St ValentineūüíĖ

I though it might be interesting to look at one of the stories surrounding St. Valentine. He has been retained as a Saint by the Catholic church and there are many versions of his life. This is one of them.

St. Valentine, the Real Story

Flowers, candy, red hearts and romance. That’s what Valentine’s day is all about, right? Well, maybe not.

The origin of this holiday for the expression of love really isn’t romantic at all‚ÄĒat least not in the traditional sense. Father Frank O’Gara of Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin, Ireland, tells the real story of the man behind the holiday‚ÄĒSt. Valentine.

“He was a Roman Priest at a time when there was an emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time,” Father O’Gara explains. ” He also had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died.”

“I think we must bear in mind that it was a very permissive society in which Valentine lived,” says Father O’Gara. “Polygamy would have been much more popular than just one woman and one man living together. And yet some of them seemed to be attracted to Christian faith. But obviously the church thought that marriage was very sacred between one man and one woman for their life and that it was to be encouraged. And so it immediately presented the problem to the Christian church of what to do about this.”

“The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict.”

Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are legends surrounding Valentine’s actions while in prison.

“One of the men who was to judge him in line with the Roman law at the time was a man called Asterius, whose daughter was blind. He was supposed to have prayed with and healed the young girl with such astonishing effect that Asterius himself became Christian as a result.”

In the year 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution of a beating, stoning, and finally decapitation all because of his stand for Christian marriage. The story goes that the last words he wrote were in a note to Asterius’ daughter. He inspired today’s romantic missives by signing it, “from your Valentine.”

“What Valentine means to me as a priest,” explains Father O’Gara, “is that there comes a time where you have to lay your life upon the line for what you believe. And with the power of the Holy Spirit we can do that ‚ÄĒeven to the point of death.”

Valentine’s martyrdom has not gone unnoticed by the general public. In fact, Whitefriars Street Church is one of three churches that claim to house the remains of Valentine. Today, many people make the pilgrimage to the church to honor the courage and memory of this Christian saint.

Written by David Kithcart of CBN

The child and the baby

This is not my story. I heard it at a conference. It was told by Madeleine L’Engle and I never forgot it. I don’t know if it is hers or someone told her. Forgive me if I tread on toes.

toddlerkissesnewbornbabyforehead.jpg.653x0_q80_crop-smart (1)

There was a family that had a new baby. They also had an older child called Tommy. (not real name). Tommy seemed very attentive to the new baby. After the baby had been put down in bed in the nursery he said to his parents. “I want to see baby!” The parents tried to usher him into the room but he pulled back. “I want to see baby ALONE!” The parents were a little taken aback but reasoned that there was a monitor in the room and they could hear whatever went on. They waited by the monitor. Tommy entered the room and they heard him say to the baby: “Tell me about God, I’m forgetting.”

Slippery Words

I was talking with someone today about words. Language changes over time. So many words that were common when I was young are no longer used. So many new words are out there.

There are words that I have to stop and think about before using. These are some of the ones that can be confusing.

affect                  to change or make a difference to a result;
effect                  to bring about a result

born                  having started life
borne                carried

desert                    a waterless, empty area; to abandon someone
dessert                  the sweet course of a meal

dessert-island

practice                 the use of an idea or method; the work or business of a doctor, dentist,
practise                 to do something repeatedly to gain skill; to do something regularly

From Oxford Dictionaries

In writing  myself and reading others I have noticed that we can get these wrong. Affect and effect are particularly difficult. Usually, affect is a verb and effect is a noun, and they’re used when talking about the results or consequences of particular actions.

9-english-word-pairs-that-confuse-absolutely-everyone-e1423342519671

The difference between¬†affect and effect¬†is so slippery that people have started using “impact” as a verb instead. Don’t be one of them! Another trick is to¬†remember¬†that¬†affect¬†comes first alphabetically, and an action (to¬†affect) has to occur before you can have a result (an¬†effect)¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†from FluentU.

So affect is something we do and effect is what happens after we do it.

From what I have seen no one gets practise and practice. Word Press thinks that the former is not a word. I had to add it to my dictionary.

There is a long list on the Oxford site. What words bug you?

 

 

A letter to my grandchildren #2

I have been thinking about what bits of wisdom I want to pass on. Can I say anything that will matter to you? Will you be willing to listen? Years of life do teach us things that we wish we had know earlier. These thoughts are simple ones.

Enjoy what you have and not what you don’t have.

