Gladioli That Point up to Heaven

I bought a bunch of Gladioli in the supermarket this week.  The trumpet flowers open out from the tall green stems.  The gladiolii flowers come in many shades, purple, pink, red, yellow or white.  These flowers bring back memories of attending Church as a child and the routine of Sunday morning in our home on the farm.

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In the country where I grew up, the community gathered at the church on the hill.  It was within walking distance from our home.  Dad and two of the family would go to first mass at eight o’clock.

Seasonal flowers decorated the Church altar.   The gladioli stood out for me as the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen. Their stems reached up to the heavens and the flowers opened up into trumpets.  I imagined they were brought from some exotic place far away.  I never saw such flowers grow ing in the local gardens.

I remembered the smell of the incense and the singing of the choir at Church.  Words were sung to someone beyond my world.  My heart was lifted up above my circumstances.  People dressed in their best clothes.  Families sat together in pews.  Going to Church on Sunday for me was very special.  Those holy, innocent days going to Church as a child are long gone.  I was oblivious to the big world beyond the church and the farm.  I imagined the Gladioli came from out there somewhere?

Dad would stand and talk to neighbours after mass and get a catch up on the local news.  Mum would make fried, fresh, farm eggs and bacon with home made soda bread for dad’s return.  As we smelt the bacon we would turn up for breakfast at different times.  Sundays were restful.  No farmwork or school to go to.  No last minute rush to catch the school bus at the bottom of the lane.
The rest of the family would walk or get a ride in the car to second mass at eleven o’clock.  Whoever went to first mass would prepare the Sunday dinner for us all.  Dad would sit by the fire and read the newspaper.  It was his day off.  We usually had a stew.  I loved the smell of it as it cooked on the stove and we waited for the others to return.  After dinner we would listen to Family Favourites on the Radio.  I remember songs being played that were sung by Burl Ives, The Ugly Bug Ball, The Little White Duck or Rudolfh the Red Nose Reindeer.

I never heard about the Sabbath Day then. I now know that God intended that man should rest from his labour one day of the week.  Our family did have that day off.

Observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. (‭Exodus‬ ‭31‬:‭16-17‬ KJV)

God intended the Sabbath for man to rest.  If God needed refreshed after working all week, I think I will take his example.  He does not want to harm us, it is for our benefit to have a day off, in this world where so many other things take up our thinking, strength and money.
Have a good Sunday.

Have You Ever Shouted at Jesus. One Woman Did

I heard this reading at church on Sunday. It blessed me so much.

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
A Canaanite woman ( not a Jew ) from that vicinity came to him and started shouting, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly ( grievously vexed with a demon KJV ).”
Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and pleaded with him, “Give her what she wants because she is shouting after us.”
He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.( the Jews )”
The woman came and knelt before him and worshipped him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s ( the Jews ) bread and toss it to the dogs.”
“Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (‭Matthew‬ ‭15‬:‭21-28‬ NIV)
This reading greatly impacted me that day.
I have heard this story before, but I never realised the woman was shouting at Jesus.
So loudly in fact that the disciples wanted her to go away.
In Jewish Culture it was not proper for a woman to shout in public.
Women were to be quiet.
In many nations woman is the man’s property.
With the children she cooks, cleans, gets firewood, farms, and keeps quiet.
This woman was a Cananite. This tribe did not mix with Jews. They lived separately from the Jews.
She must have heard about the miracles of deliverance and healing Jesus performed.
She was in distress about her daughter.
She was desperate. She cried out to Jesus for help.
Jesus ignored her.
His friends wanted him to do something to get rid of her.
She bowed before Jesus and asked him again.
She humbled herself. She did not give up even when Jesus likened her to a dog.
She was not hurt or angry but asked again for her daughter’s healing.
Jesus finally helped her.
I laughed to myself.
Would you call out in Church and interrupt the Pastor.
I did.
I interrupted a Baptist Pastor speaking at his Church.
I was distressed about my situation.
I was escorted outside.
It was not culturally acceptable for a woman to speak up in Church.
God sees.
Sometimes one is so desperate that God doesn’t mind if one shouts at him.
Respectability stops us being real.

POPE FRANCIS APPROVES OF BREASTFEEDING IN CHURCH, LIKE MY BIBLICAL STAND THIRTY FIVE YEARS AGO.

Mothers shouldn’t feel uncomfortable breastfeeding during ceremonies.

Pope Francis baptised 32 babies in the Sistine Chapel on Sunday and told their mothers to have no qualms about feeding them there. 
Feed your babies if you want, Pope Francis tells mothers in Sistine Chapel
 “Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise. Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry,” he said in a familiar, relaxed tone to the parents.
Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel are some of the world’s most celebrated works of art. The ceiling depicts the creation of man and the altar wall shows a severe God at the Last Judgement.

But the pope told the mothers not to feel intimidated by the surroundings.

“If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice. Because they are the most important people here,” he said, speaking in the same room where he was elected on March 13 as the first non-European pope in 1,600 years.

Francis said in an interview last month that mothers should not feel uncomfortable breastfeeding during his ceremonies.

Quoted from Pope Francis

Back in September 2013 I wrote a blog, “Unto us a child is born.” You can look it up on wordpress.com angela mc cauley. I told how I breast fed my child in church when my baby was crying.  I quote
“I took all my children to church.  I carried the youngest baby in a sling tucked close to me so if the child cried I could breast feed the baby discreetly, or so I thought.  One day a man complained that “I should not be feeding the baby in church.”  I was discouraged.  Then I read the scripture in Joel  2:16 about calling the nursing mothers and the infants at their breast into the solemn assembly.  God did not disapprove of my breastfeeding in church and I would feed a whole lot more before it was all over.”
This happened thirty five years ago.  Today my son Aaron , whom I wrote about, emailed me the above information.
So I am pleased today that I am vindicated by Pope Francis.

REST

 

At seven in the morning it is dark here in my home town of Downpatrick, Co Down, Ireland.   As I look out my window I see the main road wind its way out into the distance.  During the week day mornings there is a constant flow of pairs of red lights, cars with people on their way to work in Belfast.  Later there is a flow  of buses and cars into town with school children.  Downpatrick is a hub for education.  We have great primary and grammar schools here, a good place to rear children.

The road is quiet this morning.  I hear the church bells ringing.  A call to prayer.  What a wonderful Christian  heritage we have here in Ireland.  Despite the war,  people still pray.  The bells were silent for a time recently.  I missed them.  I enquired and was reassured the bells would be ringing again.  The  bells ring down through the centuries.   Everyone hears the bells, whether one is Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Muslem, Chinese, male, female, child or pensioner.  It  is a beautiful sound, memories of home,  neighbours and security.

All is at rest in this small town today.