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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 Love, Mercy

Celebrating Advent

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"We Don't Really Celebrate Advent"

A priest friend remarked this to me one Advent. He is right; we easily get caught up in preparing for the festivities of Christmas: decorating the house and tree, buying and wrapping gifts, shopping for and preparing Christmas Dinner. Even our staff can get caught up in preparing more for Christmas Masses than entering into Advent. 

Coincidently, Advent is a season of preparation: a time to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for the coming of Christ: “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” We prepare to celebrate the historical event  of the incarnation: of God becoming Man. We are challenged to prepare ourselves for the moment we are called home to Christ. We are also called to prepare for the second coming of Christ at the end of time.  

In this year plagued by the Coronavirus, it will be easy to mourn our “normal” Christmas traditions, as we are asked to celebrate with immediate family only. Many gifts will need to be mailed (or sent directly via Amazon) to loved ones. We will miss out on some of the hugs and laughs we often share with extended family.  The Christmas kids table will be a breakout room on Zoom. 

Instead of mourning our normal Christmas, let us choose to view this as an invitation. An invitation to prepare less for the festivities of Christmas and enter into the season of Advent. Doing so will lead us to a greater understanding of God’s mercy and allow us to embrace God’s love more fully. 

 

Tags: advent

Give Hope

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The first week of Advent asks us  to ponder the virtue of hope. Are you looking for a way to give hope in preparation for Jesus? Try this.

In the words of St. Teresa of Calcutta:
Jesus wants us to prepare the way for his coming, for there are so many blocks in the way of his becoming all in all for us. Give him whatever he takes and take from him whatever he gives with a big smile.
Be a cause of joy to others.
Speak well of everybody
Smile at all you meet.
Deliberately make three acts of loving kindness every day.
Confess any sin against charity.
If you offend anyone - even a small child - ask forgiveness before going to bed.
Read about, meditate on, and speak of this love.

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