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Private Vows in The Laity/Spirituality


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Liturgical colour: white
White is the colour of heaven. Liturgically, it is used to celebrate feasts of the Lord; Christmas and Easter, the great seasons of the Lord; and the saints. Not that you will always see white in church, because if something more splendid, such as gold, is available, that can and should be used instead. We are, after all, celebrating.
  In the earliest centuries all vestments were white – the white of baptismal purity and of the robes worn by the armies of the redeemed in the Apocalypse, washed white in the blood of the Lamb. As the Church grew secure enough to be able to plan her liturgy, she began to use colour so that our sense of sight could deepen our experience of the mysteries of salvation, just as incense recruits our sense of smell and music that of hearing. Over the centuries various schemes of colour for feasts and seasons were worked out, and it is only as late as the 19th century that they were harmonized into their present form.
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My foster son will drop me off at Vigil Mass tomorrow night and has indicated he might come to Mass with me.  He said that he has not been to Mass in many years, but was certainly at Mass as a child and an altar boy as well.  A prayer for him very much appreciated as well as for his marriage and all the complexities around the separation.  Nothing further we can do at this point, rather respond to the unfoldings as they do unfold - it is the unknown as the future always is.  There have been endless forms to complete for the various government departments here and their websites are so confusing.  My FS and I called in to two departments Wednesday and were told we had to complete the details online.  They had computers, but my FS had forgotten his login number.  He will be paying board at cost price only.  Rent amount will be up to the government authority of whom I am a tenant.  Just at the moment, however, FS is also out of work.

I have decided to give up even the one load I had been taking in fortnightly - just now with my foster son here, it is a bit of a mental drain I am so accustomed to living in silence and alone.  My back injury has never liked the ironing ever and can only worsen over time.  Given time I will adjust.  I never made much at all out of the ironing anyway. I charged $15hour and out of that had to be purchased distilled water and an ironing aid, along with allowance put aside for a new iron and electricity usage.  My client has advised that she has someone as a standby for emergencies - also that if I decide to take in ironing again to let her know and she will come back to me.  A prayer for her appreciated too.  She has breast cancer and is only young and a lovely married young woman............ and still working.

I turned 71yrs yesterday and today and tomorrow we are experiencing a heatwave......102degrees F just now - and tomorrow it will be even hotter.  Thankfully Sunday the temperature should drop markedly.  I am so happy to have an in-wall air conditioner and a cheap yet effective one.  It must be at least 15yrs of age now and to date just keeps on keeping on.

My prayer routine has gone south. It was a deliberate decision until things settle down here and my FS and I are into an established type of routine or what I call "automatic pilot"........ but I still pray and often 'on the run' (as I go about my day).

Deo Gratius

Laudate Dominum

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"Pope Francis: Hope through the Sacrament of Penance"

I would have liked to post the above article from Catholic Culture website in full.  It is a very important text, including in the positive things it has to state about Pope Francis, about the good he has done and is doing and even why.  Catholic Culture has not refrained from heavy criticism of Pope Francis.  Articles like the one I am posting are an indication that Catholic Culture articles and texts are balanced reflections without total investment in any bias or leanings.  CC will report on the negative and the positive.   The CC copyright will not allow me to post the article in full I don't think. 

It is an important read.




Whatever concerns we may have about how Pope Francis is handling access to the Eucharist by those in invalid marriages, there is a common theme in nearly everything he says and does. I refer to the Pope’s emphasis on the Church as a field hospital in which the chief method of healing is the Sacrament of Penance. Again and again, in statement after statement, Pope Francis has stressed the importance of the confessional as the proper locus for spiritual discernment and spiritual growth.

This very point was made by Fr. Raymond de Souza in the National Catholic Register when he explained eight reasons we should be thankful for Pope Francis (see Pope Francis at 80). The emphasis on confession was the fifth of these, which he explained as follows:
                " In his letter concluding the Jubilee of Mercy, Misericordia et Misera, the Holy Father wrote that the sacrament confession has to be “put back at the center of the Christian life”. He is the..."..........read on at above link


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Pope Francis compares the attitude of The Magi to that of Pilot:




..............."..........He (Pope Francis) continued:

A holy longing for God helps us keep alert in the face of every attempt to reduce and impoverish our life. A holy longing for God is the memory of faith, which rebels before all prophets of doom. That longing keeps hope alive in the community of believers, which from week to week continues to plead: “Come, Lord Jesus.”

