Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Novena prayer

Here is the Christmas novena prayer:

Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment
in which the Son of God
was born of the most pure Virgin Mary,
at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God!
to hear my prayer and grant my desires,
through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ,
and of His Blessed Mother.


Christmas Novena reminder for me and you!

Mum just phoned to remind me about St Andrew's Day and the beginning of the Christmas Novena. Funny, I was just looking for the post I wrote about it two years ago when she rang.

Praying the beautiful prayer fifteen times a day between now and Christmas helps to re-focus your mind on what this time of year is really about. It's easy to get stressed around now and for example, our trip to Tesco this morning was a more crowded one than usual. The lads were very well-behaved and certainly earned their big generous slice of cake from Pauline, braving the cold with her yummy creations in the market outside.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Martha Tuesday

Just coming to the end of another busy Tuesday here. It only occurred to me today that it is appropriate for me that Tuesday is the day earmarked for the novena to St Martha, because they have been very full and hectic the last couple of weeks and Martha is remembered for being that wan in da Bible who was really consumed with her domestic tasks, so much so that she neglected to spend time listening to Jesus.

The Novena prayer and the little candle that I light reminds me to pray. It can be so easy to lose sight of what is really important, especially at this time of year.

Here is the prayer in case you'd like to join in:

I ask you St Martha, by your intercession to help me in overcoming my difficulties and to teach me to become great in the Kingdom of Heaven by becoming as humble as you in this world.

O St Martha, I resort to you and to your petition and faith.
I offer up to you this light which I shall burn every Tuesday for nine Tuesdays.
Comfort me in all my difficulties through the great favour you enjoyed when our Saviour lodged in your house.
I beseech you to have definite pity in regard to the favour I ask (mention it).
Intercede for my family that we may always be provided for in all our necessities.
I ask you St Martha to overcome the dragon which you cast at your feet.

Say one Our Father and three Hail Marys and light a candle every Tuesday (and tell other people about it;)

Thursday, 24 November 2011

This post from Maria Stops Abortion sums up exactly how I felt when I read about the 'tragic' abortion 'mix-up' in Australia. There's no doubt there is a huge tragedy here. The parents and clinicians involved are suffering greatly and need lots of support and prayers. But how messed-up (actually feel like using a much stronger description) is our society that the media fails to see how aborting the so-called 'sick' child would be just as much a tragedy? And what about the 'healthy' children that are aborted deliberately every day? Presumably their deaths wouldn't be considered tragic by the media either? The fact is, abortion is always a tragedy, whether intentional or not.

I don't normally blog about these things, I try to keep things positive and avoid posting when I am angry or sad. I know though that we need to speak up about these things. And this evening I was so stunned by the way this was reported and the language used I couldn't contain it.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


I suppose there are some good things about the evenings getting ever shorter. I love the twinkly light from the candle on my sinkside shrine. At last week's Mission I picked up a little prayer card to St Martha only to discover there is a devotion to her on Tuesdays.
So today I added her Novena prayer to that of St Anthony whose Tuesday devotions are better known.
So far today has been very busy, zooming from school to Playschool to class in town to Lee to playschool to school to playschool again. May not have been the best day to start a new crochet class, but it worked out ok and now we are home again cosy and safe with the night drawing in around us.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

I have a chatty little chappy riding shotgun with me today. He decided he'd like to sit there in the booster seat instead of his usual seat in the back. And why not? It's a small little thing that means a lot to a 'tomato-staked' child who needs lots of attention at the moment. All the better to spot exciting things like doggies, rainbows and 'ambulips'.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

November is a very important month for the Holy Souls. Until the 8th November we can gain a special grace (plenary indulgence) for the poor souls in purgatory if the following guidelines are followed:
1) To visit a cemetery and say any prayer for the deceased (the person does not need to actually be buried in that particular cemetery).
2) To be in the state of grace when the work is accomplished.
3) To go to confession.
4) To pray for the Holy Father (an Our Father and Hail Mary, as well as the Creed or the Glory Be, are the traditional prayers).
5) To receive communion devoutly.
6) To be free from all attachment to sin (even venial sin).
Note: Communion should be received on the day or near the day in which the visit to the cemetery is made. Confession may be made several days before or after (and one confession suffices for multiple indulgences [but communion must be received for each plenary indulgence]).
Finally: Only one plenary indulgence may be gained each day (excepting in the case of the moment of death, when a second may be acquired).
You can read more about it here.

This lovely image is from the fab Happy Saints website. They also have a lovely group picture for yesterday's feast of All Saints. See how many saints you can recognise.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

...and the REALLY important news...

is that the Little Toot is walking!! Properly! Hooray!

Happy Saints Day!

We had a full and happy day today to celebrate All Saints' Day. First Roo tried on the wings we made yesterday for his St Michael costume and ran around the house in them. Really they are magnificent, but I can't take the credit for them. I found an excellent how-to on MakerMama's blog that even I could follow. And Roo enjoyed helping with the cutting out. He is really proud of his wings! I'll try and post a picture of them soon.

Next the lads and I went to Mass in the Abbey. I don't think I've been in sole charge of all three of them at Mass before and I was a bit nervous as to how I would manage them. (Usually Lee is there too, of course and even then it's hard work.) But actually it was fine. Poonch refrained from singing Bob the Builder during the Proclamation of Faith, or shouting 'No!' at the top of his voice during the sermon. Toot fell asleep in the sling and Roo followed the Mass quietly in his little Picture Missal while wondering why the priest was wearing white today. Nothing gets past him. Post-Mass Chupa Chups lollies were a well-deserved treat.

It was a beautiful day. The sun shone as if the Saints were all smiling down from Heaven, so instead of going straight home, we visited the graveyard next to the church, Poonch clutching two handsful (handfuls?) of leaves. That's his thing at the moments. Leaves. The muddier the better.

When we got home the older lads went in and out of character as an archangel and a fireman (that is Poonch wore his Fireman Sam hat a lot). Toot decided to give his acclaimed lion suit a rest for today so it would be clean for visiting our lovely friend tomorrow. After putting about three days' worth of washing out (contented sigh) we made Rice Krispie marshmallow cakes and swords, apparently the weapon of choice for archangels these days, after the Rosary of course. My word, melted marshmallow must be the stickiest thing known to man. I wonder if they could find some industrial use for it. It also has a spooooooky cobwebby quality that makes it very appropriate for this time of year. We ate them along with a little Victoria sandwich I made with strawberry jam and cream after dinner.

In other news, Toot used a spoon by himself today, happily scooping up Baked Beans with great accuracy. And Lee dressed up as St Leonard. No. I made that last one up. He does an impression of St Leonard most days anyway.