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BarbaraTherese

Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

My reading matter for this Lent is:

"7 Secrets of Confession" (Vinny Flynn)

"40 Days with St Paul" (Henry Wansbrough)

 

Confession for me remains the difficult Sacrament - and 40 Days with St Paul comes highly recommended as reading material for Lent..........or any other time.  The books arrived today.

 

I had a dreadful and then Joyous experience today.  Went to see my doctor for a medical clearance to do voluntary work, requested by Anglicare.  My doctor felt he could not give me a clearance not due to my fall and ankle problem (healing well), but because I have a long standing back and hip problem.  Despite these two problems, I can travel everywhere by bus and do my grocery shop most often with my trolley and walking.  Some pain, but nothing unendurable.  Hence I had never given consideration that I might be medically considered unfit to do voluntary work.

 

Somehow, I don't understand how and will be asking about it on Thursday, the second 'Anglicare' charity is not connected to Anglicare, rather to the Anglican parish in which it is situated.  Hence I rang the first charity to explain I would not be able to return to voluntary work with them - and I thought I would not be able to do voluntary work again.  I was devastated, but trying to keep my Faith and confident trust in The Lord that there were good reasons why and perhaps it might ask a change of direction.  When I rang my boss at the second 'Anglicare' charity to tell him I would have to leave, I was astounded and overjoyed to hear that my so called 'unfitness' for work was not a problem to them and that they were not actually 'Anglicare' but the Anglicare parish.  I don't understand this since with Catholicism, parishes and the diocese are closely related and very often the diocese can dictate what happens in parishes. I have also been offered another day a week with the second charity to replace the first.

 

I was really devastated to hear I would need to leave voluntary work two days weekly as it had become intrinsic to my way of life since I shifted into this suburb.......that was on the feeling level.  On the Faith level, I was striving to keep my confident trust in The Lord and that very good reasons were afoot and possibly even a change of direction.  The Rule of Life for Bethany makes allowances for necessary changes in direction through the emphasis and reliance on Divine Providence in all things.

 

I am so overjoyed and thankful that tonight I am going to do something I very rarely do, if ever.  I am going to order in Chinese for dinner to celebrate on a human level, He who became human for our sake.............while I am continually giving thanks to The Lord in prayer on a more spiritual level for personal blessings always serves to remind me again of those who, as I give thanks with Joy, are suffering in our world for any reason whatsoever be that minor or major.

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

Coming home from voluntary work yesterday afternoon on the bus, there was a male two seats forward from me talking loudly to himself lost in his own world.  I began praying for him and for those who suffer mental illness, when a thought struck me.  The man ahead of me simply lived in a different reality and was not a person to feel sorry for, rather to appreciate. All my 'feeling sorry and pity' fell away and I became conscious of the man and with appreciation as absolutely unique and simply living in a totally different reality to mine.

          I began to reflect and it occurred to me further that we all live in different realities.  We are all coming from a somewhere :- past experiences totally different of both nature and nurture.  We all have different hopes and dreams both in the short term for today and in the long term......we all have our problems in this today be they major or minor problems...hopefully we all have our Joys in this today and in the longer term - but not all do...........in short, it struck me just how totally unique every person is and why - and just how fascinating we all should be ideally to each other and how I really should be listening to and full appreciating every person's uniqueness and differences. 

 

I think probably deep down I had always realised the above, but it all came forward into consciousness on a newer level.

 

Too often, I might strive to fashion others in my own image and likeness..........and that really hit home too!   Sometimes institutions too can desire and strive to fashion others in their own image and likeness. The lyrics of Bob Dylan came into consciousness again "I just try to be myself but others want me to be just like them".     I really need God's Grace and Mercy to stop being judgemental about others on a quite covert and very subtle level of consciousness and where it does more harm than when fully in consciousness.  To be more fully appreciative of others' own unique identity and how it came to be - to be really interested and welcoming of their story, if shared, without judgement.  And should I not know their story, to be fully appreciative of the fact that we all do have a stories which does fashion us into indeed very complex beings.

 

As I reflect at this moment, to me judgement and assessment are two entirely different matters.  Judgement is to assess and pronounce a sentence.  Assessment is simply to assess where a person may fit into my own world (my own reality) either as one I can joyfully embrace fully, or as one for whatever reason I need leave out from my world other than in prayer........for both of us.  There is always ample room, more than ample rather endless room, for me to grow in Charity. 

If a person for some reason cannot be embraced into my own reality other than in prayer - this might be a problem of the other, of my own or of both of us.  Most often it seems to me in my own case it is a problem of both of us or far more often of mine only.

