New Address for the Generic Mum

Hi everyone, especially to my loyal followers.

I’ve been quite busy, lately, setting up my two new blogs: 19th Century Life

and A Beautiful Home.

19th Century Life is about culture in the 19th Century (no surprises there!) and will soon feature a shop, where fine art prints from the 19th century can be purchased.

A Beautiful Home embodies all that I had intended for this blog, and more: beauty, family and faith.

They are both new, and like all of you, I never seem to have enough hours in the day in which to complete my tasks, but I hope they will eventually be sites that will inspire, satisfy and encourage you all.

Please drop by my new sites, so we can share ideas and conversations.

I hope you will continue to follow me on my new sites.

Blessings to you all,

Kathy.women's lives pic 2

Fides, non sola fides.

keep calm

I recently subscribed to a blog called “A Renewed Life.”
It is run by one of my fellow bloggers from Blogging Your Passion University.
Tawnya from “A Renewed Life” has been writing about memorising Scripture, and here is the passage I’ve been learning.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

I recently bought an Ignatius New Testament Study Bible, and despite my youngest’s best attempts to scribble on, smear or otherwise deface it, the book is still legible on every page. Here’s what one of the editors, the famous Scott Hahn, had to say about Romans 5.

fides, spes, caritas

fides, spes, caritas

The justified are endowed with theological virtues.
By faith they live in peace with God and have access to his grace;
in hope, they long for the glory of God that awaits them;
and through love, they show that the charity of the Spirit dwells in their hearts.
Equipped in this way, believers can become more like Christ through endurance and suffering.

Don Bosco Revisited

don bosco

I noticed in my stats that there have been quite a few searches for “Don Bosco’s Dream” of the pope. I thought I would post the full text of the dream, for those who don’t have access to the book, “Forty Dreams of Don Bosco.” It is quite long, but I didn’t feel qualified to edit it. Next time, I will post the saint’s explanation of his dream…

Imagine yourself to be with me on the seashore, or better, on an isolated rock and not to see any other patch of land other than what you see under your feet. On the whole of that vast sheet of water you see an innumerable fleet of ships in battle array. The prows of the ships are formed into sharp, spearlike points so that wherever they are thrust they pierce and completely destroy. These ships are armed with cannons, with lots of rifles, with incendiary materials, with other arms of all kinds, and also with books, and they advance against a ship very much bigger and higher than themselves and try to dash against it with the prows or to burn it or in some way to do it every possible harm.

As escorts to that majestic fully equipped ship, there are many smaller ships, which receive commands by signal from it and carry out movements to defend themselves from the opposing fleet.
In the midst of the immense expanse of sea, two mighty columns of great height arise a little distance the one from the other. On the top of one, there is a statue of the Immaculate Virgin, from whose feet hangs a large placard with this inscription, Auxilium Christianorum-“Help of Christians”; on the other, which is much higher and bigger, stands a Host of great size proportionate to the column and beneath is another placard with the words, Salus Credentium-“Salvation of the Faithful.”
The supreme commander on the big ship is the Sovereign Pontiff. He, on seeing the fury of the enemies and the evils among which the faithful find themselves, determines to summon around himself the captains of the smaller ships to hold a council and decide on what is to be done.

All the captains come aboard and gather around the Pope. They hold a meeting, but meanwhile the wind and the waves gather in storm, so they are sent back to control their own ships.
There comes a short lull; for a second time the pope gathers the captains around him, while the flag-ship goes on its course. But the frightful storm returns.
The Pope stands at the helm and all his energies are directed to steering the ship towards those two columns, from the top of which are hanging numerous anchors and big hooks, fastened to chains.
All the enemy ships move to attack it, and they try in every way to stop it and to sink it: some with writings or books or inflammable materials, of which they are full; others with guns, with rifles, with rams. The battle rages ever more relentlessly. The enemy prows thrust violently, but their efforts and impact prove useless. They make attempts in vain and waste all their labour and ammunition; the big ship goes safely and smoothly on its way. Sometimes it happens, that, struck by formidable blows, it gets large, deep gaps in its sides; but no sooner is the harm done than a gentle breeze blows up from the two columns and the cracks close up and the gaps are stopped immediately.

Meanwhile, the guns of the assailants are blown up, the rifles and other arms and prows are broken; many ships are shattered and sink into the sea. Then, the frenzied enemies strive to fight hand to hand, with fists, with blows, with blasphemy and with curses.
All at once, the Pope falls gravely wounded. Immediately, those who are with him run to help him and they lift him up. A second time the Pope is struck, he falls again and dies. A shout of victory and of joy rings out amongst the enemies; from their ships an unspeakable mockery arises.
But hardly is the Pontiff dead than another Pope takes his place. The pilots, having met together, have elected the Pops so promptly that the news of the death of the pope coincides with the news of the election of the successor. The adversaries begin to lose courage.

The new Pope, putting the enemy to rout and overcoming every obstacle, guides the ship right up to the two columns and comes to rest between them; he makes it fast with a light chain that hangs from the bow to an anchor of the column on which stands the Host; and with another light chain which hangs from the stern, he fastens it at the opposite end to another anchor hanging from the column on which stands the Immaculate Virgin.

Then a great convulsion takes place. All the ships that until then had fought against the Pope’s ship are scattered; they flee away, collide and break to pieces one against another. Some sink and try to sink others. Several small ships that had fought gallantly for the Pope race to be the first to bind themselves to the two columns.
Many other ships, having retreated through fear of the battle, cautiously watch from far away; the wrecks of the broken ships have been scattered in the whirlpools of the sea., they in their turn sail in good earnest to those two columns, and, having reached them, they make themselves fast to the hooks hanging down from them and there they remain safe, together with the principal ship, on which is the Pope. Over the sea, there reigns a great calm.

