourself. Zips are zipped, drawstrings are tied, hooks and eyes inserted, and snappers are snapped. And generally, you manage, even with your mental-processes turned off, to complete these actions. That’s all the skill you need to finish dressing and go on to more important matters, such as food, hair, morning jobs or work. Well, nearly. There is still one more terror to be navigated.


Who has not experienced the horrors of desperately fumbling with these annoying round objects while the clock ticks and other, pressing jobs beckon? No other fastening needs half so much time or attention that buttons require. And unless you are one of those ebullient morning people who love nothing better then 5.30 a.m. rises, and bracing cold showers, no-one has the ability to concentrate hard enough in the mornings to do up more than the smoothest and most easily grasped button. And so, we lurch drowsily into battle every morning with one of mankind’s most terrible inventions.

How does one, weak, befuddled, and totally unprepared as we are in the mornings cope? Sadly, there are few hard answers. One could try asking your pious sibling to rouse you ten minutes earlier (if you could bear it), or splashing your face with cold water to shock your brain into gear. Or you could step out of the shower five minutes earlier. Or run a cold shower. But I have found that all these measures require more self-control than I possess, at least at the beginning of the day. If you find yourself in my position, follow the instructions below…

Do not wear buttons. Ever. With the multitudes of clothes available in the Western world, one is not required to. Even shirts can be fastened with snappers! So, that’s one problem of mornings sorted. Now, if we could just find a way to wake up cheerful

That was an example of my creative writing. I love creative writing more than any other type of writing. For me, it is the most enjoyable type of writing, because it offers the most scope for personal opinions, invention and experimentation. When I have to write creatively, say for my English course, I might get a subject (the title Buttons for Dummies was all the guidance I was given for the above piece) and some broad outlines (it may be a short story, or have to be written in the first person) and from then on I can do what I like. I’m on my own and can have my say. I am not regurgitating someone else’s writing or facts. I can express my own feelings and opinions.

This freedom is only one reason why I enjoy creative writing. I love the feeling of writing something of my very own and making other people feel the same way (I hope you remembered horror mornings of your own when you read Buttons for Dummies). I like developing my own style (do you notice how much I love adjectives, or strings of possibilities so I can cover all bases and find an answering chord in a reader?) I like bringing scenes so alive and real that I can live there.

In fact, I am so fixated on creative writing, I try to put a little bit into every piece of writing I do. I used to get stuck opening essays on historical figures. I found out several years ago if I picked a crucial and dramatic scene in the life of the figure I was writing about and described that in a paragraph first, as creatively as I could, the rest of the essay just flowed. I made that person interesting to myself by dramatising him, and because I was interested in him, I had to write the rest of his life down. I still do that to open pieces of writing (this article is no exception!) I also like to dress up otherwise plain and boring writing by picking exciting adjectives or using more dramatic sentence structures.

That doesn’t mean that I always find writing interesting and easy. But sometimes it can become exciting and absorbing. I find this happens most often when I am doing creative writing. Even so, I can sit down to write creatively, and nothing can happen. I have found that sometimes I need to think and structure before I write. Sometimes everything is there and all you have to do is sit down and write, but most of the time you have to plan it out, if only in your own head.

For me, the hardest thing about creative writing is finding a subject. My mum (she’s my editor and critic) and I must have spent twice as much time brainstorming ideas for essays and articles than I have spent actually writing. We go through all sorts of ideas (this article could have been How To Decorate Fish Tanks or I Am A Troubled Teenager With No Friends – truly!) until I hear one which appeals to me. We can refine it, add to it and change it. I’ve gone to the computer lots of times clutching an old envelope covered with felt-tip scribbles of ideas. The idea can change totally as I write and think more deeply. It becomes further changed as Mum and I (and sometimes, other critics) reread and revise.

I find that the two most important things to know before you begin writing are exactly what your writing is about and who it is intended for. With my creative writing, I generally find that it turns out to be about me – even it is meant to be about someone else. I can’t decide if I am just very selfish or I just know myself much better than anything else! Mostly I think that, just like some actors declare that they only play themselves on screen, most writers write about themselves because it’s simply the easiest thing to do. Why write about characters and experiences that you have no knowledge of? Why not write about things that you very familiar with and will therefore be able to describe well? I think another reason to write about yourself is because you are far more likely to write better and stay interested in subjects you know and understand. And if you like what you are writing about, it’s more likely that readers will like what you have written too!

