Friday, June 13, 2008

Entering into the Blogosphere for the first time...

The long awaited video by Grassroots on, the official social network for WYD2008.
- Connect With Millions
- Share the Experience
- Build a Better World

... World Youth Day... Every Day...

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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cardinal Pell on

World Youth Day 2008 embraces new technology with

Connect with Millions. Share the Journey. Build a Better World.

The site will be live in a couple of weeks, watch this space!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Our Lord looks after His children and consoles us

Just wanted to draw attention to this lovely comment I recently received:

Having just stumbled across your blog, I was hit by its extreme openness concerning the Love we should have for God. I think its absolutely excellent that people still think like you do.
The desire to discern God's will is very much my own stumbling block.
you mentioned it being difficult to love God with all your heart AND love another (i.e, future husband etc...) I used to think the same. However, recently I have come to understand that they are in fact one and the same. One Loves Christ to one's limit in various ways; by serving in a community and upholding the communities rules ...or by serving a husband and children and upholding morals within that framework.
Vocation is a confusing and intricate business...perhaps you feel, like I do, confused and a little alone in the decision making. A quote from the bible comes to mind, if this is so, 'be strong, let your heart take courage, hope in the Lord'.

My stance seems to be, 'Dear Lord, if you give me a husband, give me unwavering love and I shall love You through him, with all my heart. Serving the children you give me, as I would You. If however, you want to keep me for yourself, give me the courage to be Your faithful bride and a bride of the Church...' (then it peters out as I realise just how extraordinary that would be!!)

Well, I know you wrote this blog a few years ago and I hope and pray that you are no longer 'jobless' and have a little more of a clue as to your vocation.

Our Lord looks after His children and consoles us, 'it is when we are weak that we are very strong' .Wow!
In Christ.
I haven't blogged for over a year, gosh. I don't think I'll begin again any time soon. Work is mad at the moment, am working for the most fabulous project with and nursing a little part time, which doesn't leave much time for blogging. So I'll stop there :)

God bless you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Under the semblance of freedom...

I discovered, listening to The Today Program (I don't know how long this link will be available) that once again the government has decided that it's in the best interest of society to teach children as young as 4 that a same sex relationship is equal in every way to marriage. Marvellous. They're going to do this by a £600,000 government funded research initiative. The Guardian reports on this ("The prince married a man, and lived happily ever after") and provides a synopsis of the books' content as follows:

King & King

A queen wants her son to get married and become king. She arranges for a string of princesses to meet her son but he does not fall in love with any of them.

In the end it is one of the princesses' brothers who catches his eye. The princes get married and become two kings.

Spacegirl Pukes

A little girl who is about to set off on a space mission falls ill. Her two parents, mummy Loula and mummy Neenee take her home to look after her but then they fall ill too. When she recovers, the spacegirl puts back on her suit and goes on an adventure to space.

And Tango Makes Three

Two male penguins, Roy and Silo, live in a New York zoo but feel left out when all their friends pair up. They spend all their time together until the zoo-keeper realises they must be in love. The zoo-keeper gives the couple an egg and Tango is born, the first penguin in the zoo with two daddies.

I've found very little about this on the net, but it all seems very tied in with the furore about the SOR, which I've already blogged about. This is more of the same, but it's a little terrifying how quickly it's all moving. We were talking about it in the office today (also because I just got a very angry email at Xt3 from a gentleman who'd taken offense to something a lady called Kathy Goble said on TV, I don't know her, and she has no connection with us, but Charlie says she's lovely) and because Wetherby has a gorgeous community of very faithful Catholic families with lots of children they were (half joking) about all home-schooling together, a couple of the mothers are teachers, we'd be grand... except then it would be officially a school, and no school is exempt, apparently. Fr Tim reckons even homeschoolers will be attacked by these regulations.

I was impressed by a lot of Cranmer's comment on the matter, however found his insinuation that there was some preferential treatment for Catholics a little daft; as a Catholic I'm particularly keen to disassociate myself from Ruth Kelly, and am very disappointed in her stance given the general orthodoxy of Opus Dei, however I think this point is well put, and worthy of consideration:
The violation of a person’s dignity by refusing goods or services because of their sexuality has an equivalence in law, which is the violation of a person’s dignity by refusing goods or services because of their race or religion. The provision of anti-discrimination legislation in the minority area of sexual orientation does not negate the provision of anti-discrimination legislation in the minority area of religion. Under Human Rights legislation, one has the right to freely practise one’s religion, and therefore exemptions to this law must be permitted. If not, there will emerge a hierarchy of rights in which sexual orientations override all religious rights. How does the Equalities Minister intend to resolve this? What says the new Commission on Equalities and Human Rights?
All my blog posts nowadays seem rather disjointed and all over the place, still, I would like to finish with a quote from the Holy Father, and then leave this mess and go to the pub with Rachel.

