Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Some People Will Believe Anything.....

Following on from the previous story, the fact that some people will believe absolutely anything they hear/see is illustrated very nicely by this .

Basically, an Australian artist created a fake advert for a fake drug to treat a fake, truly non-existent illness, and a quarter of a million people have already hit the website. The fake drug is even turning up integrated into real Web sites relating to real medical problems........

The mind boggles.

I specially loved this bit of the web site :-

QUOTE
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Problems can be avoided if you take HAVIDOL only when you are able to immediately benefit from its effects.

To fully benefit from HAVIDOL patients are encouraged to engage in activities requiring exceptional mental, motor, and consumptive coordination.

HAVIDOL is not for you if you have abruptly stopped using alcohol or sedatives. Havidol should be taken indefinitely.

Side effects may include mood changes, muscle strain, extraordinary thinking, dermal gloss, impulsivity induced consumption, excessive salivation, hair growth, markedly delayed sexual climax, inter-species communication, taste perversion, terminal smile, and oral inflammation.

Very rarely users may experience a need to change physicians.

Talk to your doctor about HAVIDOL

END QUOTE


ROTFLOL :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Holes In The Ship

I really like James Cameron and his movies, and was more than a little saddened to learn of his involvement in a two-bit "jump on the Da Vinci Code bandwagon" film soon to be aired on the Discovery Channel about the alleged Tomb of Jesus and his family. Yawn.

I really wish he would stick to what he does best rather than getting involved in something reeking of pseudo-science in order to argue the case for a non-story.

The drivel about the non-story is given full coverage and rebuttal here , complete with some rather heated arguments in the comments section :-)

Reader Beware !

Another interesting side-take comes from Huw Raphael here , which is also well worth a read!
Share with friends using the share button below.

Learning Latin 2007

If anyone is interested in joining an online study group to learn Ecclesiastical Latin, one is starting in March.

The study text is Collins` A Primer of Ecclesiastical Latin, which I bought last year and didn`t do much with, I`m afraid.

I think I will stretch my brain a little and give the task of refreshing my Latin a serious effort ...........

Full details here

Update
This link appeared on a liturgical blog.
As far as learning Russian, try this one :-
http://www.masterrussian.com/ - it looks like a reasonable starting point.
I find it really hard if I try to read alternative alphabets, which put me off learning Greek too :-(
Share with friends using the share button below.

Cold, Wet And Windy

It is horrible weather here. I got soaked and frozen walking the dog today.
Yuck.
The bright spot is sitting in front of my lovely wood-burning stove and getting toasty warm :-)

My bed-time reading is Khouria Frederica`s book on the Great Canon of St Andrew, a short chapter a night. It is a nice way to settle down for the night.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Orthodox Roundup

Welcome back !

As we begin Great Lent, a good place to start has to be with St John Chrysostom`s Sermon on Fasting .

An updated schedule for Reading the Church Fathers is available here

A huge amount of liturgical material is available online here , including an almost complete Menaion , courtesy of Holy TransfigurationCtahedral in Denver, CO.

If you like listening to liturgical music, the Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Cantor Institute in Pittsburgh has made available online no fewer than 743 MP3 files for download. Well worth a visit !

Justin writes lovingly about St Haralambos, whose relic is cherished by his parish .

Fr John links to an interesting article about visiting Mount Athos. I will never be able to go there, but I do enjoy reading about it :-)

James from Paradosis describes an amazing book, "A Byzantine Journey" by John Ash, in which is mentioned a sermon delivered by Patriarch Photios when the Hagia Sophia mosaic of the Theotokos and Holy Child was inaugurated on March 29th 867.

Matushka Elizabeth from Portland writes about Forgiveness Vespers, as does Molly and also
Monica in Romania who describes some amazingly perceptive comments from her smnall son Simi on the Crucifixion......
Eric John mentions a talk about Christian Service in War by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York.

