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Feast of the Magi

In the homily on the feast of the Epiphany, our visiting priest referred to the poem below by T.S. Lewis. I had never read it before and was keen to get back home to look it up.

 Journey of the Magi  (T.S.Lewis)

‘A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.’

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,

Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,

With the voices singing in our ears, saying

That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;

With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky,

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,

And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,

But there was no information, and so we continued

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon

Finding the place;

it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down,

This: were we led all that way for Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt.

I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

B6liLw1CMAUTHp6

The homily brought to mind the equation between the difficult and sometimes treacherous physical journey the Magi undertook to get to where The Star was guiding them, and my Journey as a Christian that is sometimes just as challenging emotionally.

The Magi ‘died’ and were ‘reborn’ in their knowledge of the Truth they witnessed in the Christ Child. This in turn changed their view of the once familiar kingdoms they visited where they met ‘alien’ peoples – those who worshipped ‘alien’ gods, gods that they may have worshipped themselves prior to their Journey to Bethlehem, before they met the One True God, Jesus Christ.

The Magi were changed by their experience of meeting Jesus, just as our souls are changed when we are Baptised and when later still,  every time we meet Christ in Holy Communion.

This story brought to mind the thousands of Christians who have lived and died before me who too, have walked this Path and who are now at their Journey’s End. They are at Rest.

Quiet consideration of the Mother of God and her Son, Jesus.

One perfect gift for Christmas sorted…

This version of ‘Mary did you know’ is so uplifting. I’m definitely buying this one to add to my collection of this song.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will make a blind man see?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the mute will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.

‘It makes my heart sing, to see you out and about’.

IMG_3191

image@1catholicsalmon

On a regular visit to the local Poundland on the  High Street in New Malden, I had the good fortune to bump into about 10-12 of these special ladies who were there doing what seemed to a big shop for a very specific reason.

As always I readily walked over and introduced myself as a parishioner of St Joseph’s New Malden, and promptly found out that they too reside in New Malden. Imagine my glee at finding out this ‘little’ tidbit of information. I have lived here for many years and didn’t know they lived in our community too.

To Religious everywhere, but especially to those who reside in New Malden, ‘I’d love to bump into you more often on the High Street or at Mass.  It makes my heart sing to see you out and about’.

I always I get really excited when I see a Religious, as they wear their faith on ‘their sleeves’ so to speak.There can be no doubt as to Who they live for, serve and adore. Not only do they stand out in the crowd as having made the decision to respond to God’s call, but they live out their vocation with a tangible sense of joy. It’s impossible to chat with a Nun and ignore the Joy that exudes from her every pore.

While these young Sisters were vibrantly chatting away about the purchases, my heart swelled with pride at the knowledge that they represent the reality of the Lord tangibly, within our over-shadowed and grey culture. I feel an immediate sense of camaraderie in that we belong to the same family: The Universal Catholic Family of Jesus himself.

We must pray for those who are called to this vocation to remain faithful to God’s calling, always. Their presence in our midst is too important not to.

I did ask to which Denomination they belong, but in all the excitement I didn’t write it down, and that’s fatal.

They wear a wooden Cross with ‘Jesu’ carved into it.  Does anyone know which Denomination they may belong to?

The Church and Discipleship

Be inspired! Read this inspiring post over at the Catholic blog Transformed in Christ. Excellent observations and ideas linked to the New Evangelisation.

Awarded the ‘LIEBSTER’!

liebster

Thank you kind Jessica for this most encouraging award! It means just that little bit more to me as it hails from someone who lives alongside me on this British Isle.

Jessica  is one of a group of bloggers to be found  at ‘All along the watchtower’ . She is one of  but a few English supporters of the Salmon, so this award is  precious to me indeed. Take a peek at her blog to get fresh insights about faith and Christianity from an English perspective.

