The Generic Mum says goodbye…

Today will be my last post.

Many of you know that my circumstances have changed, and I have to give 100 % to my family and 100 % to my business. See! That’s 200 % already – I just don’t have time to blog.

It’s been so great – I’ve loved sharing with you all, posting what is ‘beautiful, true or has any merit…’, interacting with you and generally finding out about the blogosphere.

There is so much more that I wanted to do with this blog – maybe one day I’ll be really successful and will be able to hire a ghost-writer 🙂

I’ll leave you with these amazing photos of a baby born at 24 weeks gestation. She was given a 10 % chance of survival and expected to have many serious health problems.

She is 5 years old now and in perfect health.

She has told her parents that the smell of rain is like the smell of God when you lay your head on His chest.

24 week gestation baby

Fellow-bloggers – you are all amazing and your talent continually blows me away.

Good-bye for now,
from the genericmum.

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.

Home Essentials – Obedience

Note to self:

boy Jesus 2

The most important rule of a well-regulated family, of a family founded on love and unity, is that the children show an unbounded trust in and obedience to their parents. Jesus practiced this for thirty years in Nazareth for we hear nothing of Him but that ‘he was subject to them,’that is, He did what He was told.

from “The Joy in Loving” by Mother Teresa.

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

Home Essentials – Peace

Today’s post is about uncertainty.

11155064-illustration-of-mary-on-donkey--joseph-and-jesus-walking-in-desert

I’m sure that, at one time or another, almost everyone has contemplated the thought of Mary’s uncertainty, as she travelled to Bethlehem on that first Christmas, two thousand years ago.

She was expecting her first child, a poor young woman with no resources, except her faithful husband and faithful God. Many of us have wondered what it would be like to arrive in an unfamiliar town and have nowhere to stay, and then to actually go into labour that night, with no midwife or doctor, no clean bed, and most of our baby’s requirements left at home. (Mary had swaddling clothes, so maybe that is a little like us being able to grab some disposables from the 7-11.)

But, the truth is, that we all have very uncertain lives. We literally don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We have no idea when we will be called to leave this world. We can ‘read the signs of the times’ and get a feel for events moving into place around us, but as for the exact circumstances of tomorrow, or even later today, or even five minutes’ time, well, who knows?

God does, of course.

The Bible is filled with stories, amazing stories, of the uncertainty of men and women and the faithfulness of their God.

The Apostles were no strangers to uncertainty, even though they lived with Jesus, day in and day out. It may seem surprising to be reading about Jesus’ Last Supper during this time of Advent, but, Jesus’ words on that night are really the crux of His mission on earth and show us the certainty that He promised to give us to replace the uncertainty always present in our lives.

Jesus promised us peace. He never assured us that we will experience wealth, happiness (as in always getting everything we desire), stability, good health, freedom from war and tyranny. Some of His followers do experience blessings; some are freely given, some are given as an answer to much prayer, some are given miraculously, but none of those blessings are guaranteed.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ” John 14:27.

It was peace that marked the lives of Mary and Joseph, as they passed through their many trials. It was peace that the shepherds experienced, when they arrives at the humble shelter to honour the baby Jesus. And it is peace that the world craves – the world will not be converted with an intellectual argument; if that were so, then we would have no atheists today. When we have peace, true peace, not a false acceptance of error or sin, and when we live that peace, then not only can we cope with whatever life throws our way, but we also learn to listen, to better help our children, to make good decisions, to discern the Will of God, to have dialogue with other Christians, to build bridges.

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