I have refused sweets many times already this Lent. I don't refuse them because I'm scared of breaking a promise or afraid God will triple the calories for disobeying my Lenten commitment. I refuse the sweets because it's one of the things I decided to do for Lent. I'd rather take the seemingly sad situation as a chance to run to Jesus and unite my (puny) sufferings with His. I prefer to be moved and driven by love, not fear. Remember that we are the beloved. Notice that we word beloved breaks up into be-loved.
If we're focused on what we can get out of God and not what we can give to Him, then our worship is selfish. Christ is faithful, but when we expect something in return we put Him in a box. Shifting our focus on what we can give Him frees us to receive His love the way He wants to give it.
The Magi did exactly that, and to Christ the true present was their presence.
We have four Nativity sets in my house: not out of overindulgence but out of sheer necessity. One set is for my five year old, who likes to take a more 'interactive' approach to the Nativity, including putting Disney princesses and Barbies into the Biblical narrative. Last year when I asked why the baby Jesus was in Barbie's convertible, she responded, 'Barbie is baby-sitting, Daddy… the trip to Bethlehem left Mary and Joseph very tired.'
You may have a Nativity set beneath your Christmas tree or on a table inside your house. You almost certainly have one on display somewhere around your local Church…
One of the biggest stresses of the Christmas season is gift giving. It can be difficult to find the right gift for a person. Or the stores you shop in are incredibly busy or your wallet isn’t keeping up with your heart (especially for students and others on tight budgets). Gift-giving should be joyful though!
To help you out we have a list of a few meaningful, inexpensive and homemade presents you can give to your friends and family. You can easily put your own spin on each of these ideas. Some of them might take longer to make than others but it's still a great way to show someone how much you appreciate the gift of their life!
To God everything is exposed: all of our faults, imperfections, personal secrets but also all of our talents, traits, successes and achievements … that's the good news. The even better news is that God is always seeking you and me.
Here we are, on Fat Tuesday … and if you're like me, you're scrambling to decide what exactly you're giving up for the next 40 days. Will it be candy … no, procrastinating’Ìâ‰âÂÌâ_ or maybe you'll finally tackle that missing prayer time. The possibilities seem infinite and overwhelming. Before you know it, there are going to be ashes on your forehead and all your Catholic friends will be asking, 'So what did YOU give up this year?' Don't worry too much. I've been thinking about it, and I have some rock-solid advice on how to make this the most productive (and rewarding) Lent ever.
It's a good thing I go to Mass, because that seems to be where God always tells me what blog about. And the question that's weighed on my heart so far this week is this: 'Am I eagerly awaiting Christ?'
So it's almost Advent – a time of preparation. In other words, a time of waiting. I don't know about you, but whenever I have to wait around somewhere for a while, I start to notice things I'd never see otherwise. Whether it's the doctor's office or a train station, when we are forced to sit and wait – we can see an entirely different world. Sometimes it's just noticing the quiet of nature, or the subtle sounds of what's going on around us.