The second thing to remember before writing is to define who you are writing for. Whodunit writers and romance writers have it easy – they are writing for crime addicts and sentimental romantics. Because they know who they are writing for, they can plan their stories to please their audiences. When you have to do some creative writing, think about who will read it. Has your mum told you to write her a piece of creative writing? Aim it at her. That doesn’t mean writing about the Super Mum of the Year, but simply means to write it at her level of understanding. For example, your mum might not appreciate a story full of silly humour. Your younger brother might, but you are not meant to be writing for your younger brother. You mother might like reading stories with an omnipresent narrator (a narrator who can go into the minds of all the characters and narrate their thoughts). Why not try that approach for your mum? I know right now, as I’m writing this article, that it will be read by people of all ages, but mostly mums looking for homeschooling ideas and children who are (possibly) looking for creative writing help. Therefore, I have to aim at two sorts of people – those who are doing the creative writing and those who are trying to teach the creative writing.

Things I never really decide about until I begin writing are things like layout, persons, tenses and style. I’ve used all sorts of approaches depending on the subject I’m writing about. I’m not particularly adventurous, in my opinion. I just keep going until my writing seems to suit my subject. With articles like this, I simply write the same way I would speak, keeping my voice natural. Other types of writing may need other types of voices (could you hear my voice change as I switched from discussing buttons to discussing writing?) When my writing voice fits my subject (and my subject fits my writing voice) I can begin to put it all down and review, revise, rewrite, redo…

Something I’ve learnt to live with, if not like, is rewriting. I know that sometimes I have to keep hacking and adding and polishing my draft until its just right. Still, finishing writing and feeling that I have done my best to say what I want to say in the words can be satisfying. Perhaps some creative writing is begun by unbalanced geniuses madly scrawling burning ideas down, but I bet most creative writing is finished with methodical revising.

Mum taught me most of what I know about the technical side of creative writing. Mum used to gather myself and my two younger brothers, sit us down, discuss techniques of creative writing together, such as original metaphors, personification, points of view, active verbs, humour and putting yourself there, and then send us off to describe an object (it could be a friend, a cushion, a bushfire, or a person making a cake!) When we had finished, we would come back and read our pieces aloud. We always enjoyed this, because we got to point out our use of techniques. We were always surprised at our different styles and methods we used. Afterwards, we’d discuss our work again and file our writing away until next time.

If I were to summarise what I considered important for writing creatively, I’d say:

q       Have a subject that interests you and that you know well. The never-fail subject is yourself!

q       Know who you are talking to.

q       Be aware that there are techniques to creative writing. Use them if they fit, but if they don’t suit you and what you’re talking about, don’t.

q       Be descriptive. Be there. Bring your readers there.

q       Show emotion. Show what you feel, not what someone else feels. If you do not show real emotion, readers will feel nothing except boredom as they read. Show real emotion, and your readers will feel the same thing.

q       Have a sense of humour. To write honestly about yourself, you will have to have a sense of humour. Otherwise, you will never survive other people’s comments!

q       Enjoy it all! Creative writing must be enjoyable, or we would never have any novels or literature.

Now write something. Can you write the article that tells me how to awake cheerfully?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another Act of Mercy

By Sarah

One cold, windswept summer evening in London about thirty years ago I was standing outside a theatre with my family waiting for transport home, wearing a very pretty summery dress of which I was particularly fond. I was very cold. My brother offered me his jacket, and perversely, I refused, so instead shivered on until the car finally arrived.

Before we all went to bed, my mother took me aside and said, “My dear, you must have the humility to accept help when it is offered, and the charity to allow another person the pleasure of being able to help. Don’t be so ungracious.” It is a suggestion which has remained with me since, because so frequently I am too proud to allow another the pleasure of helping me, even when (as all those years ago) I would indeed benefit from the help. I sometimes have to deliberately quell the instant response of “No, thank you” and humble myself to reply instead “yes, please”. It is extraordinary how resistant I find myself to the notion. Perhaps I feel it is demeaning to need help; I don’t really know. But it is a difficult virtue to be able to offer help in a fashion that is unassuming, altruistic and easily accepted. I suppose it is a branch of charity, just as – as my mother pointed out to me – accepting help graciously is a branch of charity.

