Seeing God in Others

God’s presence is sometimes revealed in lightning and thunder and smoke on Mount Sinai, but it’s much more likely to show up in the faces of our neighbors. And not just our respectable neighbors, either, but those whom we generally go out of our way to avoid: the poor, the ill, the imprisoned, the aged, the weak, and the despised.

-from Perfect Joy

Bringing the Word to Life

Pope Francis reminds us again and again that we bring the Word to life each and every day in the way we reach out to others with the love and mercy of God, the way we bring the light of Christ to a world too often shrouded in clouds and darkness, and the way we show to others a face that mirrors the face of God.

-from The Joy of Advent

Immaculate Conception

 

We ask God to enlighten our eyes, that they may be pure and clear and focused. As such, we remember today the Immaculate Conception of Mary, which we celebrate on December 8. The Immaculate Conception celebrates the grace-filled being whom we acknowledge as the Mother of God and our Mother, Mary Immaculate.

-from Let Us Adore Him

A Holy Union

There are a million reasons to be distracted when we receive Communion. But what an opportunity we miss! Receiving Communion is really entering into communion with Jesus—it’s not just an action; it is a key part of a relationship.

-from A Eucharistic Christmas 

Celebration of Birth

If you take Christmas to heart and get past the anxieties in arranging for gifts and parties, you will rediscover yourself every year at this time and experience a birth in yourself, just like the one so beautifully described in the Gospel stories. It will be a celebration of both the birth of Jesus and the birth of your own soul.

-from The Soul of Christmas

Give from the Heart

People complain that gift-giving becomes empty, frenetic, and annoying. But the problem may not be the giving of gifts but the way we do it. The basic principle is: Anything you do without soul will feel empty and meaningless. So, the task at Christmas is to approach gifts in a different way, in a way that will have some depth and emotion.

-from The Soul of Christmas

Face to Face

The celebration of the birth of the Son of God is the celebration of God’s allowing us to see him face-to-face. Through the Virgin of Nazareth, we can now look on the face of God and live. We have been freed from the darkness of sin in order to ascend the mountain of the LORD and stand with Christ in God’s “holy place.”

 -from The Little Way of Advent

Comfort and Joy

I don’t look for perfection, but for joy and happiness. At Christmas we don’t wish each other perfect lives but only “comfort and joy.” This is what I look for: not an end to struggle, but a level of understanding and adjustment so that we can say to each other, “Merry Christmas.”

-from The Soul of Christmas

Constant Calling

God does not wait for us to become perfect or even to repent, but calls us constantly, even while we’re struggling with our faults or refusing to acknowledge them altogether. God takes what is at hand and finds the good in it. He takes what is humble and elevates it to a higher purpose.

-from A Mary Christmas

When Silence is Music

More than once during this busy season we might find ourselves wanting to run away to a deserted place. We get caught up in seeking the spirit of the season in the music, the parties, the gifts, and all the other trappings of the holidays. But Advent calls us again and again to seek God in the silence.

-from The Joy of Advent