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Sunday 19 July 2015

The House of Prayer Beg

I have found a house for sale in the area near a Latin Mass, and near a friend of mine.

It is about 78k. The price has been dropped 30k!

Please join me in praying to St. Joseph for this endeavor. It is perfect and I would have a ride to daily Mass from a neighbor.

It has enough room for two-three women plus a chapel.

See gofundme on the side. I have had to use some of that money for food and medical expenses, but I am confident in continuing the plea.


O St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph, do assist me by thy powerful intersession and obtain for me from thy Divine Son all the spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, so that having engaged here below thy Heavenly power I may offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee with Jesus asleep in thy arms. I dare not approach while He reposes near thy heart. Press Him in my name, and kiss His fine head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for us.  Amen

The Footsteps of St. Benedict-Framing Prayer 28

St. Benedict's footprints dot the landscape of Europe and America. One can hardly imagine the West without the great abbeys, monasteries, schools, even ruins, which attest to the greatness of this saint's vision.

Behind all the accomplishments lie the footsteps of prayer. One is aware of the Hours kept by all Benedictine monasteries, and there is one example below. Most days in various monasteries are similar, And, remember, it is almost impossible to become holy without a schedule of some sort.

Schedules allow time for God.

Rise: 4:50 a.m.
Matins: 5:15
Lauds: 6:15
Low Mass: 6:50
Prime: 8:00
Lectio Divina: 9:00
Terce, High Mass: 10:00
Study or Work: 11:15
Sext: 12:50 p.m.
Recreation: 2:00
None: 2:35
Manual Labor: 3:00
Vespers: 6:00
Silent Prayer: 6:30
Lectio Divina or Conference: 7:00
Compline: 8:25


Now, what may not be obvious, is that the Benedictine prayer continues throughout the day.  One reason for silence during most of the day is to allow the prayer of the Hours to continue within one while one is working, either cooking, cleaning, gardening, or whatever.
I experienced this in Cobh and in London at Tyburn.
What I find is that the laity seem to clutter their days with too much noise which is not necessary. I do not mean the soft chatter of children, or the noise created by work.
I refer to the television, the radio, or just too much unnecessary talk.
Learning to be more silent can be a challenge for a family, but it is not impossible. Our house growing up was a quiet house. No one yelled from room to room, no one ran in the house, and most of us read at various times during the day.
Ceaseless activity cannot be seen as Godly. One must come to the realization that ceaseless noise comes right from the devil. He wants us to be distracted so that we cannot remain in prayer.
I suggest that the real mark of a prayerful house is that it is muted. 
Pray for this in your families. If you are single, do not waste time.
Learn to carry prayer into every action of your day.
On more on the Benedictine approach to prayer tomorrow.

Repost on Priest's Wives

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The Vocation of The Priest's Wife and The Three Marys

Because for many months, I was close to some Ordinariate priests and met and talked with some of the wives when I was in England, even briefly, I observed a key to the mystery of the married Ordinariate priest which I would like to share. I have also met other women in the role of  "priest wives".

The Catholic people on the whole are not accustomed to the vicar's wife. Indeed, when we lived in Petersfield years ago, it took the parish several months to accept a married ex-Anglican, now Catholic priest for a pastor. The objections were all based on ignorance and prejudice and in the end, the priest and his wife were not only happily accepted, but greatly loved.

The problem with the normal person in the pew is that these Catholics do not understand that if the husband, who is a Catholic priest has a vocation, his wife has a vocation as well. I understand this vocation of the priest's wife, which is more than being the wife of a man who happens to be a priest, and a mother to his children.

The vocation of the priest's wife consists of the greatest sacrifice a woman can give to the Church, her husband to take on another Bride, the Bride of Christ, which is the Church

The priest's wife is not the first woman in the priest's life She is the third woman in the priest's life, and yet, a great support to his ministry, a point to which I shall return.

