Post-Christian Meltdown

Here is an interesting interview discussing the rarely-acknowledged spiritual crisis in Europe:

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Palm Project

“Twitter Censorship of Pro-Life Messaging” – short video on YouTube

Medal Bracelet Update

Today, I made a new bracelet for my medals.  This project has been on the back-burner ever since my previous attempts failed to stand up to the wear and tear of daily use.  I’m hoping this wired version will last longer:

I found the pliers with nylon-covered jaws pretty useless.  They might prove more useful for a different kind of project.  I did most of the work with just my fingers.

On the photo above you should be able to see a bird pendant on the left.  I’ve fitted it with a clasp so that I can attach it anywhere along the bracelet.  The idea is based on the sacrifice beads of St. Thérèse of Lisieux except I’m counting sins rather than sacrifices.  I couldn’t think of a way of making sure that beads would stay in place when they were moved along for counting purposes.  I didn’t think of looking on the Internet.  If I’d have looked I probably would have found this website – Little Ways – which seems to have lots of useful information on this whole subject.  Anyway, the idea with my beads is to provide myself with an incentive to stop committing persistent sins that I’m having particular trouble with.  Each time I realise that I’ve committed the sin that I want to tackle, I move the bird (which represents the Holy Spirit) along to the next position.  At the end of the week I count up the positions moved and this dictates the size of the sacrifice I then make.  I don’t know how effective this is going to be but I thought it was worth a try.  (I’m already praying for help, of course; that’s always the first resort.)

Shawl Update

I finished the shawl I started last month:

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I would have liked it to be slightly bigger but I ran out of yarn.

Away in a Manger

Away in a manger, no crib for his bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where he lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
Dear Mary, his Mother, sang sweet lullabies,
as Jesus, awaking, gazed into her eyes.
The most holy Virgin, with loving caress
embraced the world’s Saviour with Love’s tenderness.
Good Joseph stood guarding the Mother and Child,
his soul filled with awe and his heart undefiled.
The birth of young Jesus made angels to sing,
but Joseph in silence kept watch o’er his King.
What once was a stable may our hearts become;
may God’s holy fam’ly in us find a home.
With Mary and Joseph and angels above
we worship the Infant, the gift of God’s Love.

Text: V.1, Traditional, vv. 2-4, Fr. Christopher G. Phillips, 1995

Music; CRADLE SONG, William James Kirkpatrick, (1838-1921)

Wet West

We’ve had a lot of rain the last day or two. Now you might well be saying “quelle surprise” since I live in the West of Ireland and quite right too. Please note however that it was only a few months ago that the Irish government was so worried about the lack of rain that they instituted a hosepipe ban. I expect visitors from dryer climates found it quite amusing. Anyway, the slightly brown grass produced by the “drought” has faded into a distant memory now that we are experiencing the usual winter downpours. Here are some photos I took today at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar:

The penultimate photo shows the path leading to a submerged jetty. As my son remarked “it’s disa-pier-ed.” (I got told off for groaning instead of laughing.) You can just about see Croagh Patrick in the distance. I’ve zoomed in for the last photo so you can see it better.

Christmas Crochet and Solomon’s Shawl

First, in line with my policy of full craft disclosure, I have to admit that I never finished the mantilla I was crocheting.

The yarn was too thick so I looked like I was wearing a doily on my head. Not a good look unless you’re going for crazy-like-a-loon. Also, I realised that the triangle was the wrong shape for a head covering; it needs to have one much longer side.

To cheer myself up I crocheted a few Christmas decorations. I made them up as I went along so I don’t have a pattern for them, sorry.

I haven’t stiffened them yet so hopefully I can get them straightened out a bit more.

Today I started on another triangular project. It’s going to be a shawl made from Solomon’s knots.

There are loads of tutorials on the Internet for making this lacy and deceptively simple stitch so I will let you find one that suits you. To get the triangular shape I worked as follows:

Start with 2 ch then dc (UK notation as always) into the first chain. (You could try just 1 ch to start because my starting point is looking a bit too bulky.) Next draw out the yarn to the height of stitch that suits you and your yarn. I’ve made mine about 1cm high and I’m using quite thick “string vest” yarn. Make four of the Solomon’s knot component (SKC) stitches (made up of a long loop and a dc) and join into a diamond shape by dc into the starting dc. 3 SKC, dc into next corner of the diamond. *2 SKC, make a chain to the same height as one of the loops (I’ve used 3 ch.), ss into the next corner of the original diamond and ss back along the chain and into the dc. Now 3 SKC and turn work to dc into top dc of the nearest diamond. 2 SKC, dc into top of next diamond. Repeat from * increasing the repeats of the previous instruction as each row grows in length, and using the chains to join up diamonds at the edge of the triangle.

Nun Nostalgia

This programme, first shown in 1959, made me nostalgic for Wales, BBC English, and good old-fashioned Catholicism. Lovely ladies serving the Lord and saving souls:

If the embedded video above doesn’t play in your country then try clicking here.

What Sin Boils Down To