Thursday, 29 July 2010
Pope kvetchers: kvetching about papal visit costs, but forgetting to backbite about other causes of expenditure?
The verb ‘to kvetch’ comes from the German ‘to squeeze’ or ‘to pinch’. Now, I’d like to see ‘some’ start their penny pinching with the organisers of the G-20 summit.
Thanks to Vincenzo for posting the Zenit article on Sancte Pater
Tuesday, 27 July 2010
Enid was delighted to have a visitor, and the lady who sat next to her insisted that I took her seat. Enid was quite overcome, ‘no one here gets visitors…’ and forgetting her audience she said, ‘some of them over there have never had anyone come in.’
Looking down at her clothes she apologised, ‘sorry that I look so dishevelled. My clothes are all crumpled. I have only a few clothes that you can wear in this heat…and they’re wrinkled. Oh dear, I hate the way they wash my clothes, they put them in the washing machine with everyone else’s clothes, and well you never know what way the clothes might come back after being with all their clothes…’ she gave a darting, suspicious look to the other inhabitants of the room. The fact that her clothes were being bundled up with the clothes of the other patients caused her huge distress, and she went into enormous detail about how her clothes ‘get squished and mixed up with those people and their problems’. She thought that wearing her clothes, after they had been washed with those of other mental health patients would make her more ill. She started crying and complained that she wanted her clothes washed separately.
When she calmed down, she asked me some questions about my family and then with a look of great shock, she told me that over fifty years ago her baby-sister had disappeared and had never been found. Abducted? Murdered? No one ever found out, and this was the major traumatic episode that initiated her first breakdown. ‘I’ve given up thinking that she might be alive. And if she is, she probably wouldn’t want to see me. She left me…’ she said in an aching voice before quickly adding, ‘just look at me! I’m a mess, with my creased clothes. They won’t iron them.’
I stopped one of the care assistants and asked her if there was a programme for ironing the clothes.
She turned to Enid waved a set of fingers that had extremely long blue nails and said, ‘you knows the score. I says the same thing all the time, that yo’er clothes get washed with d’other and yo no like this. You wanna yo’er clothes washed separate. Huh! What cheek!’ Then she gave me a smirk that said, ‘she’s mental you know’.
‘But you wash my clothes with hers! I’ll get worse.’ said Enid pointing at a lady who was so thin she looked like her body was made of matchsticks.
‘You no gonna get worse! You bin here every year since I started. You comes in and out madam and you knows that people who got no family get their clothes washed.’ Her voice got more accusing with each word and pointing a finger at different patients she sneered, ‘she gotta have her clothes washed cos she got no family. He got no family can wash his clothes. I gotta do all their washing and don’t need you saying I’m making you worse.’ Enid’s irrational thoughts were painful enough for her, without this lady-dog giving her a punishment-style lecture.
‘My clothes are never ironed…’ said Enid. In an ideal world Enid would have told the care assistant “thank you” for merely washing the clothes, but the fact that her clothes weren’t ironed caused her to start crying again.
‘You knows that ironing your clothes iz not in my contract. Ironing is not written in my contract, and I no gonna to do it out of the good of my heart. That simple. Iz not in my contract.’ Repeat ‘iz not in my contract’ by ten. In fact, the care assistant went over to another patient and said ‘you wanna yo’er clothes ironed too, well iz not in my contract. I don’t never iron yo’er clothes.’
Thankfully Enid didn’t ‘get’ this last bit of a crass rant about contracts, but I thought it
Being a care assistant is a difficult job that requires a lot of patience – I know – I had this job during my university years. But why remind a chronically ill patient that they ‘got no family’, especially when the tragic loss of her only sibling is a grief from which she has never recovered? And why repeat relentlessly that ‘iz not on my contract’? Ironing may not feature on the list of duties to which the care assistant is bound, but surely ‘caring’ does, and this Lady, (albeit extremely anxious anyway) felt especially badly on account of not wearing ironed clothes.
I hope to get answers to the above when I write to the hospital with more precise details of time and place, and explain that the finger pointing, the revelation of personal details concerning the other patients (‘he got no family’) and the way Enid’s level of distress was heightened was not favourable for improving the anxiety levels of the patients. Oh and I’m sure ‘engaging in patronising and disrespectful conversation just because they’re too depressed to defend themselves’ is definitely not on her contract.
PS - For purposes of preserving her anonymity, I’ve refrained from giving her real name and ‘idenifying details’ have been changed.
Sunday, 25 July 2010
Saturday, 24 July 2010
Thursday, 22 July 2010
My favourite prayers are:
The Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary – Our Lady of Fatima asked for the daily recitation of the Rosary six times. And whilst I find the Glorious hard to concentrate on, I find the Joyful much easier to meditate on. The Presentation in the Temple is my favourite decade. I pray a lot to Anna-in-the-temple, and last year prayed for a friend who was pregnant and who later called the child 'Anna'.
Now, I tag:
Fr Finigan. The courage he has shown in his blogging gives great example to us all.
Luke Coppen. Luke works extremely hard, and The Catholic Herald is a fine paper.
