Long time readers may have picked up that I am unwell at the moment with a long term chronic illness.
Currently I am in a great pain unable to sleep, and on a diet of painkillers and other medication.
This is why I have been unable to respond to some of your E-mails, I appreciate them and some of the things you have bought forward will in the fullness of time be addressed, God willing.
Suffering is the human lot and something we all undergo to a greater or lesser extent at some time.
Hopefully it helps bring us closer to God and it is his presence that helps us get through.
And old monk when asked "How are you Father" would not respond with the ritual and ultimately meaningless "Fine thank you and yourself?" but rather "I am in struggle" meaning of course his spiritual struggles to follow Gods will in a world of temptation. He would then ask after the enqirer and listen only interjecting in order to draw more about those things that were troublesome. He was a confessor and no matter the time or place the rules of confessional held.
His solution was always to suggest prayer, acceptance of Gods will and to look upon trials as something to help you mature in the faith. Where sin was involved he would point out the scriptures that covered that matter and ask whether continuing doing this was good for your soul and body? Nothing more. He would not demand that you cease but gently guide you in the right direction by highlighting the teachings of the Church. He taught me much, and he is with me to this day, though he has long since fallen asleep in the Lord.
He would finish by saying I will pray for you - and such was his manner this was a comforting thing and I believe very efficacious.
So I am in struggle, and not being as spiritually mature as my old mentor (and my time knowing him was all to short) my struggles are manifest in the physical world because I have yet to learn in my heart that which is truly important.
And perhaps this is why I have been given them to endure.
Update: Thank you all for your kind thoughts.
It is my firm conviction that life is a matter of growth. Although this post was born and written in a time of physical pain in truth at its heart it is about my eyes slowly opening to those things that matter and those that do not.
I know the skeptical readers of this blog will not understand this at all but for me this time of difficulty is actually a blessing from which new things will come. Birth pangs if you will. Even some Christian readers may only understand this at a superficial level for now but in time will come to learn it for themselves, God willing.
There is nothing unique about the situation I find myself in, it is part of the human condition. One of the things I have been shown is the suffering of others, something that is easy to bypass when bogged down in the daily minutiae of life, and I am learning how to relate to it.
I saw an elderly woman emerge from the hospital, virtually hairless from the treatment she was receiving, At her side was her husband, his hand in hers, like love struck teenagers and in my heart I saw walking with them both was Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
This life is just preparation for the life to come.
And it is the relationships we build with each other and the Lord that help us prepare well.
The problem with the Liberal left is that they fail to comprehend that all social problems have their origin in mankind's fallen nature. And that no amount of legislation, no program that they can come up with can or ever will address this.
Did Tim Barnett's child, the Prostitution Reform Act do anything to save these children? Maybe it even helps drive problem. Perhaps part of the appeal for those who use prostitutes is the illegality of what they are doing. Forbidden fruit and all that. Government blessed "Safe sex" with a legal prostitute maybe is just too clinical to have any appeal to the customers who sought out these children.
What would save children from being exploited in this manner would be safe homes and nurturing families. And is saying this "extremism" or just common sense.
And of course our cultural elites while playing lip service to the ideal of the nuclear family, undermine it at every turn. Another of Tim Barnett's pet projects was the Civil Union bill of course. It seems harmless enough, or even tolerant and "inclusive". But in reality it changes the fundamental focus of marriage from one of providing a stable platform for the foundation of a child centered family, to that of individual fulfillment and personal gratification. The new meme of "partnership" actually celebrates selfishness rather than commitment and certainly not a commitment to the next generation.
And so it is with Sue Bradford's baby.
It is just another way the State can step in to undermine parental authority and break the bonds that tie families together and accomplish nothing at all in preventing the dysfunctional who thrash children with dog chains and worse from doing the same.
The real solution to all our social problems lies in changing peoples hearts and that can only be accomplished at an individual level not by sledgehammer legislation.
We still have a long way to go in that regard folks.
The family of a man murdered by Graeme Burton have been told to repay up to $19,000 in legal aid granted for an inquest into his death.
Karl Kuchenbecker's former partner is on the domestic purposes benefit while she raises their two boys, James and Blair.
But while taxpayers will pay about $40,000 for double-killer Burton's amputation and prosthetic leg - a result of the shootout that followed Mr Kuchenbecker's murder - she has been told to repay legal fees for a four-day coroner's inquest at $25 a week.
At that rate, the bill of $19,027 will take 14 years and 31 weeks to pay off.
To be sure it seems that if the right bureaucratic hoops are jumped through it may be possible to have this bill written off. But that shouldn't have to happen now, should it?
The Ministrys of Social Development, Justice, Education and Health have a working group who have issued a plan.
Children as young as 3 are to be screened for signs of antisocial
behaviour which could identify whether they are likely to become future
Youngsters aged between 3 and 7 will be vetted under a
new Government initiative which also proposes training courses for both
parents and teachers of up to 5 per cent of the 57,000 5-year-olds who
start school each year - up to 3000 children a year.
of Education, working in conjunction with the Ministries of Health and
Social Development, says screening will start this year to select
children for intervention, with basic parenting courses now available
in all regions.
There are some things I just cannot get my head around.
This is one of them - a 43 year old Australian Public servant, father of four children chatting up a fourteen year old girl on-line. What is wrong with this man, doesn't he look at his own kids and feel horror, disgust and shame at his actions? Apparently not enough to stop him from doing it.
Since Roxanne was not a 14 year old girl but an adult male pretending to be a girl, Roxanne's responses to this predator would easily be tailored to feed and encourage his sexual fantasies? Has this fellow been entrapped? Don't get me wrong there is something completely out of whack with a 43 year old male engaging in on-line chat with an unknown 14 year old child but the sexual detail of the conversation may have been encouraged from the other end.
There is a slight niggle arising in my mind , that is this sort of policing might well be helping to create and drive the problem of on-line predatation.
Since the internet can be anonymous you have to wonder how many bogus children are chatting with other bogus children, feeding each others sexual fantasies. Both parties oblivious to the real nature of who they are really talking to. And how many of these bogus children are in fact policemen doing it in the line of duty?