Friday, December 2, 2011

Another Treasure


This book along with Mystic Monk coffee arrived in the mail yesterday! Haven't brewed the coffee yet, but read a few pages and it is marvelous. Quintessential Fulton Sheen. Scripture, reflection and prayer. Reflection for Day 1: God walks into your soul with silent step. God comes to you more than you go to Him. Never will his coming be what you expect, and yet never will it disappoint. The more you respond to his gentle pressure, the greater will be your freedom.

This is a busy season for many, including us. It's all too easy to become distracted by the things of the world. Archbishop Fulton Sheen is a wonderful companion to our little Advent village -- inside the cubbies I tuck in chocolate kisses, little animals and selected Scripture passages for the children.

So much for staying off the Internet, but sometimes I just have to share all this goodness.

Tell me, how do you maintain the spirit of Christmas in the midst of all the secular noise?
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13 comments:

Bish Denham said...

I love your little Advent village! As for maintaining the spirit? I stay away from stores!

inluvwithwords said...

This book sounds like a wonderful feast for the spirit. Thanks for sharing a little taste of it.
When our children were small, I was always looking for ways to make sure the true meaning of Christmas didn't get lost. As they've grown, some of the activities have fallen away, but the results are evident in their hearts.
Blessings to you as you instill the word of truth in the hearts of your children.

The Book Reporter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Faith E. Hough said...

Even the cover of that book is gorgeous! (I love that Bouguereau painting so much.) My husband and I have been reading the Advent volume of "In Conversation with God," and it is wonderful.
The racket--both in the sense of noise and business dealings--that accompanies this season can be very frustrating. It helps me to remember, though, that it is a sign that the world is longing. They don't realize what their "hearts are restless" for yet, to paraphrase St. Augustine, but they are trying to fill that gap with commercialism and things and all the feelings of joy without the Joy itself. (or Himself.) But just the fact that they're working this hard at it gives me hope!

Vijaya said...

Bish, I try to avoid the shopping too, but boy it's hard with the kids. For instance, we need to get some school supplies for the kids and I really need a pair of shades to go over my glasses and guess what? I don't know how to avoid the madness. Even regular shopping exhausts me (Michael does most of it, he's such a dear).

Inluv, this is soooo good to know. I can already tell what an amazing job you did from your daughter's blog.

Faith, you make an excellent point about the longing in our hearts. We long for God, even when we are unbelievers. I was one once and I can attest to it. No amount of work, play, stuff, friends or family can fill it. It's a God-shaped hole and only He can make us complete. Methinks I need to pick up some English translation of Augustine. Care to make a recommendation for a neophyte Catholic?

Faith E. Hough said...

My copy of Confessions was translated by Henry Chadwick, and I love it so much. It's one of those books I often just pick up to refresh my spirit...I feel a very strong connection to Augustine and his passion for beauty. In many ways it was his love of beauty and beautiful language that God used to help him find truth.

Vijaya said...

Thank you, Faith. I'm going to order that translation (there are several, so it's good to have a recommendation). Also thinking of getting Summa of Summa -- these are the most important excerpts by Aquinas, with notes by Peter Kreeft.

MollyMom103 said...

Christmas is differnt for me. I'm not a respecter of days generally. But this will be a tough year. I feel I need God more than ever. My family is going to be scattered across the planet. It's just Jack, Jesse and me this year. Something about not being together makes me grateful for all the happy jumbled years we did get to spend together.

My mom passed away the day after Christmas. This will be 10 years.

I rejoice in knowing there is day when there are no more tears. I sing and just enjoy letting the words fly. I also take time and read aloud my favorite poems and stories.

wordwranglernc said...

We celebrate Advent, too! It is a great way to keep the focus on Jesus during this busy (and how highly commercial) season.

I like to just sit and look at the tree, and maybe read a story to my girls. It helps relax any pent up frustration we all have.

Mirka Breen said...

I’m Jewish. But going to hear the original Midnight Mass in Latin with a Christian friend a few years ago was a good ‘righting’ of what this luminous holiday is.

Vijaya said...

Oh, Molly, that's tough when your mom is on your mind. I find grief to be very cyclical and find the months of Nov-Jan difficult because of how sick my mom was before she died. Hugs, my dead friend. It's hard when the whole family cannot be together. My sister is experiencing some of that loss now with her kids starting families of their own and scattered, so like you, I am grateful for the time together. I know how fleeting it is.

Donna, Advent is waiting and preparing our hearts for Jesus -- many of the Bible readings mention John the Baptist because he emphasized repentance. I like the image of you sitting by the tree telling stories.

Mirka, salvation comes from the Jews. How lovely that you could attend Latin Mass. As a Christian, I very much believe that Jesus is the fulfilment of Judaism. I have been to a semi-orthodox Jewish prayer service and Catholics have borrowed much of the same structure. Some day I'd love to sit with my Jewish friends and understand their thinking about Jesus. I've had the opportunity to do so with our Muslim friends. We share the same history. I wish you a very blessed Hannukah.

Mary Witzl said...

When our kids were little, we got them to write their thank you letters as they opened presents. We would talk about the people who had given them each gift and celebrate the givers rather than the present. In Japan, the post office is open on Christmas Day, so we managed to mail them too. That slowed down the whole gift-unwrapping frenzy, and to this day our girls can turn out good thank-you notes in very short time.

We still focus on the friends who have given us things rather than on the things they give themselves. It's one way to keep the day from turning into an all-out greed fest.

Vijaya said...

Thank you cards are a must in our family as well, Mary. When the children were little, we opened presents that came in the mail in the evening and it was lovely. No being overwhelmed by four-five gifts at once. They could truly appreciate and gift and the giver one at a time.