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Sunday, 26 July 2015

I almost missed this....

Prayers, Please

I have an allergy to all the members of the cucurbitaceae family. Today I had a mild allergic reaction to something which was not supposed to be in a pasta salad.

This allergy is not that uncommon, and I have had only one serious reaction in my life, real anaphylaxis, in France, from gravy made with marrow or other squash, only labelled as matière végétale on the package. The chef apologized but I ended up in bed for two days.

Today, I have swelling of the eyes, mouth, throat, and some tightening of the chest, as well as chills. Also, my face is swollen and I have asthmatic symptoms.

I shall be ok.

The problem is when companies either do not label well, or make things or cut up things on the same machines which involve any of the cucurbitaceae family members.

The list of fruits, I cannot eat, is quite long: you can click on these categories from Wiki and look at the lists.

Needless to say, I feel peaky and am in bed, as such reactions exhaust one, partly from the breathing problems and partly from minor shocks to the system.

One of my brothers and I would not tell my mom, who put chocolate ice cream in a half of a muskmelon, that we were having troubles breathing, with itching mouths and swollen lips. Finally, the allergy became bad enough for complete abstinence of some favorite foods.

Why some people have allergies and some not is a real mystery. My son cannot eat peanuts, or even smell them without becoming ill. and so on...

So, I am resting for the day, which is what God allowed,even wanted,  me, not being able to see very well. I took a benadryl for the itching and hives. Lucky, this time....although I am still having a reaction four hours later, especially chills and swelling. Say a prayer for me. Thanks.


St. Anne

Today, St. Anne got bumped off the calendar by the Sunday Liturgy. However, as she is one of my personal patrons, having a middle name, like millions of Catholic girls in my generation, of Ann, I take time to wish you all Happy St. Anne's Day. In some liturgies, it is the feast of both Anne and Joachim.

It is hard to imagine St. Ann's part in the life of Jesus. She was not there at the birth, apparently, and may have already died. We have no indication in Scripture as to where she lived, (although, most likely in Nazareth), or how long she lived.

God gave St. Joseph to Mary for protection and status, so most likely, the parents of Mary were already dead, awaiting the Harrowing of Hell, awaiting their Grand Son's majestic Resurrection and destruction of Lucifer's reign.

In my school days, some of the girls prayed, "St. Ann, find me a man" when searching for a husband. I have to admit, I never did this. I had too many boys interested in me, and I was happy just being me. But, then, I had three brothers, and knew what boys were really like!

But, today, let us remember the woman who bore the Immaculate Conception, taught her when she was growing up, and, perhaps, presented her to Joseph on Mary and Joseph's wedding day.

I am not nor ever shall be a grandmother, but St. Ann is your patron, grandmothers, as well as the patron of carpenters; childless people;equestrians; grandparents; homemakers/housewives; lacemakers; lost articles; Fasnia (Tenerife); Mainar; Detroit; miners; mothers; moving house; old-clothes dealers; poverty; pregnancy; seamstresses; stablemen; sterility,.

She must be very busy answering prayers in heaven. and as I am moving in four weeks, please pray to her for me, please. It would be nice if I could move into a real house, instead of one room.

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Mum Guilt

Well. a few times I have apologized to STS for being too strict on some things and not strict enough on others. Of course, he contradicted me and told me my child-raising techniques were OK.

So, why do mums fall into "Mum Guilt"? I thought of this today, as STS recently assured me that he was glad I found a certain balance, but I am still not too happy with myself as a mum.

"Mum Guilt" arises from several areas of the soul. I have a little bullet list of reasons why mums feel guilty. However, I also answer with the truth.

  • Child or children did not turn out as one expected. (Answer: Well, who do you think you are, the BVM? And, were your expectations realistic and fair?)
  • Child or children have faults or a lack of virtue training one missed because of cooking, baking, cleaning, being chauffer, working, being nurse....and so on. (Answer: Hmm, so the child or children are like apples which did not fall far from the tree. Johnny or Janey's faults seem to be like....Mum's. Do you think you are supermum? Are you perfect, yet?)
  • Child or children seem unhappy, or too happy, too serious, or too laid-back. (And, what were you like at 25?)
  • Child or children are not quite as brilliant at one expected. (When was the last time you balanced your chequebook? Hey, think of me, realizing that STS is so much more highly intelligent than I am that I have to have science, philosophy, math, history, architecture, art, gourmet cooking, antiques, linguistic, Japanese, Chinese, Greek, German, Anglo-Saxon, Ancient Norse, computer tech, theology, medicine, history, music, and etc. dictionaries and encyclopedias at hand, or all the tabs open on my computer, just to have a twenty minute conversation. Fun, but challenging.)
  • Child or children are so messy, while I trained him or them to be so neat. (So, you have never heard of kids being totally different than parents? And, who is the pack-rat in the family?)
  • Child or children forget Mother's Day, which means he, she, they don't love me because I was such a horrible mum. (OMGoodness, STS manages to forget TWO Mother's Days-American and English, as he thinks he sent a card to one or the quit complaining. "Oh, sorry Mum, didn't I send one for the English Mother's Day [or American Mother's Day]?)
  • If I had only done this, or lived here, or, or, or...(Waste of time-we cannot change the past. Go forward in grace.)
  • I could have done better. I was too self-absorbed, too selfish...(OK, now we are getting down to the truth....)
Mum Guilt arises from mums either comparing themselves with their perfect mums (especially the 1950s variety), or by rebelling against their mums (usually the 1960s variety) and reading every single mothering book in the English language. Most of us have high expectations of our own selves.