Charity is a wonderful virtue. I just wish I had more of it. Over and over again I realize I have failed in charity, in all sorts of ways, and it is a frustrating realization. If only I could catch myself in time! It reminds me of St James’ instructions on bridling one’s tongue. Such a little instrument to do such great harm, and with what rapidity! Someone once suggested to me that if I feel I am about to utter an uncharitable remark, I should pause and under my breath utter the prayer ‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph’ – not a bad suggestion, in as much as it causes us to pause and often that is all that is needed in prevention, but it could be taken the wrong way: the mother of a friend of mine was using that ejaculation privately whilst in labour, when, caught unawares by a sudden strong contraction she involuntarily cried it aloud, to be rebuked by the Catholic assisting midwife for her unsuitable language!

But misunderstandings aside, we do indeed need charity, as we do need the assistance of the Holy Family, and every Lent I make that good resolution… and every Lent I fail… but I guess I have to keep trying. There isn’t another option, really, Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

St Patrick's Day in Our Home 2010

This post was written by Gae last year. Her family's celebration is sure to inspire you with ideas for celebrating St Patrick's Day on the 17th March.

Here is a look at how we celebrated St Patrick's day in our home this year.
All did not go according to plan but we still had a very busy and enjoyable day.
I loved reading the old favourite books that Rogan set up on the bookcase for the St Patrick Display.
It was all his own idea where to place the arrangement and how to set it up and I was so impressed. I think we will display all our special feast day's here as it is right in the heart of our living area.
We have a close up of the middle section.
A collection of clover , (shamrock's) St Patrick a map of Ireland and Rogan's own collection of four leaf clover he has collected over the last few months.
We are all amazed how he can just find them so readily.
We also have some pip cleaner shamrocks along the display.Our Lenten calender courtesy of Kimberlee at Pondered in my Heart.
Corbyn, Myffwyn and Moran working on some of the colouring pages we had after my having read some of our favourite St Patrick's day books to them.Painting of the green?Shamrock cookies before we placed them in the oven with green jelly on them. I referred to them in my planning post. I was happy with how they turned out just by using the heart shaped cookie cutters. Straight out of the oven.These are our Shamrock Mint Cupcakes we used chocolate frosting this year instead of the white.An Irish flag Autumn made last year for me and beautiful "Irish eyes smiling."While waiting for the Irish stew to cook, yes it took longer than we wanted it to. More colouring in was done.Myffwyn hard at work on her St Patrick from Paper Dali
Eden is very diligent with her St Patrick that Charlotte directed us to.Our little feast day memorabilia. Not what I planned but all I could manage.Our St Patrick banner on the balustrade.Our Irish Soda bread, well one of the other one is still cooking.I couldn't resist the green jelly.WE made Lime green Spiders for our drink .
A "Spider" is simply green fizzy drink with a scoop (or more) of ice cream added.
So simple and quick but the children, and Mummy's and Daddy's love them.
Don't you love the green shading?
Irish stew, and Lime Green spiders along with the Feast day treats.Myffwyn with her collection of colouring.Rogan with his set of colouring.Moran is so happy to share her colouring with us. I think she actually did 2 or 3 of most of them.Eden was able to make a copy of Anne's Pin the Shamrock on St Patrick. We copied her St Patrick picture and added our own Shamrock stickers and drawn leaves and shamrocks. Then each of us had our own little shamrock to put on St Patrick.Did I mention we had a prize for the winner of this event.
We have some very competitive children.
Saxon has first chance. But not even close.Little Arwen was not in the running either.Rogan was close, but not enough.Moran had a little feel around and still did not get it in St Patrick's hand.Poor Eden. Sorry honey.Vellvin had two turns but still did not win.

Kynan and Autumn also failed to win the elusive prize.

Do you want to know who won.....well it was yours truly. So I didn't have to give the book away at ll. I will save it for another interesting opportunity.

Well I pray you all had an enjoyable day celebrating this special Saint.

Saint Patrick Pray for us!!

For more ideas, recipes and helpful links please read Gae's planning post for St Patrick's Day

Please visit Gae's beautiful and inspiring blog Cherished Hearts at Home

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mother Teresa, Love and Three Cats

By Sue Elvis

Sammy and Jenny have no idea who Mother Teresa is. Why should they? They are only cats. But they have reason to be grateful to this holy woman.

A wheedling text message arrived on my phone: “You know how I am your favourite middle son? Please can I have two cats? They need a home.” The answer: “You’ll have to ask Dad.”

When my husband came home, I said, “Callum wants to ask you something.”

“He wants something? How much does it cost?”

“It doesn’t cost anything. It’s free.”

“Well, then he can have it.”

