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Friday, November 23, 2012

Child Training


A friend asked of us to compile some thoughts on child training based on the Bible. My husband and I laughed at the prospect: How can We give any kind of counsel in that matter, if we are so in need of advice ourselves? Yet when we compared with other families we could see we had indeed walked some part of the path. The next week God showered us with more resources and books on child training, and we decided to make an attempt to compile what we are learning.

Lord, give me grace when children’s hands

Are busy with manifold demands

Give me gentle, smiling eyes;

Keep my lips from sharp replies.

 

Lord, give me patience; quell my sigh

When one again begins to cry

Though I am falling far behind

Give me grace to still be kind

 

Lord, give a smile and self-command

When still a child can’t understand.

Give a love that’s true and strong;

Drop into my heart a song.

 

May weary days and children’s noise

Not blind my eyes to fleeting joys.

So tonight at day’s decline,

May lovely memories brightly shine.

 

1.BORN OF THE SPIRIT

Before a man is born of the Spirit, he goes through the world asking this question:” What can I get out of this or that situation?”. After a man is born of the Spirit the question is thus changed:”What is the will of God, what God wants me to do in this or that situation.”

2. MARRIAGE

The ideal marriage is where two lives blend according to God’s order with the husband as the head and the wife at his side in love. Establishing a Christian home is the foundations of Child Training:

Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her”

Colossians 3:18 “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as it is written in the Lord”

1Peter 3:7 “Husbands, in the same way, show consideration for your wives in your life together paying honor  to the woman as the weaker sex since they too are also heirs of gracious gift of life-so that nothing may hinder your prayers”

Failures in marriage can be due to:

 a-Marriage is not begun in the Lord

Other reasons for marriage apart from God’s  will be an obstacle and should be overcome ASAP. These could be reasons from the flesh, greed or intellectual. ( The more learned the more the danger of being deceived)

b-Husband does not take his rightful place of leadership

Just like the example of Jacob and Esau, some men do not take heed of the command of leadership in their homes and let themselves be unthroned of the crown that is of birthright.

c-Wife is not submissive to her husband

If we know God, we know he is sovereign to all, also over our husband. Any sign of rebelliousness to our husband will be imitated by the children as rebellion to authority. Some signs of rebelliousness are very subtle, like criticizing our husband in a self-pitying manner, a wife should share her troubles with others only with her husband’s blessings in a way that is honoring to God and husband both, if not she may be “showing her slip” in a metaphorical way.

d- Both or one partner is selfish

It is in giving that we find JOY:

J: Jesus first

O: Others after

Y: You last

e-Both or one grew up in unhappy homes

Destructive patterns are set in us, yet in God we are also rescued from the bondage of the past.

f-Third person interferes

The best friend for a wife is rightfully her husband, when a third person comes into place, man or woman, the natural order of things is changed with many dangers creeping into the relationship. Our friends should encourage the bond that we have with our spouses and not hinder it.

 

3.CHILD TRAINING

a- Rhythm

When the home is built in rhythmical patterns, the children rest in comfort, they know what comes next as a matter of fact. (“ we clean the dishes after eating, etc…) it is no conducive to rhythm to go out too much, to be away from a home centered hearth. As parents, being contented in the sameness passing of days and seasons is a show of strength. A feeble family may need  more entertainment in their lives at the cost of peaceful home-centered life.

Psalm 23 “ The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quite waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

b-Attentiveness

When the parent is present, and the thoughts are clear, this permeates the environment. It is no good to be day-dreaming, reading your own book, computer, TV, radio, phone,  etc….Attentiveness to the task at hand is one of the main vehicles of Love. Singing Hymns and prayer songs helps in bringing your own mind to be renewed. Silence is also on the pedestal of Love, by being silent we learn to listen to the Spirit instead of being busybodies letting our tongues ride wild.

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

1Timothy 5:13 “And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not”

c-Obedience

A child needs to be taught to surrender his own will for the sake of the whole. This is taught by example ( how we ourselves are willing to surrender) and by reproof. Sometimes the discipline action is turned into an emotional  one, by making the child aware of his fault and making him feel ashamed of it. Sometimes we read or make up a story that hits home, or perhaps we make them put their selves into the other to see the fault. As the child turns to be a grown up, the discipline usually takes the shape of the Spirit.