“Herod is unable to worship because............read on at above link



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One thing I am re-learning with my FS here is the challenges of community with the habits, personality and foibles of the other.  I constantly need to remind myself that he too is experiencing my habits, personality and foibles.  This is all a distinct plus for me, teaching me more about myself than when I lived alone.  It is good to have someone else to think and care about in the day to day except myself.  As much as I do love the silence and quiet of living alone, I prefer the community experience though it is challenging - a different kind of challenge to that of living alone.

It is not easy for a child-now-adult to return to live with a parent :) ..........especially after he has had a fully independent life for quite some time.  Not easy for him at all.

Thankfully, after shifting here on the 30th December last, he is now acquiring more casual work.  He is still seeking something permanent however.   God does indeed "feed us with finest wheat" - with my FS at work during the day now and then, I still have my silence and quiet and when he is here, I have the challenges of community.

I hope to re-install my formal prayer routine today.

I have been presented with another challenge from outside Bethany and that is that better qualified people have moved up a rung as it were, and I have moved down one or two in a situation.  Cold water in my face at first, but I have reminded myself that Divine Providence is with us in all things regardless and so Peace of heart and mind quickly returned - although going by past experience, it just might be a personal cold water/Peace of heart and mind bit of a roller coaster for a while until Peace in the situation reigns.  Ah pride - I read somewhere that some saint said that pride will die only ten minutes after we do.  A ten minute tour of duty in Purgatory aint bad at all.............for a saint perhaps.

For many years a phrase in The Magnificat would stumble me with confusion - which confusion began in the years of my active illness:


“He has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted the lowly;
      He has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty

However, once the Doctrine of Divine Providence fell into place with me, "exaltation" and "good things" lost completely their worldly and secular type of meaning and a new definition was born.  "Richness" was no longer defined in those worldly type of ways and terms -  and "richness" in God's Eyes and Ways was born for me.  But human nature conditioned by our society and culture into its definitions can rebel......and rebel......and rebel.

Life is all attitude and perspective.  "What is my attitude to life and all its ups and downs - my perspective on it all?"

Deo Gratius

Laudate Dominus

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My FS (foster son) attended Vigil Mass with me last Saturday.  He was very devout and it was that devoutness I recall from his childhood and when he was an altar boy.  I cant kneel any more, but he did.  Since he had not been to Mass for many years, he said, he refrained from Holy Communion.  I have explained the Confession procedure in our parish and left it at that.

  Knowing when to speak and what to say can be difficult in evangelization type situations.  What I do, is listen to the interior voice/feeling/awareness that sort of nudges one to go ahead and trust in that.  It can also nudge when to refrain or when enough has been said.  It is not always correct it can seem to human reasoning, but then all things at all times are always in God's Hands in the state of Grace.  I can hold to that with confidence, trust and comfort, consolation.

Mind you, logic and reason can also be guides and not to be ignored - and knowing when to listen to them.

While life is all about attitude and perspective, it is also about balance.  Gifts of The Lord - Amen.

Laudate Dominum

Reminds me of some lines of the lyrics of The Gambler (Kenny Rogers)............

 You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done

Every gambler knows
That the secret to survivin'
Is knowin' what to throw away
And knowin' what to keep
'Cause every hand's a winner
And every hand's a loser
And the best that you can hope for
Is to die in your sleep"


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Son's Birthday


It is my biological son's birthday today.  He is happily married, turns 51yrs of age, and lives and works in another state.  We spoke on the phone last night.  Today I sent him a text as follows:

"May the roads rise with you

And may the wind be ever at your back

And may The Lord hold us all always in the hidden and mysterious hollow of His Hand

And may we all be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil even knows we are dead"

(An Old Gaelic Blessing and old Irish Toast)

With my foster son living here for an indefinite period and with his life and finances so upside down, I am still going to try to visit my biological son and his wife in another state for a couple of days at the end of this February or March, before winter.  It is going to depend on my own finances.