 

All these thoughts have been triggered from that man sitting up from me on the bus.  We can never know perhaps often how often we are channels of Grace to each other as that man probably will never know this side of Heaven how I have been blest through him.

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

Lent!

This year, Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays will be days of abstinence.  I have a decidedly sweet tooth and so my toaster and jam will be out the door with my toaster being given to a charity.  All other sweet items (lollies, icecream, biscuits, cake etc) have long been banned totally with my toaster, butter and jam my only too often indulged in sweet food.  I am looking at the lack of toaster and jam as being permanent even after Lent...........in hope!

 The charity I have in mind fully tests electrical items before putting them in their op shop for sale.  I will be donating extra $10 to the missions each week and of course, here in Australia, we have Caritas and the little cardboard donation boxes we are given each Lent for possibly mainly small change, which comes about often as our denials through Lent lead to a reduced financial outlay - often for food and the grocery budget.

My SD and confessor is recovering from surgery for a while and once he is fully back on his feet, I will be going to Confession.

 

A very happy and productive Lent to all with many blessings.  Tuesday 17.2.15 7.50am here just now.

 

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

'All these thoughts have been triggered from that man sitting up from me on the bus.  We can never know perhaps often how often we are channels of Grace to each other as that man probably will never know this side of Heaven how I have been blest through him.'

 

In reference to the above from my previous post.  It has long struck me that those who suffer mental illness are most often viewed in Christianity only as objects for charitable actions.  Much too often those who suffer mental illness are not viewed as blessings in their own right.  If nothing else (and there is MUCH else) they are a challenge to all to reflect that in God's Divine Providence and His Permissive Will sufferers of mental illness have been placed in our midst as blessings.   A statement like that can be a stumbling block to others just as St Paul tells us that The Cross is a stumbling block  :

 

1 Corinthians Chapter 1 : [21] For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world, by wisdom, knew not God, it pleased God, by the foolishness of our preaching, to save them that believe. [22] For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: [23] But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumbling block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness: [24] But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. [25] For the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

 

 

stumbling block - a circumstance that causes difficulty or hesitation.

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

After lingering for a few years in the doldrums, wondering what my commitment in this 'new' suburb and location meant in terms of Bethany as a way of life, things are starting to unfold.

 

I shifted to this 'new' suburb in September 2009.

 

First, I had to resign from one of my voluntary positions on a reception desk for emergency assistance with Anglicare.  After my fall and foot injury, Anglicare requested a doctor's clearance to return to work.  I was shocked when my (so called) GP refused to give me a clearance.  This was not due to my foot injury which is healing very nicely, but rather to my long standing back and hip problem - and this really did take me aback on two fronts.  First with four years now of voluntary work 'under my belt', I had never ever been asked for a doctor's clearance before.  Secondly, this GP I had been seeing was not at all satisfactory.  He refuses to prescribe psychiatric medication (never had that one before either), which meant that my psychiatrist was posting scripts to me as she is located in my previous suburb and quite a distance from where I am now.  This 'GP' also has given me incorrect advice about two non psychiatric medications.  I have been seeing him only because he is just a five minute walk from me.

 

After quite considerable research over the past year, I now think I might have found a GP who will prescribe psychiatric medication and also who bulk bills.  My previous medical clinic here in this suburb began over a year ago to charge $14 per visit.  Hence I had been seeing the 'GP' who is a five minute walk away.  This new GP that I have now more or less 'fell over' is only a bus trip from me. My first visit is Friday 27th Feb 2015.

 

On the voluntary work front.  When I advised my second voluntary position also on the reception desk for emergency assistance that I would have to leave.  My boss informed me that he did not want a doctor's clearance and if I liked, I could work for him 2 days weekly instead of 1 only.  I also learnt that Anglicare and  The Church of England operate as two different entities.  Very happily I accepted two days with the Church of England charity.

 

As a result of accepting two days with the CofE, one of my voluntary days changed.  The result of that very happy change is that most of the time I can attend weekday Mass at least once each week (bus trip and bit of a walk).

 

But things have changed too on another front without me realising change was in process.  In my previous suburb, I had many indeed visitors in some sort of need and thanks to my counselling days, if I couldn't help them, most often I could give them contacts that could probably help them.  In this current suburb, it is absolutely far more affluent than my previous suburb.  What is happening here I am now realising is that I am making contact with lonely and isolated people for one reason or another and we are meeting for lunch or coffee (in my previous suburb none could afford such luxuries).  What I am going to be doing is having a BBQ here in Bethany or some sort of lunch or dinner and bringing people together to hopefully find that they do have friends after all - by meeting and getting to know each other.

