A word for 2012

We do not put our faith in empty phrases, we are not carried off by sudden impulses of the heart, we are not seduced by plausible and eloquent speech, – but we do not refuse belief to words spoken by divine power. ( from the Treatisr of St Hipppolytus )

Words. Not empty words. But  words for the year.

Each year I choose a word, a theme, for the year. Something to which I aspire..

I write it in my diary.

I try to live life on purpose.

And many times I fail…

The last two years a group of us have met, between Christmas Day and New Years Eve, to share our year. To share our laughter. Our jokes. Our stresses. Our shallow words in jest…the not so serious fun themes…and our serious words and thoughts for the year.

Mine for 2012?


Not boring calm.

Not even serenity .

But an inner calm.

These words are not like resolutions, often far fetched, often with action plans. They are words pure and simple. Little guides or prompts.

What will prompt you this coming year?


But how will they live in the real world?

Wednesday in the last week of Advent.

Faith on our Unschooling Catholics list, asks…what are you strewing?

Strewing orthodontist appointments, lists of things I need help with around the house because of my work commitments, and stress.

Got to stop strewing stress.

And smile.

This is what  I like about unschooling, though.

It’s real life. Stress and all. And we strew learning, real life learning, learning in the affective realm, even when we are not intentionally strewing. 

You know that question we all get. “But how will your kids be prepared for the real world?”

This is the real world, dear. They live in my life,  and I live in theirs, and the kids see into almost every nook and cranny of my life. 

And my life is very Real World. 


Sleeping for a week!

“I’m not so far gone that I can’t grasp there has to be more to life than forging pastries at midnight. And tiredness. Deep-sea diver tiredness, voyage to the bottom of fatigue tiredness..” ..from “I Don’t Know How She Does It” by Allison Pearson.

I think mothers all know this type of tiredness.

And homeschooling mothers perhaps more so.

And working mothers.

And homeschooling working mothers…

What keeps us going?


And prayer.

And a prayerful vision of our role and meaning in life.

To know, love and serve God. In our vocations as women…

“The intrinsic value of woman consists essentially in exceptional receptivity for God’s work in the soul, and this value comes to unalloyed development if we abandon ourselves confidently and unresistingly to this work.” .. From Woman by St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)

I attended a retreat for women today.

And the result? I felt like I had slept for a week. Refreshed.

Me. She who lives in an almost constant state of tiredness.

The Sisters of Life spoke of living the freedom of the feminine heart.

In the words of Sister Mariae Agnus Dei… Receptivity, sensitivity, generosity.

Freedom for and not freedom from.

“If you are what you should be, then you will set the world on fire.” St Catherine of Sienna.

Not striving to meet someone else’s standards , not forging pies at midnight, not forging anything, really, but living true to our vocation and our dignity.

This is what keeps us going. We give and we receive. We receive and we give.

We love because we are loved.

And we mother as we were mothered, as we wish we were mothered, as Our Lady mothers us.

“Everywhere the need exists for maternal sympathy and help, and thus we are able to recapitulate in the one word motherliness that which we have developed as the characteristic value of woman. Only, the motherliness must be that which does not remain within the narrow circle of blood relations or of personal friends; but in accordance with the model of the Mother of Mercy, it must have its root in universal divine love for all who are there, belabored and burdened.”… Woman by St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross


Ecclesiastical Alzheimer’s

Ecclesiastical Alzheimer’s.

You know what I’m talking about.

Those people, yes clergy included, who deride the “Church of the past” .

As if there were two Churches..pre and post Vatican II.

As if there was no discussion by the Holy Father on the hermeneutic of continuity…or do these people even read Church documents?

As if everything was bad in the past…priest not facing the people? Gasp! No participation! People left Holy Mass as soon as they could after Holy Communjon as it was all meaningless to them. To quote some comments recently made in my presence. By those who should know better.

Yeah, right.

It seems these people have suffered a memory loss. Or a comprehension loss. They forget about the strong faith of laity in our past, praying with the priest, all facing Our Lord and not each other. They forget about Catholic sodalities and the active participation of the laity in Holy Mass, in the life of the Church, in bringing Catholic, Christian thought to the world.

They look at the Church through self fashioned glasses..fashioned by their own ideas of church, by historicism and not history itself or education or reading with the mind of the Church.

The cure for ecclesiastical Alzheimer’s?

Might I suggest reading…reading about liturgy…starting with The Spirit of the Liturgy by our Holy Father, then Cardinal Ratzinger..

The Christian faith can never be separated from the soil of sacred events, from the choice made by God, who wanted to speak to us, to become man, to die and rise again, in a particular place and at a particular time. “Always” can only come from “once for all”. The Church does not pray in some kind of mythical omnitemporality. She cannot forsake her roots. She recognizes the true utterance of God precisely in the concreteness of its history, in time and place: to these God ties us, and by these we are all tied together. The diachronic aspect, praying with the Fathers and the apostles, is part of what we mean by rite, but it also in­cludes a local aspect, extending from Jerusalem to Antioch, Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople. Rites are not, therefore, just the products of inculturation, how­ever much they may have incorporated elements from different cultures. They are forms of the apostolic Tradition and of its unfolding in the great places of the Tradition.  [The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 164]



After my Jillian (and Jackie!) challenge in November…and my green skirt now looser around my waist…it seemed to me a good idea to continue themed workout challenges for awhile.

This month, I am doing FIRM workouts.

A bit Stepford wife-ish of me.

And this week I am using the FIRM Ignite series…two twenty minute workouts on one DVD. High impact. High intensity. Cardio and weights. And yes I can go heavier than I do on 30 Day Shred in general and Ripped in 30.

They also have more of a fun woo hoo factor…the group feel, the we are in this together no drill sergeant thing.

They are low in ab work..just some standing abs tucked into the very short cool down. So on my less busy days I am adding in abs. Or doing longer FIRMs on those days…

And why not check out Jez’s FIRM Challenge blog?