Sunday, 10 March 2013

The First Pope

Icon "St. Peter, the first Pope", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

As the Church gets closer and closer to the selection of a new Holy Father, I have been thinking and praying a great deal about the the Papacy, about the various popes who have been a part of my life and experience and about my gratitude to God for the gift of the Magesterium.

I spent the first 30 years of my life outside the Catholic Church and although I looked longingly towards Rome for much of that time, I remained outside the wisdom and authority of Holy Mother Church.  During all those years as I tried to convince myself that it really did not matter where I worshipped so long as Christ Jesus was my Lord and Saviour, I found over and over again that I continued to be plagued by the questions of "authority" and "whose truth is the real Truth".  Time after time, when I went to my Anglican pastor to ask for help in understanding Scripture or defining the truth about faith and morals, he would give me his opinion and then direct me to various books for further study -- the majority of which were written by Catholic priests!  I clearly remember the day when I said to myself:  "this is ridiculous -- why not just go ahead and prepare myself to enter the Roman Catholic Church!"

I came into the Church during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI.  I was there during those troubling days after he issued Humanae Vitae and listened to all the controversy surrounding it.  By then, however, I had already come to believe, and believe deeply, that I could rely on the Church to guide me rightly in all areas of my life.  That conviction has never changed, in fact, it has only grown stronger as the years have passed.

And, so, as we prepare to welcome the Holy Spirit's gift of a new Pope, I push aside all those voices speaking worrying words about who it might be and whether he will be the right person for the job.  I know that our God is trustworthy and able to accomplish all things according to His loving will. 

I have been praying for the cardinals, of course, as we all have, but last week I came across a web site for supporting a particular cardinal in prayer.  This is how it works:  you go to the web site, pray for God to lead you to the very cardinal He wants you to pray for particularly and then, after entering your name and email address, you click the send button.  Without a few seconds, you are sent an email telling you which cardinal you had chosen.  My result was José da Cruz Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon, Portugal! He is unknown to me, but as a voting member of the Conclave, he needs prayers as well. If you are interested in adopting your own cardinal, just go to https://adoptacardinal.org/  The Vatican has given their blessing to this German web site.

Just think, by the time I post again, we may have a new Pope!!

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BRADEN GOES TO A RESTAURANT

He is such a well-behaved, young man -- or so it appears in these two photos.  For the whole story we would have to ask his parents! 

Lately, both Braden and his parents have been suffering as Braden continues the process of getting his teeth.  Teething does not seem to be an experience that either Braden or his parents are particularly enjoying!


First things first -- get something into Braden's tummy so that his parents will have a
chance to eat their meal in peace!



Next comes a thorough investigation of the toys provided -- but wait, what is this?  A
placemat that seems to be made of paper and it tears easily!  (I have it on good
authority that Braden thoroughly enjoy destroying his placemat while his parents
enjoyed their meal!).



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SUKI AND SALLIE

The look says it all ... "why are you disturbing me while I am
watching my favourite 'Tom and Jerry' cartoons?"
I have known cats who seem to thoroughly enjoy watching television.  I have never had such a cat, however.

Suki generally ignores the TV.  Occasionally, she will watch it carefully for a few seconds but that is usually when there is a lot of movement across the screen or when something on the TV is emitting a sound that is similar to that a kitten makes -- or an angry cat.  But the majority of the time, she simply ignores it just as she does my computer screen.

The majority of the time she is sound asleep and thus is not even aware of the TV screen or of any noise coming from it.  She is very careful about getting in those necessary 15 hours a day.  In fact, she apparently wants to make certain that she gets just a bit more than the minimum requirements for sleep!

So, Suki is doing well -- sleeping and eating and enjoying life.  She had a wonderful birthday on the 8th, by the way,  as I fed her every time she asked for food!

As for me, I would have to say that I am doing reasonably well -- all things considered.

The "stay awake" medication seems to be continuing to work well so I am having more time when I am alert and functioning each day.  This is really quite wonderful after all these years of spending so much of each day trying to stay awake hour after hour.

My face is continuing to heal -- although the right side is still lagging far behind the left.  My eyes, however, continue to give me a lot of discomfort and the weeping I do when my eyes begin to get tired of trying to focus on things is quite frustrating.  This problem still has to be dealt with but will have to wait until the incisions around my eyes have healed.  Hopefully I will look halfway normal by the time I leave on my trip to the States at the end of May.

The Restless Legs are the only problem area which does not seem to be responding to treatment that well.  Every afternoon, evening and bedtime I try to remain positive -- thinking to myself "today things will be better" -- but thus far this has only been wishful thinking.  I was really hoping that the iron supplements would finally put an end to this distressing Syndrome; however...  Oh, well, I intend to keep fighting it until I find something that works and that doesn't harm me.  I am determined.

The only saint I can find so far that seems to be a patron for such problems is poor St. Vitus.  I am asking for his intercession now so you will probably be seeing an icon of him in the weeks to come!

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Three weeks from today is Easter Sunday!  So, as we continue through this time of penance and prayer in preparation, I pray that we may all know that peace of God which passes all human understanding and which keeps our hearts and minds ever open to the grace of God.  Our God who loves each and every one of us passionately and eternally.

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