But, Mum Guilt seems to be real. Maybe we mums think back to Eve wishing she really had not eaten the apple, and then offered it to Adam, thus messing up mothering until the end of time. We must want to be perfect NOW and we want perfect kids. Well, maybe...but it is not so bad to realize one's faults in child-rearing. The key virtue for mums must be humility. If we are virtuous, the kids will grow up in virtue. However, remember, everyone has free will.

Then again, as one grows older, one has many regrets, looking back at the past and realizing how immature and selfish one was, and if only.......STOP.

I think Mum Guilt comes from a lack of trust in God. Children belong to Him, not us. We are just given sons and daughters for a time, for our own salvation as well as theirs. If mums trust in Divine Providence, maybe, just maybe, Mum Guilt would disappear. We need to constantly give our children to God and to His Mother, Mary.

God forgives us mums and reminds us that there is only ONE PERFECT MUM, St. Mary, His Mother.

We daughters just have to accept that we need her help daily to be good mums. 

St. Mary, Mother, pray for all of us mums, please.

The Mystery of Love

As we have learned from the philosophers, and from the Pope Emeritus, there are different kinds of love. You may want to go back and look at my comments on Deus Caritas Est and Caritas in Veritate.

Recently, I have been observing middle-aged and even older friends experiencing a renewal of love in their good marriages. This has been a revelation to me, as I have not seen such rediscoveries of bridal love among couples for a long time. Sometimes, one sees this renewal in very old couples, like my parents, who at 92 and 87, love and respect each other openly more than ever before in their long marriage of 67 years.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it takes a long time for couples to rediscover that first love, after years of trials, tribulations, sufferings, illness, financial difficulties, problems with children and so on. These episodes, and, indeed, crises, either bring a couple closer together, or separate them forever. A couple must face suffering together, no longer looking merely at each other, but at the day that life has brought them, the struggle they must face together to overcome successfully.

I have witnessed women truly becoming helpmates, as God created a wife to be--a servant who is cherished and respected above all other women on earth. I have seen men become real protectors and spiritual leaders.

But, the real key to this rediscovery of bridal love must be the central love of God, the finding of the God Within, the awareness of the Indwelling of the Trinity in ones' self and in one's mate.

When a person finally gets in touch with the Trinity Who dwells within, life and love bubble up in a new fountain of grace. When both the man and wife discover God within, the chemistry becomes almost magical. This spiritual awareness in the couple is the great mystery of love--finally, the man and the woman have become truly one as God intended.

When God becomes the heart of the marriage, the heart of both hearts, bridal love is renewed.

For those who keep faithful to their marriage contract, this bridal love will happen if they keep God's commandments, especially the first one.

No other gods can replace God in a marriage, neither money, or status, or success, or possessions, or even children. The couple become one when God is first in each of their hearts, minds, imaginations, memories and wills.

This type of love is only possible when the couple share sanctifying grace. This type of love is only possible when the couple is traveling together towards God, attempting to bring each other to heaven, to the fullness of life in God.

And, this is only possible when love transcends all else, becoming, truly, agape love.

Only a man and a woman can become one in Christ.

Only a man and a woman can experience the renewal of bridal love.

Only in and with God can this bridal love occur, that first love, which renews itself in Christ until death parts the couple.

But, this love lasts as that of brother and sister in Christ in heaven, the real love of heaven, agape love.

Sacrificial love is another name for bridal love. And, yes, it is passionate, not only in the body, but in the soul. Zeal for each other's salvation marks this good love.

Those who experience this mystery of love renewed bring life into the Church in a way others cannot. This is the gift of true marriage to the Church-marriage in Christ, marriage according to God's plan.

I have never experienced living with a husband for years and years and coming to this renewal of mutual bridal love. But, I do understand and experience the bridal love for Christ, as His bride, as a single person, who has been blessed with such graces to know that Christ loves me eternally in a special way. He loves me as a woman in a unique contract of commitment and service where He leads me.

Singles can experience bridal love in one way-through their total giving of themselves to God directly, and not through another person. This is our call. It is another way to the discovery of the God within, the Indwelling of the Trinity.

God never denies love. He shapes all holy loves to His will. That is the mystery of love.