“Where is that thing?” mumbled Bob as he searched frantically on his dimly lit desk for the current electric bill. “I know I put it right on top of these papers this morning!” Growing in frustration and bordering on anger, he flies stuff around, moves books and opines why simple tasks need to be so hard. Enter his wife, who calmly says, “Maybe it would help if you put the light on, dear.” The desk light goes on and lo and behold, there is the electric bill right where Bob left it earlier. All it took was a little light!
We stubbornly refuse to turn on the lights! Either we are distracted, determined, disinterested, preoccupied, stubborn, apprehensive, or all of the above. Or perhaps, we fail to do the obvious. We would rather live our lives with the dimmest of lights or even in total darkness. Why are we afraid to do something so that we can actually see? It might help us to find quicker and better answers to problems, the meaning of life, relationships, happiness, and what is ultimate truth. Yet, we stumble along, moving things from one side to the other, getting angry, feeling cheated, being unsettled, resigning ourselves to the agony of defeat once again.READ MORE
We know the Christmas stories so well that sometimes we forget the stunning truth they tell. Let’s pause and consider the incomparable Gift we are given at Christmas.
GOD comes to live among his creatures. He comes in the form of a newborn baby!
Mary kisses GOD’s chubby cheeks and touches GOD’s tiny toes!
Wiseman traveled great distances for one reason only – to adore GOD made present in Baby JESUS. How will your family celebrate Epiphany today?
Whether you make a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament or kneel in silent prayer as a family before the manger, I hope you will take some time today to adore our Lord.READ MORE
Jesus’ hidden years at Nazareth are worth contemplating. What was it like growing up with the perfect Mother to meet all his human needs? What did he learn from her and Joseph and what did they learn from him? We know we owe a deep debt of gratitude to our parents for the gift of life and the many sacrifices they made to feed, clothe, shelter, and educate us.READ MORE
What a year it has been! How will we speak of these times a decade from now? As time goes by, our impressions of this past year will certainly change. How we feel today about dealing with a killer virus and all the chaos surrounding that is still fresh for all. I would assume that most of us right now are also holding those we love a little closer and hugging them a little harder. Hopefully, even if the fears and concerns of 2020 dissipate in the future, the way we feel toward our family never leave us.READ MORE
May the Love of Christ keep modeling your heart like His for the upcoming year. I don’t need to tell you that 2020 has been a very difficult year for all of us. Maybe in your life you have lost a family member or a friend due to Covid. We share your sadness with empathy and have dedicated extra prayers and masses for all our beloved ones that are no longer with us. However, the intention of this message is to share with you a message of hope.READ MORE
In Blaise Pascal’s work, Pensees, he says: “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”
We have a difficult time accepting that fulfillment and happiness are not achieved by our own merits but through a relationship with God. We are hardwired for this relationship and it is in our DNA. The simple fact is that we come from God and are designed to return to God. If our beginning and our end define who we are, why would we not want to seek the One who can truly satisfy? The world does not realize that it is waiting. It is waiting for the birth of God in time, within one’s soul and in eternity. We get so confused by seeking other momentary satisfactions that we misinterpret the hunger within. We crave God.READ MORE
All sing prayerfully: Here are the prayers for the fourth week of Advent:
This week we light all four candles.
Leader: O Lord, stir up your power, we pray, and come; and with great might help us, that with the help of your Grace, your merciful forgiveness may come and dispel all sin and darkness from our hearts. Through Christ our Lord.
All sing while lighting the candles: Light one candle for hope, one bright candle for hope Christ brings hope to every heart. He comes, he comes Light one candle for peace, one bright candle for peace Christ brings peace to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for joy, one bright candle for joy Christ brings joy to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for love, one bright candle for love Christ brings love to every heart. He comes, he comes.READ MORE
The joyful Sunday in Advent (known as “Guadete”) is represented by rose (or pink) instead of the purple color. A family member lights the pink as well as the two previously lit purple candles after the following prayer has been said.
Here are the family prayers for the Third Week of Advent:
Leader: O Lord, we beg you, hear our prayers and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of your coming to us. Through Christ our Lord. All: Amen
All sing while candles are lit: Light one candle for hope, one bright candle for hope Christ brings hope to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for peace, one bright candle for peace Christ brings peace to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for joy, one bright candle for joy Christ brings joy to every heart. He comes, he comes.READ MORE
Did you ever stop and realize that there is no earthly gain that can ever really satisfy us? Think of winning the Lotto. On this side of the winning ticket, it’s all about the money, the new car, house, vacations, bank accounts, and infinite pleasures. The possibility of acquiring all of these earthly securities brings us back again and again to the purchase of a ticket. Then, one day we win! Our dreams are fulfilled, and happiness is on the horizon. Then one day, we wake up and realize that nothing has really changed, and I am not as satisfied as I thought I was or would be. I find myself living in my incompleteness and with my profound sorrow and grief. I did not find joy.
Glimpses of joy are possible but not by material means. They are brought to us through incredible experiences of connection that bring us face to face with real and authentic faith, hope, and love. And, they are glimpses and do not last. The moment we find ourselves looking back at them, they are gone, and we find ourselves remembering the moment in memory. To carry joy within us is to realize that it is not something I create, manufacture or even acquire. It is not able to be purchased. It is a gift. My need for joy mirrors my need for eternity, for a Creator who has a claim on the very essence of who I am and desires a home within me. As C. S. Lewis discovered, joy is a surprise that speaks to my very soul and is given as gift by the God who loves me.READ MORE
People knew over a year in advance that the Pope was coming for a visit to America and the preparations began. Security, space limitations and requirements, protocols, crowd management, itineraries, invitations, regulations, and so much more was necessary to pull this event off effectively. It’s not every day that we get a visit from such a prominent dignitary. Thought, effort, meticulous attention to detail and vision all are necessary to make this thing work. After all, he can’t just show up in the ordinary and normal daily routines of life and catch people unprepared! Tickets have to be purchased, buses rented, hotel rooms reserved, and travel arrangements made early because it will be impossible to see him if we wait too long!READ MORE
Here are the family prayers for the Second Week of Advent:
Leader: O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for your only begotten Son, that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve you with pure minds. Through Christ our Lord.
A family member now lights two purple candles.
All sing while candles are lit: Light one candle for hope, one bright candle for hope Christ brings hope to every heart. He comes, he comes. Light one candle for peace, one bright candle for peace Christ brings peace to every heart. He comes, he comes.READ MORE