Last night, searching for an old invitation in the appropriate file, I came across a beautiful and very personal note my Carmelite prioress wrote to me after the Home Mass to renew my life Private Vows, which Home Mass she attended.  The note did include that Our Lady of Carmel continue to watch over me, which again moved me.  The whole note brought a few tears to my eyes again and glowing warmth to my heart.  She knows me as none other for sure ***.  She was with me every moment from before the onset of bipolar and all through those dreadful, frightening and destructive years bipolar was quite active.  She was only ever a phone call away at any time day or night - or a visit to her if I was able.  She acted far and beyond any call of duty in the extreme.  There are some of our secrets I will not share.  I do regard her as a sort of co-founder of Bethany as a way of life - both her and my SD confessor at the time, priest religious theologian lecturing and living in our seminary then.

My family and a Public Mental Health (PMH) department psychiatrist  in support(probably 18 or so years ago) wanted to bring an Order against me to control my finances and also force me legally to take any and all medication prescribed.  It is a very long story which I am going to make as brief as I can.  I was working at the time and a private secretary to the managing director of a well known public company.  I was very well paid, prior to which I did casual secretarial work for an agency when I was well between episodes - also a very well paid position.  I was renting accommodation and had my own car (all very hard come by through saving over a long period and therein another very long story).  I was advised there was a meeting with my family (and a PMH doctor) of The Guardianship Board - my boss explained to me what it was as I had never heard the term before.

Out my savings I hired a lawyer (whose final bill was surprisingly almost nothing).  I had to 'walk the city' as it were to find a lawyer who would represent me. All except the aforementioned refused - it would be a medical type mental illness case and 'legal angels fear to tread' it seemed.  The female lawyer I did find (eventually became a judge and now a politician), in due course arranged for a barrister who, after hearing my story, said he would work for me for nothing (as he really believed in my story) if we did have to take the matter to the Supreme Court.  I also consulted with an investigative reporter on our very popular large circulation Sunday newspaper - he said he would write my story as one of public interest if we did have to take it to the Supreme Court.

I rang my family and informed them about the reporter.  They withdrew their application almost immediately for the Order as did the  supporting PMH psychiatrist.  Probably being published in a popular weekend newspaper disturbed them, as was my hope to get them to back off.  My hope back then was to get on top of bipolar, rent a house and get my sons back.  That never happened and may God's Will ever be done. Amen.  At this stage, my Carmelite prioress came into play in a huge way far beyond her call of duty, very far than ever before - keeping that under my hat.

My own psychiatrist at the time (God has always watched over me, blessing me with good psychiatrists - bar one or two particular doctors or so when I was in Public Mental Health) could not believe what my family and the PMH psychiatrist were trying to do through a public legal Guardianship Board Order against me.  He did personally approach the PMH psychiatrist who refused to withdraw his part of the application, although probably could not withdraw fast enough when he heard about the reporter.  I know why in all probability why he was acting in support of an Order - but I will keep that under my hat too.  It's just another long story in my journey.

My psychiatrist nowadays is a private psychiatrist.  She had been my doctor in PMH.  When she went private, I went with her as her private patient.  I truly rejoiced to be able to put PMH behind me.  More stories in my PMH days than a cat has fleas.......no exaggeration.  Funny stories and not funny at all stories.


Years ago at a meeting in Public Mental Health rehab, we had blank paper pinned to our backs.  We had to move around and write something positive only on the paper on the backs of each other.  One of my statements read "More to Barb than meets the eye".


Edit:  Last sentence should read "one of the statements written on my back read "More to Barb than meets the eye".  I don't know who wrote it, though we were all friends helping and supporting, visiting, each other in the general community.  What marked us all in a particular way I think, was an all pervasive sense of humour and about ourselves and our illnesses.  We could sight, most all of us, the absurdities and funny side of life.  It is always there if you look for it.

Edited by BarbaraTherese
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Many things in life, of course, are not funny at all.  There are horrendous, tragic and saddening, even depressing stories all around us somewhere and these can and very often will move us to some sort of action from the heart with complete empathy, either practical or prayerfully, or even both.  Some of these stories we might know from some source somehow, others are happening right now without our knowledge at all.  Some might even be a part of our own journey, our story.