Today, a particularly insidious obstacle to the task of education is the massive presence in our society and culture of that relativism which, recognizing nothing as definitive, leaves as the ultimate criterion only the self with its desires. And under the semblance of freedom it becomes a prison for each one, for it separates people from one another, locking each person into his or her own ego.

The various forms of the dissolution of matrimony today, like free unions, trial marriages and going up to pseudo-matrimonies by people of the same sex, are rather expressions of an anarchic freedom that wrongly passes for true freedom of man...from here it becomes all the more clear how contrary it is to human love, to the profound vocation of man and woman, to systematically close their union to the gift of life, and even worse to suppress or tamper with the life that is born.

Benedict XVI (taken from This Burning Fire blog)

Please pray for my vocation situation if you have time, am a little confused :)

In Christ, Mx

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Catalogue of New Nurse Errors

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So, I deleted my last rant, but I'm going to do another one.

In December I graduated with an honours degree from one of the top nursing schools in the country, I am a nurse, I've registered, trained for three years, got up at 5am to travel for 3 hours a day on public transport to placement, written around 100 000 words of assignments, passed every exam and incurred many thousand pounds worth of debt, as well as working as a "spare pair of hands" (and a good one, if every placement report is anything to go by) on a myriad of understaffed wards. Degree students are not paid a bursary. Now I can't get a job, fair enough, there are no jobs out there (not in Leeds anyway, the situation in Manchester is better, but I moved to Leeds, pretty sure God wanted me to come, so that's fine) however, I've been trying since SEPTEMBER to get back into the NHS, to work as a Care Assistant, earn half as much as I should be getting, but at least to be in hospitals looking after people. I went to interviews, filled in forms... obviously I got the job, I'm a nurse wanting to work as a care assistant for goodness sake. They finally gave me a training date (1 days mandatory training in each trust) then after I attended the training sent me a letter saying I hadn't attended (2 weeks later), admitted their mistake and sent me a massive induction pack, and a uniform request form, which I sent off. Today I called because it'd been over a week and I hadn't heard from them (getting used to this now) ..."we don't have any uniforms in stock, we're expecting a new shipment in 6-8 weeks"

So, I have ordered an "ethnic" uniform, which should arrive in a fortnight, and on Tuesday I had a job interview in a pub, because I love Xt3, but they can't afford to pay me an amount I can live on. Think I should get the pub job, they were very positive and said it was only about flexibilty, and I'm so desperate now I'd work any hours. I do feel let down.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

UK Sexual Orientation Legislation

Fr Tim, the hermeneutic of continuity, has written an excellent comment on the effects of the new Sexual Orientation Regulations on Catholic Education: Close the schools as well?

...In our view the Regulations prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination should clearly apply to the curriculum, so that homosexual pupils are not subjected to teaching, as part of the religious education or other curriculum, that their sexual orientation is sinful or morally wrong...

Sunday, March 04, 2007

All about mantillas...

Edit: I just came across this most wonderful blog post on why we veil, I suggest you don't even bother reading mine, but head across to On Account of the Angels. I can't work out if it's written by the blog author, or all from the article she cites, but anyway, it's great. I won't delete what I've put already, mostly because it took me ages :)

so a few people have asked me about mantillas, where one can find them and why we wear them, or rather, why we can choose to. I thought it would be wise to create a post on it so if I get any more queries I can direct them here, so I'm just going to copy and paste what I've said elsewhere. firstly I'll link you to my other post on the subject, written when I was trying to make up my mind, and then copy and paste from a couple of messages I've sent people:

The Church has never told women that they shouldn't cover their hair, I think something happened after the council where a reporter asked a cardinal and he said that it hadn't been discussed, and the papers reported that no one had to any more. I guess the Church had bigger fish to fry and didn't make a fuss about it. Apparently according to the code of cannon law we still should, however far more intelligent people than me have argued either side of that debate, and I can't work out who is actually telling me what the Church teaches(!) I know that it is entirely permissable to veil, and I feel called to do it. I saw someone with a mantilla at mass a while ago and thought it looked so beautiful, and so feminine and so right, so I started to read into why we veil.