Fr Stephen continues to provide much spiritual food for thought - amongst his gems are
words form St Isaac of Syria and Soul Saturday and how to "think with the heart"

A scholarly article about Dostoyevsky and the Brothers Karamazov is well worth a read, but not if you are being harrassed by small children, as I am at present. I will be saving this for the quiet time after they go to bed :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ostrov Revisited

I watched the whole film, "Ostrov", early this morning.

Words fail me.
It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me squirm with embarrassment at seeing some of my own arrogant self-righteousness mirrored in some of the characters.

It is simply wonderful and it softened my sin-hardened heart to the extent that as the subtitles came up on the screen, I was praying along with Fr Anatoly.

I cannot recommend this film highly enough. It might even change your life.

Many thanks to Symeon, who posted the link so you too can watch about 15 minutes of preview of this amazing film
Share with friends using the share button below.

Shrove Tuesday

Some of my pre-Orthodox family traditions still persist. Shrove Tuesday is one of them :-)

Although I started praying the prayer of St Ephrem and the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete yesterday, today was a scheduled interruption.

Despite the Fast, we had pancakes for breakfast and for tea, and I salved my conscience in that a thousand years ago, my Orthodox ancestors in Britain were doing exactly the same thing in preparation for western Great Lent starting on Ash Wednesday.............

I hope to get the next Roundup done in the next day or so.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Mundane Matters

On an off-beat note, can anyone tell me why I have problems signing into Blogger since I upgraded ? If I use the Blogger screen, it can take literally minutes, even though I am on 5Mb Broadband......

Up till now I have circumvented it by logging into my Google mail account and then entering Blogger, which automatically signs me in instantly..... but I am getting fed up of doing this all the time. It must be Lent :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Great Lent Begins

As we begin the Great Lent, I ask forgiveness of all my readers if I have caused offence in any way whatsoever.

May we all have a blessed and holy Lenten fast !

Of your charity please pray for the soul of Roy, whose funeral is today. Memory eternal to one of God`s true "gentle men".
Share with friends using the share button below.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

School Trip

On Wednesday, I was asked to be one of the two accompanying parents on DD3`s school trip to visit the extensive Roman remains at Caerleon. I had never been to Caerleon, so I was happy to go along. We had 30 children aged 7 to 9 and one member of staff.

I suppose the nice thing was that it made me realise just how well behaved my own kids are in public.
Some of the children had absolutely no idea of how to behave properly in a public setting and couldn`t see why they should not be running around shouting and being rowdy. Several of them had a right "dressing down" from their teacher before they would calm down and behave better......

In my book, there is a huge difference between being excited (and slightly noisy) and being rowdy and rude. It made me feel sorry for the staff, who have to battle against this behaviour all the time in school, and try to teach these youngsters behaviour which should have been instilled in them at home at a much younger age.
I also feel sorry for the children concerned, for their future is going to be affected by their inability to function properly in civilised society.
The day went fairly well; the kids enjoyed themselves and learnt a lot, but the member of staff and accompanying parents were exhausted at the end of the day :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

As We Approach Great Lent

Please go here and read this lovely piece.
It made me weep.
What a wonderful example of humility and tender love.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Nice News

I am glad to report that Mother in law is safely back home, though still very frail and wobbly and needing a lot of looking after.
Thank you all for your prayers !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Happy St Melangell`s Day !

Happy St Melangell`s Day !

This life is taken from the Orthodox Christian Contact website

Imagine a party of huntsmen in the thick, green undergrowth of a small, wooded valley. The dogs are barking as they begin to follow the scent of a hare. One of the huntsmen sounds the horn. Riding at the front is the local prince. The time is 607 A.D. The place is the Pennant Valley in the kingdom of Powys, in central Wales.

The hare disappears into a huge thicket of undergrowth, and the hunters prepare to follow. Then suddenly strange things begin to happen. The dogs turn back in fear. The huntsman with the horn finds he cannot sound a blast, yet he cannot take the horn from his lips. The prince, brave and proud, leaps from his horse. He will not show fear in the face of magic. He draws his sword and begins to cut his way through the brambles and shrubs.