Christmas – The Feast Day for Atheists

John Paul II wrote that ‘Christmas is the feast day of man.’

Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins

There is a young atheist who is following my blog; I’ve been to his blog a few times, and read some interesting comments by him and his readers about why they don’t believe in god/s. The contributors are very intelligent, and the blogger is very encouraging to his peers, as they articulate their beliefs.

Well, they have all been wishing each other ‘Merry Christmas’, which at first, seemed out of place. Christmas is obviously the Christian feast par excellence. Its message is so accessible to people of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds, including, it would seem, to atheists.

I was tempted to suggest that it was time for the atheists to make a stand and boycott Christmas. They could ‘fast’ from celebrating the day with their families, and ‘abstain’ from buying and receiving presents. I was going to suggest that they make a sacrifice in the name of their beliefs, as Christians have to do in some way, every day of their lives. For the atheist, Christmas could become a joyful day of rejecting Christianity.

But, reading John Paul put an end to that.

One of the billions of human beings who have been born and will be born on earth…
And at the same time, one, unique and irrepeatable.
If we celebrate the birth of Jesus so solemnly, we do it so as to testify that every human is someone, unique and irrepeatable…

Through Him and through His eyes, man is always unique and irrepeatable; someone eternally thought and eternally preselected; someone called and denominated with his own name…

This is for you, Larry – I am glad you enjoy Christmas. I hope you appreciate it and celebrate it every year, if not every day. And I hope that one day you know that the happiness you feel comes from the God you don’t believe in.

Another business update

319616It’s only a few days until I open my online business, and I’m a little apprehensive.

If anyone had told me how much work would be involved, I don’t think I would have ever begun.

There is so much to think about, and I have had so many technical difficulties, mostly due to my lack of skill in that department. I am easily overwhelmed by computers and internet that don’t work the way I need them to – you would laugh if you saw how slow I am at typing, how I shake my temperamental mouse, how impatient I am with this amazing technology that has made our lives so much easier.

One of the little ones jumped on my laptop last week and broke the screen. I didn’t even launch an investigation into finding the identity of the culprit – I just didn’t want to go through the rigmarole of “not me” or “I don’t know” or try and match up the various alibis – I am fairly sure that it was an under five who didn’t even know what they’d done. (Now – the lipstick episode is another matter entirely….)

So I have borrowed another laptop, which doesn’t run all of my programmes, but is a blessing because all of the keys are intact – one trademark of the twins is that they enjoy removing keyboard letters, a legacy they passed onto Danielle when she was old enough.

My babysitter gave me a great inspirational card – it says: “The task ahead of you is never as great as the power within you” and is based on Philippians 4:13 – ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’

This has really kept me going – I keep it on the fridge and refer to it when I pass. Reading these words makes me physically relax, and I feel that I am actually giving my work over to Jesus, Who gets things done so much better than me, anyway.

I am now in the position where I have to support my family. There, I actually mentioned it in my blog.
It’s not something I want. The business was going to be a little hobby, the first thing I had ever done ‘outside the home’, so to speak. (It’s obviously ‘inside the home’, as an online business.)

Now it has come to be so much more. This is going to be a big part of the future for me and my children.

I am going to try to type the next words – I am a single mum with ten children.
Hmmm. I don’t really like the sound of that.
Your will be done, Lord.

Mary didn’t understand everything when she said ‘yes’ to God, and I certainly don’t understand what’s happening now.

There’s a fearful irony at work here – in doing something I never planned to do, in circumstances I didn’t choose, I feel that I may become the person I was always meant to be.

Ecumenism – God’s desire for unity among Christians

St. John the evangelist

Today is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist.

John referred to himself as ‘the one whom Jesus loved’, and it was St. John who gives us such great insight into the heart of Jesus, through his gospel, and especially through his account of Our Lord’s discourse during the Last Supper.

In Chapter 17 of St. John’s gospel, he records Jesus’ prayer for his church, which is very appropriate at this time of year, when we talk so much about peace and brotherhood. The entire chapter focuses on Jesus’ request to the Father that ‘all should be one’, which will be a sign to the world that Jesus is truly the Son of God, and His message is to be received because of that unity.

“…The glory which you have given me I have given to them,
that they may be one even as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may become perfectly one,
so that the world may know that you have sent me
and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:22-23)

This says so much to us about Christian unity.

Jesus desires our unity, our becoming one, not only as a father desires that his children are kind to one another, and respect one another, but because this unity will be a sign to all unbelievers that Christianity is true, that God is true, that Scripture is indeed a true record of both God’s revelation of Himself to us and of the historical life of the Man-God, Jesus Christ.

This passage elevates our search for Christian unity from merely being a desire which is close to the hearts of many Christians, simply because it is close to God’s heart, to what must become an incessant search and a driving force in our lives – even if only in our prayer-lives. God desires our unity, but also demands and requires it – He gives Christian unity as a pre-requisite for the conversion of the entire world.

Christian unity is not something that is to be easily found.

The obstacles to unity are very great, on a personal level, and on a formal level.

Perhaps this quote from Isaiah could be seen as prophecy, or a promise that we will one day be united:

“Therefore says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the House of Jacob:
‘Jacob shall no more be ashamed,
no more shall his face grow pale.
For when he sees his children,
the work of my hands, in his midst,
they will sanctify my name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
and those who murmur will accept instruction.” (Isaiah 29: 22-24)

And it is St. John to whom we look for the antidote to disunity: we must become like the Apostle of Love and be known for our great love for one another.

We must focus on what we have in common – if we focus on the obstacles, then we will lose heart, because the obstacles are too great.

God has assured us that He Himself will open our eyes and ears and create unity, so that we will sanctify His name in unison.

In the meantime, our task is to love one another ‘in humility.’

Last Supper