 

My shift into this suburb and parish was not my choice, it was a mandatory shift by the government authority whose tenant I am; hence, I regard the shift as God's Will for me...........but for quite a while, a few years, I have languished in the doldrums wondering what my day to day life actually was in terms of Bethany as a way of life.  Now I am starting to see it unfold I think! Anyway, almost suddenly my days are totally committed across the board of weekday Mass weekly at least, daily prayer and Silence (Mary) and the works of Bethany (Martha) which includes my voluntary work assisting people in need. 

 

Martha and Mary were sisters who lived in Bethany just outside of Jerusalem and with their brother, Lazarus, were obviously very close friends of Jesus.  Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and I certainly feel with 20 years of very serious psychotic illness and episodes now over 10 years in the past, that Jesus has indeed brought me back to life again.  Amazingly through those 20 years of serious illness, Bethany continued to function - although there were gaps when I was in hospital, but even in hospital I was making contact with people in need and if the staff felt I was well enough, they would let me walk to Mass, which I frequently did do. It was a short walk from the hospital. That parish priest would visit me if I was unable to walk to Mass and bring Holy Communion and hear my Confession. Father is now diocesan Vocations Director. Hence Bethany was still functioning through my very ill years, even if it was frequently changing gears from me in hospital and ill and me out of hospital and functioning ok.

 

Bipolar is episodic and in between times for many sufferers, including me, I was quite well in-between those very ill times.  It was a very confusing time spanning many years since I was never sure which was the real me, the ill me or the well me.  In the end, I resigned to it all and accepted the identity confusion.  If I didn't know who I really was, I was confident that The Lord indeed did know.

 

Work as if everything depended on work and pray as if everything depended on prayer..........because it does!

 

_______________

I will be posting at a later date some time, all the meanings of "Bethany" which did exist also in the Old Testament but has never been located to date.  And of course there is Bethany in the New Testament and the location of Martha, Mary and Lazarus.  "Bethany" has quite a few meanings.

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

Was going to edit slightly my previous post and I had another good laugh when the following once more came up............

They found us. I don't know how, but they found us. Run for it Marty!!!

You do not have permission to edit this topic

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

For quite a few days I was unable to login to Phatmass and could not get past the 404 Message when I tried to login.  This was after deleting my browsing history.........a couple of times!  And also after emailing dUSt........... a couple of times..........to complain loudly about my problem. Sorry bout that dUSt :whistle:

HITCH SEEMS TO BE THAT I HAVE TO DELETE BROWSING HISTORY EVERY TIME I WANT TO LOG IN.

First, it hit me that on my laptop here, I have a "Guest" login facility.  I tried logging in to Phatmass using "Guest", but was still unable to login.

I decided that I would be unable to ever login to Phatmass ever again as potential and had begun to pray that I would be accepting of God's Permissive Will and for success in His Grace to deal with already on-setting severe (for me) withdrawal symptoms.   This morning it hit me that it might have been that I was not logged in to Phatmass on "Guest" and had not deleted my browsing history either possibly.  Turned out I was not logged in and had not deleted my browsing history -  and when I did both these actions on "Guest", I had success and could login and access the forums.  It simply means for me that if I want to login to Phatmass, I "Switch Users" and access Phatmass through "Guest".

God is good to His Least and it seems to me the really lower I fall down on the scale of things and know it with unerring certainty, the more He comes to my rescue - totally undeserved for sure on every level.

Is God Good? He is absolutely totally and over the top amazingly and outstandingly Goodness Itself, from which His equally amazing Mercies readily flow.  There is a very cheeky indeed:like2: Psalm-line in the Divine Office (Douay Rheims Translation - Psalm 50 " that thou (The Lord) mayst be justified in thy words and mayst overcome when thou (The Lord) art judged. [7] For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me.") ..........brackets mine.

 

Psalm 50 is an extremely beautiful Psalm for the sinful who plead for God's Mercy  :  http://www.drbo.org/chapter/21050.htm

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

Oh boy!  I can still login and post.  After all my:beg:.......on the precipice of near despair of ever being here again......... Tis truly a most stunningly amazing matter to me!............even though I have to delete my browsing history every time.

This is another test post to ensure I am not hallucinating! :offtopic:

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

Sorry to annoy - Would like to ensure that I can still post ok on "Guest" and hopefully without needing to delete my browsing history again.