  One of the rules of Bethany is "All rules are transcended by: Use your common sense in all things."  Sometimes I can know what common sense is saying, but I choose quite deliberately to ignore it.  Life is all attitude, perspective, balance.........and risk.  Most of all life is all about confident trust in God in all things regardless.  It is the fountain of Peace and of Joy in Him in any and all circumstances.  Because I am human and a weak and sinful creature, I do not always follow my own understandings rather often. Mea maxima culpa.  Deo Gratius for The Sacrament of Confession. Amen.  What an utterly amazing and astounding Gift to His Church amongst many Gifts that do astound, overwhelm even in their essence and reality.

Every single person has a story and stories, and every single person is worth an empathic ear that listens from the heart.  Sometimes sitting in the mall packing one's groceries and chatting with the person beside one.  Or pausing on the street to have a chat with someone............or.........or........or.............

.......perhaps even sitting at our keyboard..............

He has no hands but ours.  We are the gateway He has chosen to enter His world - and if I close those gates?

All is Grace (St Therese of Lisieux)

Deo Gratius

Laudate Dominum


Edited by BarbaraTherese
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Just posted into CA most all the quotations from Vatican Documents and various popes on the validity of the single celibate vocation or call from God, whether that call is with private vow or vows or without.  My two relevant posts are under the User Name BarbTH.  Since they are together in the one spot, thought I would post them here too.


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One mustn’t make the Christian life into a punctilious system of law, like the Jewish, for two reasons. (1) It raises scruples when we don’t keep the routine. (2) It raises presumption when we do. Nothing gives one a more spuriously good conscience than keeping rules, even if there has been a total absence of all real charity and faith.
… C. S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady

(“Love fulfills the law.” Rm. 13:10)
I needed this today, my whole routine in Bethany is upside down and inside out as my foster son and I adjust to sharing this unit.  And yes, I was having a nasty dose of the guilts, even though the rule of life for Bethany says to use common sense in all things.  Just now my normal routine and times won't work nor will I really know when I can put in place something that will work for me..... common sense tells me.
But yes, I was suffering the guilties because my prayer routine is all over the place...........what is known as "unjust guilt".:(
There is just guilt and then there is unjust or unreasonable, illogical guilt.  I know them both.  I think probably those of us raised and educated prior to Vatican 2 can go on guilt trips that are absolutely ridiculous.  I know that one too!
I have a case of justified or just guilt too.  I have lost my temper a couple of times with my FS and only because things were not done my way.  Mea maxima culpa.
 Mind you, my FS can give as much as he takes......and that gives me a glow inside that he will stand up to me..............
Sitting outside under the pergola earlier this evening reflecting on the day and I said to myself:  "You would have been really great in a monastery............I don't think".
Deo Gratius
Laudate Dominum
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I have not forgotten this thread.  Just now I have a big decision to make before tomorrow.  I have requested prayer of enclosed contemplative nuns of Perpetual Adoration - also in our Prayer Forum............as well as my own prayer for this intention.  Howsoever God May Will is in the unfoldings from hereon until tomorrow.

Until after tomorrow, and perhaps any negative consequences I might need to deal with and negotiate, posting into other forums is keeping my mind distracted from what can only unfold tomorrow - as well as the related knee-jerk reaction of my own (i.e. very angry) because of the circumstances that led up to needing to make the decision I must - my prayer is that tonight the sun will not set on my anger.  Divine Office Compline "do not let the sun set on your anger and the devil still find you angry".

Please say a prayer I can bring my anger into my control.  Just now and most of today, I can control it periodically and then suddenly up it rises again to the surface uninvited and I am very angry again - that is my roller coaster just now.  Psychologically, this is probably a good thing (that I am not consciously supressing anger and then into a repressed state - been there and done that in the past .... and experienced the alarming consequences of repressed emotions - no harm to myself other than alarm - nor to others other than their alarm - no surprise whatsoever back then to my psychiatrist.  His comment at the time "Well, well, I have been waiting for this").  It was just a complete and totally unexpected explosion into into verbal anger. My doc at the time kept telling me "You are very angry".  I would deny it and give reasons why.  He would reply "Stop rationalising!"