The requirements for accepting this award are:

1) Post the Liebster award graphic on your site:
2) Thank the blogger who nominated the blog for a Liebster Award and link back to their blog.
3) The blogger then writes 11 facts about themselves so people who discover their blog through the Liebster post will learn more about them.
4) In addition to posting 11 fun facts about themselves, nominated bloggers should also answer the 11 questions from the post of the person who nominated them.
5) The nominated blogger will in turn, nominate 9 other blogs with 200 or less followers (We’re guessing for our nominees) for a Liebster award by posting a comment on their blog and linking back to the Liebster post.
6) The nominated blogger will create 11 questions for their nominated blogs to answer in their Liebster post.

11 Facts about myself:

1. I love a clean house, but don’t have as much time as I need to spend on housework.

2. I hate working in the kitchen on my own. It makes chores a little easier to do having someone to share them with.

3. I started this blog  a year ago.

4. I too have red hair, Jessica!!

5.  I emigrated to these shores, and I ‘ve adjusted to the weather just fine, thank you. I have developed a well versed conversation about the said weather which is at least 3 minutes long. As we know, the weather’ conversation’ is all important!

6. My family and I hail from the Southern shores of Africa.

7. I am studying through the Maryvale Institute for a Certificate in Catechesis and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.

8. I am the eldest in a family of four girls and my family’s name is Scott.

9. I have been part of a wonderful Portuguese family for more than 30 years thanks to my adoptive surname, Rodrigues. (Rodrigues with an ‘s’ denotes a Portuguese heritage, Rodriguez with a ‘z’ denotes a Spanish heritage)

10. Portuguese food  a well hidden secret about that country. The pastries are to die for!

11. I am blessed with friends and family who share my passion of the Catholic Faith which in turn leads to my passion for Jesus.

Here are the 11 questions Jessica has asked me to answer on acceptance of the award.

1. How long have you been blogging?  For one year and 2 months now.

2. What is your favourite food? Spicy

3. What type of music do you like most? Instrumental

4. Who inspires you most? People who are honest, work hard and lead the way without any accolades.

5. Do you have a favourite poet? Maya Angelo

6. Do you have any pets? Yes, an 11 year old miniature Yorkshire Terrier called Tiny.

7. Do you prefer wine of beer or are you teetotal? Teetotal: preferably a workers brew, with two sugars and milk, thank you.

8. Do you listen to the radio? Yes, every morning and evening.

9. Favourite film? Soo many….Lord of the Rings, Cold Mountain, Life is Beautiful….

10. Favourite food? Fusion, culture specific…varied. .

11. Religious leader you admire? Pope Benedict has developed my sense and appreciation of the Liturgy. Because of his influence I’ve come to realise the importance of Ecumenism. Priests too are amazing religious leaders,  sat at the coal-face each and every day. It is by their dedicated example that our understanding of our Faith develops and which in turn,  fuels our relationship with the Lord.

Blogs I nominate for the Liebster award:

  1.  http://lifechristnme.wordpress.com/books/…poignant thought-provoking reading.
  2. http://lonelypilgrim.com/….the facts, figures and discussion about Catholicism.
  3. http://womaninlondon.wordpress.com/..Maria Toth. Love her insight and thoughts on what is important to Christian women in London.
  4. http://reinkat.wordpress.com/…beautiful icons, faith-filled posts.
  5. http://theraineyview.wordpress.com/…..’Because the times really need to catch up with the Church’
  6. http://mercyme40.wordpress.com/about/…Lara is using her 40th birthday as an impetus to embark on a mid-life mission to perform spiritual and corporal works of mercy–
  7. http://fraangelicoinstitute.com/…evangelizing the truth, goodness, and beauty of God through the understanding and creation of sacred art.
  8. http://tomdsilva.wordpress.com/…a young and very talented blogger from London.
  9. http://lifedoesntgetmuchbetterthanthis.wordpress.com/about/… I’m a young Catholic. In fact, I’m still in high school… “Am I just weird? Why does it seem like no one else my age is into Catholicism?” well worth a visit!!
  10. http://attentiallupo2012.com/…a blog about politics, society, international affairs. It is aboutopinions. About sharing informations. About going against what is easy. It’s about people, sometime about people without a voice.
  11.  http://hughosb.wordpress.com/…Benedictine monk and priest in England. Just a beautiful blog.