I think traditionally married women would wear black veils and single white, although it doesn't matter. When I first started to cover my hair at mass I wore a scarf because it was less noticeable, and then switched to a mantilla a few months later. To be honest I think the scarf just confused people, so in trying not to draw attention to myself I ended up bringing more. I wear a white mantilla because when I first became a Catholic I saw a woman in a black one and assumed she was a widow(!) ...and also I'm not married. I think it's nothing to worry about, I think EWTN sell blue mantillas, and I know some people who wore a bandana to cover their hair at WYD so as not to draw attention. Whatever you feel comfortable in :)
EWTN shop
Catholic Sacramentals
Miles Jesue Bookstore
Immaculate heart Mantillas

Why Wear the Veil?

In ancient traditions dating back even thousands of years, the “veil” represented purity and modesty in many religions and cultures. A veil, or head covering, is both a symbol and a mystical sacrifice that invites the woman wearing it to ascend the ladder of sanctity.

When a woman covers her head in the Catholic Church it symbolises her dignity and humility before God, not men. It is no surprise women of today have so easily abandoned the tradition of the chapel veil (head covering) when the two greatest meanings of the veil are purity and humility.

The woman who covers her head in the presence of the Lord Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is reminding herself that she must be humble before God. As with all outward gestures, if it is practised enough it filters down into the heart and is translated into actions that speak volumes. The “veil” covers what the Lord calls, in Holy Scripture, “the glory of the woman”, her hair. Covering her hair is a gesture the woman makes spiritually to “show” God she recognises her beauty is less than His and His Glory is far above hers.

In doing this she is reminded that virtues cannot grow in the soul without a great measure of humility. So she wears the veil to please God and remind herself to practice virtue more ardently.

There is no other piece of clothing a woman may wear to serve this function. The veil symbolically motivates the woman to “bow” her head in prayer, to lower her eyes before the great and mysterious beauty and power of God in the Blessed Sacrament. By the bowing of her head and lowering of her eyes, she is more able to worship God in the interior chapel of her heart and soul.

The veil or head covering a woman wears gives a beautiful sense of dignity to a woman. When she wears it, she identifies herself with God’s greatest creation, the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God. There was none on earth that loved and loves the Lord Jesus more than the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her love, her humility breathed forth like sweet scented incense before God. The veil she wore symbolised her purity, modesty and of course her profound humility and submission before and to God Almighty.

Those women who love Jesus must come to realise the imitation of His Mother in wearing a chapel veil (head covering) and in other virtues is a small sacrifice to make in order to grow in spiritual understanding of purity, humility and love.

The covering of a woman’s head in Church is a striking reminder of modesty, something old but lost in the society of today. Modesty and purity walk hand in hand.

When a woman veils her head she is shielding her heart to be wooed by the love of God in the Blessed Sacrament. This is a mystical ‘country’ that only the Eternal Father may enter. Her veil is like the lighted lamps of the virgins waiting for the Bridegroom, an indication that she is prepared to receive Him at a moment’s notice; an aureole of her spiritual love for the Bridegroom. Wearing the veil is an act of love of God.

Why should a woman wear a head covering or veil in church? Not to be praised, not to go along, not for tradition’s sake, not to stand out in the crowd, not because you say or I say or anybody says…But because she loves our Eucharistic Lord Jesus and it is another small sacrifice she may offer for her soul’s sake and for the sake of many souls who have no one to offer for them. Amen.

(Sr Patricia Therese, OPB)
This is about Canon Law (thanks for the tip Adam!):

From Part II of Robert Sungenis, M.A.'s "What's a Woman To Do? The Issue of Wearing Veils":

Most of the objections raised by modernist Catholics are based on the idea that the new code of canon law issued in 1983 under John Paul II does not reiterate the specific mandate for women to wear head coverings that appeared in the 1917 code of Canon Law, and therefore there is no longer any obligation for them to do so. The 1917 code says:

“Men, in a church or outside a church, while they are assisting at sacred rites, shall be bear-headed, unless the approved mores of the people or peculiar circumstances of things determine otherwise; women, however, shall have a covered head and be modestly dressed especially when they approach the table of the Lord.”

The modernist further argues that, Canon 6 of the new 1983 code abrogates the 1917 code, and therefore, any commands given in the 1917 code are not applicable after 1983. Canon 6 states:

“When this Code takes force, the following are abrogated: (1) the Code of Canon Law promulgated in 1917.”

On the surface, this seems like a solid case for the plaintiff, but as Solomon teaches us in the Proverbs: “He who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him” (Pro. 18:17).

