theROCK

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.

in Hope

"If you believe it, you will see it."

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I really try to have a positive attitude. More often than not, that serves me well. I have also been called names because of my rosy outlook—Pollyanna rings a bell.

One thing I have learned about living in a glass-half-full world, is that I have to do reality checks from time to time. Not only does this help me find balance, it also helps me build relationships with the people around me. It helps me be aware of those relationships in order to foster them, or not, in some cases. I truly believe that it is important to surround yourself with individuals that will help you become the best version of yourself as God intends.

When I arrived at St. Dominic, I used a phrase with the teachers—“If you believe it, you will see it.” I will remind them of this phrase from time to time especially when we are working together to meet the challenges we face. If we remember who we are and what we are here for, we will see the fruits of our labor accordingly.

As St. Julien says, "All will be well." If you believe in the good, that is what you will see. If you believe in hope, that is what you will see. If you believe that Jesus lives in each one of us, that is what you will see. If you believe that there is joy in the world, that is what you will see. The opposite holds true as well.

Despite my rosy outlook, I do get caught in the muck and mire of life. But I do believe that things happen for reasons. I do believe that God has a purpose for every moment. I pray for the understanding of the potential in those moments - the holy moments. For if you believe it, you will see it.

in Love, Joy

Joy

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They arrived one minute before Mass began and sat in the row in front of me. Mom took off her long, tan coat, then removed the baby from the carrier. She gently picked up the small child and immediately snuggled him to her chest. In a moment, Dad arrived. He took off his coat and immediately grabbed his son. Mom watched with pride.

Together they sang and prayed and took turns holding the newest member of their family. Neither Mom nor Dad could stop smiling.
When parents welcome a new child into their lives, everything changes. All of their thoughts, emotions, and actions are focused on the baby. They would do anything for their child. Anything. They love their child with all their heart and all their soul.

On that Sunday morning, when I watched the Mom and Dad in the row in front of me, it wasn’t simply happiness I saw on their faces. I saw pure joy in their hearts. It’s the kind of joy we all want in our lives. This Christmas, we have a chance to experience this joy. It starts with two simple questions.

Are we prepared to welcome Jesus into our lives? Are we ready to let Him guide our thoughts, emotions, and actions?

Reach down, pick up the Christ child, and snuggle Him to your chest. Love Him with all your heart and all your soul. Then share Him with the world around you. Be prepared, because everything changes. You too, will be smiling from ear-to-ear. And you too will feel the joy in your heart.

Merry Christmas.