The discipline should be done without anger and in a state of sorrow but in willfull obedience to God’s directives:

Prov 12:1 “ Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge. But he who hates correction is stupid”

Prov 22:15 “Foolishness is bound in the heart of the child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him”

Prov 13:24 He that spares his rod hates his son; but he that loves him is diligent to discipline him”

Prov 23:13, 14 “Withhold not correction form the child, for if you beat him with the rod, he shall not die. You shall beat him with the rod, and shall deliver his soul from hell”

Prov 19:25 “ The rod and reproof give wisdom: But a child left to himself brings his mother to shame”

Prov 19:18 “Chasten your son while there is hope, and set not your heart on his destruction”

Prov 29:17 “Correct your son, and he shall give you rest; yes he shall give delight unto your soul”

Hebrews 12:6,7 “For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons”

Col 3:21 “Fathers, provoke not your children, lest they be discouraged”

e-Work

Unless we design our work to be child-included, the training will be unsuccessful at the end. Children thrive when they feel they are needed for the surviving of the family, just like we thrive when we know God needs us to fulfill tasks he has layered upon us. “Idle hands are the devil’s tools”

When we joyfully work overcoming our comfort and fleshly nature, we learn and teach to live for God instead of for ourselves. Singing as we work, sometimes for hours at a time is very appropriate for our minds, as well as sharing with others the load of work by keeping company and godly conversation. Children that grow up in setting as this, learn early on, in a very practical manner, that the best way of life is to live for others.

Galatians 5:16-18 “ So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature.They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law”

 

Resources:

Bible

The Fruits of Her hands (Wilson)

Child Training (Spoll)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Michaelmas

saint michael 001.jpg
We have been building up a festival in the past years, and every year something adds up that makes sense or at least brings a new meaning/layer to it.

We gather in the already cold outdoors for a dyeing project, with goldenrod, aspen leaves, etc..everybody brings some to the steaming big pot and then we simmer the white silk and other yarns/stuff. the following week the children take part in a ceremony where golden capes (out of the silky white fabric) are put on.

This year we combine this in the frame of the Christian Community celebration of Michaelmas and I found so many interesting points that relate somehow to this form of festival that has been shaping up:

The lectures at this time focus on the images given in the book of revelation, that of the Madonna, the white rider, the wedding, the New Jerusalem....

Exceptionally, the symbolism of the royal wedding parable told on Matthew 22 is part of what this golden cape the children are invested with, a special garment for attending this occasion, when our souls would be clean and purified, ready to be united. And also with the reading of Ephesians 6 (The Armour of God): "When we actively take up the loving proximity of the divine world, and mould it into the strength of the Christian virtues, we make the borrowed garment our own."

In these lines also the songs that accompany us during the stirring of 500 for fall preparations are also linked: Scareborough Fair with the white garment, and Spirit Triumphant.
 
Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Remember me to one who lives there,
For once she was a true love of mine.

Tell her to make me a cambric shirt,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Without any seam or needlework,
Then she shall be a true lover of mine.
Tell her to wash it in yonder well,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Where never spring water or rain ever fell,
And she shall be a true lover of mine.
Tell her to dry it on yonder thorn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Which never bore blossom since Adam was born,
Then she shall be a true lover of mine.
Now he has asked me questions three,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
I hope he'll answer as many for me
Before he shall be a true lover of mine.
Tell him to buy me an acre of land,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
Betwixt the salt water and the sea sand,
Then he shall be a true lover of mine.
Tell him to plough it with a ram's horn,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
And sow it all over with one pepper corn,
And he shall be a true lover of mine.
Tell him to shear it with a sickle of leather,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;
And bind it up with a peacock feather.
And he shall be a true lover of mine.
Tell him to thrash it on yonder wall,
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme,
And never let one corn of it fall,
Then he shall be a true lover of mine.
When he has done and finished his work.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme:
Oh, tell him to come and he'll have his shirt,
And he shall be a true lover of mine.




Thursday, July 26, 2012

A labor of Love

I just read "The restoration of Christian Culture" by John Senior, a radical book from the point of view of contemporary thought, yet a very down to earth and practical book from the point of view of reality.