First, irrespective of what either the 1917 or 1983 code say in this matter, the fact remains that women donning head coverings as they entered the Church has its roots in tradition, and it continued unabated for almost two millennia until it suddenly fell into disuse in the 1970s (coincident with the Women’s Liberation movement, just so no one forgets). Hence, the 1917 code was merely reiterating, and putting into more specified and legal form, what the Church already knew from Scripture and the Fathers, and which she was faithfully practicing. Similar to the Women’s Liberation movement of the 1970s, however, already in 1917, the rise of the Women’s Suffrage movement was convincing some Catholic women that they need not follow the practices of the traditional Church. In answer, the 1917 code reminded them of their ecclesiastical obligations. Nothing had changed as far as the Church was concerned. Unfortunately, by the time of the 1970s, the Church had bowed sufficiently enough to the pressure from women’s liberation groups, which by this time had seeped far and wide into the Church, and thus, weakened as she was, she failed to follow the lead of the 1917 code.

Second, it goes without saying, and is merely a matter of procedure, that a new code of canon law supercedes and abrogates a former code, since there cannot be two legal entities competing against one another. Legally speaking, only one entity can be the authority. It was the same with the New Covenant that replaced the Old Covenant. The New Testament is clear that, legally speaking, the New Covenant completely abrogated the Old Covenant (cf., Hebrews 7:18; 8:7, 13; 9:15; 10:9). We are not legally bound to obey any of the laws in the Old Covenant.

Ah, but here is the catch. Although the New Covenant, on a legal basis, supercedes the Old Covenant, nevertheless, it continues to borrow from and promote the legal principles contained in the Old Covenant, which is why the New Testament writers consistently cite Old Testament laws and practices as being applicable, in principle, in the New Testament (cf., 1 Cor 14:34-35; 1 Timothy 2:13-14; 5:18; 1 Peter 3:6, etc). The New Covenant takes from the Old all the things that were good, for as St. Paul reminds us, “the law is holy, and the commandments are holy and righteous and good” (Rom. 7:11).

All legal enterprises work the same way. For example, in a court of law, although former cases have no legal authority upon the case presently being argued, still, an attorney can cite previous legal decisions as “precedent” to help the judge or the jury decide the case at hand. Hence, what was decided in previous times has, in principle, a huge bearing on how the court will decide the issue. Unless there is some overwhelming reason to reject the legal tradition, it will be the most influential source in arriving at a decision.

So, we would not then be surprised to see in the 1983 code of canon law the same respect for previous laws and customs. In fact, the 1983 code goes out of its way to accommodate them. For example, canon 20 states:

“A later law [laws in the 1983 code] abrogates, or derogates, an earlier law if it states so expressly, is directly contrary to it, or completely reorders the entire matter of the earlier law.”

Here we see that the 1983 code puts limits around itself in relation to previous canon law. Apparently, the 1983 code will not allow itself to automatically “abrogate” an earlier law unless the 1983 code: (1) “states so expressly,” (2) makes a statement about that law which “is directly contrary to it,” or (3) “reorders the entire matter.” With regard to the issue of women wearing veils, none of these three things were done in the 1983 code.

Just so we know we are on the right track, canon 21 reinforces the meaning and extent of canon 20. It states:

“In case of doubt [e.g., about the application of veil wearing], the revocation of a pre-existing law is not presumed, but later laws must be related to the earlier ones and, insofar as possible, must be harmonized with them.”

Very interesting, no? Far from totally disavowing itself from the 1917 code, if the 1983 code is silent on an issue, it requires that we not presume that a previous law was revoked, and, in fact, the 1983 code says it “must be related to” and “must be harmonized with” the 1917 code.

Granted, as we have seen earlier, on a legal basis the 1983 code “abrogates” the 1917 code, but it is clear that, the 1983 imposes a legal stipulation on itself, a stipulation which requires it to consult with the 1917 code so that the final decision on a given issue will be in harmony with, not opposed to, the 1917 code. This would be especially applicable in regards to an ancient and scriptural practice such as veil-wearing - a practice that continued uninterrupted for over 1900 years in the Church.
I know some people say Canon law doesn't agree with all that... I don't know, I wear a mantilla because it resonated with me, I spoke to my spiritual director about it and he said (from what I told him about why I wanted to wear one) that it was a good idea. It seems to upset quite a lot of people, but I'm pretty sure it's what God is asking me to do, and if the teaching of the Church isn't on my side, it's certainly not against me. I guess a little humiliation is good for the soul.

Decided not to turn the heating on so wouldn't stay too late. Now am really cold!

Bless you,