The Ironic Catholic. The PJ Wodehouse of Catholic bloggers.
Last step! I must tell the above bloggers that they have been tagged.
1931. In a letter to Warren, his brother, CS Lewis gave the following observation, "we had tea at Wheatley, Barfield denouncing birth control. I could not help thinking, though I hardly cared to say, that a man married to an obviously barren woman was in this matter an arm chair critic." 1947. In a personal letter he wrote that he didn’t have "a general position about contraception. As a bachelor I think I should be imprudent in attacking it: on the other hand I should not like the job of defending it against almost unbroken Xtian disapproval. But it isn't my business." And in another letter, addressed to a Mrs. Johnson nine years later, he wrote simply, "Birth control I won't give a view on; I'm certainly not prepared to say that it is always wrong."
1933. The Pilgrim's Regress contains Lewis’ first public musings on contraception. John, the protagonist and ‘pilgrim’, has a meeting with Mr. Sensible and verily the atmosphere created by this passage is truly like Lucy’s visit with the faun in Narnia. But much darker, and with a deliberate sinister edge. Mr. Sensible smugly muses to the young man John, ‘to cut off pleasures from the consequences and conditions which they have by nature, detaching, as it were, the precious phrase from its irrelevant context, is what distinguishes the man from the brute and the citizen from the savage’. Sensible welcomes ‘even more beneficent contraceptive devices of our later times…. That man who can eat as taste, not nature, prompts him and yet fear no aching belly, or who can indulge in Venus and fear no impertinent bastard, is a civilized man. In him, I recognize Urbanity — the note of the centre."
After Mr. Sensible, John meets Mr. Broad, who stands for modernist religion, in particular perhaps, that era's tumultuous tensions during the 'modernising' of the Anglican community. Mr. Broad is Mr. Sensible "oldest friend" and his "quite near neighbour." The obvious symbolism in Mr. Broad’s name is that he represents the ‘wide’ ways and not the ‘narrow’ path of Christianity.
Lewis did have a naïve faith in contraception, but still sought arguments against it.
1955. He wrote in a personal letter that, ‘now that contraceptives have removed the most disastrous consequences for girls, and medicine has largely defeated the worst horrors of syphilis, what argument against promiscuity is there which will influence the young unless one brings in the whole supernatural and sacramental view of man?’
PS - You can just hear the screams of some in response to Mr. Sensible’s disgustingly offensive contemptuousness that contraception will prevent ‘impertinent bastards’. But if these screams come from the pro-abortion lobby, we must ask why they support a facility that enables the death of 600-700 unborn children every day in the UK. They may not use terms of abuse to describe ‘the products of contraception failure’, but they will subject them to the worst abuse.
Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Mass (forma extraordinaria) in Ss Peter and Pauls Church, Cork
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Saturday, 17 July 2010
Thursday, 15 July 2010
Mandelson’s memoirs have a poison-claw cattiness, claiming that Blair called Brown ‘mad, bad, and dangerous', and described Browns as "flawed, lacking perspective and having a paranoia about him.” According to Anthony Blair, Brown was "beyond hope of redemption.” Mandelson quotes Blair as having said,
Agreed there Ed, Mandelson is only one of the most contemptible politicians to have ever held sway in British politics. He suited Lab’uh’ fine and dandy, dandy and fine.
Ed Miliband on Mandelson’s memoirs: the book should ‘close chapter’ on New Labour. At least Ed doesn’t mix his metaphors. And he’s right that, “we need to move on as a political party from the culture, methods and ways of that New Labour establishment.” But move on to where? Oh, I get it, some trips to a fancy advertising agency to draw up some jazzy posters and a trendy sounding title. ‘Newer Lab’uh’ anyone?
Mandelson prides himself on being a gay mentor...
Well, according to the old definition of ‘gay’, as being happy and funny, I have to say that I laughed my head off looking at this TV advert. I thought it was a satire – until I realised – the Dickensian setting of the crackling fireplace and the lightning sounding in the background were all for commercial effect. The book may look as entertaining as a panto, but isn’t it ironic that Mandy, who has trampled on British cultural goodness, relies on the traditional home-in-front-of-the-fire–with-my-dressing-gown-on to sell his seedy memoirs?
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
In the wake of this great news, Liam Gibson, of SPUC Northern Ireland commented that;
"We are very pleased that the health minister has withdrawn the interim guidance. This was the aim of the SPUC's application for a judicial review, due to be heard in September. The health minister has done the sensible thing by withdrawing the guidance. Otherwise he would have been ordered by the courts for a second time to withdraw it.”
This marvellous development has come just days after the magnificent Rally for Life in Belfast.
Fr. Finigan reported on the rally here
PS – Granted this post is about pro-life matters, and mentions some pro-life organisations by name; I would ask that ‘some’ do not waste their time writing to me with their insensitive opinions on pro-life groups and about pro-life individuals. We all have our faults – including those involved intimately in pro-life struggles – but I am not going to facilitate mudslinging from pro-lifer to pro-lifer on this, my personal blog. ‘Nuff said! Now, I’m raising a glass to celebrate! Cheers to everyone on the pro-life side!