This is of course my opinion, based on my own expreince of the matter, but anyone who wishes to experience this could do so taking the same steps, and thus it becomes more than just a personal opinion but a matter of scientific approach.

The book states repeated times the exhortation to "smash the television set", and for that also the radio, and media in general and extensively, even computers, etc... being these technological advantages impediment for the healthy living of a christian culture.

Last week while pondering in these things, a thought suddenly came, in the way you usually have when two concepts otherwise separated link and you say !Aha!, as in solving a riddle. Well the two concepts also streamed forward and backward with a series of other thoughts, is just difficult to explain, yet it became clearer to me that technology can cripple human beings in one generation. Because I am immersed in modern society, I was not aware so strongly about the implications, yet in seeing the Amish culture and my own side by side, the gap between them helped in seeing the danger we are faced with, the danger we are actually so involved with.

Some of my friends have difficulty relating with other human beings in a healthy way, they learn early on to expect a fast response from the environment to satisfy their needs, which in turn are selfish, and seek mainly pleasure. I am also in this difficulty, and to try to get away from it I decided to do some things as my own experiment:

1st- to withdraw from any technological communication as much as I am able to do.(no TV, no radio, no computer, no telephone except necessary)
2nd- to stay confined at a walking or horse riding distance from home.( even if still my husband owns a car)
3rd-to minimize my expenses to the basics, counting my goal in America to be about $700 a month, including mortgatge.
4th-to spend at least half of the day involved in physical and meaningful tasks, and at least one hour to prayer or contemplation.

I thank all of you that have been a company in these writings and wish me the best in this experiment. I'll come back when I have some results to share.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The time is at hand!


We had been immersed in the Saint John’s tide celebrations, among which there was a conference on the Mystery Dramas, where the fairy  tale of “ The Green Snake and Beautiful Lily” was commented upon as well.

We found in an Essay from Rudolf Steiner appearing the first time in “The Magazine for Literature”,  the description of the same impulse in Schiller that later helped Goethe acquire the above mentioned fairy tale:

“Two impulses are present in human nature that hinder it from achieving perfection when they develop in a one-sided way: the sensual and the rational. If the sensual impulse has the upper hand, a person is conquered by instincts and passions. In the activity illumined by consciousness, a power then mingles, by which this is darkened. Human action becomes the consequence of an inner compulsion. If the rational impulse dominates, a person attempts to suppress instincts and passions, and to commit to an abstract necessity, which is not sustained by any inner warmth. Human beings are subject to compulsion in both cases: in the one their sensuality enslaves the spiritual in them, and in the other, the spiritual enslaves their sensuality. Neither condition gives full freedom to people in the kernel of their being, which lies in the midst between the sensual and the spiritual. Freedom is to be realized only through a harmony of both impulses. Sensuality should not be suppressed but ennobled; instincts and passions should permeate themselves with spirituality, so that they themselves can bring to realization the spiritual power which has entered into them. And reason should take hold of the human soul in such a way that it deprives what is merely instinctive and passionate of its power, so that human beings can fulfill what reason indicates, as if out of natural instinct, and with the strength that passion gives. “When we are passionately attached to someone who is worthy of our contempt, we painfully feel the compulsion of nature. If we have a hostile relationship to someone who compels our respect we painfully feel the compulsion of reason. But when our affection is involved and our respect is won, then both the compulsion of feeling and the compulsion of reason disappear, and we begin to love.” A person who reveals the spiritual quality of reason in sensuality, and the elemental power of passion in his reason, would be a free personality. It is upon the development of free personalities that Schiller wishes to base a harmonious common life in human society.”



I understand this also to be needed for the building of any true community, and I understand to see this thought also embodied in the two will’o wisps of the fairy tale and in the story line of Capesius and Strader in the Mystery Dramas.



In my own experience I can tell of many times where I  lean too heavily on one of the sides, and yet as I grow older instead of the swinging motion being balanced I found myself swinging in more and more extremes, as if when the reason tries too forcefully to suppress passion, then passion gets the upper hand violently and without warning. Or vice-versa, when my passions are at command, all of a sudden an abrupt  action determined by reason breaks the air in coldness. I am reminded of the youthful teens, when emotions would create a mood swing too, here is an old time poem that depicts one of the ends of the pendulum:



Nublada, perdida, llorada sed,

No embebe ya el alma que hastia se vuelve red,

Y a ratos olvida el vacio y cree ser algo. Ser que?