Edit: Wow! All running according to hopes.  Personally, I think that our fearless leader, dUSt, is pretty special.

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

I had a wonderful experience in my voluntary work last week.  A homeless women came in asking for a bandaid.  When I looked at the sore on her hand it was infected and she really needed to see a doctor and I advised her accordingly.  At first her body odour was so nasty, I almost pulled back from her - but as I applied a temporary bandage to the sore, the odour did not change into roses or lilies or anything like that, but I no longer experienced it as quite nasty, rather to the contrary and it was no longer nasty nor unpleasant.  And in the applying of the bandage, I became conscious of being outstandingly honoured to be attending to one of her needs.  I have never been able to see Jesus in other people, but I can experience them as beloved by Him ......... and with the lady above, I was conscious of someone very close indeed to Him and I was humbled.

She had already made arrangements to see a doctor.

___________

Still logged in ok through "Guest" but still unable to login in my normal manner, despite deleting all browsing and cookies again.  Mystery! :)

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

Had lunch yesterday in our (voluntary work) free/low cost canteen and met the homeless woman I wrote about last post.  She has seen a doctor and is on antibiotics. 

 

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

Caught up with my homeless lady at lunch today - her hand is completely healed.  She is a client shining rays of bright sunshine and happy smiles around our mission.

 

 

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

That's great Barb! I just started regular volunteer work with a local Council. It's nice to give something back, isn't it?

 

​Thanks nunsense.  Good to catch up with again, gal!

I hope you will really enjoy your volunteer service with the local council and find it entirely rewarding as volunteer work is.

I am very grateful indeed to be able to be helpful having for so many years been desperately in need of help myself, including through years of homelessness and poverty, illness.  These people do not realise that they are giving far more than they are receiving - and they really are.  Very often they are entirely humble and gentle people who have fallen on hard times, and very often not through their own fault.  As I experienced being a fellow psychiatric patient with mental illness sufferers, they have a great sense of humour and of the funny and absurd in life as do many of the people who come into the mission needing help of some kind.  It is so warming to see people in hard times and suffering being blessed by The Lord with much Joy and laughter.

At our mission we can provide food parcels, clothing etc and cheap midday nourishing meals - free for those who don't have any money.  We have a (sort of) gym, exercise classes and lounge with TV - we have a second hand shop or OP Shop as we call them here as you would know.  But what I really love about being part of this Anglican mission to the poor, is that our own staff facilities are marked by great age, badly in need of refurbishment and we staff are often running out of the necessary and woe is me, sometimes it is toilet paper ! :lol4: - i.e. all is marked by real and observable poverty.  All we do get in donations goes straight to the poor.  I am so very grateful to be a part of it all.

 

God bless and doubtless we will catch up again on the rounds of Phammy............Barb:like2:

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nunsense    3,805
nunsense

I am so glad you are enjoying your work Barb. I used to do that kind of hands-on volunteer work but these days my work is to help the helpers. I do admin work in the office, answer phones, set up interviews for prospective volunteers, make appointments and schedule transport for the elderly, input data, etc. I guess I'm more of a volunteer for the volunteers - lol. :) 

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BarbaraTherese    1,912
BarbaraTherese

I am so glad you are enjoying your work Barb. I used to do that kind of hands-on volunteer work but these days my work is to help the helpers. I do admin work in the office, answer phones, set up interviews for prospective volunteers, make appointments and schedule transport for the elderly, input data, etc. I guess I'm more of a volunteer for the volunteers - lol. :) 

​ Ahhh yes!  There are those very important people indeed that are 'behind the scenes' without whom a worthy and needed organization or institution would fold completely.  When I worked full time doing secretarial work, Management by Objectives was then the in-thing.............in vogue way back then.  The first talk I heard about it, the speaker took up the instance of the person who empties the waste paper baskets and we were asked to contemplate where the offices and we would be without them.  Everyone has a task and the task is very important, invaluable, to the whole.  The key word, for me, was "invaluable".  Of course, later I was able to tie Management by Objectives in with the Doctrine of The Mystical Body and all our various tasks and gifts absolutely necessary to the overall functioning of the whole.  And this, of course, ties in with all the various vocations and calls by The Lord into His Vineyard............none is less, none is more - all are in place out of absolute necessity to the whole.

With St Vinnies, I mainly do the monthly Minutes of Meeting - someone has to push the paper around and keep the paper on the move and this is absolutely necessary to the functioning of SVP at parish level.

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