In a circular clearing in the centre of the thicket stands a young woman. She is dressed very simply. She stands calmly, radiating a sense of peace. At her feet the hare has crouched down for safety. Prince Brochwell of Powys has just come face to face with Melangell, the daughter of an Irish warrior.

The legend tells us that Melangell refused a pre-arranged marriage to an old warrior chieftain. She fled to Wales and began a life of prayer, living in a cave on the side of the Pennant Valley. As she was drawn deeper into the spiritual life, animals began to come to her in complete trust. Around her the world was restored to Paradise.

Prince Brochwell granted her the valley as a place of prayer and refuge for ever. Gradually a small convent grew up, and a church was built. When Melangell died, the nuns placed her body within the church. The holy woman came to be known as a saint. No one knows how long the convent lasted, but archaeologists have shown that nuns were still being buried outside the church in the 9th and 10th Century.

Around 1160 A.D. a new stone church was built, with a shrine where people could come to venerate the bones of Saint Melangell. Pilgrims began to arrive, and miracles of healing took place. The valley was noted as a place of peace, a sanctuary for hares, a comfort to the sick, a glimpse of heaven.

Then came the upheavals and pain of the Reformation. The shrine was desecrated, and chunks of masonry from the shrine were hurled out of the church. Often the relics of saints were destroyed at this time by the reformers, but Saint Melangell was reburied in the floor of the church. Pilgrims were no longer encouraged to make the long journey into the Welsh mountains to visit this holy place.

Centuries passed, and times changed. Hardly anyone lived near the tiny church in the hidden valley. The few local sheep farmers could not afford to repair the building. By the 1980's the church was almost derelict. Then in 1988 work began to restore the church and shrine of Saint Melangell. Many parts of the ancient shrine were found built into walls, or on neighbouring farms. New masonry was carved to match the old stonework. Today, the church and shrine are beautiful once more. Hundreds of pilgrims flock to pray there and to ask for the prayers of the early Celtic holy woman. A centre for healing and rest has been established a few yards from the church, so that Saint Melangell's work may continue.

In the summer of 2002 I had the great joy of visiting Pennant Melangell. I was with a group of youngsters from the Greek Orthodox youth camp. We were joined by Egumen Deiniol, a Welsh monk -priest of the Orthodox Church, a wild figure with long hair and a grey beard which forked in the wind.

The church-yard was full of tiny midges, so we hurried into the church. There Father Deiniol told us the story of Saint Melangell, and we prayed for a while. Then the youngsters sang in English, Greek and Russian. At last it was time to venerate the relics in the shrine.

The shrine is positioned behind the altar. There is a space for pilgrims to walk slowly past the altar, and to circulate round behind the shrine. There you can kneel and pray. I lit a candle and remembered someone very dear to me who has been ill for some years, and I took home a small card from the shrine for her.

Holy Saint Melangell, pray to God for us!
+++++++++


The Official Website of the Shrine Church of St. Melangell, which houses the oldest Romanesque Shrine in northern Europe and is a thrivingPilgrimage Centre. The site contains information for visitors and pilgrims
http://www.st-melangell.co.uk/

Icons of St. Melangell:
http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Melangell.htm##1

Troparion of St Melangell tone 8

Preferring the rigours of monasticism to worldly status and marriage, 0 pious Melangell,/ though wast fifteen years on a rock, emulating the example of the Syrian Stylites./
Wherefore, 0 Saint, pray to God that He will give us strength to serve Him as He wills,/
that we may be found worthy of His great mercy.

Kontakion of St Melangell tone 4
Praise, glory and honour are thy due, 0 righteous Melangell,/
for in consecrating thy virginity to Christ, thou didst give us a model of Christian living./ Wherefore we who keep thy festival/
pray for grace to amend our lives according to thy example,/
glorifying God in every word and deed.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hope For The Future

Imagine a school where Jewish and Muslim children learn and pray together with no problems, no racial tensions and no religious intolerance. ...the children learn Hebrew, eat kosher food and wave Israeli flags.
Sounds Utopian ?

