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

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Post by Victor S E Moubarak

As it is Christmas, I have a gift for you. But please read this story first:


I needed some new clothes for work so I visited this large Department Store in town and started looking around. Pretty soon I found the perfect pair of trousers in varying colors. What would suit me best do you think? Dark blue? Black? Gray?
I took all three and proceeded to one of those cubicles where you can try your clothes on before you buy them.

The man in charge led me to a cubicle and asked me to press a little button if I needed any help.

I got in and tried the first pair of trousers … too tight. The second pair was too long in the legs. And the third was too tight and too short.

Why can’t they make trousers that fit exactly as the size it says on the label? Admittedly the three pairs of trousers were made by different manufacturers but the labels clearly said the same size on all three. And that is my size. The size I measured myself at home and the size of my current trousers which fit me perfectly well.

I proceeded to take off the last pair of trousers and pressed the little button as instructed.

Immediately, almost instantaneously, the male attendant turned up and I explained the situation to him. He took the items away and promised to get me bigger sizes.

I turned round to get dressed and … disaster!

The silly man had taken away the trousers I was wearing when I came into the shop as well as the other three.

So there I was. Trouser-less in a cubicle, and also minus my wallet and car keys which were in my trouser pockets.

I pressed the little button frantically again. Nothing happened. I pressed and pressed and still nothing happened.

Eventually the man returned empty handed.

“I’m sorry Sir; we don’t have any other sizes!”

I explained what had happened and he went away trying to retrieve my own trousers which he had put away with the other trousers to be sold in the store.

I waited for what must have been an eternity. Trapped in a store with no trousers to my name.

Eventually a female voice was heard to say, “Try these and we’ll see if they’re OK!” and a hand came in through the thick curtain and handed me two dresses. One pink and one light blue!

Almost instinctively, I don’t know why, I took the dresses and for a few seconds stared at them. It then occurred to me to look out of the cubicle and call the female attendant back.

Too late! She too had vanished in the store never to be seen again.

“Dear God … what do I do now?” I muttered under my breath.

Well, I suppose the Good Lord must have been listening because there, standing beside the socks rack, was our Parish priest.

In desperation, I tried to attract his attention without making a scene.

“Pssst … Pssst …” I uttered nervously as if calling a cat.

At this point I should tell you that Father Frederic is somewhat old and hard of hearing. He didn’t move one inch and continued looking at different pairs of socks.

“Psst … Psst …” I went again. No response.

“Father Frederic!!!” I said quietly yet forcefully enough that he might hear.

He stopped what he was doing. Looked around and saw no one calling him. Then he looked up to Heaven and made the Sign of the Cross.

“Over here … Father!” I said more forcefully.

He saw me hiding behind the curtain of my cubicle and approached me tentatively.

“I thought the Good Lord was calling me!” he exclaimed.

“No … it was me,” I replied still holding the two dresses, “I’m in an embarrassing situation Father!”

“Oh dear …” said my priest, “it is embarrassing. I didn’t know you liked to wear women’s clothes!”

“Hein? I DON’T!!!”

“No need to be shy about it my son. You really must resist the temptation … and you must come to Confession too.”

“Father … you don’t understand … These are not my clothes!”

“No of course not,” he interrupted, “they’re women’s clothes and you can rest assured that your secret is safe with me. It’s as if you told me about it in Confession. Come to think of it, this curtain is lovely and thick … we need to change the curtains in our confessionals!”

“Father let me explain … I need a pair of trousers!” I said as calmly yet as firmly as possible.

“What? You came here without trousers? You didn’t wear a dress in public did you? That’s rather foolhardy you know. What if a parishioner saw you … you’d bring the whole congregation into disrepute you know!”

At that point I think Saint Anthony must have stepped in and come to my rescue; even though I’d forgotten to pray to him.

The male attendant returned with my original pair of trousers, and my wallet, and car keys.

A week later at Confession Father Frederic whispered to me through the brand new confessional curtains “Are you sure you have nothing else to confess? Something pink and something blue … and worn by pretty ladies!”

And now for your gift ...

My latest E Book "LIFE - It makes ME Laugh" is available for you to download FREE from HERE.

For those of you who prefer AMAZON Kindle the book is available from HERE.

The book contains a collection of short humourous stories like the one you've read above. I hope you enjoy it.

