DIY Chaplet

You’ve probably all seen a set of rosary beads, even if it’s just on the telly.  Different sets of prayers can be said using a standard set of beads but some sets of prayers need a different arrangement of beads, which are called chaplets.  Here are some of my sets of beads:

rosaries

The one on the left is a standard rosary.  It glows in the dark, making it easy to find at night.  The blue set is for a set of prayers called the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  I only use the black set once a year.  It’s mentioned in the video below which explains the difference between rosaries and chaplets:

I wanted a new set of beads for saying the Chaplet of the Holy Face but I didn’t think they would have a set in my local shops so I decided to make one.  I only had tiny beads so I wondered if I could make beads using knots or crochet.  The crochet ones I found were a bit naff but I found some terrific videos on how to make knotted rosaries (see below for one of these videos).  However, I didn’t have thick enough cord so my attempts were an absolute mess.

Then I had more than one hint that it is the quality of prayer, not the quantity, that matters so I dropped the whole idea for a while.  The need to pray the Chaplet didn’t go away though so I prayed to Our Lady that if she approved of me praying the Chaplet then I would need to be given beads.  A couple of days later I was given three old rosaries that were no longer wanted – so I now had lots of beads.  I took that as a sign that I should make my own chaplet, and here it is:

holyfacechaplet

Interestingly, when I showed it to my husband he asked me pointedly where I’d got the Holy Face medal from.  I admitted sheepishly that I had found it in our icon corner (a communal prayer space in our house) and had used it without asking.  He didn’t mind but he was asking because when he knelt for prayer at a church* where they have Perpetual Adoration he found a Holy Face medal by his knee.  He knows my interest in the Holy Face devotion so he brought it home.  When one asks Our Lady for something she certainly doesn’t hold back!

*This church is in Tooreen where the devil is reputed to have paid a visit to the Dance Hall in the Fifties.  (The Dance Hall is still there, I’ve had tea and nibbles there.)

Adam And Eve Were Vegan…

…until they messed everything up and got kicked out of the Garden.  We were meant to be gardeners not farmers.  The Garden of Eden is the model of what God originally intended for mankind.  He wanted to walk with us in the Garden.  People often quote the parts of Genesis where God gives us dominion over the natural world but they ignore the part where we are told:

Here are all the herbs, God told them, that seed on earth, and all the trees, that carry in them the seeds of their own life, to be your food; food for all the beasts of the earth, all that flies in the air, all that creeps along the ground; here all that lives shall find its nourishment.

Coecke van Aelst, Pieter (follower) - The Fall of Man - Google Art ProjectWhen God gave us dominion over the natural world He wanted us to be responsible custodians not exploitative tyrants.  He gave us everything we needed – water and plants and fruit of the trees – to sustain ourselves and the creatures under our care.  There was just one fruit that was off limits.  God gave mankind free will and relied on us to make the right decision.  However, we failed, and the fallen world can no longer sustain us with ease.  God tells Adam:

Thou hast listened to thy wife’s counsel, and hast eaten the fruit I forbade thee to eat; and now, through thy act, the ground is under a curse.  All the days of thy life thou shalt win food from it with toil; thorns and thistles it shall yield thee, this ground from which thou dost win thy food.  Still thou shalt earn thy bread with the sweat of thy brow; until thou goest back into the ground from which thou wast taken; dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Notice that God still doesn’t say that we will need to eat animals to survive.  He doesn’t give permission for us to do that until after the great flood of Noah’s time.  I’m not a saint, a theologian or a Bible scholar so I don’t know why He did that.  Maybe the earth was just no longer able to support man on a vegan diet at that stage.

Now for those of you who are thinking that surely God didn’t mind people killing animals because He expected sacrifices, in fact, He didn’t actually like them or want them.  God tolerates our weaknesses out of love but when He deems that we can do better He asks more from us.  For example, in Matthew 19:8 we hear Jesus explaining why divorce was permitted in the past but not under the New Covenant:

It was to suit your hard hearts that Moses allowed you to put your wives away; it was not so at the beginning of things.

