For the past several months, Eoin and I have been involved in the Family Development Foundation. It’s designed to give families practical help and advice in bringing up children using everyday scenarios. The programme splits about 20 couples into groups of 5 and then we meet up in our small groups to discuss a scenario each month. Then the following week all 20 couples meet up together to go through the scenarios with a mediator.
Eoin and I have found the whole programme so helpful, mainly because of the other families we’ve met through the process. We’ve been incredibly blessed I think to find such lovely families who want to bring up their children in a similar way to us.
The programme is coming to an end now but I have no doubt we’ll all keep in touch. One of the couples suggested having a big family pilgrimage to Aylesford Priory last weekend and it was such a fun and blessed time. We started with the Rosary Walk, then had Mass, and then finished with a picnic. I’m hoping it will be an annual event at the least!
Its been a long time since I’ve written anything! There aren’t too many changes in our daily life, but it seems like Benedict continues to grow even faster each day.
As for B’s latest craze, it’s books… It’s always story-time these days! I should be over the moon about this, and I am really. But sometimes it can get just a bit too much! After reading the same book so many times you don’t need the book any more to read it, it’s quite difficult to keep up the enthusiasm!
A few days ago, when Benedict was following me around with his book in his hand and making the noise which means “read to me, read to me!” an image randomly came into my head – it was the sign that Fr Alexander had up in his sacristy at St Patrick’s:
Celebrate this Mass as if it is your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass
I think it was Mother Teresa who originally said it. And it really struck me – I know reading a book isn’t the same as celebrating the Mass, but I thought, actually yes – I need to read this book as if it was Benedict’s first book, last book, and only book that I read to him. I know Mother Teresa spoke often about doing small things with great love, and motherhood is slowly showing me the reality of this.
So whether I’m reading to B, preparing his meal, dressing him, bathing him, picking him up, or changing his nappy, I need to stop my groaning thoughts, and see these tasks for what they really are, an opportunity to love.
Mother Teresa and Housewives – The Road to Holiness is a really short but inspiring article for all wives and mums!
Going to Mass is a completely different experience since becoming a mum. I try and take Benedict most days, and if I can manage to stay with him in the pew until the end of the Gospel then its a good day!
The old ladies absolutely love him. They listen out for his unique owl sounding noise of: “cooo-cooo!” to know that Benedict and mum have arrived. At the end of Mass, they crowd around him waiting for his smile, and dutifully he never seems to fail!
I’m really lucky in my parish that everyone is so friendly and they don’t seem to mind the loud baby noises. But at the same time I can’t help but focus on those noises that Benedict makes and wonder how much longer I can distract him before I need to take him to the back of the church. I remind myself over and over again of the quote by an evangelical pastor:
If you don’t hear crying the church is dying!
And that carries me through all Benedict’s funny noises, the noises of a growing Church.