The First Woman in the heart of the married priest is the Bride of Christ, the one, true, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. He is her protector, her guide, her spouse as he is alter Christus.

The Second Woman in the heart of the married priest is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Theotokos, the Mother of us all. The priest takes her guidance and love and honors her above all women.

The Third Woman is his wife. And, this wife is the servant of the servant. If she is a stay-at-home mom, she organizes the life of the priest so that he can maximize his day of service to the Church. She is not first, ever, and must be scheduled, and disciplined.

If the Third Woman has a job out of necessity, in order to help support the priest and family, as so many now must after losing their pensions, houses, and other goods by converting to the Catholic Church, even having to go back to work to make ends meet, this job is the gift she gives to not only the family, but to the Church, easing the financial burden of a diocese or the Ordinariate.

If the Third Woman is called to be active in the daily workings of the Church, especially if the children are grown and gone, her relationship with the parish will demand her time and gifts, and she will support the work of her husband as he sees fit. I know one priest's wife who does so many things that she is just as busy as he is.

A priest's wife has been called by God to give her husband to the Church, and to the world. She knows that she is called to serve, and to sacrifice the normal comforts of married life.

She will not be rich, or have the normal aspirations of a married woman in the world of the laity, because even though she is lay, she has a vocation to be in the world, and not of the world in a direct manner.

Her world is one like the women who served Christ and His apostles, so that they could live out the vocation of the apostolic call.

I greatly honor the wives of the priests of the Ordinariate and other priest's wives who have come in via different manners into the Catholic Church. May we honor them as we would honor those women at the foot of the Cross.

Like the married women, a mother of a priest sacrifices the time and attention of a son, grandchildren and all the protection and love a son would give to a mother is he were not married to the Bride of Christ. Mothers of priests should understand priest's wives from the perspective of giving up a natural relationship for a supernatural one, as these sons and these husbands do not belong to us, but to God.

 "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary [the wife] of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene." We call these women, Mary Salome, Mary wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene, the Three Marys, or the Three Maries. Mary Salome, wife of  Zebedee and mother of the "Sons of Thunder," James and John, aided Christ and His apostles and stood watching the horror of the Passion and Death of Our Lord. Like Mary the Mother of God, she is one of my models

These women ministered to Christ, set aside their own status, their own resources, their own lives for the sake of the Gospel.

So, too, do our sisters who are the wives of our Catholic priests.

An Unusual, Controversial Catholic Subject-Celibacy in Marriage Mark Three Repost

Monday, 16 January 2012

An Unusual, Controversial Catholic Subject-Celibacy in Marriage

Now, I am not married, but I live a celibate life-style. However, I have an increasing number of friends, traditional Catholics, who have opted for celibacy in their marriages. This is not a new ideal in the Church, and although Christ wants most married couples to be fruitful and multiply, that is, to have the wonderful children God desires them to have, there have been and are couples, who for the sake of the kingdom, have chosen a different way. Of course, the norm, having children as God gives, creates saints, such as Blessed Louis and  Blessed Zelie Martin, Blessed Karl and Empress Zita, SS. Joachim and Anna, SS. Isidore and Maria (who vowed abstinence later in their marriage), and so on. This is not an exhaustive list.

However, the emphasis on celibacy should be rare, but seen as a call within a call. I also think there has to be good reason for not having children. The grand example are two of my favorite Catholics, Jacques and Raissa Maritain, who on the Isle of Wight, as Benedictine Oblates, took a vow of celibacy "for the sake of the Kingdom". Raissa writes in her diary, which I practically have memorized, that it was difficult for her, but she could see that Jacques was called to be in the world and she was his prayer backup, companion in holiness, and confidant, as well as best-friend. They shared philosophy, theology, and the dedication to bringing the Gospel into the workplace in the extreme. God called them to this.