It is not a sin to eat meat and animal products; even Christ had to eat the same diet as His contemporaries.  But now that we have progressed, the Western world could probably support a vegan lifestyle for us all.  God does not require us to be vegan, but given that many of us are now able to do so, I think we should.  Vegans have much less of an environmental impact than meat-eaters.  For the sake of the animals and the environment that God put into our care, and for the poor who are often exploited for the sake of meat production, we should at least work towards it.  I’m not trying to be holier than thou; I know it’s hard.  I’ve been vegetarian for over twenty years but, even though I decided it was the right way to live a few years ago, I still struggle with veganism.

If you want information on how to make the switch you could start here, and if you need more convincing you could visit Stacey’s informative blog, Our Compass.

Pope Francis ignores Cardinals’ request for an audience to discuss Dubia

Interesting that Facebook and Twitter have waded into the fray (see below). It hardly seems something that would merit their attention but I guess the prince of this world is acting more openly now.

These are anxious times for the Church. Doctrinal anarchy and unorthodoxy are reigning in Rome. We had hardly caught our breath after the shocking news of the new heretical appointees to the Pontifical Academy of Life, when we hear about this….

ardinal Carlo Caffarra, the archbishop emeritus of Bologna, asked for an audience on behalf of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals. (Edward Pentin photo)

National Catholic Register correspondent, Edward Pentin, had only two days earlier reported on the ‘Doctrinal Anarchy’ as Bishops’ Conflicting Positions on Amoris Laetitia Show: “Since the publication last year of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family Amoris Laetitia, a “doctrinal anarchy” that was feared and predicted at the synods on the family is becoming apparent”, and the urgent necessity for a final Papal clarification on these confusing conflicting interpretations of AL, when news of the latest rebuff towards the four Cardinals who signed…

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URGENT PRAYER ALERT! The Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia ask an AUDIENCE

4 cardinals 5 dubiaFrom Edward Pentin at the faithful National Catholic Register (not to be confused with faithless Fishwrap):

Full Text of Dubia Cardinals’ [The Four Cardinals who submitted the Five Dubia] Letter Asking Pope for an Audience
The April 25 missive was hand-delivered to the Pope on May 6 but has received no response.

Edward Pentin

Here below is the full text of the letter, signed by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra on behalf of the four dubia cardinals, asking Pope Francis for an audience to discuss deep concerns over the Pope’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).

The Holy Father has yet to acknowledge the cardinals’ written request. […]

“Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf…

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Moderates Can’t Defend Their Position

Crochet Garland

garland2

I might add a few little leaves here and there but the garland is pretty much done.  As you can see, I swapped out the pale leaves and replaced them with darker ones.  I’m not crazy about how they turned out but I think they’ll have to do.  I’ve got friction burns on my fingers from the yarn passing over the same place over and over again so I’m going to leave off crochet for a while now.  Time for some drawing (when it’s raining) and gardening (when it’s not).

17 Reasons I Became Catholic in 2017

If you’re wondering why anyone would want to join the Catholic Church in this day and age then read this beautiful post by Anja:

Anja Speaks

In the last few months to a year of exploring then joining the Church, I have been asked perhaps 200 times—Why the Catholic Church? Why now? Usually I give a quick answer or fail to answer. Perhaps this is because I could clearly only scratch the surface of this question in over 4,000 words once I actually did try. It can’t be summed up so succinctly for me. Friends and family approached me lovingly and unlovingly, tactfully and offensively, concerned and angry, debating and praying. Thank you for your genuine concern and desire to understand. Hopefully this can give you an idea of my “sudden” change and console your fears that we are so different. While there is time for debate, that is not the intention of this piece. Thank you so much for your concern and aid. Here are just the Top 17 Reasons (in no particular order) I…

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Find Out What’s Really At Stake

Here are some of my recent thoughts about radical Islam.  I’m not an expert, but I think this is something that a lot of Westerners need to hear.  First lets hear from a radical muslim source.  A recent message to muslims goes (sic to all the weird grammar, etc.):

O! Muslims, in America, Russia, France, Britain, Canada, Belgium, Australia, and Italy and else where Outside the Caliphate Role

Get far away from the gathering places of the Crusaders before the Military places from their markets, ways and Parkings..