“He can?” (surprise) 

A moment’s silence. “It’s not an animal is it?”

“No, it’s two.”

So in this way, Sammy and Jenny, two grey and white moggies joined our household, much to the displeasure of our resident upper class feline, Poppy. Yes, Poppy did not like her territory invaded. She felt she was more than enough cat for one adoring family. What could we have been thinking about when we let these two ordinary cats into our home?

It wasn’t long before we were sharing Poppy’s view. These cats didn’t know the family rules. They jumped onto the tops of bookshelves and walked over chests of drawers and desks, scattering everything underfoot. Food was no longer safe on the kitchen bench-tops. Unlike Poppy, they just did not know how to behave.

Callum kept on defending the cats (perhaps he felt guilty) - “They’ll settle in soon, Mum”- until the day Sammy chewed up two sets of his expensive headphones. Another set of ruined headphones later and we’d all had enough. “Yes,” we crooned to Poppy as we stroked her magnificent long fur, “we should have stuck with you. You’re a perfect cat.” (We conveniently forgot Poppy’s bad habit of scratching at doors.) Poppy purred, and glared at the other cats from the safety of our arms. She thoroughly agreed.

We had a problem. How could we get rid of the two unwanted adult cats and go back to being a one cat family? Would Sammy and Jenny’s former owner have them back? (No) Could we persuade another family to adopt two fully grown moggies? (Unlikely) Could we take them to the animal shelter? (Would that be bad?) Such thoughts circulated my mind until the day we met several nuns from the Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa.

The nuns were eager to share the wisdom of ‘Mother’, who poured her love on the unloved and the ‘unlovable’. Blessed Teresa of Calcutta searched out and helped the unloved and the unlovable in the slums of the world. But we needn’t travel so far. We only have to look at our own family to find the unlovable. And when we have found them, we need to remember that the unlovable are the ones most in need of our love.

I went home to my own family and looked. And what I saw were two unlovable cats. There they were, milling about my feet hoping to be fed, nagging me with their strange unattractive, squeaky meows, Jenny gazing with her cross-eyed look, Sammy butting his big head against my legs. I felt like pushing them back and making room for Poppy. But I didn’t. I looked at the cats and thought: “What would it be like living in a house where no one wanted you? Would I like to be dependent on the goodwill of people who’d rather I wasn’t there? What would it feel like to be ignored because I was plain and ordinary while all the attention was being lavished on someone more beautiful? What if I was thought of as a problem rather than as someone who was in need of love?

Sammy and Jenny are now part of the family. They may not be as good looking as Poppy but we have discovered they have charms of their own. We have learnt to love cross-eyed Jenny and big tough Sammy and in return they seem to love us, snuggling up on our laps and thrusting out their chins for a rub. As far as behaviour goes, they are learning the rules of the house. We just need to be patient and persistent.

When Mother Teresa talked about the unlovable I am sure she wasn’t referring to cats. Perhaps she wanted us to think about the less lovable child, the child we don’t find easy to love, the one who in reality needs our love the most. I began thinking about the family I grew up in. Who was the unlovable in this family? Was it one of my sisters, my brother, or was it in fact me? That is quite a thought. Why should I not love the unlovable when someone loved me?