  Am trying to get in before my next appt. with my psychiatrist on 16th February and reception has temporarily reserved 2nd February if my brother can take me as my psychiatrist is a long way from here.  I have done my Googling and researching however, and I can reach my doc by Obahn and taxis.  Cost should be between $20 - $25 there and back all in all.  But it will be a long trip indeed on the other side of Adelaide to a satellite city in the north.  But not impossible  - thankfully it is summer here and I would be home before dark and I have my vouchers for 50% reduction in taxi fares from our government.

If my brother doesn't ring me tonight, I will ring reception first thing tomorrow morning and keep the 2nd Feb providing it is still open.  If he cannot take me, then I will bus and taxi the trip.

It is a psychiatric or psychological matter moreso than spiritual; nevertheless I will discuss it with my SD next appointment.

On the plus side, if I bus and taxi it, I can stop midway at the bus terminus, have some lunch and do a bit of shopping in a very familiar area for over 30 years, then take a taxi to my psychiatrist.  How The Lord provides!  I had no idea all this was going to surface before I decided to stop taking in my one load of ironing and St Vinnies in our parish is still on our Christmas long break.  Real emergencies are never neglected no matter our Christmas break.  Nothing else to be concerned about nor ask focused attention and effort as a time consumer other than this current problem at this point anyway.  Deo Gratius! Laudate Dominum!

I did not intend to write all the above, but put me in front of a keyboard and it all just flows out of me.  It happens too if I sit down with pen and paper as in the old days pre home-typewriter and no computer either.  I just find it hard to stop!

Say one for me - Phatmass intentions of members are in my prayer daily - those posted and those not posted which The Lord alone knows.

This current problem is a quite serious one for me personally.

Deo Gratius

Laudate Dominum

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Can't post into a thread on Open Mic titled "Hmm" by Josh.  Keep getting the HTTP 403 message.  What appears below is my response in the thread, which I will post when the glitch in the softwear, whatever, clears itself:


Nothing wrong with anger, Josh - providing it is acknowledged and owned as one's own.  Morality comes into anger in either suppressing it .............. or how one chooses to express it.  Expression (and even suppression) of anger is either appropriate or inappropriate, morally right or morally wrong. Repression of anger is not only failing to acknowledge and own that one is angry, it is not even knowing one is angry and expressing it inappropriately.

I am certainly very much against gay 'marriage'

I find the first image you posted disturbing on a Catholic Discussion site quite concerning -  and quite concerning because of children surfing the net.  My post in response was not a freak out,  I carefully chose how to word the post and then hit submit.  Yeah I was angry because of that first image and in my book expressed the anger appropriately with calm and logic - choosing wording and presentation that would impact.  Other opinions might differ -c'est la vie.  God is my sole and only Judge always.......as for all.


When I posted, the image of Sr Lucia including "The final battle" quotation did not appear on Josh's post when I first saw it last night - might have been softwear or something else technology related. I first saw the Sr Lucia etc. image in Josh's post this morning (now 11.19am in Sth Aust). Our Lady of Fatima and her appearance to the children - and her messages with special urgent appeal to the Universal Church for prayer and penance - is a special devotion of mine.  Not that Sr Lucia image etc. would have changed my post in essence - I would have merely added a positive comment on the image and quote.

The Rosary is a special devotion of mine.  My very very private private vows (all alone in our parish Church) were made for life on the Feast of Our Lady of The Rosary deliberately chosen for very good reasons.

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Strange Ways Faith responds

to Suffering

Found the following an interesting article to read from Aleteia.com website:



"Doctor in the Trenches Witnesses Strange Ways Faith responds to Human Suffering"

Excerpt: "For Dr. Flanigan, however the great challenge of our time is not a modern crisis of faith but how to take suffering – especially in the West. “This is particularly a paradox in our world today. We are good at making life very comfortable but we can’t prevent suffering of the human heart,” he said. The proof of this is suicide, depression and anxiety in people who are otherwise very healthy. “As a physician, you rub up against human anguish and suffering. You either understand the love of our Lord in the midst of human suffering, or as some people do, you reject God. My personal take is that the Lord draws people who suffer very close to Him even if they don’t have a great intellectual understanding of Him,” he said. Read whole text here



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