Questions for the award winners to contemplate and answer if they so wish to: 

  • What inspired you to start blogging?
  • Religious leader you admire?
  • Do you think having pets changes you?
  • Is family important and why?
  • Do you pray regularly?
  • Why is your Christian witness important?
  • Do you think Jesus’ message is radical?
  • What’s the favourite habit of your parish priest?

Thumbs -up again for an additional two stars….!

Blog of the Year Award 4 star jpeg

 

I recieved not 1 but 2 stars from the super-blogger therainyview On this blog there’s a little blurb that declares,’ Why Blogging matters today….  Because the times really need to catch up with the Church.’

I think this is a pretty cool reason to blog….so here’s 2 stars in return to therainyview…for blogging about the Truth that the Church teaches, for refreshing insights and honest opinions blended with a huge dollop of sincerity. Take time to linger there.You’re sure to find something that peaks your interest.

 

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/   and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

It’s thumbs – up for the Salmon in 2012 !

th up

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

An unexpected , greatly appreciated thumbs-up!!

An unexpected , greatly appreciated thumbs-up!!

I received a rousing ‘Thumb’s Up’ from two super-bloggers whom I follow diligently on a daily basis. Thank you both 8 Kids and a Business and BILTRIX for your loyalty and heads-up!

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen — there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required — and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award —http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group — click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012′ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award — please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award — and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Yes — that’s right — there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once — this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ’1 star’ award — and every time you are given the award by another blog — you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

6-stars-image
Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs — and even if they have already been given the award by someone else — you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

The Nominees for the 2012 Blog of the Year Award from 1catholicsalmon are:

  1. 8Kids and a Business: Visit this here to enjoy Catholic food for thought and  inspiration which includes well-seasoned Christian values. Thank you 8KAAB for your comments and outstanding Catholic reading in 2012. I look forward to your posts in 2013. Thank you too for posts written from the heart.
  2. The Salmon’s dedicated mentor, most faithful supporter and follower who made time to comment on posts at  1Catholicsalmon during it’s fledgling year on the web, not only with flair and wit , but with the definite sense of camaraderie and encouragement. Thank you!: BILTRIX– visit here if you want a delicious recipe for mulled wine, as well as  sound, Catholic cultural apologetics for the New Evangelisation.
  3. Catholic Pure and Simple: Only generic ingredients of Catholicism used in this kitchen!
  4. Reinkat: Adding beauty and creativity to the Faith.
  5. Fra Angelico Institute for the Sacred Arts: Its mission is to deepen the prayer life of it’s participants by evangelising the truth, goodness and beauty of God through the understanding and creation of sacred art.
  6. Rebecca Hamilton at Patheos: Shoots straight from the hip. Excellent aim. Never misses.
  7. Teresa Rice at Catholiclibertarian: The Truth as it is.
  8. MyHopeBox:  This box is filled with good things.
  9. Foragingsquirrel:  FUN, talent, ENTERTAINING, sincere.
  10. Gracie’s Quest:  A quest worth fighting for.
  11. Therainyview:  Fresh and uplifting.
  12. Catholicteenapologetics:  Where love of Church meets love of blogging: this from a teenager! What more could you wish for?
  13. Catholic cravings: A journey from Protestantism to Catholicism.
  14. The Lonely Pilgrim:  A Christian’s Road Home to Rome and Journey Onward: excellent posts. 
  15. Shalom Mystic Wind: Strategies of sowing Faith pathways of Christian living- an Ecumenical outreach. Detail and depth. 

 

Mull over,question, comment and share.

We need prophetic witnesses. We need people who in their way of life challenge the prevailing false ideologies bearing upon the production, distribution, and use of material goods. We need lived prophecy.