Please share my stories at Sue Elvis Writes

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Question of Time

By Vicky

It is the basic law of economics that those which are the scarcest of commodities are deemed to have the higher value. Thus, it is that time, with its endless demand and ever-dwindling supply, is, for the average mother, as water is to the desert-dweller (well, at least, for this average mother whose organizational abilities are still at the developmental stage!).
Gone, for me, are the days of clockwatching in front of a meticulously well-ordered (and under-utilised) public servant’s desk. These days, my attempts to create order are aimed at saving time, not merely passing it.
Unlike the supermums of the seventies, my efforts at household efficiency are not motivated by an intrinsic dislike of anything domestic. I actually quite enjoy looking after my little nest and often find household chores somewhat relaxing and even therapeutic. In this house, cleaning is no mad dash against the clock in order to fly the nest in search of more exciting horizons. No, this mother is more often to be found rushing back to the perch after the errands are done (except, of course, when the darling, little chicks have all but destroyed the family nest; in which case, a shopping trip, followed by a cenacle, a trip to the park and a scenic drive home will be more than tolerated…).
The problem isn’t so much one of avoiding the mundane as finding time for the truly exciting – and, with 5.30am starts and 10.30pm bedtimes already the norm, the possibilities for creating new time seem particularly limited. So, we prioritise. And the priorities go something like this – Mass, food, schoolwork, play and housework, with time for prayer fitted somewhere in between. Ideally, it would make sense to reverse the last two on the list but my little people are still revolting over that issue.
The weekly shop, being an out-of nest activity with limited scope for creative input, doesn’t make it to the list in anybody’s estimation – except when it’s pocket-money day (in which case, it rises to the rank of special excursion). Until recently, shopping managed to fit itself rather snugly in between food and schoolwork (unless the cupboard was completely bare when it would shift its position to somewhere in between Mass and food) but this all changed when the list of priorities expanded to fit in certain extracurricular activities.
Faced with the prospect of eventual starvation, the problem of finding time to do the all-important shop assumed vital proportions. The solution, however, was incredibly simple – the greatest consumers of my time would be the very ones who would spend the time doing that which I didn’t have time to do. Thus, the little shoppers’ shopping lists came into being.  
Nowadays, five shopping lists are stored on the computer and updated throughout the week. On shopping day, they are printed out and each little shopper parades the aisles, armed with a shopping basket which is periodically emptied into the master shopping trolley (manned by the captain, Mum, and her trusty sidekick, Little Bub). So far, this arrangement is going great, having also provided some added benefits along the way. The kids are learning technology (the lists are, after all, produced on the computer), maths (finding the best buy is naturally expected), personal development (sometimes, one has to ask for directions to a certain item…) and sports (racing around with heavy baskets and scaling the heights of adult-sized grocery shelves are physically challenging for any youngster intent on beating his siblings to the cash register). What home-schooling mother could resist the opportunity to combine a necessary chore with an educational experience!
Now the shopping is under control, we have only the washing, the dishes, the weeding and the unfathomable chaos of the pre-teen bedroom (aka ‘The Abyss’) to master before we can truly claim to be efficient users of our most precious resource!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Virtues of Vinegar

By Leonie

As the good housewife that I am, I am planning a series of cleaning posts. You know, posts about house cleaning and not about liturgy. Or other deep subjects. Because that's what good housewives do, don't they?

Clean and make coffee.

This first post describes the virtues of vinegar. A non toxic cleaner...so it can be used for a myriad of purposes. I find it helps clean windows and mirrors and even one"s mind via cleaning and scrubbing, when one is lamenting the state of the liturgy in our Church. Wonderful writings from our Holy Father on the importance of liturgy...yet, the practice of public liturgy loses some of it's shine in the grass roots, in the field, in some of our parishes.We need to scrub away our lamentations.

But back to vinegar.Any good housewife knows that it is cheap, non harmful, effective as a cleaner. Any good housewife knows that when cleaning, one should look at the effects of cleaning....use the least intrusive method, follow the instructions carefully, to avoid possible fallout. Would  that liturgy always be treated with the same respect  ....discourage obtrusive  extraneous activities and words being added to the liturgy, follow the rubrics  carefully, think about the fallout from possible actions (adult women servers may be allowed but their use and encouragement is not compulsory, you know ..what message does it send,  to the women, to young men, about vocations to the priesthood? About serving being a privilege and not a right? Do  we placate one group temporarily, for the general ill of the Church? What are the ultimate fruits of this action?).

But back to vinegar. Used judiciously in cleaning. To  clean and not think Too Much. Because what can a laywoman do, when she feels like weeping  at the some of the Liturgical anomalies? Attend mass only in the Extraordinary Form? Discuss ad infinitum?

Concentrate  on her vocation as. wife and mother ? (Yes!)

Ignore that part of her  mind that cares deeply about the Church and Her liturgy?


Ah, the virtues of vinegar.

Note on adult women altar servers.....Congregation for Divine Worship
Letter on Altar Servers July 27, 2001

"With respect to whether the practice of women serving at the altar would truly be of pastoral advantage in the local pastoral situation, it is perhaps helpful to recall that the non-ordained faithful do not have a right to service at the altar, rather they are capable of being admitted to such service by the Sacred Pastors (cf. Circular Letter to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, March 15, 1994, no. 4, cf. also can 228, §1, Interdicasterial Instruction Esslesiae de mysterio, August 15, 1997, no. 4, see Notitiae 34 [1998] 9-42). Therefore, in the event that Your Excellency found it opportune to authorize service of women at the altar, it would remain important to explain clearly to the faithful the nature of this innovation, lest confusion might be introduced, thereby hampering the development of priestly vocations."

Please visit Leonie at Living Without School