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Gaudette! Joy!

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Gaudette! Joy! During the third week of Advent, we are so close to the return of Jesus at Christmas that we are to be joyful. When Jesus is present, peace will reign. That is why the fourth week of Advent, typically the week that Christmas occurs, is to be one of peace. If we do Advent “right,” there should be a calm in our hearts and in our heads to celebrate Christmas well. I pray you all find that joy and peace in these coming days as Christmas draws closer.

Heavenly Father, you have given us a model of life in the Holy Family of Nazareth. Help us, O loving Father, to make our family another Nazareth where love, peace, and joy reign. May it be deeply contemplative, intensely Eucharistic, and vibrant with joy. Help us to stay together in joy and sorrow through family prayer. Teach us to see Jesus in the members of our family, especially in their distressing disguise. May the Eucharistic heart of Jesus make our hearts meek and humble like his and help us to carry out our family duties in a holy way. May we love one another as God loves each one of us more and more each day, and forgive each others faults as you forgive our sins. Help us, O loving Father, to take whatever you give and to give whatever you take with a big smile.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, cause of our joy, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Holy Guardian Angels, be always with us, guide and protect us. Amen
- St. Therese of Calcutta

Posted by Jill Fischer
Tags: advent
in Joy, Jesus

Welcome to Advent!

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I love the feel that Advent has. There is a joy, an energy that rivals nothing else. When we can keep Advent separate from Christmas, it makes Christmas all the better. Advent is a time of hopeful anticipation. It is a time to prepare for Jesus coming. In retrospect, it is the preparation Mary and Joseph took in awaiting his arrival. For us it is waiting for the day of Christmas. It is also the waiting for his triumphant return. It is this last point that we must always focus on – are we ready? Scripture tells us that we will not know the date nor will we know the time, but will we be ready? That is what we should be spending our time doing during Advent. That is what we should be spending every day preparing for. We should be preparing the way for the Lord every day! We are to take a renewed interest in our relationship with God, with Jesus, with the Holy Spirit to claim the joy that is there for us always. With that in mind, I share this video with you. I hope you enjoy it as we work to get ready for Jesus this Advent.

Advent in 2 Minutes

Advent is like springtime in nature when everything is renewed, fresh, and healthy. Advent refreshes us, makes us healthy and able to receive Christ in whatever form he may come to us. At Christmas, he comes as a little child, small, helpless, and in need of his mother and all that a mother’s love can give. His mother’s humility enabled her to serve. If we really want God to fill us, we must empty ourselves through humility of all the selfishness within us. – Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Thirsting for God, 2000)

Posted by Jill Fischer
in Joy, Trust

Starting from Zero Again and Again

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This year, due to the coronavirus, we had to wait until the gradual reopening process allowed us to celebrate our Baccalaureate Mass for our eighth grade class. Even with the Mass, attendance was limited to parents only. As I thought about the limitations we are working under, and my belief they are here to stay for an extended period of time, I was contemplating what the average Catholic psyche is right now. 

This tragedy of the pandemic, has unfolded like a slow moving accident. If an asteroid would have hit our planet, we would have all responded quickly and in unity. But with the nebulous spread; broad, yet unsubstantiated restrictions, and unproven reopening, I am not sure what everyone is feeling. In a recent poll taken, well over half of Catholics do not yet feel comfortable attending public Masses, even with the accommodations. The haunting question is when will they? I borrowed the title of this reflection from an article I read a while back. It was from a young missionary, who described her experience of learning Spanish in Bolivia, re-learning the dialect in Peru, and having to learn administrative skills in her new job. She remarked on how she had to adjust to starting over again and again.

Maybe that captures our feelings best. In this atmosphere, more than ever, we ask ourselves, is God in control? If we answer ‘yes,’ we approach each day with confidence and joy. If we answer with doubt, we approach each new day with fear and trepidation. This young missionary put her complete trust in God in a new country, with a foreign language, and an insufficient skill set. She now has friends, speaks the language, and leads with confidence. Our situation is not even near as complex, can you put all your trust in God, starting today? 

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