I pray you have a Wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year.

God bless.

Visit Victor S E Moubarak at Time for Reflections.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bookings are open to.....

You are warmly invited to our

1st Mid North Coast Catholic Homeschool Camp.

When:  Monday 26 March  -  Friday 30 March, 2012

Where: Lake Eluru Nurra

    Just North of Taree

Spiritual Director: Fr Rizzo has been invited

Caterers: Al & Rebecca Robinson (Of North Coast Cath HS Camp fame)

What to do: Send your expression of interest to

By: ASAP, 30th January at the latest.

*$50.00 holding deposit needed shortly after
God Bless,

Leanne & Dermot O’Sullivan

Together with the Hunter Valley Catholic homeschoolers.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Taking Children to Mass

By Sue Elvis

There’s a young, slightly dishevelled father who always appears for 7.30 am Mass each Sunday. He has a gorgeous, curly-haired baby who spends the hour wriggling in his arms, pulling on his hair. He also has a lively toddler who likes to balance on the hymn book ledge and swing back and forth over the pew while he sings to himself. Long before Mass is over, the children start making impatient noises and it takes all the young father’s ingenuity to keep them happy for the last minutes. It mustn’t be easy but each week, he returns with his children.

I look along the pew at my own children. I don’t have to think about keeping little ones entertained and babies quiet. I don’t have to remind anyone to sit up straight or pay attention. But it wasn’t always like that. I remember when Gemma-Rose was two, I read an article in our diocesan newsletter called Children at Mass. The article concluded with an invitation to share our own experiences of taking children to Mass. So I wrote:

We have a large family with children ranging in age from eighteen down to two. Although it is not always easy, we have always celebrated Mass together as a family. We have never left our babies or toddlers at home even though there have been times when I have felt very frustrated with the problem of keeping our little ones quiet during Mass. The benefits that come from including our little people in our celebration of Mass are well worth the effort involved. As babies grow into toddlers and beyond, they gradually absorb the beauty and significance of the Mass. They observe our example of reverence and attentiveness and will over time, conform their own behaviour so that it matches ours. They know that they are an important part of our community as they have never been excluded. I have no experience with children who begin attending Mass at an older age and maybe this works out well for some families…

Of course, it is a challenge for any parent to sit with a little person in Mass and having a ‘game-plan’ worked out ahead of time can make the experience less stressful. I have learnt never to enter a pew until Father is ready to begin Mass. I don’t want our toddler’s patience to expire even before Mass has commenced. I try to prepare myself for Mass while I take our youngest on a tour of the Stations of the Cross or statues. We go and say, “I love you, Jesus” to the Sacred Heart statue or I point out Jesus, Mary, John and the soldiers on the Stations.

During Mass, I will whisper in my daughter’s ear explaining what Father is doing. I will point out the candles and the statue of Mary, encourage her to fold her hands or kneel next to me. If you sit at the front of the church, a toddler will have a better view of the altar. However, if you are like me, you may prefer being able to exit quickly from a rear pew. When our toddler’s attention span has been exhausted, (sometimes this happens almost instantly!), I will move onto our own version of the ‘Mass Kit’.

The idea of a ‘Mass Kit’ for little children is wonderful. At times, other parents have told me that they believe children should learn to sit quietly through Mass without the aid of toys or books. They suggest that toys and other distractions will lead to bad habits and children will always expect to be entertained during Mass. Little people are not designed to sit still quietly for long periods of time, and perhaps it is unrealistic to expect them to do so, especially when they do not really understand what is going on. When I am tempted to think I am spoiling my young ones by letting them have a snack or a toy, I just look at my older children. They were once babies themselves but they are no longer demanding crayons or sultanas. They are quietly attending to the Mass and one day, our two year old will reach this stage herself.

If our little people cry or scream, I will remove them from Mass until I have quietened them. Because we are at Mass as a family, my husband or older children are present to keep an eye on the younger ones while I am absent from the pew. (I know that some parents are less fortunate than me, having no one to help them with their other children while they attend to their youngest.) Standing at the back of the church, I often hear comments from other exiled parents such as “Why do I bother? This is just too hard. He won’t behave. I’m getting nothing out of Mass.” Yes, sometimes I feel frustrated myself, especially in winter when I am closed out on the wrong side of the door in the cold with a fretful child. It is easy to envy those without children who can focus on prayer. However, I believe God does not penalise parents for their seeming lack of attentiveness during Mass. We are fulfilling the duties God has given to us by seeing to the needs of our children and He will reward us for the sacrifices we make. By patiently accepting my situation, I like to think that God will bestow many graces upon me.