We therefore need pilgrim witnesses. We need joyous, loving men and women to show in their lives that one can live a sparing-sharing lifestyle and still be happy and fulfilled. We need to induce conversion into the masses first by example, then by word—really, by both simultaneously. (my highlight)

—Fr. Thomas Dubay

From his book “Happy Are You Poor”. Find this book on our site here:http://goo.gl/FjB1k

I explain below why I chose to include this quote:

The past two weeks has been privy my to early morning rises and late-night home comings. I’ve been on auto-pilot moving mechanically from one responsibility to the next and it’s been catching up with me. When life gets a little too hectic, I indulge in buying some of my favourite magazines. I thought I’d put the kettle on and enjoy a little frivolous down time enjoying a strong cup of tea and a glossy magazine filled with entertaining tidbits of nothing overly important or taxing. Nothing that strains the brain too much. The fact that 95%the magazine was filled with  articles about Christmas did make me sit up and think once again, ‘Yes , Christmas is being sold consumers earlier each year’, as I purchased the magazine two weeks before the end of October! And so , the secular tidal wave rolls over once again.

Just recently the 250 000 lights along Regent street have been switched on, luring shoppers into London in order to spend, spend, spend. Loads of people go to London to see the Christmas decorations; the sparkly lights and to experience the tradition of Christmas in one of the world’s most exciting cities on the planet.

While sipping my strong brew, I spluttered and coughed as I turned the pages to be greeted by a feature in the called,’In the mood for love?’ (this was decorated with a picture of mistletoe!)I was more than a little disappointed that a generally (I thought) ‘clean-cut’ women’s magazine which boasts world class recipes, great ideas to get rid of stains etc,  and recommends which home gadgets we busy women cannot be without in order to in order run our homes, had an article such as this one, sully its reputation.  At first glance the article could be looked at as inoffensive and pretty mild by today’s standards, but on closer inspection I was introduced to women sharing their light-hearted experiences regarding foreplay, as if this topic is just what everyone should know about, would be  interested in, and would be willing to share themselves. I was disappointed that at my ‘favourite’ magazine  has fallen prey to feeling the need to satisfy the trained masses in their need for  a now expected, type of voyeurism. This habit being perpetuated by a never-ending stream of talent and game-shows filling most channels on t.v. And so , the secular tidal wave rolls over once again. 

I have come to an age when I ‘ve realised I have to make choices about things that matter to me: I made one such decision recently. Two acquaintances are to marry in the near future, so a ‘Hen-Night’ as been arranged to celebrate these wonderful events. These celebrations will take place in a club and the evening will include making cocktails, a meal and dancing. I have two main objections to this:

  1. You have to dress the part: and my wardrobe is sadly lacking in the area of clubbing attire!
  2. One of the betrothed has been married before and the other has lived with her fiancée for two years already!! What a farce……I would not really be celebrating, I would most certainly be lying to myself if I pretended to be having a good time. If I did attend I’d feel like a fraud. So, no, I won’t be attending.

I quite like the idea of becoming a ‘pilgrim witness’ who induces conversion into the masses first by example, then by word.

On a more upbeat note, I received this pleasant and unexpected surprise from 8Kids And a Business– last week (I did say I ‘ve been busy) ‘The Food for Thought award’! I consider this award to be seriously prestigious in the Catholic blogosphere, as we’re blogging to share the GOOD NEWS about Jesus and His message of Love and Hope, and if  1catholicsalmon is providing food for thought for readers, I’m a happy camper.

 

I will adhere to the prerequisites on acceptance of the reward later in this week. Thanks once again 8Kidsandabusiness!

 

 

A belated acceptance of a lovely award.

The Lonely Pilgrim nominated 1catholicsalmon for the Liebster Blog Award some time ago. (I apologise Lonely Pilgrim for my tardiness at getting back to you on this privileged nomination.)

Liebster is German for “dearest.” And today I wanted to dedicate this award to you, mein liebster Leser (my dearest readers).

This award is accepted  with humility as an honour for 1catholicsalmon as an  up-and-coming blog with fewer than 200 readers. Having received this award from the Lonely Pilgrim, the acceptance of this award is truly an honour!! Spend some quality time reading informative and factual posts on Catholicism over the waters at the Lonely Pilgrim.