Try King David state primary school in Moseley, Birmingham.

I heard about this amazing school via an Israeli blog, and found the original article at the Independent newspaper http://education.independent.co.uk/schools/article2201860.ece
BTW,I`ve quoted the article verbatim in case it gets archived and cannot be easily found again :-)

Start
It's infant prize day at King David School, a state primary in Moseley, Birmingham. The children sit cross-legged on the floor, their parents fiddling with their video cameras. The head, Steve Langford, is wearing a Sesame Street tie.
A typical end-of-term school event, then. But at King David there's a twist that gives it a claim to be one of the most extraordinary schools in the country: King David is a strictly Jewish school. Judaism is the only religion taught. There's a synagogue on site. The children learn modern Hebrew - Ivrit - the language of Israel. And they celebrate Israeli independence day.
But half the 247 pupils at the 40-year-old local authority-supported school are Muslim, and apparently the Muslim parents go through all sorts of hoops, including moving into the school's catchment area, to get their children into King David to learn Hebrew, wave Israeli flags on independence day and hang out with the people some would have us believe that they hate more than anyone in the world.
The Muslim parents, mostly devout and many of the women wearing the hijab, say they love the ethos of the school, and even the kosher school lunches, which are suitable because halal and kosher dietary rules are virtually identical. The school is also respectful to Islam, setting aside a prayer room for the children and supplying Muslim teachers during Ramadan. At Eid, the Muslim children are wished Eid Mubarak in assembly, and all year round, if they wish, can wear a kufi (hat). Amazingly, dozens of the Muslim children choose instead to wear the Jewish kipah.
At the prize morning Carol Cooper, the RE teacher, says: "Boker tov," (Ivrit for "Good morning").
"Good morning Mrs Cooper," the children chant in reply. The entire school, Muslims, Jews, plus the handful of Christians and Sikhs then say the Shema, the holiest Jewish prayer, all together.
The Year Four violin club (five Muslims, two Jews) play "Little Bird, I Have Heard". Just as many prizes are being distributed to Hussains and Hassans and Shabinas as there are to Sauls and Rebeccas and Ruths. In fact, if anything, the Muslim children have beaten the Jewish ones. Thus does the Elsie Davis Prize for Progress go to a beaming little lad called Walid, the religious studies prize to a boy called Imran wearing a kipah and the progress prizes for Hebrew, to a boy called Habib and a girl called Alia.
Times being as they are, King David doesn't advertise its presence in a city where its pioneering multiculturalism could raise all kinds of unwelcome attention. There's a discreet signboard outside that reveals little about the school's unique nature. There are watchful video cameras high up on the walls, plus two electronic gates to pass through. Sadly, it is, to a significant extent, says Laurence Sharman, the (Christian) chairman of the PTA, "an undercover school".
The Muslim parents, however, are only too keen to talk in the playground about what might be seen by some in their communities as a controversial schooling decision.
"We actually bought a flat in the catchment area for the children to come here," says Nahid Shafiq, the mother of Zainah, four, and Hamza, nine, and wife of Mohammed, a taxi driver. "We were attracted by the high moral values of the school, and that's what we wanted our kids to have. None of us has any problem with it being a Jewish school. Why on earth should we? Our similarities as religions and cultures are far greater and more important than our differences. It's not even an issue.
"At the mosque, occasionally, people ask why we send the children here, but there is no antagonism whatsoever, and neither is there from anyone in our family. In fact, it was a big family decision to try and get them into King David. This is the real world. This is the way real people do things in the real world. All the violence and prejudice and problems - that's not real, that's just what you see on the news."
Fawzia Ismail (the mother of Aly-Raza, nine, and Aliah, six) is equally positive. "My nephew came here and my brother showed me the school, so it's a bit of a family tradition now. We're very, very pleased with the school. It's so friendly. All the kids mix and go to one another's parties and are in and out of each other's houses. They teach a bit about Israel, but we don't have any problem with that. There are such similarities between our people and our societies."
