Sunday, December 30, 2012
We had arrived to Barcelona city three weeks ago, to visit family, and we were coming from rural, non technologic American Christian society...the cultural shock was expected.
The things that we were more obviously shocked were the polluted air, (children had a hard time breathing the first days, with so many people smoking in the sidewalks), the noise ( we could not hear each other talking in the street), the amount of people, (it takes effort not to bump with people continuously), the dress and bombarding media which seemed to come out of a XX rated movie. We had been sensitized back to a modest way of dressings and here in the city the fashions dictate such an immodest apparel, well, the women go with tights and short jackets in the street, nothing else! but for them this is the normal thing, the regular outfit, they have been sensitized ( or better said desensitized) to an opposite order of things. Instead of concealing your forms, they emphasize them appealing to the sexual appetite. The advertisements full blown in the streets are also as direct and crude.
The bad thing for me is that people are not aware of this, we are not aware how the environment indoctrinates our thinking, I am sure if I had to stay in the city, i would fall into the same desensitizing program, unless I was in daily contact with people that thought differently. And that is exactly the clue, I asked around, where are the christian people here?
I found the Opus Day people, very nice group of people following the doctrines of the church and God, they believe in a total immersion in the world, working in the world but not of it...how do they do it? Constant teaching as their founder Josep Maria Escriva never tired of saying, a constant teaching of the scriptures, daily Mass, weekly seminars or meetings, monthly conferences, etc...
I asked also about a more poorer version of Christians and we found group that decided 25 years ago to share their belongings and money, they are still there, in the city, living in the same apartment complex and tending each one to its job out in the city with the love of God, how do they do it? daily meditations together on the scriptures, day and night, and singing, weekly gathering with a meal.
Now I am up to learn about the Order of the Brotherhood of the Lamb, yet I am pretty sure the way they face the world in the city is too with daily food, daily Mass, daily reinforcement or teachings agains the teachings of the world, unless you are indoctrinated in God´s ways, you are being indoctrinated in the world´s ways.
Here in the city my mom has a computer at home, I have been using it as needed, and one day my daughter told me: ¨mom, i just had a dream, somebody was telling me in the dream how you cannot do both things at a time, either you are cooking, grading our homework and making family life, or you are in the computer.¨
I think the dream was right, I cannot do both, so that is why we will keep our computer time when we go to the library, and we will have a computer free home.
On the other hand, I think like people could be brought out of the worldly ways with this media, the world´s own media, just like in the movie Matrix, the real people sought to go to the artificial world to bring out a choice, to bring the people that were called out, just the same way we decided we would use the computer to say there is another way of living, to say there is a choice.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
This is of course my opinion, based on my own expreince of the matter, but anyone who wishes to experience this could do so taking the same steps, and thus it becomes more than just a personal opinion but a matter of scientific approach.
The book states repeated times the exhortation to "smash the television set", and for that also the radio, and media in general and extensively, even computers, etc... being these technological advantages impediment for the healthy living of a christian culture.
Last week while pondering in these things, a thought suddenly came, in the way you usually have when two concepts otherwise separated link and you say !Aha!, as in solving a riddle. Well the two concepts also streamed forward and backward with a series of other thoughts, is just difficult to explain, yet it became clearer to me that technology can cripple human beings in one generation. Because I am immersed in modern society, I was not aware so strongly about the implications, yet in seeing the Amish culture and my own side by side, the gap between them helped in seeing the danger we are faced with, the danger we are actually so involved with.
Some of my friends have difficulty relating with other human beings in a healthy way, they learn early on to expect a fast response from the environment to satisfy their needs, which in turn are selfish, and seek mainly pleasure. I am also in this difficulty, and to try to get away from it I decided to do some things as my own experiment:
1st- to withdraw from any technological communication as much as I am able to do.(no TV, no radio, no computer, no telephone except necessary)
2nd- to stay confined at a walking or horse riding distance from home.( even if still my husband owns a car)
3rd-to minimize my expenses to the basics, counting my goal in America to be about $700 a month, including mortgatge.
4th-to spend at least half of the day involved in physical and meaningful tasks, and at least one hour to prayer or contemplation.
I thank all of you that have been a company in these writings and wish me the best in this experiment. I'll come back when I have some results to share.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
How can this be so? I am not sure yet, but when we wash our clothes by hand, besides all the other things that we are doing differently, the focus changes from dutiful task to lovely service. It is in the actual rubbing of the dress, the actual rinsing of the shirt, the hanging with pins in a beautiful manner, that I get to do my job lovingly and not as a chore to be finished as soon as possible.