I first met celibate married couples about twenty-five years ago. The first couple I met were in their forties and had a close relationship with the Church and the priest who was the pastor. They were very active in the Church, but did not have normal marital relations. They had chosen that way and had married later in life. The man had been in the Jesuit seminary for years, but left, as he did not think he had a priestly vocation. He found a wife who would support him in his spiritual walk. The second couple I met were in their early sixties. They had decided that past child-bearing age, they would make a celibate commitment. Since then, I have met another couple who have decided the same thing. Their "extra" time is spent in good works, praying and fasting. Obviously, these couples have spiritual directors. This call within a call is, also, obviously, by mutual consent.

Those with a worldly mindset and even some good Catholics may find this call repelling or unnatural. I would say that this call is rare, but not unnatural. I think that those who decide to live in the world, or are called so by God to remain among the laity, can exhibit a variety of calls "for the sake of the Kingdom". And, to be in a relationship which is celibate may be a sign of contradiction to the world as well as giving two people the necessary, daily support a brother and sister in Christ may give to each other. Intimacy has many faces, and the physical side of intimacy is only one aspect of relationship. I have written this to support my friends who have chosen this way and to encourage those who feel the need for companionship without sex to be comforted in that they are not alone. We are all called to be saints, and there are many ways, in Christ, through Mary, to be saints.

In addition, God did not intend people to live all alone. The fact that there are so many single, lonely individuals needs to be addressed by the Church. Those who for whatever reason cannot be a priest or nun or sister, have some options, but loneliness should not be the norm. Church communities have failed, especially in America, to support their singles. Many Catholics are singles for many reasons. There exists a judgmental attitude, which excludes those singles from the larger interaction in the Church. And, for those who desire celibacy in the world, that is an option, but it does not have to equal loneliness. I am very fortunate, as I do not experience the gnawing type of loneliness some do. I may miss my dear friends when apart from them, but that is different than the vague experience of loneliness many feel. We all need to reach out to those who feel this need, pray for them, and include them in our busy lives. To do otherwise is not to be Christian.

God Makes New Doughnuts Every Day Mark Three

New things..,

One, I may have found a House of Prayer to rent, as I have not raised enough money on gofundme to buy. However, I still need more money for the rental. I shall share more about this if it becomes a reality. Please consider helping me rent this house in a perfect place for a contemplative lay house. More later. See side bar for link to gofundme.

Two, as you know, the blog will be morphing into something different by mid-August. Part of this morph is a forum, which someone is helping me set-up even as I write.

This forum will be for an extremely select group of women, wives of married priests.

I apologize to other readers who may feel "left-out", but I am responding to a ministerial need.

If you are a wife married to a  priest, Ordinariate or Pastoral Provision, I shall be inviting you to join the forum once it is established. This most likely will be established this week, I hope. Or in three weeks, at the latest. 

Start to spread the word on facebook, as I am not on facebook.

God makes new doughnuts everyday.

Count It All Joy

Romans 5:3-10

3 And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4 And patience trial; and trial hope;

5 And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.

6 For why did Christ, when as yet we were weak, according to the time, die for the ungodly?

7 For scarce for a just man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man some one would dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his charity towards us; because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time,

9 Christ died for us; much more therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him. 

A friend of mine and I had an amazing experience. 
We actually had an evening last night of "counting it all joy".  

After a day of tremendous malice and hatred from a group of people who support ssm, we went to his home after a late Mass, ate, and talked about Jesus for an hour. Then, we realized how happy we were, laughing and almost crying for joy because, as my friend said, God found us worthy enough to suffer for His Truth.

The ones who were tormenting my friend and I were miserable during the hours of this encounter. but my friend kept his head, was rational, while I phoned my "prayer team" (thanks, team), and then we went to Mass together.

As the day ended in this unexpected joy, we realized how fortunate we were to be resting in grace.
I am still smiling hours later....

Joy comes from love of Christ, and when we put Him and His Church first, joy follows, even through the pain of hostility.

Peace, joy, rest....the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the Church Militant.