Tumbada al sol de su frio

no le queda cordura ni amigo

para volverse pez.



Clouded, lost, mourned thirst,

The soul does not soak anymore, and tiresome becomes net,

And at times she forgets the emptiness and believes to be something. To be what?

Laying under the sun of its coldness

She has no more sanity nor friends

To become fish again.



I could also see these patterns in other areas, how many times in trying to do what I ought to do, my energies tire, after 6 months or so I am exhausted and I have to discontinue my work  because reason is not strong enough to live! Yet in the other extreme, when I follow life’s wind and guideposts in na├»ve trust, the impulses do not take wings, their foundation is so sandy!


Most of all I sense it in relationships, when out of duty someone is taking an interest in us, or we do in turn to them, the air fills with tepid smells, whereas when the interest is based on attraction laws the smell is pungy. It is only when the interest we take in one another is pure and keen, then the fragrant aroma of roses is sensed, and we can fill our cups respectively.


I am lately involved in the Amish community nearby, and I have to bow my head to some of their members, they display this middle point in their lives very much, and it is so refreshing to encounter some more people living by this practical application of Christianity.


In fact many of their “traditions” coincide completely with Spiritual Science indications:

-plain color dress, even the palette changes with age, resembling the palette that Steiner used for the walls of the school. (peach-yellow-green-blue-violet) I would even claim that their way of clothing is more free than our following fads, trends and desires, as long  as freedom is understood as is stated in the above paragraphs.

-Working the land manually, small acreage and small diverse husbandry. (when things get bigger they change in nature, usually to the detriment of  the work of Christ forces )

-No ownership of cars, TV, radios, phones, etc…. to encourage face to face interactions with neighbors. They can use these devices but not own them, just as one plain father said to his son: do you own the car or does it own you?

-Church services in homes, to encourage ensouled buildings.

-Singing  for more than one hour at a time, exercising the harmonization of the individual to the community, the larynx slowly adapting to the tune that is found reverberating in the cupola of sound formed.

-Academic school work starting after 7 years old.

I also found that many other of their customs to be completely in line with my thoughts since I was small:

-Non-resistance. (Love changes the world, war does not)

-Non-conformity. (voting and other political aspects of life are for other people, especially if you want to follow the spiritual path)

-Non-missionaries. (I always thought it strange to raise money for other countries, or to go somewhere else to be a witness, there is so much to be done at home! One Amish comments on Kissinger’ aptitudes in being a peacemaker around the world, but his home was in divorce, if we are not able to be peacemakers at home, the fruits outside the home are not lasting. (“The Amish in their own wordscompiled  by Brad Igou)



Well,  I have been then stretched between the two sides, and the more I walk the more it stretches, I am wondering if the thread that unites them will at some point break, and I will get stuck in one or the other side, or this is just part of the journey.

In the Lord of the Rings allegory, again we found the same characters described above, I am at awe of what Frodo can do, I myself cannot manage an inch of his path, lest I become Saruman or stay in the Shire awaiting the end of the world. I pray for some of his purity in heart, so we can all, taking turns at a time, bring the Ring to the Fire.


We were so fortunate to host the Saint Uriel Community Camp at our farm the last week, the priest of the Christian Community held the children and us parents with love and caring ears, and we were able to make some new friends and see that we are much in the same boat;  I am still like Ariadne’s thread, unraveling what it all meant to us and what it may mean for the future. When I go to the garden to weed memories of the camp flow in my eyes, like when we were spraying the silica early in the morning, or when we were gathered around the fire for the special story of the boy Photogen and the girl Nichta. One of the songs we learnt is very fun to sing with the children, as the capital letters are sung louder that the rest  and in a three group round, a secret is unveiled.



Hey ho cried the merry DWARFS (pause, pause)

It’s off to the woods we (pause) ARE

We’d like to stay but time is (pause, pause) SHORT

Attempt to capture a figure of a cross given in a dream last week.