P.S. Visit here for ideas for Saint John's eve, a traditional cake with pinenuts and candy-dried fruit, a bonfire to throw old stuff and make ammends to throw away old habits, a special eve to gather herbs, specially medicinal herbs for the whole year.
Visit here for ideas for Saint John's eve, a traditional cake with pinenuts and candy-dried fruit, a bonfire to throw old stuff and make ammends to throw away old habits, a special eve to gather herbs, specially medicinal herbs for the whole year.
Friday, May 25, 2012
It is though a blessing to listen during those moments to what the silence or angels may be telling us, and we have embraced wholeheartedly our new farming life, under the tutellage of our kind Amish neighbors.
We sprayed manure homeophatically, and planted an acre of vegetables, our family garden with corn, potatoes, swiss chard, lettuces, onions, cabagges, beans, cucumbers and finally peppers and tomato plants are also in; the rest we filled with beets to start selling to our local organic cooperative.
It has been very rewarding to wait on the weather and on the business of family and neighbors around, and our nights have been filled with deep sleep as we come to our rooms tired and happy.
The wood cookstove also has brought many delights, as cakes and pies start coming out of it and tasting yummy, Even my husband who knows for years about disastrous culinary productions is amazed that now things can taste so much better. It must be the slow cooking time and the fire.....
Ascension has come and almost gone, we have been singing songs together and one of them has been ringing in my ears continuously during these days, it has African words and they speak about the victory of Good over Evil. It is great to have two groups of people singing at each other, one group does the chorus and the other the verse:
O Nkosi Jesu
Mdale we zinto Zonke
Won Kob Ukufa
Won Kob U Satane
Wishing you a very good Pentecost day, as we remember how the Knights of the Grail also came together in such special occasion, to renew their vows and promise anew their resolutions.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
the land symbolizes
the landscape of Faith in our hearts,
and it is a reminder
of the need to cultivate the Faith,
to be stewardships
of the Faith in this sense,
to make it flourish in our lives.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Last year by this time we were publishing my husband's novel: The Missing Spoke, which goes very weel with the theme of Easter and the redemption not from suffering but redemption to suffering, from a christian view. This year we are in the last steps of proof reading a new book, another auto biography, this time of a pastor that lived in the midwest for a while but now is residing in Sweden: A sword in the Wilderness. This book goes well with the theme of Pentecost, as is a witness of the strength of the Holy Spirit through the lives of men.
While we are also establishing the rhythms in our new farm, getting to know our neighbors and the land, we are also looking ahead for the next publishing book, if you have an interesting biography, or you ever wanted to publish your memoires, give us a script, perhaps yours can be the next year publishing project!
The Farm is buzzing with life, we have horses and cows in the pasture fields and the gardens are ready to be tilled. Soon we will open the planting season with potatoes on 24th April, and we are digging strawberry plants for the new beds. Come pick up some if you want to!
Thursday, March 29, 2012
|The old barn will house a cow, steer, sheep and chickens in the winter. the newer barn used to be raising 3.000 organic chicken, we want to stay away from such big farm production, yet we do not know what to do with the building.|
For a while in our lifes as married people, I tried working in different things, sometimes out of the home, but mostly in the home. Now that this project of the farm is coming up, I am again asking, what is the purpose of the marriage, and how can we be working together instead of separate and in a sanctifying way? For me the response has come suddenly, unexpected, and has caught me by surprise: Instead of trying to do what i think is best, I need to look up to my husband's strenghts and build him up, be his helpmaid.
|Inside of the old barn.|
So, he has been working with special needs children in the public school system, and he has a talent for it, he can relate to them in special way, non threatening at all, that makes the relationship grow and become a healing balm. Yet in the schools children are bound to four walls most of the time, do not have enough time outdoors doing meaningful work, they are continually entertained and have a void of purpose. In the farm, my husband could give them physical work, they could see they are needed, and the farm work could help strengthen their souls, in rhythmic discipline. We are looking into giving this opportunity for once a week during the school year, and also for week-long stays at the farm during summer months.
