Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Gifts From The Heart And From Friends

We decided to try a new New Year's tradition which is popular in some of the Slovac countries and that is to pick a Saint for the year.  One's goal is then to learn as much as possible about that person and emulate some of their virtues.  In addition to this I also thought it would be a good idea to claim a fruit of the spirit and work on that facet of faith.  So here is our list for 2015:

Dave:  Saint Peter The Apostle, "Lord, you know everything and you know that I love you."  Pray for the Holy Father and The Vatican.

The gift of joy.

Me:  Saint Catherine of Genoa, "Dear Children I ask you to pray every day for the souls in Purgatory.  In this way you will acquire intercessors who will be able to help you in life."  Pray for The Holy Souls.

The gift of peace. 

Pip:  Saint Mechtilde, "All those who love my gifts in others will receive the same merit and glory as those to whom I have granted those gifts (Jesus)"  Pray for the underpriviledged.

The gift of mildness.

Benedict:  Saint Francis of Assisi, "I know Jesus poor and crucified and that is enough for me."  Pray that Jesus be loved.

The gift of goodness.

When I received my gift I instantly thought of the scripture passage, 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God." 
Matthew 5 v 9.

And then I thought, "God really does have a sense of humour!" because there are plenty of opportunities for daily peace brokering in this family!!  Not between Dave and I per se but between Benedict and Pip.  They are at a time in their lives where the age gap and gender difference seems to be playing a significant role.  I wonder too if Pip being at school and Benedict being at home is also contributing to these difficulties, since they no longer have any common ground.  So one of my tasks is to find and work on shared items with them both.

Peace in The Heart and Soul

In these days of strife and turmoil and perplexity,
We all need peace, the peace that heals the mind-
the peace that brings the inward calm of quiet thoughts,
the precious balm - that comes to us from worlds we cannot see.

In these days of deep unrest we need to seek a place-
where at times we can find a sanctuary-
discovering the joy that springs from good and quiet and lovely things,
and learn the secrets of tranquility.

Patience Strong

My friend a non-Catholic Christian finds peace in our cathedral church.  There is no drum kit or happy clappy music, not that I am against any of these!  The church being what it is, is very quiet and reverential and the biggest blessing of all is the living presence of Jesus in the eucharist.  That peace truly is palpable and to sit in the silence, heavy with the prayer of the faithful is balm for a weary soul.

Peace can be found in other places too ~ on a hill side, a walk through the forest and even by the roaring of the sea!  Dave finds his peace in the workshop, he becomes so absorbed in the making of the tiniest springs and levers that time stands still ~ mindfulness mediation at work.

I used to think that knitting or crochet was my peace but my time at Hyning and painting an icon changed all that.  It was then that I truly understood the peace that world cannot give.

It is good to get away from noise,
From chaos and from din,
To seek in solitude and peace
The beauty that's within.

To go into a quiet wood,
And breathe its loveliness,
To contemplate in silence
Those things which calm and bless.

The mysteries of the universe,
The wisdom of the sage,
Take some old and lovely thought
From a bygone age
And meditate upon the good
The honest and the true
This calms the mind and you will find
A blessing comes to you.

Kathleen Gillum

Carrie over at the the parenting passageway also has the word peace for her year and will be writing a series of post on that subject.  She also wrote an excellent article on the difficulties of being eleven

On this day of the three kings we also received a beautiful package from Dorina and family.  We were treated to yummy New York coffee and tea, knitted goodies and wonderful reading material.  Thank you so much dear friend!

Apologies for the blurry images, the photgrapher was having a whoopsie daisy day!

 Beautifully wrapped packages.


 Needing a little help.

 Totally Pleased!

 Another Happy Reader!  Pip's second book was about a pilgrim girl and both books are by her bed as the current bedtime reading!

 A lovely rainbow purple cowl for me which will be just right for my time in the icon studio, it gets mighty chilly in there, even with a roaring wood burner!

 A snow man birthday card for Pip from Chanda and some really sweet pink fingerless mittens.

Peace to you x 


  1. What a lovely tradition for the new year. I hope the gift of peace is a good one for you and that peace is what you find and have in 2015.

  2. Sounds like you have started you new year in a wonderful way San! Great way to delve deeper into the saints and develop those fruits, always good to work in a team, much more motivational!
    Happy new year to you all xx

  3. Hello San, Our computer crashed several days ago and we're finally up and running again. I caught up with few posts and am now catching up with you. Your adopted Saints for the year are inspiring and and I think can be a good bridge for Benedict and Pip. My girls have also gone through some ups and downs. It's not always easy but I know you will find ways to help them grow and understand together :) We're so glad you are enjoying the gifts. Chanda has gone to sleep but I will show the pic of the mitts on Pip tomorrow. She'll love to see it. Sending you a big hug and lots of love, Dorina.


Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment it is much appreciated x