–THE TIME IS  AT HAND!-

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

We love whom we serve

“We love whom we serve”, is a quote that I found recently again in the book "Fascinating Womanhood". There is a group of mothers that are reading through it and we get together every other Monday to discuss the chapters. Some ideas may be extreme and hard to swallow in our times, but the principles work nonetheless, in learning to love our husbands, and learning to serve in love, not in duty.


I have also been trying to simplify our lives, and in some aspects, simplifying has resulted also in having the homemaking tasks done in the old-fashioned way, from one point of view it would seem that all our moderns gizmos, washing machines, refrigerators, etc….would work for us in making things easier and simplifying our lives, but I am finding out that it is working just the contrary for us, in the practical homemaking life, it is more simple to do washing by hand.


How can this be so? I am not sure yet, but when we wash our clothes by hand, besides all the other  things that we are doing differently, the focus changes from dutiful task to lovely service. It is in the actual rubbing of the dress, the actual rinsing of the shirt, the hanging with pins in a beautiful manner, that I get to do my job lovingly and not as a chore to be finished as soon as possible.


I think the same law applies to our relationships, when we get attention to them, when we really listen to what the other is saying, when we take time to spend with others, without rushing through it, things disclose in a different manner.


Last Monday I asked my young Amish neighbor what were her plans for the week, she responded that she never knows what may come up! Is true for me too, when in between my planning and organizing I leave space for the unknown to happen, things come to us that are prompted by the Spirit, if only I could notice them all the time, I would be a better servant….



P.S.
Visit here for ideas for Saint John's eve, a traditional cake with pinenuts and candy-dried fruit, a bonfire to throw old stuff and make ammends to throw away old habits, a special eve to gather herbs, specially medicinal herbs for the whole year.
http://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nit_de_Sant_Joan

Friday, May 25, 2012

Breaking down

My family an I have been having some breaking down moments, our computer broke down, by a car running over it! and then our car broke down...so we have been uncommunicated even more from our regular way of life.

It is though a blessing to listen during those moments to what the silence or angels may be telling us, and we have embraced wholeheartedly our new farming life, under the tutellage of our kind Amish neighbors.

We sprayed the 500 and planted an acre of vegetables, our family garden with corn, potatoes, swiss chard, lettuces, onions, cabagges, beans, cucumbers and finally peppers and tomato plants are also in; the rest we filled with beets to start selling to out local organic cooperative.

It has been very rewarding to wait on the weather and on the business of family and neighbors around, and our nights have been filled with deep sleep as we come to our rooms tired and happy.

The wood cookstove also has brought many delights, as cakes and pies start coming out of it and tasting yummy, Even my husband who knows for years about disastrous culinary productions is amazed that now things can taste so much better. It must be the slow cooking time and the fire.....








Ascension has come and almost gone, we have been singing songs together and one of them has been ringing in my ears continuously during these days, it has African words and they speak about the victory of Good over Evil.  It is great to have two groups of people singing at each other, one group does the chorus and the other the verse:

O Nkosi Jesu
Mdale we zinto Zonke
Won Kob Ukufa
Won Kob U Satane

Amen, Amen,
Amen, Amen,
Amen Amen,
Amen Alleluia

Wishing you a very good Whitsun day, as we remember how the Knights of the Grail also came together in such special occasion, to renew their vows and promise anew their resolutions.

PS:
See this page for the upcoming events  during Saint John's tide in the Driftless area: http://theturningplace.blogspot.com/p/news.html

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Easter Tide

We are now fully entered in Easter season, after His Resurrection, and the words in the book Easter by Friedrich Benesch resound in my heart:



“We have established that the real ego exists as our ideals above and behind our thoughts, and is behind the impulses of the will as our pure free will, still undirected towards anything specific; that is to say it is yet not determined. If Christ-consciousness illumines a person and he desires to bring his ego-consciousness to it he must discover a third factor, namely, behind his feeling, a longing for Christ, a longing for ego-reality. Just as our ‘I’ is present as an ideal above our thinking and as pure will below our desires in the unconscious depth of our soul, so the longing for Christ lives behind our self, the need for Christ, as Rudolf Steiner calls it. In order to bring the self that we develop through perception, feeling and knowledge towards Christ, we must free it from fetters. Free it from its ties to our thinking, feeling and willing…”



“I enter the true nature of my ‘I’ when a pure will arises that never wants anything in particular but follows as soon as something right presents itself. I allow the world to judge through me, and then act in free assent. Thus my consciousness and my will move towards Christ, a strenuous wholesome test. We are free to seek it, free to neglect it.



