Posts

Showing posts with the label Christmas

Christmas Presents

Image
I WONDER WHAT CHRISTMAS PRESENTS YOU GOT? CAN YOU GUESS WHAT I GOT? CLICK HERE

Celebrating Ever Since

Image
We hear quite a bit of Luke 2 during the Christmas Masses, including this....

...The shepherds went to see what was going on, and liked what they saw. So did the magi and Simeon. Jesus didn't stay in the manger, of course....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Bah! Humbug?

Image
'Tis the season to kvetch about Christmas: because it's too commercial, too religious, or whatever. I won't do that.

I'll look at why we celebrate instead. Also Scrooge and "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

Besides, I think enjoying the holiday and doing what I say I believe makes more sense...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Secretly Cynical, Surprised by Joy on Christmas Morning

Image
Do we wait for Christmas morning with a joyful expectation or has life’s disappointments left us jaded and closed to any spiritual surprises or gifts from God? Many of us are actually just like Scrooge, that traditional symbol for someone who has been so wounded by disappointment and jaded by life that he cannot embrace the spirit of giving during Christmas. Scrooge wasn’t just stingy, he was miserable, with his heart closed to other people and to love and joy. Come to think of it, how many of us actually expect to receive any spiritual joy on Christmas morning? When we are secretly cynical, we will not receive a thing, not even a tiny flicker of Light because we have locked the door to our hearts. Then, our cynicism will be confirmed once again, just like last year and we will cement our cynicism in place until next year. Yet we all long for the dark, empty places within us to be flooded with His light. The answer to our dilemma can be discovered when we observe children because the…

'Both Son of God and Son of Man together had one name.' Sunday Reflections, 4th Sunday of Advent and Christmas

Image
The Annunciation, El Greco [Web Gallery of Art]
Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)
Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)
Gospel Luke 1:26-38 (NRSV, CatholicEd)

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Greetings, favoured one! The Lord is with you.’But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.’ M…

What Does Jesus Want for His Birthday?

Image
As we near Christmas Day, I want to take some time to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! May the celebration of the Incarnation of Christ fill your hearts with His Love, Peace, Joy and Hope. At Christmas, Jesus showers us with many virtues, as His gifts to us. What do you think Jesus would like from you, in return, as His birthday present from you?

Maybe He would like for you to reach out to a relative, or neighbor, who is suffering. You could grace that person with caring compassion. Perhaps He would like for you to forgive a co-worker, or friend, who has wronged you. You could extend that person a little mercy. Might it be a donation to the local food bank/homeless shelter?  Consider giving kindness and comfort to those in need. Or perhaps Jesus wants you to open your own heart, in faith and trust, so that He can heal you of a longstanding inner pain.

What does Jesus want for His birthday?
Have you ever given that any thought?...Read more...

Infertility, Healing and the Gift of Baby Jesus at Christmas

Image
By Laura Durant There are many reasons why Christmas is special to me, many reasons why it is the second most special time of the year for me (second only to Easter). However, last year, Christmas became infinitely more special. 
The Gift of Peace in God’s Will
My husband and I began trying to have a child after a couple of years into our marriage. That was eight years ago, and we have not been able to conceive. We have been to the Vitae Clinic in Austin, Texas, which I highly recommend to anyone trying to conceive. While we were not able to become pregnant ourselves, I know many people who have through the help of this wonderful clinic. They were always very kind, always mindful of the struggle we were going through. I could go on and on about the kind and thoughtful ways in which they treated us and others struggling with infertility, but that is the subject for a different blog. After some time, and with a sense of peace from God to do so, we decided to discontinue trying to concei…

Time to Get Ready, An Advent, Christmas Reader to Wake Your Soul – Book Review

Image
As we bravely embark on completing all the “tasks” needed to make Christmas merry, we sometimes fail to forget the real reason for the Christmas season. You purchase gifts for everyone on your list. Let me share with you a gift that you will want to purchase for yourself, today! Time to Get Ready, An Advent, Christmas Reader to Wake Your Soul, by Mark A. Villano is a treasure that you will cherish for years to come! Amid the holiday hustle and bustle, Villano gives us a daily retreat that takes only two to three minutes to read each day’s offering. It will spark the imagination and provide food for spiritual thought. Each day’s offering is filled with golden nuggets, helping us to make Advent more spiritual; less commercial.

By interspersing Scripture with his own reflections on the biblical passages, Villano offers insight and encouragement. One of my favorite “golden nuggets” was:

When we come to see how far God will go to save us, when we come to know how God sees us, how much God …

Mom Shop Hop--A Christmas Shopping Guide

Image
Looking forward to Christmas?  Get your shopping done now and enjoy Advent as a time of prayer and anticipation. What's more, this guide will help you find some amazing shops run by hardworking moms.  Support small business and families at the same time!



Read more on Veils and Vocations!

Epiphany Sunday

Image
Statues1 of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar started near the clock in our living room. I took those pictures of them on Wednesday. Their trip to the nativity scene ended today, Epiphany Sunday.