|Prayers and songs before meals will help establish a rhythm and a reminder throughout the day of our dependance on God.|
Almost all my farmer friends say that is too difficult to live off of the farm, and that a second income is needed, and just a 10% of the big farms are making money. Yet, as a newcomer of stewarding the land I am full of hope, I trust that God is giving this opportunity to many families like us, to work and pray together, to raise families in His name, to be a witness to the world, and to help as many as we can to come closer to the Faith. Our priest sent us a link yesterday about the TLM and the movement around it, we are privileged that God put us in a place where the devotion for God and His Son is stronger than the currents of the world. may I be a helpmaid for His Plans.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Now it is similiar with the state of our souls: we are following the study on Counsels of Perfection, http://counselsofperfection.blogspot.com/, and in the chapter of removing venial sins I see a parallel with the packing of our house, it is good to know what is to come one step ahead, for planning, but not to see the whole scope, because it could be daunting. The reason for to see the next step is to prepare the tools for the battle, it is different to go to the fields with a mounted horse or with bow and arrows, in one you go straight to the enemy, in the other you stay at a distance. Some sins are better defeated by "grabbing the bull by the horns", by having the sword of the Sacraments frequently, others are better defeated by staying at a distance of temptation and sending the arrows of Truth.
We have carried with us a book on the Amish for 10 years, and its pictures have become familiar to us. On entering our new to become house for the first time, we felt at ease, at home, and after looking into many other farms thereafter we kept the same feeling about our first showing. Friends, banks and family have doubted our choice, and sometimes in the back of my mind I also hear the same doubts, yet it is in the plain walls, in the rough dry walls, in the plain floor and empty floorplan that my heart finds refuge.
I opened the Amish book again today, to see the pictures with my children, and there it was, one house with the same appearance, a house that calls for daily work, a house that calls for holiness. I find myself in clutter and too many things around the house and on my walls, that instead of helping in the job of homemaking, they hinder work and make me lazy, complacent.
May the new house keep its new stewards in peace and work, in rough, plain, and lovely walls.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The priest in our local parish, suggested to do some list of our main goals, our core beliefs, the tenets with which we strive to surround our life, and to find a spiritual director to held us accountable during this upcoming season of Lent. In regards of that I compiled some of my aspirations, now I have to find the spiritual director. I am praying to God that he will lead us to our new homestead, and that he will also lead us to Him.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Sweetest saint of Erin's isle
See thy children kneel before thee,
Turn on us a mother's smile
Sweet St Brigid, Erin's children
Far and near on land and sea
Mid the world and in the cloister
Fondly turn with love to thee
Sweet St Brigid soothe the mourner
Shield the weary tempted soul
Sweet St Brigid guide thy children
To their bright and happy home.
1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 3/4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt., 3 tablespoons butter in small pieces, 3/4 cup uncooked oatmeal flakes. 1 egg, 1/2 cup buttermilk
1.heat oven to 425 degrees. 2. grease baking sheet. 3.combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl and mix. 4.Add butter bits and cut in with knife until mixture is crumbly. 5.add oats and toss to combine. 6.in other bowl beat egg with buttermilk. 7.make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the egg mixture and mix with a fork until crumbs hold together. Make dough into ball and transfer to floured surface. Knead 20-25 times. Add flour if sticky.
8.pat dough into 8-inch round and transfer to baking sheet. 9.score a deep cross into the bread but do not cut it through 10.bake 15-20 minutes till brown.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
|Mr. Apple's Family by Jean McDevitt|
Last weekend, our town parish was blessed with the visit of somebody very special Monsignor McGarty, I did not know about his position or rank, but his ways were so wise and bold in delivering the message, that no matter who he had been in social status, his uniquennes and value shone right through the congregation. He spoke about Nineveh and its wicked ways, and we were reflected in our little town, and our unrepented ways. He spoke about deliverance and of the call of Jonah, and we felt the call of God to repent, the big distance between our lifes and the life that God wants for us. This is the movement that my soul took in last Sunday, and it is the movement that hopefully would occur before every Mass, so to produce our sincere offerings to the altar.
Monsignor Mc.Garty ended with a verse of Saint Bernard, which I was very impressed with. I am trying to find it so I can copy it below. He talked about prayer and the effect of it in our lives, he told us about the nuns in Saint Joseph, how now that they are retired they have more time to pray! and how this life of prayer, not asking for things, but of communion with God, has changed them into beautiful creatures, that one longs to be around to.
|Mr. Apple's Family by Jean McDevitt|
I know that my heart is in conflict, some of the teachings I am following are forbidden in the Catholic Church for being away from spiritual revelation of God, yet how can I repent if I do not see the lies behind them, I just see the Truth in them? I ask for intercessory prayers, that Truth would be revealed to me and the Holy Spirit would lead me to repentance or in the other hand that my eyes would cease to be blind and that I will be granted courage to keep holding these seemingly opposing views.