We discover that the real ego is not found only in the ideals above my thinking, in the pure will below my intentions, not only in the longing for Christ behind my feelings, but that it approaches me as my destiny from the world without. My ‘I’ is not only in me, it is also in everything that comes towards me as destiny. Here begins quite different judging, quite a different way of saying yes and no, for insofar as  I have learnt to say yes to what the world judges in me, insofar as I can say yes and put my will at the free disposal of whatever should happen, insofar as I can say yes to the movement of the ‘I’ towards Christ, and insofar as I can say yes to my destiny, to that degree my ego will arrive by itself to itself.



One must continually wrestle with oneself and with other people to achieve this genuine yes. The Christ is at work with it. This assent of Christ is the Christian faith.”



Our farm has another name, Terra Fidei, which means land of the faith and is the inward name of our home. It wants to represent this striving to cultivate the faith, as we cultivate the land, because is an act of free will -an act nor a noun-, that which faith encompasses. What is to continue becoming perfect in the eyes of God? To follow his will at every moment. This is again an active form, never reaching the goal yet always moving towards it.


Land of the Faith,
the land symbolizes
the landscape of Faith in our hearts,
and it is a reminder
of the need to cultivate the Faith,
to be stewardships
of the Faith in this sense,
to make it flourish in our lives.

The main reason to bring the special needs children to our farm was to try to bring my husband’s job to the fore, he has been teaching in the special ed. department of public school for the last years, and I thought that instead of bringing my own ideas to this new project, I would build up my husband’s skills and talents in the farm. Alas, I do not know if it will work, since he has his own different ideas about the farm as well!!!! 


I have been in a continual struggle with this relationship, since the beginning when we met:

“I was talking to God, while listening to my usual Friday night classical music concert in Mallorca, Spain, and finally admitted to God that I had learnt the lesson He was teaching me for the last couple of years. I really did not need any boyfriend to be happy, or anybody to love or be loved by, BUT, I said to God, if you want me to share my life with someone else, just let me know. Well, two seats by my side, there was this guy, who was trying to catch my attention during the whole concert, he finally did start a conversation with me and has been my husband since one week after that day. At first I did not understand, why God sent him to me? 15 years older, looking rather shabby, bold, and from a far-away country….as years went by, some of the reasons were understood, he grew long beautiful blond hair right away, which was a nice surprise!"



Anyway, what I wanted to mean is that many times the relationships that are more difficult are the closer ones, and if you had read my diaries you would see that my two longings in life were God and children. So when God decided to stop giving us children my heart started to ache, how am I suppose to continue in this covenant of marriage? Am I  now to turn around and go to seminary? Vocations? As my service to others increased also my disservice to my husband augmented, I could see that also in many others, where the most servicial and kind hearted persons, lived a rather strenuous life at home or were alone. Why is this so? Teachers and ministers will tell you how difficult it is to give in both places, and the tension many times breaks the relationships in the inner courtyard.



It seems so much easy to love the ones that are farther away than your own husband, at least for some of us, and I could see why God had chosen marriage for my life, to stretch my heart in love for God as I struggle to love my husband. Maybe for others God has chosen the ministry life, or any other task, but at the end the ultimate result should be an increase of Love for God. Saint Therese “saw” Christ in every human being, married women are to “see” Christ in their husbands at every moment. Husbands are built up by our admiration of their qualities, they strive to the best we see in them, how we can maintain this admiration? Last week an Amish farmer tilled the soil in our land, and kept my children in the cart while working, it all seemed so right, except it was not my husband tilling the soil! I think when husbands work at home, especially in the land, wifes are more easily prompted to be grateful for their work, to admire them. On the other hand I could remind myself of the great job that my husband is doing by providing for the family, and facing the sometimes cold-cruel world of society for long hours a day.



This Easter readings were eye opening for me, as to discern how am I receiving the destiny that God has chosen, am I freely saying yes, am I freely saying no, or am I just unconscious of it, resenting my life?