We read about "magi from the east" in today's Gospel: Matthew 2:1 through 12:
"1 When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, 2 behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,
"saying, 'Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star 3 at its rising and have come to do him homage.'"
(Matthew 2:1-2) "Magi" is how μάγοι, mágoi, looks in my native language. That's the Greek version of an Old Persian word that would sound something like "magus" if I tried pronouncing it.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Film Review: The Spirit of Christmas

Image
My Christmas film reviews conclude with The Spirit of Christmas (2015) directed by David Jackson, and starring Thomas Beaudoin and Jen Lilley. This is an unusual addition to Lifetime's Christmas film catalogue---still a romance, but one that's part ghost story/part mystery.

It seems an odd blend of genres for a Christmas film. Or perhaps not so odd when one considers the famous ghostly Christmas tale we're all familiar with, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carole. There are huge differences, of course. This is no Dickens classic, though it is still enjoyable. Also, this film's hero, Daniel (Thomas Beaudoin), is already dead. His journey of self-discovery, however, is similarly focused on exploring the ghosts of his past.

The plot summary: big-city lawyer Kate (Jen Lilley) is tasked with arranging the sale of a deceased client's property before the new year. The house is actually an antique mansion in a small, snowy town upstate.

Read the rest of the review here!

"Good News of Great Joy"

Image
The Christmas Mass marathon — that's not what it's called — started yesterday with the Vigil Mass. Mass During the Night was next, followed by Mass at Dawn and Mass During the Day.

I didn't go to all four, I don't know how many folks do, but I looked up the Gospel readings for each....

"...We heard parts of the Vigil Mass Gospel last week. That's Matthew 1:18-24, when Joseph learns why Mary is pregnant...."

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Reflections on the Carol: "O Holy Night"

Image
O Holy Night is my hands-down favorite Christmas hymn and much to my children's chagrin I can listen to it over and over and over again (especially if Josh Groban is crooning it). This song is rich in meaning and has provided much over the years for me to meditate on and pray about.

Click here to read my reflections on  a few of it's most powerful lines.....

Receive Christ's Love This Christmas - My Wish For You

Image
It’s almost time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday! Christmas is almost here! I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you are traveling, safe travels.

As we close out 2016, and look forward, with hope, to 2017, I want to share with you one of my favorite Christmas carols, performed by the late Bing Crosby and the late David Bowie. It’s called, Little Drummer Boy. The message of the song is that one little child “can give all the love he can.”

Enjoy the video, then read my comments below on how we can take this message and bring it to life this Christmas season. Read more...

Christmas Gifts

Dear Readers,

With Advent rushing by and Christmas just around the corner, I've also decided to start a series of Christmas movie reviews. I'm kicking my reviews off with one of my family's favorites: Miracle on 34th Street (1994).

Yes, this is a remake of an older, even more beloved 1947 George Seaton film. Les Mayfield is the director here, and I'm not sure if Mayfield or his cinematographer is to be credited for the film's glossy beauty, but it certainly fits a film with the word 'Miracle' in the title. The production is led by a trio strong adult actors, Elizabeth Perkins, Richard Attenborough and Dylan McDermott, and anchored by a gifted youngster, Mara Wilson.

The plot's summary is thus: A lonely, albeit well-off, single mother Mrs. Walker (Perkins) and sweet daughter Susan (Wilson) find some much-needed Christmas cheer when Kris Kringle (Attenborough) arrives to save the day at a flagship 34th Street store. Christmas charm sweeps through the city. W…

In This Time of Preparation

Image
‘Silence is so lacking in this world which is often too noisy, which is not favorable to recollection and listening to the voice of God. In this time of preparation for Christmas, let us cultivate interior recollection, so as to receive and keep Jesus in our lives.’ Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI  (from The Cloistered Heart)

Robin Redbreast

Image
A wonderful Christmas story to share by the Christmas tree with family and friends.
A story you will never forget.
PLEASE CLICK HERE

Advent Plans and Looking to Christmas

Image
Here's a chatty little look at our Advent plans.  They may not be elaborate but they are helping to point us to Christmas and the sweet celebration of the Christ Child's birth.



Read more at Veils and Vocations.

Hidden Gems of Catholic Vendors--A Christmas Shopping Guide

Image
I really like to shop from local and small businesses. There is something about knowing the person who made what you are buying that is so gratifying.  Every year I try to highlight a few of my favorite businesses to introduce you to their products and give my favorite vendors a bit of free publicity. This year I am focusing on Catholic vendors.




The wonder of the internet is that "local" takes on a new meaning.  I can purchase items from across the country or around the world and still build up a relationship with the vendor. Many have become special friends, as well.  So please indulge me as I present my picks for this year!

Find out more on Veils and Vocations!

Practical Gift Ideas

Image
For those of you who start Christmas shopping really early, here is a post of some practical but fun gift ideas!

"I know it is very early for Christmas for most of you, but as I have shared before, I try to avoid shopping during Advent.  Autumn is an extremely busy time with birthdays, back to school, and getting ready for winter around here.  Therefore, I start my shopping around now and try to finish up by the end of August.  There are always those little things that need to be purchased last minute, for those I know exactly what I am buying and where to get it, to make the last minute shopping as painless as possible.  My children have gotten so used to me Christmasing in July that they have already proposed gift ideas--aren't they lovely. :)"


Click over to Veils and Vocations for more.