Tuesday, January 30, 2007

God's Gallery

So Bro Francis's website is back, God's gallery is an excellent place to get Blog-adorning web-art :) and also sells excellent (and cheap) Catholic T-Shirts. Take a look!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

"Wish You Were Here" Meme

I now feel very narrow minded, as almost all the bloggers in my sidebar are people whom I have actually met. Although 2 of them I "met" online first... and one I "met" on the Blogosphere. Anyway, I'll just cheat a little, the first 2 I haven't met yet, although I hope I will some time... the second 2 I might have met, but I only really know them through the net, and the last is my favourite blogger, even though I see him very often.

Some people whose blogs I like to read rather intimidate me... as they are rather intelligent and a little trad, so I might be a bit scared of them in person. I was rather in awe of Joee Blogs when I first met him, as he struck me as rather famous in the world of English Catholic geeks... but was actually relatively normal(!) and very nice. There are lots that I know and love, but obviously I can't post them all... consider yourself tagged, if you'd like to be :)

Who are the five Catholic (or Christian) bloggers whom you would most like to meet in person, but have not (yet)?

1. Laura of "...and if not..."

2. Chiara of "Canticle of Chiara"

3. Jude of "Be Thou my Blog" (I probably met her at Youth 2000, but don't remember)

4. Matt of "Lacrimarum Valle" (partly because he and his wife have just had a glorious new baby... and I like to see babies! Again, might have met at Youth 2000)

5. Adam of "Adamo Ad Dominum"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ok... I think I really am back this time...

What a mad 6 months.

Well, you know the general gist of what's been going on, and I'm afraid that's all you're going to get... there's only so much it's helpful to blog on a site that the whole world can see (even if very few of them would wish to!)

What's enough to bring you up to date...? During my just over a month of waiting God started to make it clear that He was in fact still calling me to the consecrated life. This realisation didn't bring me as much joy as the first time round, not because I don't want to be a sister, but because of the realisation that this would cause a whole fresh set of pain to my family and also a bit because I trust God a little less. That's sad isn't it? I'm sure He'll help me through it.
Last weekend I went on retreat with some Cross and Passion Sisters, not the kind of order I'm drawn to, but kind ladies. We did a guided meditation on the first night (to be honest, when they said that I groaned inwardly... and was even less impressed when they suggested we "become aware of our feet"...) However, the purpose of this relaxation was to prepare us for the mediation, Sister Ann read the Gospel of the calling of Jesus' first disciples
As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him Mark 1:16-20
Sr Ann asked us to place ourselves in the scene, listen to the waves, smell the fish...think about what time of day it was, where we were in the picture... and I realised that I was standing next to the boat, watching Jesus call those people, and feeling so dreadfully sad that He wouldn't call me... and then I realised that He did call me, but I wasn't listening to it anymore, like when someone invites a group of people to a party, but you think, "they couldn't possibly have meant to invite me!"
It's something that didn't make sense to me in the last months, how God could call me to something so specific, to this particular relationship with Him... and then suddenly stop calling me, and call me to something else that is beautiful, but that isn't the religious life, isn't that intimacy with Him. It seems now that perhaps He stopped calling for a while to give me freedom to choose something else if I wanted to, but his plan for me didn't change... I don't know if that's even right, perhaps I just stopped listening... I don't think so.
So now...! Fr K (my SD) wants me not to go shooting back from one extreme (not knowing anything) to the other ("Right, I'm going to the CFR"), which makes a lot of sense. I think he still feels that I'm called to be enclosed, I'll blog a bit more about that next time. A couple of things I have learnt in this dry spell.
First, I do love people. Right now I work for Xt3, which is all very well and good, but I miss nursing with an ache in my heart! I don't think it's nursing exactly, but just people. I work in the office with ever such lovely people, but it's so few and so little. Being a nurse is excellent because you get to be with people all day, and serve them and see God in them... it's so much easier to spend every moment in His presence when you can see Him in people than when you have to see Him in a computer screen! Does this mean I'm not called to the enclosure? Of course not! But I was afraid that what I loved of the CFR was a negative thing, the not-enclosed bit... and that I didn't care much if I was with people, so why not be a Poor Clare? But actually I do love it.
This is a retreat I went to with the team over at Friends With Christ, the picture is from their blog. We went to see the Friars in Bradford for the day, I'm the girl right at the back grinning maniacally

(sorry, that was a random picture, I thought you might get bored otherwise.) so, the second thing is another negative turned... well, at least not negative. The second thing I was afraid of with the CFR was that I didn't particularly feel called to work with the poor. I didn't mind it, but it was no big deal. It's such a big part of who they are, and this worried me. This weekend, at the retreat, I was talking to Anna, the Leeds Dioceasan Youth Officer. She is excellent. She was describing a religious community they're thinking of setting up in Leeds, it's going to be properly Catholic (I believe it if Anna's involved) with a charism of Evangelisation and Catechesis, and have habits and everything! And, praise God, it's in England. I can't think of better news for the country, or at least for women here! But even though I love England, and I'd love to be here, I didn't feel any desire to get involved in this initiative, and I think the work with the poor was a part of that... I guess I think it can help to keep a community real... and how can we live poverty if we aren't with it in the world?

One last photo for today, Vicki J posted this on Facebook, and it wasn't her photo, so I hope whoever it was doesn't mind me sharing it, it's the Sisters at the recent March for Life. Don't they look wonderful?

To finish, I just wanted to mention the prolific blog of a lovely chap called Greg, who was a tutor at Ashburne Hall (I think it was Sheavyn House, to be exact, I don't know if that helps). He is not discerning a vocation to religious life, which is the main reason I cite people. As a matter of fact, I don't know him very well at all. But he is a jolly nice chap, and I can't think of a more cohesive way to include him on my ramblings than that, I'm afraid!
Don't worry if you don't understand... Bless you!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

*insert expletive as required* National Health Service Bureaucracy!

This was a big rant. Which is not holy, so I have deleted it. Sorry :)