Today’s Gospel talks about Jesus being the Shepherd of Souls, and I am reminded of the Psalm that has turned into a famous song:



Shepherd me Oh God,
Beyond my wants,
Beyond my fears
From death unto life.

The Lord is my shepherd

I shall not be in want
He lead me to green pastures,
He restores my soul.


May we have the grace to wrestle pride and despair away from our lives continually, and come to rest on Christ and the destiny that comes towards us at every moment.



Story for Easter: The Selfish Giant, Oscar Wilde
Songs for Easter: Love is come again and the Spring Carol to the tune of King Wenceslas.












Thursday, April 19, 2012

Projects

We have had a lot of accomplished projects in the last few weeks.

Last year by this time we were publishing my husband's novel: The Missing Spoke, which goes very well with the theme of Easter and the redemption not from suffering but redemption to suffering, from a christian view. This year we are in the last steps of proof reading a new book, another auto biography, this time of a pastor that lived in the midwest for a while but now is residing in Sweden: A sword in the Wilderness. This book goes well with the theme of Whitsun, as is a witness of the strength of the Holy Spirit through the lives of men.

A Sword in the Wilderness

While we are also establishing the rhythms in our new farm, getting to know our neighbors and the land, we are also looking ahead for the next publishing book, if you have an interesting biography, or you ever wanted to publish your memoires, give us a script, perhaps yours can be the next year publishing project!

The Farm is buzzing with life, we have horses and cows in the pasture fields and the gardens are ready to be tilled. Soon we will spray the 500 and open the planting seaosn with potatoes on  24th April, root day. Follow us on the farm page if you want to know about the various happenings. http://saintraphaelfarm.blogspot.com

We also did some plays this year and we are looking forward to Ivanhoe and Parsifal for the upcoming seasons:

Rehearsals on Saturdays 9:30-11:00
Isabel la Joya de Castilla



Performance on Wednesday 1st February 5pm
LMC room 202

January Play: The Three Kings
rehearsals on Saturday 7th and 21st.



Wednesday 21st December 6pm
Auditorium Landmark Center


Rehearsals on Saturday mornings 9:30-11pm.
Landmark Center Room 202, 3, 10 and 17 December.

Spanish Christmas Pageant.

Esteban Murillo


Fall 2011

On Saturdays we will rehearse the play : "Don Quijote de la Mancha", an adapted musical for children, from 9:30-11am.

All ages are welcome, but small ones may require an adult to stay for the session.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Move

We are finally moving! this is the new webpage for the project http://saintraphaelfarm.blogspot.com

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Move to the farm



We are probably moving to our farm on March, for this reason I will concentrate in packing, moving and settling in for the next weeks.

I hope meanwhile you have a good start of spring, best wishes!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rule of Life

This past weeks I have been attending the Act of Consecration of Man from the Christian Community. My children, also, attended the Children's service. Sometimes is them who "see" more than us: after leaving, my seven year old daughter ( melancholic), who has been missing and longing to return to Church services for a whole year, suddenly says to us " This is better, I want to go to this service every Sunday."


We all have been nourished spiritually by this Christian Community food, and we are trying to have a priest come to our town at least four times a year, for the festivals. Meanwhile, how to sustain our bodies? how to provide light and soil to grow in the fruits of the spirit?

The priest suggested to do some list of our main goals, our core beliefs, the tenets with which we strive to surround our life, and in regards of that I compiled some of my aspirations, which I will look up to during the season of Lent that starts next Wednesday, Ash Wednesday.

Rule of Life February 9th 2012
To observe the relationship with God as a supremacy in my life and let the Love of the Father pour out to my relationships, starting with my husband, relatives, friends and family. Eucharist and Confession attended regularly, if possible daily.
To follow Jesus in his teachings,  studying of the scriptures and other materials. Bible study every Sunday, study group on relationships Tuesdays.
To allow the Holy Spirit to work in my life. Observe prayers at night ( family rosary, individual meditation, examination of conscience, summary of day events )30 minutes, at wake time (devotion to God, silence )30 minutes, at noon time, ( prayers, hymns, recollection) 30 minutes.