All of these places are Targets for the Soldiers of the Caliphate and we will explode, Run over people by vehicles and Cut off their necks in any time

To the Crusaders they say:

The Islamic State haven’t started the war against you, as your governments and media imagine that to you, you have started the aggression against us, and the starter is most aggressive, and you will pay costly for that, and not these almost daily blessed attacks in your homelands; are just a beginning and a promise from Allah and his Messenger (PBUH) and what we had promised you, and we have prepared for you worst days, surprises after surprises, and to answer the call of targeting people of the crusader’s countries, thousands of lonely lions has been prepared in your countries and have sold their bodies and souls for the sake of Allah

And wait for Attacks, and we wait too!

It’s interesting that they should mention “lonely lions” as their source of attacks.  To whom have they sold their souls?  It’s not hard to guess:

Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. [1 Peter 5:8]

It’s also interesting that they frame their Western enemies as Crusaders.  They must know that Western society is increasingly secular, and that the depravity that they often point to is linked directly to an increase in secularism.  Directing the threat against Crusaders makes non-believers want to distance themselves even further from the Church when that is the very thing that can save them.  Radical Islam wants the West to give up its only salvation (which is not very surprising).  They probably know that secular Western society already uses a distorted account of the Crusades as propaganda to discredit the Catholic Church.  The wedge is firmly in place already, the terrorists are just giving it one more tap to widen the gap.  The correct response to this threat is to embrace the thing which they are trying to separate us from.

Lepanto f2Lepanto f1

I urge all non-believers not to give up on Christ before giving Him a fair hearing.  Find out what’s really at stake before you let someone take it out of your reach forever.

I’ve been a Catholic for less than two years so I still remember all the anti-Catholic propaganda that had kept me away from the Church for decades.  If there’s something stopping you from learning more about the Church please let me know in the comments.  It is quite possible that what you believe about the Church is false, or exagerrated.  I know I had some crazy notions about it before I finally decided to open my mind.

Lepanto f3If you want to find out what really happened during the Crusades you could start here or here.

Leaf Pattern

I crocheted another leaf.  You can see from the photo that I was more relaxed when I made this one – my tension is not so tight so the leaf is bigger.  The pattern is below.

leavesLeaf Pattern (UK terminology)

  1. 15 ch
  2. 1 dc into 2nd ch from hook, 1 dc into each ch except last, (1dc, 3ch, 1dc) into last ch [this forms the tip of the leaf], 1 dc into ch along opposite side of foundation ch, 2 dc into same place as last dc [this forms the base of the leaf].  For the remainder of the pattern, dc into the back loop (when viewed from the right side) of each dc. 1 dc into each of next 10 dc, 1 ch, turn work over.
  3. 1 dc into each dc until the first of the dcs at the base of the leaf.  Don’t forget to work into the back loop only – on this reverse side this means working into the front loop.  3 dc into centre of 3 dc at base.  1 dc into each dc except last 4 dc, 1 ch, turn work over.
  4. Repeat step 3, remembering to work into the back loop of the dcs, until you have the number of points on your leaf that you require.
  5. Work down to the base of the leaf as before but work the last two sts as ss and finish off in the centre dc of the base.

More Motifs

Here are some more pieces for my garland.  The leaf is a pretty standard Irish crochet motif, and the bird is my own design.  They didn’t turn out quite how I wanted but I’ve put the bird pattern below anyway.  I’ll make one more leaf to check the pattern before I publish it.

moremotifs

Bird Pattern (UK terminology)
I used a 3.5mm hook, and cotton yarn (which looks like DK thickness)

  1. 5 ch, ss to make ring
  2. 1 ch, 8 dc into ring, ss into first st
  3. 3 ch, 2 tr in same dc, *3 tr in next dc* seven times, ss into 3rd chain
  4. 3 ch, 1 tr in top of same tr, *3 tr in next tr, 2 tr in next tr* repeat to beg., ss
  5. Change colour. 3 ch, 1 tr in top of each tr, ss into 3rd chain
  6. 3 ch, 1 tr in top of each tr, ss into 3rd chain, fold motif in half so that the current stitch is at one end of the fold.  To form the tail, 7 ch, ss into top of fold near the base of the chains, 7 ch, ss a little further along the fold, 7 ch, ss, 5 ch, ss (see photo for guidance).  Finish off leaving enough yarn to sew the edges together.  Use the first colour to sew a beak and eyes (see photo).