Irum Rashid (mother of Hanan, nine, and Maryam, four) says that a lot of people in Small Heath are considering moving to Moseley because of King David. "It's a very happy school, the behaviour is fantastic, the food is great - because it's kosher - and so are the SATs results."
But what about learning Hebrew and the Jewish prayers? "I think it's great. The more knowledge, the more understanding," says one of the mothers. "They learn all they need about Islam at mosque school. Actually, the kids often sing Hebrew songs in the bath, which is a bit confusing because we speak Gujarati at home, but I think it's great."
The Jewish parents and teachers I speak to are just as enthusiastic. "You know, in these difficult times in the world, I think we show how things should be done. It's really a bit of a beacon," says one teacher, whose three children all went to King David and ended up at Oxford University.
Parent Trevor Aremband is from South Africa. "In Johannesburg, we have Jewish schools, but they're 100 per cent Jewish, so we were a bit shocked when we first came here. But the integration works so well. It's clearly the way to go in today's world. My son is eight and has loads of Muslim friends."
The most important thing, I am told repeatedly, is that the cross-cultural friendships forged at King David last a lifetime. I hear a conversation about how a Rebecca is going to fly over from the States for a Fatima's wedding. I am told about a pair of lads, one Jewish, one Muslim, who became friends the day they started in the nursery, went to senior school together as well as to university and are now living close to one another with their wives and families and are currently on holiday together.
King David was not designed to be such a beacon of inter-faith cooperation and friendship. Founded in 1865 as The Hebrew School, it was 100 per cent Jewish until the late 1950s.
Then two things began to happen: there was a growth in the Muslim population in middle-income areas such as Moseley, and a shrinking of Britain's Jewish community, especially outside the main centres of London and Manchester. Muslim children started coming to the school in the early 1960s, but the current position, in which they are in the majority (Jewish children comprise 35 per cent, Muslims 50 per cent, Christians, Sikhs and other, 15 per cent) is very new.
"One of the things that surprises people about this school," says Langford, "is that it's not an especially privileged intake. Half of our kids have English as an additional language. But the amazing thing is how well it all works. We have a new little boy here from China, whose only English a few weeks ago was to ask for the toilet. He now speaks English - and can say the Shema perfectly.
"If you gauge success, for instance, by racial incidents, which schools always have to report to the LEA, we have at the most one a term. And that can just mean some harsh words with a racial slant used in the playground. At multicultural inner city schools where I've taught, there will be far, far more than that, possibly one or more a week."
In terms of SATs and Ofsted inspections, King David has also shone. It is rated as good - the second highest possible ranking - in all areas, and Ofsted made a special mention at the last inspection of the integration between children of different faiths and races. In the recent SATs results, the school also came in well above the national average in all subjects.
Steve Langford, a Warwick University economics graduate, is himself a bit of a paradox. He is Church of England on both parental sides and only became interested in Judaism when he worked in a Jewish summer camp in Massachusetts in his gap year. His interest paid off when he got a teaching job a King David. Now he is learning Ivrit at evening classes and goes to Israel for holidays.
The Rabbi of Birmingham's Singers Hill Synagogue, one of the financial backers of King David, is proud of Steve Langford and of the school's extraordinary interfaith record.
"King David School is amazing," says Rabbi Tann. "The reason I think it works well is that racism is engendered entirely by adults. Children don't have it within themselves. Their natural mode is to play happily with everyone. It's only when adults say, 'Don't play with him, he's black, or don't have anything to do with him, he's Muslim, that troubles begin.'
"We never have any racial or inter-faith problems at all. Not ever. In 20 years here, it's simply never happened in any significant way. We teach that if you don't like someone, you avoid them. Don't play with them. Go to the other side of the playground. I believe that if more people followed the lead of King David School, we'd have a much more peaceful world."
END
Share with friends using the share button below.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Film To Watch Out For

UPDATE:
Apparently this is available from amazon.com now !
Search for Ostrov DVD.