I try to be considerate of other parishioners. I know that older people have trouble hearing even without the noise from crying children. Being prepared to remove excessively noisy children and apologising to those around me for any disturbances caused by my children, has opened the way for many encouraging comments: “We know what it’s like having children. We’re parents ourselves. You’re doing a fine job. Please don’t feel you have to take your children out of Mass. We like the sound of children’s voices.” Our family is so fortunate: we feel totally accepted by our parish.

Taking children to Mass is difficult but I would encourage parents to persevere. Children grow so quickly. Attending Mass won’t always be such a difficult experience. In the meantime, you will be blessed with much grace and your example will be an encouragement for other young families. We need our families: they are the future of our parish. Let us go out of our way to welcome and support those with little children.

It seems such a long time ago that I wrote that article. Those days of wriggly toddlers, noisy babies, frustrated feelings and exhausted parents are now just a memory. Why did we put ourselves through all that? I look at the young father on his own at Mass, juggling his two beautiful children. Why does he do it? Maybe he, like us, wants his children to grow up in front of the tabernacle, absorbing the beauty and appreciating the great Miracle of the Mass where everyone is welcome, regardless of age.

Please share my stories at my blog, Sue Elvis Writes

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Temptations of Christ

 Post by: Victor S E Moubarak

Hello everyone. I am new here as a guest author. I live in the UK. Please be gentle with me because I am rather shy and nervous.

Here's a post I wrote recently:

Why was Jesus human? Why was He tempted by the devil?

When Jesus came to earth He came as a human to share humanity with us so that we can accept Him and learn from Him. He was born a human baby, vulnerable, and tiny as all babies are. He grew up a human and shared every emotion we share as human beings.

His very humanity is a very important factor in understanding Jesus; the Son of God.

Let's consider a different scenario of this Son of God coming to visit us here on earth.

Imagine for a minute if He had arrived as a God (which He was/is). Imagine if He suddenly appeared out of nowhere in a flash of lightning and thunder. Imagine if He came on earth like a superman or such other fictional hero. With obvious powers like flying, super strength, X ray vision and so on like we see in the movies.

How do you think we humans would have reacted?

The people of the time would have been in total awe of Him and would have obeyed and followed Him out of fear or wonderment.

Hardly free choice - is it?

So God decided that His Son would come to us as a human. He humbled Himself as a baby born in poverty in a stable. Grew up with the poor and the down and outs - not as a king.

As a human He felt every emotion that we feel. Sadness at the death of Lazarus, pity for the ill and poor ... etc.

As a human He also experienced temptations.

In the desert satan tempted Him: If you are God's Son jump from this temple, turn these stones into bread. Why don't you worship me?

How often does satan tempt us too?

Are there not times when, perhaps like a bright light in our head, we suddenly stop and ask ourselves: "Is this all real? Is there really a God out there? Jesus? Life after death? Can all this be true and do I really believe it?"

I hope these temptations don’t cross our minds too often. Because satan is always there; ready to put these and other thoughts in our minds to lead us astray.

The closer we come to God the harder the devil works to lead us away from Him. No point in tempting those who do not believe is there? Satan is too clever to waste his time on them. Instead he lurks in the shadowy corners of our minds ready to pounce at our moments of weakness. When we're ill perhaps, tired, overworked, confused, sorrowful, doubtful and lacking hope. That's when satan moves in and furtively plants the seeds of doubts and confusion in our minds.

And that’s why Christ had to be tried and tested by satan. In order to share our experiences, but, most important, to be an example to us all on how to fight back these temptations.

Through prayer.

Every time He was tempted Jesus prayed to His Father.

He was tempted again before He was arrested. He asked: "Can all this pass me by?"

Then, in prayer, He obeyed His Father and said: "Not my will, but Yours."

What an example for us all to emulate.

Not my will, but Yours.

Note: Victor S E Moubarak writes at Time for Reflections.