Enjoy-Where-You-AreIt is so easy to focus on the things we want. They may not even be things we need but just things we think we should have. If we have a place to call home a bed to sleep in and enough to eat we have enough. Don’t struggle to keep up with other people. They don’ really matter. Instead be grateful every day for your life and health. If you have people in your life that you love and who love you ….you are blessed. Thank God every day for them. Show them that you appreciate them. Life is short and they may be gone before you can blink an eye.

Appreciate the moment

Live-in-the-moment

Every moment is precious. Even the ones that aren’t so good. Don’t just let them slip by but store them away in your memory. They won’t come again. Remember we only have NOW. Tomorrow is a day away and yesterday is gone.

 

Find the good in everything

never-all-bad

Watch the movie Pollyanna and absorb her philosophy. We can find good even in the bad things. Some good can always be found. Don’t spend time bemoaning the negative. It just makes you miserable and who wants that. If you must express your sorrow, frustration or anger give yourself 24 hours for a “pity party”and then move on. You earned some time to fuss about your fate but after that get up and go on. Just being alive is a gift so appreciate it.

Don’t regret what you can’t fix.

cant fix everything

 

If you did something that you are sorry for do what you can to fix it and then let it go. To hang on to guilt does nothing to help. Some things in life just can’t be fixed. Remember that. The only thing you will do is to frustrate yourself. Let it go.

 

 

Get a decent meal and a good night’s sleep.

et well

Some food in your stomach and some sleep to rest your mind can change your attitude and your approach to things. Things tend to look different in the daylight. Worrying doesn’t help so have a good night and be ready to tackle the next day. Remember, all things pass….for good or ill. Perspective is everything.

Love, your grandmother

 

Is the fear real?

fearFor those of us who suffer from anxiety I am sure that we realize that anxiety is fear. I’m not sure that we can identify the fear….or put a name to it. Maybe if we could do that we could conquer it..and that is the trick….learning how to conquer it.

All the coping skills that we learn are ways to shove the fear away and replace it with calm and resolve. When fear raises its ugly head we react with the flight or fight response. Our body is ready to go into battle. As most of us know, there is no battle looming. Only the one with ourselves.

success

Like those with PTSD too much adrenaline is coursing through us and our heart rate increases, alertness heightens, and we are hyper and fearful. We know it is anxiety and too often related to nothing threatening but there we are.

I wonder if we could stop and identify the specific fear it would help. Maybe just taking a good look at our worst thoughts would help us to be more realistic. Most of the time the bridge we are trying to cross is never coming.

fear mandela

I think I will add this to my list of coping skills to see if I can identify the threat and thereby defuse it. It really would be nice if this can be another skill to add to the arsenal.

Why?

whyWe are always asking questions about life? The problem is there are so few answers. At least not ones that make any sense to us. We want to know what life is all about. We want to understand. We just get more questions.

Sometimes not knowing spirals into a feeling that we don’t really matter. We do matter. Believe it! Just because we can’t answer the question of why we are here? Just because we feel we have no purpose doesn’t mean we are not meaningful in this world.

There are people who think they have the answers. Sometimes those answers seem right and we grasp them only to see them slip away as we grow and learn.

We don’t need the answers. We have to understand that just letting the questions be is ok. Life is unpredictable and we may not have answers. Sometimes is is hard to live with this reality. We want to know…why am I sick? Why do I have mental illness? Why did the child die? It is hard for us that there aren’t answers. It would be so much easier.

Maybe someday we will know but for today we just need to live each day and know that we are important, we matter and we are meaningful.

if-you-live-the-questions-life-will-move-you-into-answers-quote-1

Poem: Why?

We ask the question why?

Why are we here?

Where did we come from?

Where are we going?

 

So many question

but no answers

and there won’t be any

 

And yet

we must live in

the uncertain

the unpredictable

 

Meaning escapes us

not knowing

always searching

 

somehow

we need to grasp

the search is enough

the questions

form our lives

 

How we live the

questions

tells us

who we are

 

do you live

into answers

that have no

meaning?

 

or do you

continue to

live the questions?

We have to keep on!

stress level imageToday has been a little hangover from the stress of IBSD yesterday. I am better but have not totally let go of the anxiety. It is incredible how it can get a hold on you and not want to let go. It truly takes positive action on my part to continue to push it away. Sometimes I think how silly it is to let anxiety take control when there truly is nothing to be anxious about. We surely can make our own distress. Unfortunately, it is not under my control. I keep working at it and it is better than it was in the past.

stressed-stress-relax.jpgLife will always be up and down. That’s just the way it is. It’s how we handle it that counts. In spite of struggles we have to keep fighting! Giving up is not an option as none of us wants to live that way. Life is such a gift. We can’t miss it.