H/T to Papa Herman for posting a link to a must-see film about A Russian monk.
It looks absolutely brilliant......
Share with friends using the share button below.

Snow Gargoyle


I had to post this !
The stone masons working on Hereford Cathedral made this snow gargoyle yesterday.
I would love one in my garden !
It is now 10.36am and the snow is really starting to settling on the ground here.
Yippee :-)
UPDATE: Almost 4pm.
The snow has stopped, and is slowly starting to melt.....
The photo was shamelessly lifted from Ruth Gledhill`s religious affairs blog on The Times website :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

It Snowed ! And Other Things..

We did have the predicted snow yesterday !
I woke up at 2 am and looked out of the window and saw heavy rain. I went back to bed rather miffed, but was woken up by DD3 at 6.30am with the news that there was indeed snow !

The two young ones were up , dressed and out building a snowman by 7.30am, but by about 8.45 am it started to sleet heavily so we had to come inside.
We only had about an inch and a quarter of snow here, but our school was closed as the staff who lived out of town up in the hills couldn`t get in. Our main bus didn`t run from The Big City to here in Blogsville till lunchtime, so the main roads really must have been bad.......

We just pottered around and I took the dog for a walk. He was NOT impressed with the cold white stuff on the ground ! By 2pm, the snow had all gone.
As I type this, it is snowing really heavily again, but because there has been so much rain overnight, it is not even showing on the ground.........the girls are in school and I am making the most of my computer time.

We visited my mother- in -law last night, and she is looking so very frail :-(
She was not allowed out of bed yesterday at all, because her blood pressure was very low and she kept feeling faint. Although they are sorting out her kidney infection, the Consultant has said he cannot rule out the possibility that she has had a mild stroke, so she is having more investigations today and will most likely be in hospital for a time yet.

My brother -in-law has to go back to his family today, so we will be "camping out" at mother- in -law`s house to care for her elderly cat and dog for a few days; so I will only be posting sporadically for the next few days.

Tomorrow is the Feast of St Scholastica, sister of St Benedict who died in 543 AD. Some lovely stories from her life are here.

Holy St Scholastica, pray for us !!
Share with friends using the share button below.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Orwellian Britain

Just when we thought things couldn`t get much worse in totalitarian state Britain, another bombshell explodes.

Especially for my UK readers, please be warned via Midwife Muse`s web site :-
QUOTE
Apparently there is only one month left to register your objection to the 'Pay As You Go' road tax.

The petition is on the 10 Downing St website but they didn't tell anybody about it. Therefore at the time of Sarah's comments (on BBC Radio 2 broadcast) only 250,000 people had signed it and 750,000 signatures are required for the goverment to at least take any notice.

Once you've given your details (you don't have to give your full address, just house number and postcode will do), they will send you an email with a link in it. Once you click on that link, you'll have signed the petition.

The government's proposal to introduce road pricing will mean you having to purchase a tracking device for your car and paying a monthly bill to use it. The tracking device will cost about £200 and in a recent study by the BBC, the lowest monthly bill was £28 for a rural florist and £194 for a delivery driver. A non working mother who used the car to take the kids to school paid £86 in one month.

On top of this massive increase in tax, you will be tracked. Somebody will know where you are at all times. They will also know how fast you have been going, so even if you accidentally creep over a speed limit in time you can probably expect a Notice of Intended Prosecution with your monthly bill.

If you are concerned about this Orwellian plan and want to stop the constant bashing of the car driver, please sign the petition on No 10's new website (link below) and pass this on to as many people as possible. Sign up if you value your freedom and democratic rights -

http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax

END QUOTE

Where is it going to end? Will we be soon be taxed by the litre for the very air we breathe ?
Share with friends using the share button below.

Orthodox Roundup

Welcome back and thank you for your patience !

A special welcome and thank you also to Father Gregori, who has kindly been praying for our family and he is posting from a much colder climate than we have here in South Wales !

We are still awaiting our forecasted snow, but at the moment we have sunshine and blue skies.......