Some indications of the Carmelite order Rule of Life
5. The love of God, poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, (5) is the fire that Christ came to bring to the earth and wishes to be blazing. (6) To enter into and remain in that love given by the Father is the aim of the Christian pilgrimage as told in the Gospel, that authentic rule of Christian life. The law of the Gospel is that we love God, with all our strength, (7) and our neighbor as Christ loved us. (8)
6. In this context an authentic Christian life implies a mysticism based on the scriptural understanding of that life, especially as understood by Saint Paul. (9) At its most profound level this life consists in a personal love of God,:
Christ is its first and absolutely fundamental mainstay and, in him, the Father in the Holy Spirit. This commitment is the arrival and departure point for the life of the Christian who wishes to conform to Christ, especially in our days that are not always open to the values of the spirit and of the Gospel. On the other hand, not understanding the Christian life as an ever more intimate union with the Lord would be to lose its true meaning.
7. By baptism we become part of the huge assembly of brethren that is the Church; that is, we are united to the Mystical Body of Christ as real members. (10) All are called to form one fraternal community; (11) this is possible if, although by nature weak and limited because of their wretchedness, they allow themselves to be guided by divine grace and they do not reject God and their brethren through sinfulness.
8. This universal calling becomes a reality in the baptized who are united through faith and the Eucharist. (12) The basic mystery of the Church is the fact that it is essentially a community of brethren who, in a relationship of mutual love, discover that they are members of the one family. (13) This unity, formed and animated by Christ and his Holy Spirit, (14) demands a continual and loving active cooperation, love being the fundamental law Christ has given to the members of his Mystical Body.
9. Human weakness hinders the practice of fraternal love, but that renunciation and interior detachment required by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount help Christians to reach the goal of total availability, (15) and to overcome the three major obstacles identified by Saint John as the sensual body, the lustful eye and pride in possessions. (16)
13. There cannot be conflict between temporal well-being and the realization of God's Kingdom, since both the material and spiritual orders derive from God; but the danger of conflict can arise from the bad use we make of our knowledge of the temporal sphere. The Christian should use the findings of science to bring about a spiritual and material betterment of human life. (23)
18. What the Tertiary expresses by one's Profession is none other than an intensified renewal of one's baptismal promise to love God above all else and to renounce Satan with all his works and pomps; the difference in this act of love lies in the means the Tertiary uses to reach this goal. The fundamental Christian law that pledges a person to love God and all others with all one's strength, demands of everyone the constant affirmation of the primacy of God, (29) the rejection of any possibility of serving two masters (30) and the love of others above and beyond all selfishness (31).
19. The chastity and obedience of the Tertiary, which also recall the deep sense of poverty, have meaning in the areas of economic well-being, of sexuality, and the imperative not to serve false gods: (32) Christian holiness is love of God and others without any consideration of self. By virtue of the vow of obedience Tertiaries must obey the superiors of the Order and the Group's Spiritual Assistant in all that they are asked to do, according to the Rule, for their own spiritual life. They are bound to observe the vow of chastity according to the duties of their state in life.
21. The entire Carmelite family, in its task of living out its consecration to Christ, (34) seeks to live in the presence of the living and true God who, in the person of Christ, lives in our midst; (35) it is a family that seeks divine intimacy.
25. Lay Carmelites, imbued with the spirit of the Order, try to live its charism in a silent listening to the Word, making their whole life a prayer by allowing themselves to be caught up by the Spirit for the wonderful works that God accomplishes and which require their commitment and worthwhile contribution.
a) The Sacraments, especially the Eucharist, are the life of Christ spread among believers, enabling them to be united to him. (40) To take part in the Sacrifice of the Altar, (41) daily if possible, provides that necessary lifeline with Christ.
b) The Liturgy of the Hours, (42) at least morning Lauds, Vespers and Compline, are the ecclesial expression of their meetings with God. Different places and circumstances may point to the necessity of other forms of liturgical prayer.
26. The spiritual life is not devoted to the liturgy only. Although called to prayer in common, the Christian is still bound to enter into his or her room and pray to the Father in secret; (43) indeed, according to the teaching of Christ, (44) supported by the Apostle, (45) the Christian is bound to pray unceasingly. (46)
34. They will see and be able to show how temporal activity and material occupations are a share in the creative and transforming work of the Father, (56) and that it is a true service to others, which helps bring about human progress. (57)