I am making the choice not to follow the rules to the letter on this one, (using a blogger’s licence here) and promise to return to these prerequisites, to answer them in future, for fear of boring 1catholicsalmon readers with further personal information after the prior posting of  different award prerequisites today.

 

Blogathon!

I include an illustration of what my desk usually/can/sometimes looks like, to emphasize that I am certainly not one to wing-it. I have taken a while to respond to the BILTRIX nudging from afar. I needed time to digest this notion of a blogAthon, being careful to include all the necessary components meticulously.

Last week 1catholicsalmon was tagged by the Catholic blogging champion BILTRIX  (THANK YOU!),  and was thereby convinced to take part in this blogaThon: All in the interest of spreading the Faith! How could I refuse to participate?

I am attempting to carry on this honour by participating in said ‘blogAthon.’ The rules (which are not obligatory, by any stretch of the imagination…in other words, please don’t feel obligated to do this if you have been tagged here) are as follows:

1. Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves.
2. They must also answer the 11 questions the “tagger” has set for them.
3. They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag.
4. They must then choose 11 bloggers and tag them in their post.
5. These “lucky” bloggers must then be told.
6. No tag backs.

So here goes:

11 things about myself:

  1. For the first few days on holiday I usually sleep.
  2. My first thought every day is to make it to Mass.
  3. I make conscious Christian choices during the day.
  4. I treasure the Sacrament of Confession. I have learned much through it.
  5. I wear a crucifix as a statement of my faith  and also to show my devotion to the Lord.
  6. I am aware of my responsibilities as a ‘wearer of the Cross’.
  7. I try to hear the Lord through all my dealings with others throughout the day.
  8. I have a brand new daily Missal. Everything’s in there. Everything!
  9. I have downloaded loads of Catholic books onto my Kindle.
  10. Spending an afternoon browsing around the St. Paul’s bookshop in London is my idea of a great afternoon.
  11. I am keen  to ponder the fruits of this year of Faith in a few years time.

Here are the questions for Me to answer:

  1. Have you ever read a dialogue by Plato? I have read some quotes and touched on Greek history at Uni.
  2. Do you know any foreign languages? YES!- Afrikaans and  Portuguese
  3. How good are you at math? Better than I was 5 years ago.
  4. Are you a convert? No, I’m a cradle-Catholic, and I’m still discovering the beauty and depth of the Faith.
  5. Would you like to renew your baptismal promises? Yes
  6. Do you reject Satan? Yes!
  7. And all his works? Yes!
  8. And all his empty promises? Yes!
  9. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth? Yes!
  10. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? Yes!
  11. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? Yes!

If your name is mentioned below, that means I TAGGED you (that means YOU’RE IT, get it?).

AND THE 6  BLOGGERS I TAG ARE:

  1. Conversion Diary : A Catholic convert share’s her life.
  2. Gracie’s Quest : Good Christian reading here.
  3. Catholic1 : Just one in a billion!
  4. Daniel Undum : Author of a new book called, ‘The offensive Catholic’. 
  5. My Hope Box : Friendly Catholic blogging, including good Catechesis.
  6. Transformed in Christ : A Catechist from London.

Now… If your name is one of the names listed above, you got TAGGED, and you may be asking yourself Why did I get tagged? So that you can tag someone else. C’mon! Spread the faith!

Here are the 11 questions the tagged bloggers are to answer about themselves:

  1. What’s the first memory about Church?
  2. Are you invited to speak to your priest as you would speak to a friend?. (Do you know him well enough to feel relaxed in his company?)
  3. Have you ever imagined something funny happening up on the Altar during Mass?
  4. Which character trait makes your parish priest human?
  5. What stays with you after Mass and into the week?
  6. Please recommend a good Christian movie:
  7. Which do you prefer: Gregorian Chant or singing from the hymn book?
  8. Have you experienced a pilgrimage?
  9. Which is your favoured character in the Bible?
  10. Has Confession changed the way you think about your actions?
  11. Which is your chosen Mass time on Sunday: 9:30 am, 11:30 am  or 5:30pm, or do you attend the 6:00 on Saturday evenings?