Huw Raphael posted a brilliant and thought-provoking exposition on the message of the Publican and the Pharisee which stopped me dead in my tracks.

The idea of simplicity of prayer is developed by Fr Stephen as he ponders on Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory`s book "Learning to Pray".

Fr John gives a link to the glorification video of St Xenia of St Petersburg, which I had never seen before. I have two icons of St Xenia, whose selfless love for her husband and her concern for his salvation puts me to bitter shame. I endeavour to follow her example......

Seth kindly provides the text of a sermon about the Mother of God delivered by Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory, which merits close reading. May we all benefit from the Theotokos` holy prayers as we prepare for Great and Blessed Lent and the glorious Feast of Holy Pascha !

Many Christian denominations embrace the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is a topic of concern for many Orthodox, for a variety of reasons. Christopher has posted an interesting article detailing his "take" on the matter .

Fr Stephen also posts a deep article on the topic of Guardian Angels. Each child in our home has their own Guardian Angel icon by their beds, and our bedtime routine involves invoking the prayers of our Guardian Angels. I can`t imagine **not** doing this

During my web-wanderings, I found a great resource ; a Romanian Orthodox Priest`s Service Book in English ! There are prayers for so many different circumstances listed here ; I have found many relating to my needs and hope you will also find them of use.

Another resource is the blog of the Voice of Moscow radio station, which comes via a Lutheran church who have kindly made this available to "learn about our Russian Orthodox Christian compatriots, their rich history, music, composers, performers, writers, sermons, and Saints' lives and work".
They are true to their word and give links to wonderful excerpts from the writings of the Optina elders, St John of Kronstadt and St Dimitri of Rostov, amongst many others.

Another resource providing amazing links to Akathists, Canons and Services to many different Saints can be found here

Out of curiosity, I searched Google video to see if The Silent Scream anti-abortion film was posted, and it is indeed available to watch. This is one of the first pieces of pro-life film I saw, before I became a midwife, and it still horrifies me to watch it. Be warned, it is graphic and disturbing, and is happening all over the world as we read this.
It was filmed in the earlier days of ultrasound scanning, and as the technology has improved exponentially since then, it would be technically possible to depict a child being dismembered in 3-D now. I find this version horrific as it is.........Lord have mercy on us all.

On a happier note, I will end by posting a link to the audio chant of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple .

I`m sorry this is shorter than usual, but I hope you will all find something of value here !
Share with friends using the share button below.

Roundup

I haven`t forgotten to do the Roundup; but just haven`t had time.
I hope to do it either today or tomorrow - unless, of course, it starts to snow, when journalism will take second place to snowman- building :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Weather Forecast

We have snow forecast for our area tonight .

I`ll believe it when it happens - we live on the coast, so any snow generally lies on the ground for only a few hours before vanishing.

We are desperately hoping we can get to make a snowman :-)
Share with friends using the share button below.

Update

Dear friends,
Heartfelt thanks for your prayers. My mother in law is slowly and steadily improving, though still very frail. No news yet on when she might possibly be able to come home.
It has been a tough few days.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Urgent

Dear friends,
prayers urgently coveted for my much loved mother in law, who collapsed at home this morning and is in hospital. She really is not very well at all, and I am extremely concerned about her.

She didn`t even know me when I got there, neither did she know her sister though she knew my husband and brother -in law.
She is only 68, and her name is Faye.

Lord have mercy.
Share with friends using the share button below.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Unclean !

I feel I should be waving a large handbell and shouting "Unclean!" at this point, folks !
Our little household has been stricken by the current crop of viruses - and stricken is the operative word !

Both young ones have had different viruses; one D&V th eother flu which developed into a chest infection. Then DH came home ill from work with real flu (as opposed to "manflu"/aka a cold, which he had abut a fortnight ago) and has been like a dying duck all week, poor lamb.
I am battling flu and am still doing all the child care/dogcare/washing and ironing , cooking etc whilst everyone else succumbs.
Prayers for a speedy return to health would be appreciated.......
Share with friends using the share button below.